Dome temp was hovering around 180 this morning when I awoke hoping to find the internal temp of the port 20 degrees higher. I was disappointed when I found that the Polder read 130. So I opened the bottom vent up until I was sure that the coals were still among the living and allowed the temp to rise to 250 before backing off. I left for work at 7:30 with the dome temp at 225. My wife had to leave the house at 10:00 this AM at which point the dome temp had decreased again to 180! She opened the bottom vent about an inch and when she returned home a couple of hours later, the fire was out, the dome temp was 150 and the Polder read 115! At 1:00 the fire was rekindled and smoking at 300 degrees and, once again, the bottom vent slowly closed to reduce the temp.
I have never had so much trouble maintaining the dome temp!
The only thing I've done differently is to use another brand of charcoal. Is there really that much difference between them? Carbon is carbon, right? At this rate my dinner won't be ready until sometime later this month!