I have a Bar-B-Chef smoker, yours looks heavy duty. Below are two post I've posted before. They may help. I believe you would do fine with starting with lump charcoal then add wood for heat and smoke after you get a good bed of coals. I've seen a fellow use a Lang smoker at the competition in Rockingham a few weeks ago and he was using wood. You just need get your firebox vents adjusted so you can keep a small flame. The small flame will keep the smoke the light blue we all look for.
Here are my cut and pasted post from before.
I have been using a lot of lump charcoal with my small Bar-B-Chef offset smoker.
Today I smoked a brisket and loin back ribs. I tried to do something different with the fire. I placed a chimney full of unlit lump charcoal in the fire box with two small sticks of hickory. I then started a chimney load of lump charcoal using my burner (I usually use paper but it was 3:10AM this morning). I dumped the lit lump charcoal on top of the unlit lump. I had the damper about ½ to ¾ open. The exhaust was full open all day. When the temperature got to 250 I closed the vent to about 1/8 open and put the brisket on. That was at 3:55AM. I watch the temperature awhile and it stayed pretty steady. I took a nap for a little over an hour. My thermometer would have woken me if the temperature had gotten too high or too low. I was up again about 6. I decided I was going to not put anymore lump in today. I wanted to try and use all wood. I split the wood very small and also cut it to about 8 or 9 inches long. I wanted to try and keep a small open flame. The small flame will keep the smoke just the right color.
Now I had to watch the fire a lot. I would put a small piece or two of wood in about every 20 minutes. I found if I put the unlit wood in the fire box but not in the fire itself it would really get hotter than placing it on top of the fire box. Then, when it was time to add it to the fire, it would catch up real fast. I would then take wood from the top of the fire box and place it inside the fire box but not in the fire and get it ready to add to the flame (or coals) when needed. I repeated this process all day. That kept the smoke just right (the wispy blue). I haven’t figured out the fire box damper opening combination yet. I had the damper almost all the way open as well as the door cracked a lot today. Towards the end of the day I kept the damper about ½ way open and it seemed to work well.
I succeeded in not adding any more lump charcoal all day. I just used wood after the initial start up.
Here are the pictures of the fire management
Also here are the results of the cook.
On Saturday April 1 I smoked a Boston butt and chicken thighs. I was also working on fire management again on my Bar-b-Chef smoker. I used a method found on the homebbq.com knowledge base by Dan Colmerauer. http://www.homebbq.com/content.asp?cont ... wledgeBase
I already had a charcoal basket made before reading his article. I was able to get a steady temperature between 220 and 250 for 5 ½ to 6 hours. I reload at that time with about the same amount of lump I started with (a basket full unlit lump and a chimney load of lit lump. The heat remained steady until I finish both the Boston butt and the chicken thighs (which I pulled at about 5:30 PM.). I put the butt on at 5:33 AM and pulled it off the smoker at 3:40 PM.
I placed a few chucks of wood in the basket to begin with. When I tried adding more a little later I would get that ugly smoke. I couldn’t get that wonderful blue smoke without leaving the fire box door open with would have used up the lump charcoal.
It still took a lot of lump charcoal for this cook. It took about 15 to 20 pounds for a 12 hour cook. Is this normal?
Here is a chart of the cook. http://usera.imagecave.com/cleglue/Apri ... Medium.JPG
The other week I tried to use sticks after the initial startup. I had to use very little sticks and keep the door of the fire box cracked to keep a steady flame. This saved a lot on charcoal and it worked but it took a lot of babying. I think I’m going to try this again. It was a little windy that day.
I’m told that these small offset smoker are hard to use a just stick burner. I know other have tried but I guess it is my turn.
I also made another batch of lump charcoal.
Here are some pictures of the entire day.
These pictures may not always be available because my free account is filling up.