I bought a Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5" last week used it for the first time yesterday. I noticed I burned a lot of charcoal, very quickly and had extremely poor temperature control.
I know there must be a few factors but what concerned me the most was the amount of charcoal briquettes that I had burned through. I must have put in at least 10lbs of charcoal. I had a 7.5lb bag which I then added another half of a 7.5lb bag throughout the cook.
Instantly I was getting pretty high temperatures and finally brought it down. I was trying to stick to 220. Now yesterday was very windy. I think this has to have 95% to do with how much trouble I was having. I was up on my deck, and we were getting 50mph gusts of wind yesterday. I did as much as I could to block the wind from hitting it with lawn furniture etc but obviously, with wind that strong there's not a whole lot you can do.
Also I had the water pan completely full. I started this at 9:15am and by 6pm I found myself taking my pork shoulders off and throwing them in the oven. I was getting about 9 hours out of a bag and a half of charcoal and found there to be hardly anything still lit inside. My water pan was near dry by the end of it as well.
I know wind effects are intake/outtake in drastic ways but would that cause it to burn charcoal at a fast rate and the smoker receive no benefit of the fuel being burned off this way? I had used the minion method as well for this.