I wanted to post an update on how things are going with the smoker.
The setup was really slick and easy. This is coming from a someone who is not very adept at putting things together. So that says a lot for the ease of setup. The only issue I had was I put the venturi piece to close to the vent. When I seasoned it, I noticed the flame coming from the burner was really yellow and not very blue. If I had not read any posts on here about that, I would have left it alone. Luckily I realized that was an issue. I let the smoker cool down and then I moved the Venturi(I don't have the instructions, but I am pretty sure that is the name) a little further away and put it back together. I started up the smoker and the flames looked nice and blue.
For the wood I used chunks, not chips. I put a chunk of apple wood and a smaller chunk of mesquite on the cast iron skillet for the smoke. They lasted about 45 minutes before I put some more on.
The smoker ran hot. At the lowest setting it was still at 275 degrees. Which was great for smoking chicken quarters, but I am a little nervous other things I plan on smoking. I know 275 is fine, but I usually smoke at about 225 5o 250 degrees. I was already planning to mod the smoker to get the temperatures below 200 so I can do kielbasa, so this just reaffirms the plan to do that.
Even though the smoker is hot on low, it kept a constant temperature. I am trading up from a mini-wsm, so it was really nice that the smoker was able to hold a constant temp. I was able to run my kid's friends home and not worry about a flare up or the heat dropping while I was gone.
For my "practice" run today, I smoked some chicken quarters. I have been doing these a lot lately, because they are so cheap. I can get them at Walmart for 80 cents a pound. I am smoking 30lbs for a bbq tomorrow. I am excited to be able to cook that much meat at once. On my mini-wsm, I could do about 8lbs. If I arranged them right.