I just got a new smoker and am trying to smoke a Boston Butt. I'm having trouble maintaining hot coals in the offset firebox. I'm trying not to open the lid, so I've been trying to monitor the temp by touching the outside of the firebox and the main body of the smoker. I did this about an hour ago and things seemed okay, but I checked a few minutes ago and had no coals at all- they were stone cold. These coals lasted a couple of hours, tops.
Any hints? I'm not sure if I'm using enough charcoal(I'm using hardwood lump charcoal). How much should I put in the firebox? I've been limited by not being sure how to get it started. I've been using a chimney starter, but I can only get around a quarter of a pound of charcoal in that at once, if that. How much do I need to smoke this thing for 12 hours or so?