Barbecue, the Verb
When you’ve got your fire going well, position the meat on the grill so it’s not directly over the coals. Put the top on and watch it for the first 20 minutes to make sure the fire isn’t smothered. You should see lots of smoke coming out of the top vents. If you see flames from dripping fat, close the vent a bit to choke off the oxygen supply, but open it up back up before too long to make sure coals don’t go out.
You can’t just walk away from the pit. Barbecue means tending the fire, especially if you’re cooking a pork shoulder or brisket, a 4-5 hour process. After an hour you’ll probably need to add more charcoal. It’s best if you can light it in your chimney first, then add pieces to either side, but not directly under the meat. Add wood for smoke, one or two chunks at a time, more often.