Hello All ! I have enjoyed grilling over the years and can make a pretty good wet baby back rib on the grill. But I have been dying to try my had at smoking for a long time. This weekend the wife surprised me and broght home a barrel shaped charcoal grill and smoker. Nothing fancy at all. In fact it is called "The Original" Outdoor Cooker - model #2750/R and was on sale at Target for $89.00. I was excited and quickly put it together. Pretty solid for a $89 grill. The illustation shows building your fire on one side and placing your meats on the other side by the chimney. (Any one ever use this paticular model?) So I got thinking, how do you keep the heat up, if you keep opening the main lid to check your fire. So I started looking online and came across this cool forum. I quickly found that another brand called Char-Griller has an add-on side fire box. I decided to buy one of these (model #2424) from my local ACE for $50 and figured I can modify my new grill and bolt this onto the opposite side of the chimney since there is a vent there. I wanted to make a few other modifications to give me the best chance out of the box before my first stab at smoking. So of the things I was thinking about are the following and would like you all to chime in as to why you do some of these mods and also any others. Duct from bottom of chimney down to grate level. Why? Tuning Plate. I have seen several variations to this from steel plates along the bottom to pans of water. Can someone explain? Add to thermometers on each end of the lid near grate level. Makes sence to see what the heat level is at grate level as opposed to up in the dome of the lid. Insullate the lip of the lid to get a better seal and keep your heat in. Thanks for any tips, tricks, suggestions you have to get me off on the right foot. I guess the key is to be able to maintain your heat around 200-225 and dont invite your friends over for your first smoke!