I have had my Pacos for almost a year now. After doing countless cooks and even more "dry" runs, I have found what is the sweet spot for me. First and foremost, keep your stack wide open all the time. Closing it does two things, first, it reduces air movement through the smoker, second, and a side effect of the first reason, smoke just sits in the cook chamber and becomes stale. Second, use splits cut down to 8-10 inches to keep temps down. Third, I use a little bit bigger splits to allow for two to burn at the same time, about four inches across. Forth, control airflow through door/door damper. Biggest piece of advice I can give you is just use your smoker. The more you use it the better you will be at it. It takes time, patience, a good thermometer and wood.