Well today is the first day of firing up this thing. Started with about 1/3 full of charcoal basket full of Kingsford topped off with a Weber chimney of hot coals. I opened up the firebox at 1 hour to throw in 2 wet and 1 dry chunks of hickory an it's been rock solid at 275-290 since. I know that's a bit hot for most things but for never doing this fire management thing and a new unit to boot I'm pretty happy with the way this has turned our. I've read some pretty negative stories about doing this and so far it's been awesome! I coated the inside and out with peanut oil and haven't seen any blistering of paint. I applied the Lava Rock gaskets to the cook chamber and FB and thought I would see more leaks than I've seen. The hotter it got the more the leaks went away. I set a timer to monitor things at 10 minutes for the first hour, 15 for the second just to make sure there were no spikes or lulls in temps. The FB damper has been pretty much at 1/4" - 1/2" open and the chimney at 30-40% open. I learned early on not to do any knee jerk reaction to temps fluctuations. I would only adjust it no more than an 1/8" at a time at the damper door or the chimney and it seemed to work out great.