Things turned out OK, I did chicken thighs and a fatty. I used royal oak briquettes but they got way too hot. It was like a turbo smoke! I filled my 12x12x6" basket about 3/4 full and then started a full chimney of briquettes (I am thinking now this was too much). I have done mods to the smoker including sealing the holes in the firebox, lowering the exhaust pipe to grill level, and adding baffle and tuning plates. Grill temps were about 310-340 degrees. I had to close all the intake dampers. I started with one 1/2 way open and the exhaust 100% open like I read somewhere. Everything was done in 1 hour. Nice smoke ring, I never got that with my electric smoker! Ashes didn't seem to be a problem and I let the charcoal burn itself out for several hours. Any tips or comments?