Hey fellows. I am an an old fart that is new to smoking but love outdoor cooking. My kids gave me a Masterbuilt XL propane smoker for Christmas. I had to take the first one back due to being damaged and had to wait for a couple weeks for the new one to arrive. I took the 5 day e-course and did a lot of reading before using the unit. Seasoned it and tried a couple of racks of BB ribs which turned out pretty good. Smoker temperature was easy to maintain. I used the 3-2-1 method. Last Sunday I tried my first (2) fatties and two 4# chix. Things did not go too good. I could not get the temperature above 225 and a lot of water was coming out around the door. After 3 hrs had to finish in the oven for the big game. Yesterday I fired up the smoker empty and it got to 300 in no time. I think I know where I screwed up. I had a large water pan that was pretty full on the rack just above the wood pan. I put the 2 chix on the rack closest to the thermometer in the door and the 2 fatties on the top rack. Keep in mind this is a large smoker. I did not use a drip pan thinking the water pan was large enough to catch the juices. I think that maybe the juices from these 4 items were causing the water pan too splash out and affect the burner. Should I use a seperate drip pan with food that will have a lot of drippings? I think if the food was closer to the water pan there would not have been a s much splash. Is it better to cook on the lower racks or the upper racks when the smoker is not full? By the way I used a probe thermometer thru a potato on the upper rack with the fatties. Thanks for the help.