I have been "hanging back" on this thread--kinda "see where it goes"
I feel that the vast majority of the errors are "airflow" related for us new guys!
I/we have screwed up some prime meat (including Kobe Brisket) because the airflow through the cooker was restricted!
Airflow restriction comes on both ends of the cook.
Fires need to be raised off the floor of the firebox to allow air under/in/around the fire for complete and clean combustion.
From there, air needs to freely flow to the exhaust.
If you put a "honkin' brisket" right up under the exhaust port, or if you load any shelf "really, really" full--you will shut down the airflow!
So, most of the "boo-boos" I have done, and most of the "Help Me Now" posts here--go back to airflow!
For those with "air restricted cookers" like WSM, Stumps, Spice, Backwoods, etc--it is still the same. Ya need a clean path for the air, then you restrict the intake (not the exhaust unless really needed) to control temps.
I guess what I am trying to say is---LOOK TO AIRFLOW FIRST if temps and all do not make sense.
Just a thought!
"Flirtin' with Disaster" BBQ Team (RETIRED)
FBA and KCBS Cook and Judge.
Former owner of a WSM, a Smokey Joe, a Charbroil Commercial gasser (junk), the legendary "StudeDera" and Sherman.
Now cooking with a Fast Eddy PG500
Proud Pellet guy cooking on real wood.