I've spent hours ready a lot of thread on this topic, but curious to see any input on what I am trying to accomplish here.
First, I have the Materbuilt 2 door propane smoker. I love this guy and did a few mods (below) which helps, but still having issues keeping in the heat during winter months -- note that "wait until it's warm out" is not an acceptable answer ;)
I smoked a pork butt and brisket for NYE, ended up having to build a box around the smoker with 1" think insulation I got from HD. Worked fairly well, but to embarrassed of the final product to post pictures, I will after I fix it up. The box helped hold the temp above 200 for the entire day, it was about 15-20 degrees out and windy -- I live in PA.
I'm debating adding in ceramic insulation on the unit itself, I have a friend that is a welder and can add on the insulation and metal around the unit, but I don't want to damage it by making it "too efficient" so I was considering adding in pellets after speaking to someone this weekend, something like this - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LLIQRZW?psc=1
What I can't find is, will adding pellets increase the temp inside, or just create more smoke?
Otherwise, I'm looking to build or buy better racks for this as the metal ones you can only pull out about half way before you have to play "catch the meat" before it falls to the ground.
My goal is to have something better for a Superbowl party, so I can add wings and either pork or brisket.
Gasket around doors (big green egg felt, works great)
Thermometers added to the door, right around meat level. OEM therm is not accurate.
Added a shelf on the side with metal sheet I bought from HD to hold thermometers. Attached with screws and sealed. So far, so good.
Also drilled small holes for wires to lead through, still trying to find a good "gasket" solution to prevent air from leaking out
Fireplace bricks added to top of unit to hold in heat better
Built a "wind shield" around the bottom with sheet metal and attached to legs - this was the most crucial mod I had to do as the propane would easily blow out on windy days
Insulate side and back to hold in heat?
Upgrade cooking racks
Metal water/drip pan (using large foil type one now)
A-maze-n tube or smoker box