Hi Shag, just read your post. I agree, 100 times that using water was an error. I did build my fire as you described, with firebricks, and that worked great. I looked in the firebox after everything cooled down last night and virtually all of the charcoal is complete ash. I may contact Chris and see what has to say for advise on my first cook.
Michael and Cathy
LG and XL BGE's
LS Insulated Cabinet Smoker
Lonely Charbroil Infrared Gasser and Quick Read Thermapen
Certified IMBAS MOINK Baller!