In any stoker, i highly reccomend a baro, and in many cases it won't burn well at all without one. In a hand-fired appliance, with certain bituminous coals, and proper firing practices you can reduce the risk of any backpuff. Unfortunately, reduced risk doesn't mean no risk and if the appliance is located in the living space it is my opinion that it is not worth the risk to cover you home with soot to save a few $ on (an already inexpensive) fuel. As far as having trouble controlling volitile release w/out using a baro - i would say that you have an appliance that's not as air tight as it should be or the ratio of secondary air to underfire air needs adjustment; i've never had an issue getting a long burn with proper under AND overfire draft control. You don't need much secondary air to combust the volitiles- and Steinke, bear this in mind, the more heat you generate above the fuelbed to more thoroughly combust the volitiles, the faster the (now hotter) coal will release the volitiles; too much secondary air will also give you high flue temps such as you're experiencing. Trying to eliminate some smoke and increase the efficiency of the stove is a good thing, trying to eliminate all smoke in a hand-fired stove will lead to other problems. I've played around with barometric dampers on hand-fired bituminous stoves, while they do offer increased controllability, as i mentioned, i don't believe that the improvement is such that it warrants the risk of sooting up your home or basement. In a garage, where there's less concern about cleanliness, the risk may be acceptable.