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I'm new to controled heat methods, so bare with me. I smoked a ham on a brinkmann ECG (charcoal) and for the first time with this smoker I tried the snake method. My charcoal pan had a 1 inch hole in the center, which now has rotted out to about 2 inches. I used a coffee can to cover the hole and filled the pan with charcoal ( generic grocery store kingsford blue bag, not a instant light). When I removed the can, I had a donut of charcoal in the pan. Then I removed about a 2 inch section of the donut. Forgive me for I have sinned. I used lighter fluid on one end of the remaining snake. About a dozen coals. Once well lit and ashed over, I proceeded to load the rest of the smoker. I inserted a deep fry thermometer thru the lid gap (not ideal, but a good referance).

 An hour later I started to add hickory chunks. It was then that I saw the entire snake was ashed over. I kind of expected it to slowly burn around like a fuse, with ash on one side and unlit coals on the other. Temps held steady at about 250, except for when I added chunks (that's an issue to be addressed later)

 I have only tried this method one other time on a meatless Weber Kettle just to learn how to regulate the heat for future cooks, but I never opened it to see the burn pattern. I just watched the temps and time.

 Is this a normal burn pattern for snake method ??