I've smoked two times on my unit. I use a digital stick thermometer for temp but just ordered a dual probe wireless. I'm having the usual temperature problems. I perforated the bowl (a lot) last weekend and I still had low temp issues. I've got a grill wok to try next for better ash drop and airflow. I've only been able to reach 185 with a full water bowl. If the water dries up I'm able to get to 200. I have had to resort to nearly closed top vents and wide open bottom vents. The smoker just doesn't build heat up high with them open.
I'm leaning towards caulking the doors with high temp silicone and saran wrap unless someone can persuade me to do the felt mod.
My big question that I have searched for and not found anything is adding ceramic, firebrick or taracotta tiles to the inside/outside of the smoker to better insulate it. The metal is very thin. I checked the outside temps of the box with an infrared thermometer. The burner box was as high as 280 while the top chamber was at 135 external. Can I do anything to make it retain more heat this way? Would aluminum foil in the lower portion reflect the infrared heat back in?
Thanks again, I've read all the threads I could and haven't seen anything about adding material to insulate.