I'm new to smoking. Really, really, new. I'm more of a pc modder than a smoker modder but I tried to do some simple mods. I've got a problem: - I have a chargriller with a horizontal fire box setup. My mods: - Added flexible dryer hose to the far smokestack/vent that extends to grill level - Covered up second smokestack/vent with dryer tubing to impede exhaust - bought a 3" thermometer to replace the OEM thermometer from chargriller, which I calibrated using the hot method. - turned the ash tray in the cooking area upside down to act as a partial baffle (doesn't reach to the top of the fire box entry) - not a mod, but I bought a remote temp sensor that sits at grate level/front and registers cooking area heat - The problem: I knew that the first few smokes might be troublesome, so I'm starting with two slabs of babyback ribs on a hot (90 degree, east coast) day. I put a chimney's worth of lump charcoal in the smoker box (unlit), and made a space in the middle for hot charcoal (thought that this was a (sic) Minyon method way to smoke). I also put a chunk of apple wood and a chunk of hickory on the far outside corners of the fire box. I then started a chimney's worth of lump charcoal and waited for it to get white and glow-y. I added that to the smoker box, closed the vent on the firebox to 50% open and waited. The temp steadily climbed to 320 degrees. I then closed the firebox vent all the way, and waited. Still, it was 340 degrees. I waited 20 minutes and then wrapped foil around the cooking area stack (the one with the dryer hose on the grate) with foil (it doesn't adjust), but the temp hung at 320 and stayed there for at least 30 minutes. As I write this, it's been an hour and the temp readings in the cooking area are hovering at 310. Smoke still is coming out opaque from numerous areas, and I'm waiting for a 220 degree mark to start smoking the ribs. Is this normal? Did I use too much fuel? What the heck?