Definitely a learning process here. Started off with one chimney of Royal Oak and got temp up to 260 ish , put food on and temps were down to 175. Added another chimney, then another and an hour in I'm at 215.
Fighting it to get temps over 200 so I sat a small desk fan not to fire box and temps are steady at 250 far side and 225 firebox side... Should I remove my baffle leave tuning plates since my far side is hotter ?
I should mention that I have a water pan from my master built vertical smoker hanging off cooking grates on fire box side and it is windy today ... Well breezy
Looks good enough to eat to me! Congrats on your 1st smoke in it.
The water pan may be the reason for cooler near firebox side. Could also be your tuning plates. I'm just guessing, as I don't have that model of CG. I have the smoking Pro model, and don't use water at all anymore. But that's just my preference.