Okay so I just completed my 6th cook on my new 14.5 wsm. I also own the wsm 22.5, but just got the 14.5 for camping and portability. I like to have water in the water pan. So far I'm finding that to keep stable temps up (250 - 275), I'm having to run the lower vents more open, to fully open. Almost as though the coal bed can't get adequate air flow. If I did that with my 22.5 or old 18.5, they would climb temp like crazy. So it got me to thinking, I wonder if the internal heat shield inside the 14.5 is causing a lack of air circulation under the coal bed? It sits pretty close to the grate. Anyone tried cooking without it? If not, I will give it a try and post my results and how hot it got underneath.