I smoked/grilled spare ribs this past weekend, and even though they turned out great, I had an issue with controlling the temp. I am using a Char-Broil Double Chef, and this is only my second real smoke with it. The first smoke was a brisket, and I could not keep water in the pan to keep the temps down. I had to constantly refill the water pan the entire time, and that of course would let heat out. It was a constant up and down cylce throughout the cook. After reading alot of post on this site, I decided to use sand in the water pan. I foiled the pan, put regular play sand in the water pan, and built a fire with the regular blue bag Kingsford charcoal using the minnon method. I put about one chimney of unlit charcoal in the smoker, and about 1/2 chimney of lit charcoal on top. By the time I got the ribs on, the temp inside the smoker was 315-320. I completely closed all vents, and managed to get the temp down to 300. I could not get the temps below 300. I cooked the ribs at 300 for 2 hours, and they were great. Even though the ribs were great, I realize this temp is to high for most smokes. I now know I used way to much charcoal, because 6 hours later the temp inside the smoker was still 280. I guess if I use less unlit and lit charcoal my temps will be lower? I like the sand if I can get these temps down.