sounds like you figured it out
I have the exact same cooker.
I start with a nice bed of lump or natural briqs to get things going, then its sticks from then on out.
If the coals seem to get low I may throw a handful of lump on it along with the stick to keep a good coal bed, really depends on the wood I am using
Ok Joe Offset, New Braunfels El Dorado, Weber OTS 22.5 & 18.5, (2) Master Forge Charcoal, Auber ATC, charcoal retort Weber drum rotisserie
Member Great Lakes BBQ Assn