Oh, I too get best results using pea coal, I've never fired above 3 1/2 on the thermostat setting and that gives me 350-375 deg on top with a burn time of about 10 1/2 hours, depending on weather conditions, before shaking down. The Belge stove is a little finicky, but once you master it, you'll be very happy.
By the way, if you do tear down the stove for re-sealing or parts rreplacement, the screws are all metric. Replace them with new STAINLESS screws, washers and nuts. (they don't have to be metric, just so they fit proper). Good Luck.