Pros: Build Quality, Temp Control, ease of use, size, price
Cons: Steel wheels, no second rack
This smoker came in at $399.99 to be exact from Academy sporting goods. I got it because of the price and build quality it looked very nice in the store and it had the Chimney in the correct place as well as a deflector already built in directing heat from the firebox to the bottom of the pit.
The overall design is excellent even more so when compared to the Brinkmans and Charbroils. The only thing separating this smoker from the more expensive $1,500 - $2,000 is the thickness of the metal. this is right at 3/16 maybe less but it is nice and well constructed most of your more expensive smokers are 1/4" steel. However for $150 - $250 the jump from the cheap offsets to this is undeniable. not sure that the jump from this to the more expensive models is $1,000.00 or more noticeable. this isn't a pit for a newbie also it isn't a pit for a competition cook either. It really fits good for the person who loves to smoke and also one who doesn't mind making a few modifications as they deem necessary to make. With mods this pit is as good or better than any without mods it's a great step up from your cheap offset starter smoker's. I had to purchase a temp gauge for mine because it did not come with one but that isn't a big deal at all.
I have recently been looking at upgrading and I have looked at yoder pits gator pits lang I have looked at them all and the best I came up with would be simply to mod the one I have it is without a doubt a great pit.
I'm changing the wheels maybe moving to four and getting rid of the steel. also adding tuning plates, two additional temp gauges and a second level rack.
FYI if your first cook doesn't go as planned on this thing don't give up like I said it isn't for a rookie. I had the hardest time getting to temp on my first cook. I was very frustrated and wanted to get rid of the thing. However every since that first cook it has been perfect. Remember you control temp from both end's not one. and with one of these things sealed tight you have to monitor your exhaust a little better than on one of the known cheap offsets.
Great smoker great price I would put this against anything $900 or less. and with mods against anything.