Remove the firebox from your smoker and add at least 15 pounds of ready-light charcoal. Insert the firebox back into the smoker and ignite the charcoal with a match. Allow the charcoal to burn for at least 20 minutes until it's red and hot.
Add a small piece of hard wood, approximately 6 inches long, to the hot coals.
Place the food into the food chamber of the smoker.
Adjust the air vents of the smoker (the vent on the firebox and on the smoker chamber) so that each are opened halfway.
Watch the temperature gauge of your smoker to ensure that the internal heat is staying between 200 and 250 degrees. If the temperature exceeds 250 degrees, open the top vent of your smoker by a quarter-inch.
Add another piece of hard wood once the first piece of wood has burnt down to a hot coal. Add more wood pieces approximately every hour or so. Keeping the fire burning in this manner will ensure that the heat of your firebox is maintained at the proper temperature.