I have a brinkmann offset 150$ smoker. I knew that it was not the most high end smoker but I am having some issues and thought you all could help me modify the smoker to work the best for me. I understand this has probably been gone over time and time again, so I appeciate your patience ahead of time. Ok coals are being smothered. The lip from the side door into the smoke box is the same height as the rack for the coals. I think this is what is smothering the coals along with there being only a half inch from rack to bottom of smoke box. Was thinking of buying a large rack to hold coals up further, gives more room for air flow and ash. Do you agree that this would help with smothering issue and better heat production? Second issue is my wood chips constantly catch fire. Now I was taught to put water soaked chips directly over hot burned down coals. IS this how I should be doing it. I am thinking, from what I have read, that I need to seperate the woodchips from the coals themselves. Maybe use a pan over the coals to allow for seperation, but wont that make it difficult to add more charcoal as it burns down. I do alot of jerky and go through at least a bag each time I smoke. High charcoal use. I think this is a combo of both the above. Because I need to get heat, due to only usually getting 185 degree. Wondering if this is due lack of air flow. Thus I have to really pile and burn through charcoal to maintain 185 degrees. Lastely, the smokes comes out of the smoke box and rolls to top of lid and out the opening or smoke stack. Was wondering if there was a way to flow the smoke further down the grill before going out. Any ideas? Thought of a muffler type device were vent goes from the opening of the smoke box, under the rack, to the stack with holes all along it. Do you think that would work or wouold that restrick air flow to much and heat would not get high enough. Oh yeah, one more question. Vent stack open or closed. Some say either way. Which do you think is better?