1) When you put the pellets or sawdust into the AMNPS, do you just pour them in and tidy up, or do you squeeze them together ? 2) I plan on using another independent internal thermometer, one with proven accuracy. Will the temp inside the smoker be able to reach higher temps with the bird out or in ? Trying to make sense of what I just asked, I am trying to see how hot it can get inside if I crank it up. If I fire it up full blast without a bird inside, will that be an accurate gauge of how hot it can get ? Or will the presence of the bird affect the max attainable temperature ? Wow, that was difficult to ask. and thanks for your patience.