Yes, both houses are made of 3/4" plywood without insulation.
I can achieve any temp I want to, but realizing that plywood may combust around 400 degrees F.
I would never smoke at temps that high anyway...LOW AND SLOW. For my rings and sausages I smoke at 100
or so. When I do sticks I will take the house to 180-200. When I smoke turkeys, hams, ribs and fatties, there will be
times that I'll be as high as 300-325 for short times.
As far as hot spots, I will say no there are none,but , my maverick
is always in the meat and in the center of the cooking area. It would be like...does you oven have hot spots?
Pretty small area, and with the pan just above the heat source to take the direct heat, no hot or cold spots.
Now, if you had a super large walk in smoke house this may be a different story.
IMHO hanging sausage is the way it is meant to be. I hope no one shoots me but, that is old school and the way "I" was taught and believe that is the way it is, sorry. My grandpa and my dad did it this way and so will I and so do my sons. Enough of the old fart stuff....ha ha.
It could be that laying them on the steel grate may cook them more, I don't know since I have never layed sausage on the grate. If it is all you can do, do it at least you are smokin.
As far as my wood fire compared to the propane. We get into the old school again...Wood fire is the way "I" think it really should be but, in this day and age everyone has other things to do and places to go. In my larger house sometimes I use the wood fire. It take constant tending. Adding wood, open draft, close draft, more smoke less smoke. The guys that build fire boxes have it way nicer and have it down. Building a fire right inside the house takes more tending. I like the propane with a chip pan for the fact that you can leave for some time, and come back and add chips or chunks, and the temp is right where it should be. I really don't notice any difference between the two type of fires taste wise. Sometimes the wood fire give me a larger headache, must be because there is more time for cocktails....
I hope I don't get shot but, like I say this is what "I" do and it works for me. Everyone has their own nitch and how they were taught. Do what works for you, make great and safe food for your friends and family. I'm done rambling.....