Great looking food guys!
I was able to get my mods done and do a cook yesterday. Here are the results:
Here is the 'finished' TMLE. If it looks a little dull compared to most that is because it has received a first coat of high temp automotive paint, rated for 2,000 degrees.
On each side I have high temp silicon grommets. These came from Maverick and fit the ET732 like a glove:
A McGyvered deflection plate made from a past its prime half sheet pan:
My pride and joy on this project, the exhaust stack extension:
No, it's there, really, just look around the corner:
I found that I lost no usable cooking space with this extension, and at 2x6 inches it has the same area of air flow as the manufacturer's opening.
I also did the silicon seal and the coal basket (10 inch square base with 7 inch sides). My future brother in law used his boiler maker skills to cut the expanded metal for me, and as a thanks I made the following . . . OK, I apologize for no in-smoker Qview, I got too distracted with everything, but here are pics of the finished products:
We had stuffed mushrooms w/bacon and ABTs. They were stuffed with my homemade garlic, herb, and cheese dip. Per recommendations on these forums, I had the veg in for 2 hours. The ABTs were fine, but the mushrooms took on too much smoke. If I do the mushrooms again I'll take them out after an hour and finish them in the oven. The meat was pork chops. I brined them in a basil lime mixture. They were juicy and flavorful. The applewood goes so good with pork. As you can see from the smoke ring the exhaust extender did its job nicely. The last picture is applewood smoked Kosher salt. You know, for those days when you don't have time to smoke some food but really want some. In all, I was able to get the above veg (on stackable cooking racks), the salt, 8 chops, and 8 ears of corn on at one time. I had trouble with temp experiencing anywhere from 50 - 90 degrees difference from end to end. I was not expecting that much. But, a lot of this could be due to poor positioning of the smoke relative to the wind and a learning curve with using the Minion method for the first time. Plus, I'm about ready to give up on natural lump charcoal. I've tried two different brands now and the inconsistency in size is really frustrating in maintaining an even heat among the coals. I may try briquets next. We'll see. Ribs tomorrow for an early Mother's Day, hopefully that will go well.
Thank you all for your comments on this thread. They were in valuable in making these mode. And, oh, the ET 732 is worth it.