Do I have to buy volcanic rock to place around the heating element or do I just put the water and wood in the black pan?
Thanks for any help and advice.
Can you post a pic of your smoker? Sounds like you have the Brinkmann Gourmet clone?
Also go over to roll-call and tell us about yourself. Don't forget to add your location to your profile so we know where in the world you are. A lot of answers are different based on where you live.
If you simply must use an extension cord, use as short as possible and make sure it's 12AWG or heavier (14 guage is just too light for heaters.) If the problem is not enough smoke, get the wood closer to the filament. If the problem is not enough temperature, put a cardboard box around the smoker. A medium packing box (18x18x16) with the flaps taped to form a square cardboard duct works great on the round vertical Brinkmanns. Control the airflow at the bottom with a couple bricks for spacers, which can be oriented to 3 different heights.