Originally Posted by pmikler
As far as what lump to use i would recommend checking out this site. http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lumpindexpage.htm?bag
I use the Publix Brand Greenwise because it is rated high, inexpensive and much more accessible for me.
As far as getting high temperatures I find itís more important to build the lump in a bit of an OCD manner. I can get 800 any time i want it. I start with a clean fire box and start with the Large lumps on the bottom, then fill in the holes with medium followed by small. (I separate out each bag i buy into large, medium and small 5 gallon buckets so itís easy to do the above.) The large followed by the medium keep the ash from clogging the holes and reducing air flow. Also for Pizza's i personally like 450- any hotter on mine burns the bottom and the top is not quite done.
I really like the way they do the steak under the recipe section of the above site. Never disappoints.
As for the fan i have never used for high temp cooks- more for slow and low applications. I bought the Auber Instruments fan after reading a good review and its much lower price and have been happy with it.
Pmikler has it right- the issue is charcoal clogging the holes in the grate at the bottom of the firebox. However, I don't know if you have to be as OCD as him
Also- if you are trying to reach high temps, don't put the metal top on the grill until the egg heats up all the way.