Grrrrr!!! I'm about to quit messing with this stuff and just get my cue from the joint around the corner! I just can't seem to get the fire right. Is this just a noob thing or am I doing something wrong??? It seems like every time I find one thing and correct it then something else is wrong. Here's my setup - using a Brinkmann Smoke 'N Pit I've modded the firebox to add a coal basket resting on 2 bricks, added a cookie sheet as a heat deflector, 2 paver stones to help hold temps, added stove rope to improve the seal and installed a chimney extension. When I build a fire I put a single layer of unlit charcoal in the bottom of the basket then light about 3/4 of a chimney and once the top coals get some red and grey on them I add them to the box. I did this today and got the temp to about 245, then it started dropping. I've got it to stabilize at about 225 but I'm having to add coals about every 30 minutes. That doesn't seem, right. Here are some pics, any help would be appreciated.