So I wanted to try the charcoal basket and minion method with this cooker as I have a yearly big party coming up in a month I am cooking for and I will need to run the smoker all day. I bought two of the 12x24 expanded sheets from Lowe's and bent them in half and fastened them together in a square. No bottom. So the basket is 12" tall and fits perfectly in the firebox. I filled it almost all the way up, took a whole 20 lb bag of Kingsford, minus the room 2 8" splits took up.
I had the two splits leaning in opposite corners, basically meeting in middle of the bottom of the basket. I lit 15 briquets and put them in one corner, on top of the split opposite the intake.
Overall I got 5 hours of burn and could have coaxed more. Took me an hour to get the temp steady, because that first split fully ignited and probably cut significant time off my burn. Once I got it steady, it held temp really well, and recovered well after tending the meat. I only added a couple more small splits during that time for additional smoke.
Most important lesson I learned will be to use chunks next time instead of full splits. I think that will keep it from running away from me at the beginning. Even with that happening, I got 5 hours easy, and could have coaxed at least another hour out of it @ about 235. I still had a coal bed after 8 hours, so I could have added more wood and kept it going. I think by using chunks I should be able to get a 7-8 hour burn no problem.