Re: how do you get huge clouds with the first hit
In a couple of my Tangiers videos and also the Crown Classic videos (packed with Tangiers), I get big smoke pretty much right away, in less than a minute. This is due entirely to packing in those cases. The bowl is packed very close to the foil. The big problem with this is that I end up having to move the coals around a lot and in fact often have to drop down to 1 coal for a period of time. If I pack the bowl lower, it takes a few minutes to produce good smoke but the heat management is much easier.
I just finished a bowl of Nakhla DA. That was packed in a medium egyptian, fairly dense pack about 1/4" or so below the rim, 1 layer of heavy duty foil, 3 natural coals and a wind cover. It took 5 minutes or more to get good smoke but once things were going I was pretty well set. I only needed to ash and rotate once during the life of the coals. Actually I rotated twice but the second time really wasn't necessary.