Originally Posted by packerfannate
What can I do to get my temperatures up?
What was the outside temperatures when you were cooking at 225+? Colder outside temps wreak havoc on smokers.
Was it the briquettes that gave the meat a bitter flavor?
Depends on who made them. Were they Kingsford? Gas Station brand? Were they...gasp...matchlights? Did you wait 30-60 minutes for the temperature to stabilize before putting the meat on?
That leftover piece of wood might have been the culprit. I normally take my leftover wood chunks and use them for the fireplace.
Do briquettes burn hotter than lump charcoal?
In most cases, no. It's the other way around.
What do you recommend for fuel wood?
Unless you have a stick burner (or a fat wallet), the wood is for flavoring/smoke. Stay away from pine, cedar, and other conifer woods. Other than that, experiment.
Any advice you could provide would be greatly appreciated.