Originally Posted by Captain Morgan
I think you will find nearly everyone agrees the higher you go in the smoker, the hotter the temps.
Unless you use sand. The radiant heat from hot sand makes the bottom rack much hotter than the top. The sand can be as hot as the charcoal is. Water in the pan makes the temp on the bottom rack much cooler than it would be without it. If you are cooking on both racks, water is the way to go. Or, do as Nick does (although Nick uses water) and make sure you rotate your meat.
Or you can do mods that get your lower rack much highr in you 'bullet' type smoker. I've got a rack that will sit only 4 1/2 or so inches from the top rack instead of my WSM's standard 8". That way the temps are almost the same. between the racks.