Hi everyone. I'm new to the forums, and also to smoking! I tried my first time today, and learned I have many things to improve on my smoker. I received a hand-me-down smoker from a family member. Can't find many mentions of it, but here's a picture. It's a Brinkmann Smoke'n Pit Smoke King: I can get more pictures later, but it's dark and I'm pooped from messing with this all day. I had used it one other time with help from my BIL, but this was the first time on my own. I fought low temps all day, and could only get it above 200 for a short time. I think part of my problem was impatiently opening the door too much to try and get the coals to heat more. It only had one hole at the top for exhaust, and I drilled 4 more. I also used the solid pan for a coal pan. I think my big problem was not enough air getting to the coals. There are 2 holes at the bottom, on the sides, for ventilation, but they are extremely ineffective. The door also leaks something fierce. I used the stepping stone in the pic to brave the bottom shut, but it only helped so much. Here is a list of the improvements I feel would help: 1. Drill holes on coal pan for ventilation. Place another pan under it to catch the ash. 2. Use silicone and a furnace gasket to seal the door. Would this be enough? I have about 5 holes at the top, each about the size of a dime, for exhaust. Should I put some kind of damper in the top to control flow? Today was frustrating, but I feel it gave me insight on what to improve. The one other thing I'm not sure about is the meat I cooked today. I used a water bowl and rubbed spices on before starting. I used Kingsford briquettes, chunk charcoal, cherry chunks from the store and apple wood given to me by my dad. Both were well seasoned and very dry. I didn't have any sugar in the rub, but here is a picture of the meat: I got the meat to 160 before giving up, and was gonna finish it in the oven tomorrow. However, I had white smoke much of the day, when fighting temps, and, when tasting the black edge of the meat, got a bit of what kinda tasted like the "metallic" taste described in other threads. Would this be possible with dried, seasoned wood? If so, is it possible to eat it? Trim the edges off? Or toss it all? Thanks to everyone for any insight you can impart on my situation. I hope to learn from, and with, you as I embark on my smoking experiences!