First, I'd like to thank everyone on here for their contributions to this forum....and for helping me. If it wasn't for you guys, I would have taken longer to find the inspiration, motivation, and knowledge to pursue my new addiction. Thanks to all of you! Some history: I purchased this Brinkmann charcoal barrel "smoker" grill on an impulse....after watching an entire day of Steven Raichlan on public television. It's now my charcoal grill. I smoked pork chops on it a couple times, chicken a couple times, country style ribs a couple times, and a rack of pork spares. The problem with this "smoker" is it's not a smoker. No side damper(s). Lots of leaks. Temps were always way over where they need to be....except for the chicken. The spares came out pretty lousy so, I did some research on here and got a WSM 18.5. So here's my Q-view of my first smoke on the WSM - 3-2-1 pork spares and some hot dogs: After prepping After the rub Was trying to hold about 210 on the lid therm. Tossed an oven thermometer on the grate, found it was cooler than the lid and decided to try hold this temp About 1 hour in After 2 hours in the foil with apple juice Time to take 'em off and let 'em rest Time to eat....finally....the bones were falling out of the meat....so tender What I learned: I messed up the fire building somehow. I put some lump in the ring, added a couple pieces of hickory, put more lump in the ring (little more than half filled the ring up with lump), added about a half a weber chimney of lit lump and a couple more pieces of hickory. I let it (and myself) come up to temp and stabilize for about a half hour before I put the meat on. It got real hot in there after about 1.5 hours after putting the meat on. Then it started to slowly die out. At around hour 5, temps were dropping pretty low, so I fired up another half a chimney to finish the ribs after the foil. Turns out I didn't need that half a chimney, there was a whole lot of unburnt charcoal. I'm guessing I should sorta' pack the charcoal in the ring a bit, leaving less air pockets so it will all get lit at some point. Any suggestions? I have a whole bunch of unburnt charcoal in there even after adding the lit half a chimney towards the end. It's okay to try to re-use the unburnt stuff right? Thanks for any help.