I've found since owning this Brinkmann Gourmet charcoal smoker the impossibility of finding a workable middle ground. When i first got it, it was nearly impossible to keep the charcoal burning. I drilled holes in the charcoal pan and added 4 stainless steel bolts perpendicular from each other to hold up a 13" Weber grill grate that my charcoal sits on. Now i can smoke chickens and other poultry with absolutely no complaint. my heat maintains about 275-300 and is pretty stable. Problem is, now i'm up at 5am this morning starting a fire to what i'd hoped to be the start of a 7am smoke of a 7.24lb bone in pork butt. I can't get my heat below 300 degrees though. So basically i'm waiting now for my charcoal to burn down to a managable 240 at MOST actually get to cooking. I dumped about 2 small chimney starters of charcoal into the box unlit then poured on about 1/2 a chimney starter of well burnt down coals in attempt to burn minion style for a few hours. no go. Thoughts? Ideas? Slap in the face??? I'll take whatever i can get.