Newbie to smoking meat.com and first time on the forum. I bought this master forge from lowes ($67) smoker yesterday as my first water smoker and it kind of amazed me. First off do not put too much charcoal in this thing. I put in a full chimney of lump and when I snuffed out the fire after a 7 hour smoke at 200-250degree I had almost half still un burnt. And I had a hard time keeping the temp down. Second I found out that the temp drops if you OPEN the side door rather than raises like my horizontal barrel smoker would (opening air flow and releasing fire snuffing smoke). So keep the door shut unless your trying to drop the temp or adding water. I wanted to keep the temp at 220 for a long smoke brisket but it kept going up past 250. I tried to regulate the temp at first by killing some of the lit lump in the fire pan then I found the previously explained problem with the door then tried to regulate with just the door but it would take too long to drop the temp and after I shut it when it came closer to desired temp it shot up to 250 again forcing me to remove the lid over and over. I then turned to the fire bowl intake, which is awesome because you can easily mess with the fire without getting ash all over the food by lifting the whole top off (with the food and the water bowl) and setting it aside, which I had do multiple times. I had a round piece of sheet metal lying around and cut a pie piece out of it and placed it over the hole with only a small part of the cut out not covering the hole. and then adjusted the sheet metal air hole (sliding it back or forward) as the temp got too hot or the ash-over choked the coals. I still need to somehow make the bottom vent adjustable with out taking the entire top off and taking the fire bowl out of the outer bowl. And I need to make an adjustable vent in the cover to regulate smoke flow. And I want to run my two thermometers through the body of the smoker instead of under the lid. And I might do something about the mickey mouse side door and latch that leaks out too much smoke. It has a temp gauge on the lid ( with numbers ) but it is about 20 degrees off (reading 250 at 225) but here's a hint with most dail temp gauges- if you can find the correct temp just carefully hold the probe end of the thermometer with pliers and turn the dial end clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust the reading. Sorry so for the long post.