Okay I have a Chargriller Akorn smoker and love it. I'm trying to figure out how best to load it. I use the smoker stone.
Typically, I would load up the fire box with lump, put 3 of the Weber parafin fire starters where the smoker stone legs do not cover (that way I can drop my chips/chunks near the lit coals. I've had pretty good luck with this setup but it does require a little while to get it regulated.
Last night I smoked two boston butts overnight. I figured I would try something new and use my starter chimney to get the coals good and hot first. I dumped the lit coals onto the unlit firebox and spread them out evenly. I dropped in the chunks of apple and hickory on top of the lit coals and then dropped a couple handfuls of cherry chips on top of the coals.
I lit it around 10:30 and put the butts on around 11:00. I regulated the temperature by midnight and went to bed. My thermometer woke me up a couple times because the smoker was too hot or cold. At 5 AM, the smoker went out and I had to relight it.
The problems for me was the inability to easily regulate the temperature but to be fair I did a clean-out and used brand new lump this time. Also, it seemed that the chunks really never caught and smoked.
So I would like to know how you guys setup your fire box and where / how you place the chunks and chips. Light it from the top, bottom, sides, etc?