Opened the site; took a look-see.....spied "meat rakes" and bought them last night. Always used forks until Bear Paws but Bear Paws are awkward to use, slippery and the tines crimp in/on hot meat. So we're off to a good start (50 years later).
I'm on my 4th smoker and more than happy with a scaled-down (for me) Masterbuilt analog 30 that I've retrofitted. It's in my new space, standing on an old White Castle ss table (gotta love-em).The room is insulated, on a cement slab and the alcove is steel sided for safety and has an exhaust fan. CD/Tape player and a chair for a guest. Can't beat this with a stick!!!
As for sticks.....the tub is filled with apple/plum/cherry/pear shreadings, made from my orchard prunings that have been run through a chipper by a friend for me. We have alot of old roadside sugar maples and some oaks. When the town does tree work, I've follow their chipper with sacks but I prefer my fruitwood.
Now for some retrifitting. To allow for sausage hanging, I stand-up two of the grates alongside of the top grate and hold them in place with the hanging dowels. I originally used what came with the rig but quickly bought two extra grates. Another thing that needed doing, was the leaking door. I wanted to contain ALL of the heat and ALL of the smoke, so I stove cemented a very thin rope gasket around the door. Works like a charm! Now smoke only comes out of the top-rear vent hole and if you can believe it............the socket where the analog plugs in. It's tighter than a clam now.
Now for my masterpiece. A smoke generator for cold smoking and hot smoking that lasts for many hours with one filling and turns the wood into charcoal and not ash. When you want to refill, you don't open the door. It is done from the outside. Neat!
Follow me with this: pressure cooker, rope gasket, colander, ELITE 803 aquarium pump (not smaller), assorted nipples and fittings and you are in business. Print the images and bring them to Wally-World while you pick through what you'll need. I could go into detail about what has to be removed, what has to be plugged and what has to be refitted but that would take the fun of discovery and creativity out of it for you. Look very closely. It's all there and actually, I can't remember details.:(
I made this to fit in the existing bottom drain hole in the smoker's base but you can rig it to side feed as I did with my previous smoker. The tuna can is a precaution to catch run-off that never comes anyway. You will have to poke the tube clear after a loooooong time because it does retain some creosote during the process. The sink feed tube has been cut to fit and slides up (from the outside) into the smoker, in order to slide out the cooker to refill the basket. Start the fire with some Sure-2-Burn fire starters from Home Depot or Wally-World.
n.b. the colander with it's rounded bottom, increases the surface with holes for air penetration.
You may not be able to communicate with me because the site has yet to be able to penetrate the cyber barrier to my e-mail box and I am on my way out to visit ANOTHER doctor. Don't get old!!!