In my opinion this grill has to be tuned to be able to use it with the lid.
Step 1: Situation
Since about three years I own the Smokey Joe Grill from Weber. At the beginning I did not get a lot of fun out of it. Every time I closed the lid the fire went out and the coal cooled out.
I figured there was just not getting enough air to the coal to keep the fire burning. This is because there are only four holes at the side of the grill (over the coal depot) – but instead of this side air the air should be comming from under the coal to keep the fire burning.
Step 2: Solution
Remove the cooking and the charcoal grates. There is an ash catcher. Take it out and drill a small hole in the middle – then you can install it outside as an ash catcher.
But before you install the ash catcher outside you just drill four holes with a diameter of 1.8cm or more. First I thought there should be installed anything to close or open these holes (as it is on the top lid holes) – but there is no need. You can regulate the heat only by changing the holesize on the top lid holes. Usually while grilling I leave them all open.
Step 3: Little Tuning
Why not install a grill temperature gauge on the lid. That is sometimes really helpful. It is easy to install and cheap (Just drill a little hole in the lid).
Step 4: By the Way
Buy and use a chimney starter. It makes life really easier.