I've gotten to know it pretty well. I have a stoker that I connect to it. And I have this routine where I stuff aluminum foil in all the cracks, and duct tape welding blankets all around it on the cold days.
I added a dryer vent to to the smokestack to bring it down to the grate level. And I flip the basket in the bottom over and slide it to one side to act as a damper plate (in the smoke chamber).
I also built a couple of charcoal baskets for the the fire box that sit above the ash area.
This is a nice setup. The only thing I was planning on doing was riveting the welding blankets on so I don't have to tape them, and riveting some oven rope in the cracks so I don't need to stuff aluminum foil in there.
Then, I bought a house. Some Asians lived in it before me, and they had modified an area of the garage for cooking. Coming off the garage, there is an area that would normally be considered a small workshop.
They mounted a fan inside the wall (one of those ones that has 2 fans, normally sits in a window) and this blows outside. There is also a makeshift hood over this fan, and a countertop under it.
They had apparently used this area for greasy wok cooking.
I saw it, and immediately thought it was perfect for my smoker. No more smoking turkeys in freezing cold, windy, snowy conditions.
The problem is, my char griller is a little too big for this area.
It actually fits in there, but the fire box is only a couple feet from a wall. I don't want to burn the house down, so this isn't going to work for me.
I need this ready by next week so I can smoke thanksgiving turkey. I don't really have time (or money) to properly shield and insulate this room. And the weather has been pretty bad, so I really want to do the smoking in there.
What I'm thinking I'll do, is buy an el cheapo brinkman. You know, the $40 deal that sits vertically.
That should easily fit in there, it's cheap so I can find the cash for it, and thanksgiving will go on without a hitch.
The issue is, I have never used a vertical smoker. The only smoker I have ever used its my char griller.
Is there a list of things I need to do to get it ready? Will my stoker's vent connection for my char griller (which I think was actually made for a Weber) fit the cheapo brinkman? I'm sure the technique is totally different, is there a guide or something for these cheapos? Do I need a special charcoal basket or something to make it last long enough?
I have always been worried about cooking the meat directly over the fire. How does this not burn it?
I want to get a turkey breast going this weekend just to practice, but I don't think I'll have time with everything else I have going on (just barely moved). So you guys are basically my only hope this thanksgiving.