Yesterday was my first attempt at cooking a 3lb pork shoulder for my family and myself. All and all it turned out great and was very pleased. I only had one minor "hiccup" in the whole process, which didn't turn out to be that big of a deal because in the end the meat was cooked perfectly and tasted great... and was done around the time we wanted to eat. Air temp was 75 degrees in Ohio yesterday, and was partly cloudy. When no clouds the smoker was in the sun, light breeze. I had another thread within this category regarding the lighting of charcoal and maintaining heat. Several of you replied and suggested the minion method - result was perfect! I moved my smoker over to my in-law's (primarily because they have a tv outside on the patio), and was informed at 10:30pm-11pm the smoker was running at 250dg. The process definitely worked well to maintain a consistent air temp. I lit the charcoal in the chimney via a side burner on the gas grill, and poured it into the center of a ring. I used a can basically as a spacer to make a ring of charcoal and a few chunks of cherry wood. In one of the threads, someone said to close to holes (2 of the 3) and adjust the third once the smoker got just above the desired 225-250dg mark. I did that, however the smoker kept climbing and got up to 325dg. I was able after a bit while leaving the third hole barely open and the other 2 completely closed to get the temp to 290-300dg. I also added a pan of water to help absorb some of the heat. While cooking, the temp had dropped to just above 250, and then a big plume of white smoke started to come out, and the smoker rose back to the 300 temp. I assume this is because it hit another piece of wood, and new area of charcoal was lit. I gave all the back story just to ask if the amount of charcoal I used in the chimney at the start affected the running temperature? I used approx 15-20 bricks of charcoal (blue Kingsford). I saw most people recommended 10-12, but when I was looking at the chimney as I was willing it up, I didn't think that was enough and possibly used too much. Can anyone shed some insight? ----- And as an FYI: Pork after sitting for 20 hours in the fridge with rub - salt, pepper, locally made seasoning rub here in Upper Sandusky OH, Weber Cajun seasoning, and brown sugar. Used oil to hold the rub to the meat. Also added another round of rub an hour before it went in the smoker. Sprayed with apple cider vinegar, apple juice, and butter at the 2 hour mark, and every half hour. Total cook time was 4 1/2 hours @ 290-300dg. And the finished product; however no bark. Flavor was most important to me, and it was there this time. The bone pulled out nice and easy (seen on the left side of the pan), and the "bark looking" area around the meat is where some of the spray caramelized around the meat. As always, thanks again in advance for any input!