I joined SMF yesterday (and did Roll Call). I just bought a new reverse flow last week for a guy who builds custom smokers. Paid $600 (which is cheaper than most brand names) for a 1/4" steel offset barrel with reverse flow plates. I'm happy to report that I maintained temps across the entire cooking chamber within 5 degrees. Since the steel is so thick, it took a LONG time to get up to temp, but boy once it got there it was there to stay. I upgraded from a CharBroil American Gourmet. So this is a big step up. I gave it an opening run yesterday with lamb shanks and chicken.
Meat just put in:
Since I am still learning on this smoker, I built a charcoal basket and tried to do a 'U' pattern for a long burn time. I couldn't really get the smoker past 200 degrees with regular briquettes in a charcoal basket. Granted I was fighting 20mph winds and 30 degree weather.
So after an hour of fighting low temps, I went to straight firewood sticks (mix of oak and hickory) and the thing held 240 degrees like a champ. Nothing more beautiful than blue smoke spilling out the chimney exhaust.
Here is a picture of the cooked meat ready to come out. 4 hour smoke. Lamb shanks were bare in smoker for 3 hours, and the 4th hour in a pan with red wine sauce.
Dinner is served. Chicken was pulled and frozen.