using your current method steve, heres what I would do. IMO
dump a light full 3/4(as opposed to heaping
) chimney of hot lump and a split log or 3-4-5 chunks first thing to get to temp. Splits will ignite easily on the fresh hot coals.
Keep an eye on temps, 10-15 degree drop, add a few chunks or splits. keep doin that, but dont expect much longer burns, Your still gonna tend every 45mins to an hour.
Only add more lump if your not getting enough coals from the chunks, and its absolutely OK to add lump while cooking.(its just more wood, nothing more). Just add small amounts. It will give you some white smoke at first, but its thin and it goes away. As long as there were some coals left, it will light quickly.
Chunks or split wheels tend to burn down better than logs and wont give you large coals, so you may need to add the lump. A log however, when burnt down and looks almost done.....you can smack it with another log or a poker and it breaks apart into coals that you can add stuff on top of.
whenever u see a small drop(10-15 degrees) add wood.
btw, I think the cutoff for smoke absorbtion is 6 hours, but thats as much a debate as foiling. I use wood right up to the end, unless I foil whatever Im cookin, then it dont matter what kind of heat ya use.
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