So, I'm new here, but I figured I'd get the expert opinions. I got a new Large BGE for Christmas, and just had a chance to fire it up this past weekend. I put some lump charcoal in my chimney starter, and fired it up. After about 10 minutes, a nice white ash was on the charcoal, and it looked good to go. So, I went ahead and dumped it in the egg, closed the lid, and opened the bottom draft door and top draft door to get some airflow.
After about another 15 minutes, though, the egg never heated up past about 150. I figured that perhaps I didn't have enough charcoal, as the manual said that I needed to cover the airholes in egg. So, I added about double the charcoal (poured directly into the egg), added a couple firestarters, and lit it again. Waited about another 15 minutes with the egg open, and it was smokin' hot. After 5 minutes with the egg open, the temperature gauge read 500. So, I closed the bottom draft door almost all the way, closed the top draft door almost all the way, and opened the egg up to try and cool it down - I was going with a smoking plan so I needed the temp much lower than 500(I was starting with some chicken legs and a pork tenderloin, nothing too fancy for a first cook). Seemed to stabilize at about 250 after another 10 minutes, and I figured this was perfect.
Popped the chicken legs and tenderloin on and went inside for about an hour. When I came back out, though, the egg was at about 150, obviously too low, but I didn't have any time to fix it (had to get to a soccer game). After I got back from the game about 2.5 hours later, the egg was at about 100. Why did I lose all my heat? The charcoal was obviously lit, or I wouldn't have had a 500 degree egg. What did I screw up here? All opinions welcome.