I did my test run on my new 22" Weber Kettle using the snake method and with three hickory wood chunks along the process. I feel pretty successful with the test run so far. I started the process around 11 am this morning and kept a pretty consistent temp of 275-300 degrees until 7:30pm tonight, without doing too much the outside temp got to around 85 today. First thing I noticed is I think I put too many coals within my snake. I kept trying to close the bottom vent as close to closed as possible but never could get the temp below 275. I may try another short run tomorrow and see if I can keep it closer to that. I also kept the exhaust vent at about 3/4 open. Questions I had during the run are below. Thanks for any help.
Does the amount or thickness of snake affect the temp? I had planned on doing a semi circle of the snake two wide and two high but it probably ended up closer to 3x3 with 18 bricks to start.
The lid has the exhaust on one side which I kept on the side where the food would be and the temp gauge was above the snake, how much of a variance in temp would I have had at the exhaust area? I forgot to put my digital thermometer within the grill prior to starting.
I also didn't do a run with a water drip pan how much does that affect temp?
I noticed when I hit one of the wood chunks that were above the temp gauge that the gauge went up to 400 and then I adjusted the bottom vent to further closed and that helped. Is that normal?
Anything you think I could have done differently I would appreciate it.