Hello all. Live in SD and have received a COF (cheap offset) Char-Broil 1280 as a gift and used it 3 times so far besides seasoning it. First time, could not get the heat past 180 and used almost a whole 12 pound bag of charcoal. So I found mods online, some from this site, and tryed again. Heat was still a problem, even with putting pieces of hard wood in the fire box. That got so hot, that some of the paint has turned grey and a little peeled. Will be cleaning and repainting that soon. Still used almost 12 pounds.But had a temp issue still. So third time I removed the heat deflector I made, and was able to get the temp up. Only used about half a bag this time, but mixed with wood char. which burns hotter but does not last as long. What I would like to know is how big of a fire should I make and how long is it suppose to last for? Everything I have smoked has come out pretty good, but can always be better. Thanks in advance.