Been lurking for a while and learned a lot of good info. I'm in NC and just seasoned my Meadow Creek PR36. For my first cook, I had a difficult time keeping temps low (closed all vents and still maintained temps 325-350 measured at the cooking grate). Decided to try some chicken breast @300 degrees, with Royal Oak briquettes. Chicken was slightly overcooked. Stayed on for 45 minutes and pulled 190 degrees (cooked faster than I thought) but was still moist. Unfortunately it was slightly over smoked....Good flavor but got a numb sensation/after taste (still edible). Per recommendation of the sales rep, I used the snake method of lighting coals. Started some coals in a chimney with news paper and placed them on the ends of the grill, lighting the unlit coals in the middle as they burned. I waited about an hour to settle temps (never had white billowy smoke). Got a 8 hr. burn and played with the vents to get the temps up and down. I was surprised how smoky the chicken came out without using wood. So, my guess is too much coal, over cooked chicken, didn't leave the top vents open. ...Wondering if I should light all the coals first? Next try will be ribs using less coals and top vents remaining open. Any recommendations would be appreciated.