Go figure, right?
anyway, when I first got it, of course, it didn't work worth a damn. No airflow to the charcoal. A problem easily solved by some quick work with my drill and stepping bit :)
Then, I found out just how bad Cowboy charcoal is. So I found a grill place by my work that had some Big Green Egg lump. Worked ok with the modified charcoal pan. Today, I went down to Lowes and found a grilling wok to use for my charcoal basket.
Problem. It works too damn good. Filled it up with lump, then lit about a half-chimney, and poured it on top. Filled the water pan with beer, and walked away for about 20 minutes for it to stabilize a bit. Thought it was doing ok, appeared to have settled at 240ish, so I closed the bottom vents down a bit, put my meat on, and went inside for a bit. Came back in another 20 minutes, and it was at 290!!! Holy cow! Closed down both bottom vents, wide-open on the upper vents, and bled a ton of heat off by opening the door a ways. Got the temp down to 215-220, and closed the door. Immediatley the temp shot back up to 250 and kept climbing.
So now, I have the door propped open a hair (http://twardnw.com/v/2010/June2010/2010-06-13+16_20_43.jpeg.html), and with both upper vents also open, am maintaining 230-235.
any advice for the n00b on how to cool this thing back down?