My wife started off my smoking career with a small vertical smoker (Forgemaster Charcoal Smoker) I have to say it was a great smoker and easy to use for a beginner that required 0 mods. However, I have decided I want to move up to Brinkmann 40" Smoke n Pit master. I like the idea of loading a side box vs unlatching and lifting the entire vertical to add more coals etc. I have looked over the Pro's and Con's of this smoker and wanted to know what mods are needed/suggested. Also, I read about the ash choking the coals off how can you prevent this?