As an alternative to the soup can/paint can method I do the following:
I have a plastic flower pot 6" diameter about 7" tall. I set it in the middle of the charcoal grate and fill it and the charcoal ring with the desired amount of charcoal.
I shake the ring to settle the charcoal, add the desired wood chunks and when I'm ready to proceed, I carefully remove the flower pot full of charcoal.
I dump that in my chimney and light it. It fills my chimney about half full. When the coals are ready, I carefully dump them in the hole in the middle of the charcoal left from where
I removed the flower pot. As with the soup can method, this brings the smoker temperature up slowly to the desired level.
The advantage of this method over the soup can is that you don't have to handle a hot can with channel locks, etc.
I'm also using the Terra Cotta saucer with no water in the smoker. Don't know yet what's best.
This is a Great Forum for WSM users. Thanks to all for the tips.