i'm using my brinkmann smg for the first time today. i did the curing thing yesterday. today i'm trying to do ribs. i had 3 holes drilled in the charcoal pan in advance, and it should have been many more. i have what i think is a grill wok, so i'm going to see if it will fit instead, next time. i have a digital probe thermometer on the top rack and i'm at the 3 hour mark on the ribs and i know they are not up to 180-190 yet. but i've had the door open putting in charcoal. it is obnoxious to try to put charcoal into that little bitty door, by the way. the dome thermometer, that people say is not accurate, has stayed in the ideal range, except close to the hour mark when i have to put in more charcoal. i've tried putting in pieces that i have poured on lighter fluid on them to get the fire going better. the book said not to use matchlight but i think matchlight would do better?? since i'm having to boost my fire anyway. i have ribs on both the bottom and top grates, and i wanted to turn them over to baste with more chipotle sauce, and i had to set the top grate over somewhere else. all these things take your cooking temperature down and increase time. i read somewhere that the top grate didnt have much difference in temp compared to the bottom grate but my bottom ones looked more done. i have the thermometer stuck in the top one. just checked them. i think the digital one may have even said 170 something at first. i took the top off to try to check them with my regular meat therm and it took forever so i quit that. i swapped the ones on the top to the bottom, and tried to tear off a bite. i could only tear a corner so i know they are not falling apart yet. put more charcoal in and temp is going up again. gonna wait another hour. i've had the door open alot and the top off twice in the three hours.