MacinJosh, just follow the instructions in your stove manual. This is fool proof. The majority of fellows on here are super stove enthusiasts, and like to tinker and tweak - but most importantly, they have the knowledge and skills and experience to do this. As you're learning your stove, the best way to do that is to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Then, some day you too may decide to start tweaking things as you learn what your stove likes/dislikes, and how to get the repeatable performance/results out of it that you want. Try keeping a journal - i did that my first year, and it really helped me dial the stove in so that i knew exactly what to do at what time with what wood under a specific set of conditions/coals etc. to get optimal and predictable and repeatable performance.What is the proper way to do it? On a reload with the bypass open, aren't you suppose to let the box warm up for 10-15? If it's already raging hot, do you close the bypass right away on a reload? I guess I thought large flames were ok as the flame shield should protect the cat, right? What am I missing?