So I have yet to break out the smoker this year. I was planning on doing so on friday. for the first time this season. However I had a few questions about temperature control. I have an vertical water smoker. I have replaced the bottom charcoal pan with a "vegetable grill basket" of sorts to allow for more airflow and more heat. I was not able to get it over 110* before then. I chose to use lava rock in my water pan as opposed to water itslef to get the temps up higher. Last year I got to around 275 which i believe is way to hot. I am just not sure what the general desired temp it. Should I dispose of the lava rock idea and just go with the water? Should I use less charcoal and use more wood? I only have the factory thermometer, but I do have a laser pointer thermometer I can use.
Any and all suggestions would be great.