I'm hoping you guys can help here. Yesterday was my first burn with a stickburner and I don't think it went like it should. Started with three splits of oak in the firebox with propane assistance. Added a 4th when the temp was still around 150 about an hour later. It still didn't go up much although fire was burning good in firebox. Then I remember that you control the heat with the dampers on my stacks. (Hey, I'm new. I'm learning!) We opened dampers all the way and temp creeped from 170* to about 265* in about 30 minutes. I finally saw the thin blue smoke at times. 265* was about as high as I could get it, but it maintained for a while. A lot of white, puffy smoke had passed through the cooking chamber and out the stacks. After opening doors to check meat and take pics for Q-view, the temp started dropping fast. Maybe I should have added another split before I did, but I couldn't get it back to 250*+ even after adding a couple splits. Finally I turned the propane back on and after about 15 minutes the temp creeped back to 250 or so. I just finished the smoke like that. During the entire smoke we threw hickory chunks in the firebox, but the weren't big pieces. It was all I had. We're supposed to get a lot of rain from Tropical Depression Fay and the wind was very breezy. I don't know if this affected things or not. In another post somebody said to heat it up over 300* and then bring it down. I don't know how I could have gotten it to 300*+. Any suggestions on what went wrong? ____________________________ Final results Chicken came off after 3 hours and 45 minutes. I only had to cook chicken for about 3 hours on my MES. It was moist, tender and juicy. The problem I noticed though is that when we later took the chicken off the plate there was a good bit of black 'stuff' on the plate. I'm guessing it was all the smoke from the oak splits. This is another thing I need to figure out. Again, any help or suggestions here? I was hoping the entire smoke would go a little better!