yes, what Seboke said, and yes open everything up, you may even have to crack open the door the firebox for a short time. Get that dawg up to 350-400 degrees and then brush them grates good with a stiff wire brush, then on my smoker, I use a hose with a wide spray nozzle to wash off the hot grates and let it drain out the grease drain and steam the grates clean. This will bring your temps down a bit, for just a lil while. When the grates are back to temp, I spray heavily with spray non stick coating, and let it sit while I get the temps backed off to where I want them to be. It will not hurt for the meat to go on a grate that is 250-300 degrees. The cold meat will also bring down chamber temps for awhile. You'll notice that this rig will hold heat alot better and have less to rebound when opened.I take about 35-45 minutes to get my bed of coals to where I like them, but I start my wood with a full chimney of lump, and then stack my wood on top after I put it in the firebox. I starts going very well within 5 minutes and it easily at 400 degrees within 20 minutes( unless its a blizzard or super windy and cold). Just start turning stuff down, or closing inlets a lil at a time to get it to where ya want it. Its gonna be at least 2-3 smokes to get it figured out, but It will be fun.
Lotsa great help here to get ya through it.