Used this thing for the first time yesterday with good success. I did note, however, what I felt were necessary mods for it to work much better. I'm sure this has been hashed and rehashed but I did a search and didn't really come up with it.
First off, I think the fire grate needs raised to allow more room for ash before becoming full.
Secondly, there is an awful hot spot in the cooking area at the opening between it and the fire box. Maybe some sort of baffle?? These two are first on the list.
Next, the seal on the cooking area lid is non existant. Big gaps all the way around that leak heat, smoke and most any thing else in there:-) I'm assuming this should seal much better than this to hold heat, smoke.??
Silly little stuff. Better hinge and air regulator on fire box door?
This is my first real smoker and despite the problems I still think it is a bargain for the bucks and can be made quite functional with a bit of work. Used it for the first time yesterday with good success doing a London broil just to practice a bit at regulating heat, etc. It came out excellent. When it hit 140 deg it got immidiately wolfed down by some friends:-) HOWEVER, on the 4th it will be full of ribs and I'd rather have it working as well as it can. Have only one good leg and can no longer out run 20 angry diners:-)))
Thanks for any advice and help