Thinker stone and coals on the back, for sure. I found that throwing in the occasional handful of wood chips fires it up nicely, without overheating the stone, which cooks the pizza nice and quick, as if in a wood burning oven. But these are just cheap fixes for a cheap product...I'm determined to figure mine out. I think a thicker stone (or steel). Favor the front with the stone and teh coals to the back. And maybe don't light the whole chimney!