Hi all. I'm new to the group and hoping for help. I'm in Dallas, TX and use a New Braunfels (Charbroil) Bandera, which has an offset firebox and a large vertical smoke chamber. I've done chickens and a brisket with good results, but I'm not sure I'm doing it exactly right. Here's my problem: I'm having a hard time keeping my chamber in the 225-250 range -- it's constantly falling below 200 degrees. I'm burning logs of mesquite wood (bought in a big sack at Home Depot), but I seem to be going through them really fast. For your reference, in a 12-hour brisket smoke I went through more than a whole bag (2 cubic feet; about 30 pounds of wood). It seems the only time the smoker stays up to temp is when there's a rather large fire burning (not just coals) so I'm adding more wood every 15-20 minutes. I'm also keeping the air intake open so the coals will burn hotter, but that also makes the wood burn even faster. Finally, I'm keeping the damper nearly closed on top of the chamber to hold the heat in, but I know that's not recommended. From all I've read on this site and others, it sounds like most people can get their fire going and leave it alone for long stretches (maybe adding a log every 30 minutes to an hour). To summarize, I'm constantly tending the fire in order to stay above 200 degrees. Is this normal, or am I dont something wrong? Thanks in advance for your advice!