Just went out and bought this from Academy this past week when i finally couldnt take the cheapo smoker i had before anymore. I have to say this smoker is outstanding for the price range its in of right at 499 right now. This smoker is fully made of 3/16" steel which for 500 bucks you cant beat that. Being im a welder anyways i naturally look the build of something before i buy it but for anybody who looks into buying this smoker i recommend you take a quick glance over it before purchasing. there constructed very well but if you ask the workers at academy to see there inventory of them in the back they will gladly let you look to see which one you want. Look at the welds between the smoke chamber and firebox, the door seals, and the hinges and pick the best looking one you find. i spent the first two nights i had it seasoning it and playing around with temps and i gotta say i was extremely impressed. without any modifications and using lump for a coal bed and two splits of oak it gets up to temp in around 20 mins at 225 to 275 range and it will hold this temp for atleast an hr and fifteen minutes and then consume a split every hr or so after that. very easy to maintain that temp by just opening stack all the way and intake vent at about 25%. the big shock for me was when i put to oven thermometers in mine one by baffle from firebox and one by stack and gota say at grate level the stack side is about 50 degrees hotter then firebox side but i cut out 3 tuning plates at work for mine and it was fixed now even temps across the whole chamber. if you need the deminsions of those they are 4"x15.75" and they will fit like a glove to tune it for you. For total size you can fit two 11 pound packer briskets in these smokers and you have a 6in wide rack at the top that works awesome for sausages. oh almost forgot but another huge plus for this smoker is that when your fire dies down and its time for another split just close the stack off completly and open your firebox top door. then throw your split in and leave door open till the bark burns off if your the kind of person that prefers that and even if you leave it open or 10 to 15 mins till your new log or split is caught good enough you will have only dropped temp inside the smoking chamber by about 15 degrees. now this changes based on weather and location but even when its around 65 here in texas at about 3 in the morning thats all she dropped. and last but not least with this smoker theres no need to worry about a windy day throwing your temps off because with the 90 degree elbow in the stack where it goes from grate level up even wide open and a strong gust the draft wont reverse and youll still have your heat and smoking going the right way.
I hope this review helps somebody out if so just shoot me a message so i can atleast feel like i did something because i went out on a 500 limb on this one since i had only found one old country bbq pits review and it was the pecos smoker not the wrangler pit. Lucky enough i just so happened to make out like a bandit thank god.