Being as I am new and there are TONS of posts dancing all around the subject on the forum, I am hoping to reduce it a bit and go right to the horses mouth per se. Not calling anyone a horse though I have been called a jackass on more than one occasion. What I am shooting for is a good collection of personal input. I am building an RF smoker grill combo out of a 100 gallon tank and I have at my disposal a number of options I can work with in this build. If you could build a smoker or grill from scratch (and many of you have), what would be your preference for fuels? Would you run dry on the bottom (like covered in foil for cleanup) or would you put in a water pan with a drain out the bottom (providing moisture/humidity to the smoke and a quick grease drain)? Would you like to have an additional heat source inside the main chamber like a charcoal pan or gas element to provide more heat control or grilling options? Tell me why in detail if you'd kindly do so.
So you understand where I am going, the beasty is going to be a small trailer mounted jobby made as a reverse flow setup. I am trying to decide whether I am going to fire the smoke cabinet/hot box with charcoal or propane... or both. I have in my head a design for a swappable tray dealy that allows me to pull the charcoal box and put in a propane burner and cast pan in case I had the urge to go the long run with propane. Adding to this, I am contemplating adding 1, maybe 2 pipe burners the length of the main box with deflectors over them (think cheapo old school gas grill with the metal tepee pieces covering the burner rails) to apply additional heat sources if needed while smoking when it's colder than a well diggers destination out. Could also use these as heat sources for grilling burgers, chicken, or a crap load of corn/vegetables. The propane would be there to fire the burner for the smoke box in that case but I am still not sure that charcoal isn't the best fuel for real smoky goodness. Propane and chips is good and all but this is going to be a big setup. I am the only meat eater in the household so I am gonna be attracting the neighbors for sure:-) Figure the church may want to do a shindig or even friends so I need to make this a relatively idiot resistant assembly. I know... I have already taken it out of that realm. Its way bigger than necessary for one lonely carnivore. But why not? Go big or go home.
ALL of your advice and input is welcome. I plan to post all of my build as it happens over the next bunch of months so everyone can watch it happen.