The problem with using a pellet system on a uds is that it burns so efficiently you really get little or no smoke. So , yes you would have to have a separate smoke generator of some kind to get smoke flavor. The uds actually works very well in cold temps because of the thick gauge steel the drums are built out of . Once it is heated up it keeps the heat pretty well. You can choose your barrels with this in mind. I have some old barrels that were used for candle wax that are thick as heck that I am planning on building this spring. I think the beauty of the UDS is the way it cooks with charcoal and wood man. The efficiency is unmatched when built and used correctly. Very little to no tending or reloading. You just load it up. Light it. Let it heat up. Put the food on and go do whatever. Now, I am not anti pellet but when you have mechanical devices they can and will fail, plug up, etc.... You already have a very reliable electric, why not have a coal smoker too? Just my two cents on the matter as I thought about doing the same thing but after being around my friend's pellet pooper I would never have one. But that's just my opinion and there are many. All that said if you want a grill, I hear those GMG's are pretty good, but once again they plug up, and parts wear out especially if you use it a lot.