I've got multiple questions and hopefully the attached pictures will make this somewhat less painful. So first off I've seen different articles on this topic but am still a little confused. My question is, should my fire box grate and coking grate be the same height? Currently, the cooking surface is about 12" higher than the firebox grate surface. I use a older New Braunfels Red River smoker that has never been modded. Secondly, how far off the bottom of the fire box should the grate be that my fire sits on? Currently it sits about 2" off the bottom of the firebox. The reason I ask is after about 6-7 hrs it is almost impossible to keep the fire lit. Could it be that the grate sits so low that I have to much ash clogging the airflow underneath? Lastly, I've always used the wood chunks from Home Depot. They average about fist sized and have always been great. However, I burn through a 18lb bag of that stuff in about 5-6hrs. Is that normal? Can I use bigger sized wood? The dimensions of the fire box is 16x16x16.
Once again, any help would be greatly appreciated and thanks for taking the time to read my post