My normal routine is to check the 3 holes to see that they're not clogged. Place my wood chunks inside. Mix up the flour/water paste in a plastic sandwich bag (I buy the cheapest ones I can find, as this is all that I do with them). The consistency should be like PlayDoh (for folks that can remember playing with that stuff as a kid?) Pipe the mixture around the edge of the lid, smearing it out with a finger to close up any gaps. Place the lid on the pot and smear any mixture that oozes out around the seam to make sure to get a good seal - it's essential for the smoker pot to work properly. I light the coals and place the smoker pot on top of the lit area. Off to the races!
I first start with dry seasoned wood, the myth surrounding soaking your wood prior to use for better results for length of burn or better smoke is all a myth. I place my chunks right on the top or just to the side of the glowing embers, let it catch, place my grate on and then my food and close the lid. Nine time out of ten the process is successful, if there's any white smoke it clears away quickly. I also like using this useful tool introduced as a quick alternative to Syzygies burn pot from JeffShoaf I believe, it works every time well. If you notice along the rim I felt after several burns the loosening of the lid may have become problematic for a tight seal so I used a piece of Al foil and reseated the lid similar to Syzygies flour gasket, it can be used several times there after as long as your careful. I've had this pot several years now and obviously take little care with it except to keep it intact as the photo shows for storage. One other thing, wrapping your wood in foil is also good but you should take care/caution when wrapping to leave no air pockets, a tight wrap with a scratch here or there for passage to release smoke is advantageous. Then you have smoke flavor profiles with the kind of wood your using, however that's another ballgame
Ducks have a lot of fat in them and the goal is to get a crispy skin when it’s roasted. To achieve that, there is a lot of prep in seasoning and drying out the skin. Blowing it up separates the skin from the fat and hanging it during prep and cooking helps drain much of the fat away.
If Using a smoker pot - is it essential to use the flower water mixture and apply to the lid to seal? If so, I’m guessing you would put the smoking wood in and carry to the cooker uncovered and put on coals then put lid on - otherwise as happened to me the wood shifts around and can easily block the holes?
Also, it gets a tad challenging to fit the smoker pot between coals and lower grate.
That being said I think the smoker pot is a better way.
I get my pit probe in place while my temp is coming up. When it gets around 175 I’ll turn the controller on and close my bottom vent, almost every time lol Then as Tony said get the top vent just off the seat and set your controller temp. Then after my temp is steady I watch to see how hard the fan I s working, if it is running too hard I’ll open the top vent just a little more. Here is a screenshot of a brisket session you can see how stable the Fireboard is capable of running. Building a good pile of lump plays a big part in it too.