Today I completed my first cook on the horizon offset that I picked up and refurbished a couple of months ago. After a couple of years cooking in the electric, I must say that I really like the experience of cooking in the horizon. Anyway, I don't have any Q-View to share, but I think the results were fairly good considering it was my first time using anything but electric. I had some struggles, and could use some advice to accelerate the learning curve. :)
I really don't have any idea how to start and maintain the bed of coals. I used a full weber chimney of lump and let it get real hot. Once the top layer was gray or mostly gray, I dumped it into the charcoal basket. I then added some extra lump on top. This was fine for the first 2 hours or so, but after I seemed to struggle to maintain and just generally felt like I didn't know what I was doing. Any suggestions on the proper way to manage this part? All in all, the smoker held temps really good, but I used nearly an entire bag of lump on one 5 hour cook.
Somewhat related to the above, I was using chunk wood and I couldn't keep it from lighting on fire. I tried dropping right on top of the coals and I tried separating the wood from the coals by pushing the coals to one side. The chunk wood would just light right up and give a hard smoke, then die. I struggled to maintain a slow burn of the wood to get to the good smoke. Would split wood help with this? Any thoughts?
I kept temps 225-240 for the entire smoke (as per Maverick 732 & factory lid thermo). First 2 hours out of foil, then 2 hours in foil. As I was taking out of the foil for the final hour, the bones were literally falling out of the meat as I was moving back onto the grates. I generally don't like "falling off the bone". Clearly by the time I finished the cook, I was able to just pull the bones right out of the meat. This has never happened on my electric. Not really sure why it happened this time.