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As of xmas i'm the proud owner of a bge medium. I fired her up twice with lump filling half of the firebox and was able to hold 245-255 for several hours. After 4 or so hours the fire seems to choke itself out. If i open the bottom vent up more it just heats up the egg to 300+ (logically). I started my first butt last night at 7pm, after filling the fire box with lump and placing 2 firebricks on the grate for my drip pan and rack. I let it heat up as instrusted. I had the bottom vent open at about an inch with the daisy wheel barely open. It held 225-250 for 4 hours and then began the same decline in temperature until it eventually put itself out. This morning i opened and fire was essentially out but still full of lump. I removed the butt and grate and stoked the coals to get the ash to fall. I opened the vent all the way up, cleaned the ash out and relit the lump. I left for work with it hovering at 285 / 300.
My question: Is there any way to achieve longer burns without having to open the egg and stoke the coals or otherwise remove the meat to get the ash to fall, short of purchasing a stoker?