I've checked out these forums for a good few years but this is my first post.
I'm originally from the U.K. but came to MS for school in 2004 and got hooked on bbq and grilling in general. I moved back here in 2008 and for the last 5 years have been using a cheap kettle grill to grill once or twice a week and smoke butts, ribs, hams, fish, chicken and brisket.
It is in desperate need of replacement and although it has served me well, I'd like something that controls low temps a little better, has the ability to grill/smoke and can cook larger amounts of food, as every now and then we have a large get together and I'm sick of smoking in batches.
A friend recently bought a large BGE which is amazing and definitely solves the first two issues but it's surface area is about the same as my current kettle and as I don't really want to drop $800+ when I've been producing good food on a $45 grill, no matter how easy it is to use.
I recently used a cheap offset for the first time on a trip to a cabin and while I didn't use the SFB, I was amazed at the sheer amount of food I could grill at once.
I looked at some of the higher-end offset smokers but they seem in a similar price range to the BGE and look like they are used almost solely for smoking. I don't really want to make a big purchase right now and would rather spend a couple of years with something cheaper to see if I like the offset style.
After doing a bit of research I found the thread on modding a Char-Griller Smokin Pro to make it smoke more evenly and effectively: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/58778/char-griller-smokin-pro-with-firebox-mods.
This looks right up my alley but I was wondering if anyone who had modded out the Smokin Pro still uses it a good bit for grilling? I looked through the thread and saw some people said they would occasionally use it for a grill but I was thinking I would probably use it 50/50 grilling and smoking.
I would imagine for cooking a couple of steaks or chicken legs, I could just use the SFB but if I wanted to use the larger grill, would higher temps in the 500 degrees range hurt any of the mods? I'm specifically thinking about the chimney extension here.
Any feedback from people who use this setup for both grilling and smoking would be much appreciated. I can't wait to get started.