Earl was delivered Friday early evening. I burned some wood in it for a few hours at temps ranging from 250-400°F. I didn't try setting anything on the firebox lid yet, but I expect it firmed up just fine. It moves pretty easily with new swivel casters instead of legs now and the trimming of the firebox lid worked out great! He trimmed it just a bit so it doesn't look like a big gap like the Banderas have. Very clean!
I ran some charcoal and chunks in it last night for dinner and smoked some bacon wrapped and stuffed thighs on the grill top area. Set up the KBB 2-3" deep in a U-shape around a foil pan with a few apple chunks. It ran around 250F-300F in the grill top area for about 3 hours before I closed everything off with about 2/3 of the charcoal used. Temps in the smokebox were only in the 150°F range. I bet if I loaded up the basket (it was nowhere even close to full)and used a snake pattern I could run for 6+ hours on briquettes and probably get the smokebox up to usable temps if I ever wanted to try for an overnight burn. I have never done a "ring of fire" method before, even in my kettle. I usually just bank the coals to one side, so this was a learning experience as well figuring out how much vent to open/close. It seemed that with the ring of fire method, sometimes I would get enough intake air to cause combustion AND dilution and it ran hottest without all the intakes WFO. It seemed to burn hottest with the intakes about 1/3-1/2 open.