I own a charcoal grill that i never cook on. The reason is I have tried many times in the past and I can never get it to stay hot during cooking. I follow the directions on lighting to a T. Last night I tried again. I stacked it like a pyramid, lit the charcoal, burned the charcoal (kingsford) til flames died out and continued to let it heat for 30 minutes. It did ash over and was very hot. I spread them out as well. Afterwards I closed the lid for 5 minutes and then began cooking pork chops. It has vents on top and on bottom. I had them all open which I wasn't sure If I should have or not. Either way my chops cooked, but very slowly. I looked in through the vents on bottom and noticed no coals looked hot anymore (you could see no amber on the coals). It looked like they had died out. I knew that wasn't the case because it was pretty warm on the inside. Anyway I am wondering if my problem has to do with oxygen. I cooked them with the lid closed the entire time. I have done that everytime. I don't know if thats good or bad. I now seem to think that was the reason it took so long. The reason I think it might be oxygen is because when I was done cooking I left the lid open by mistake and went back out to check on the grill and the coals were flaming red and so hot I probably could have cooked another meal on it. Should I have cooked with the lid open to let more oxygen in? Is this my problem with the heating issues I have mentioned? This happens to me everytime with the heat issue, but I always cook with the lid closed, always. This time I just happened to notice that the coals were flaming red cause I accidentally left the lid open and seen the coals were hot, and wondered why they weren't that hot when I was cooking. Was it because I left the lid open and the coals were then able to receive more oxygen and the coals heated properly? Please advise.