Seriously though, I'm located in the central valley of California. I've used LP for all my BBQ and smoking up to this point. The LP smoker I've had for around 10 years is a vertical tower design and with very little practice I've managed to make some pretty amazing pulled pork and pork ribs. The cast iron "smoker box" was sufficient to give me whatever flavor wood smoke I wanted. Last year I picked up a several bags of charcoal briquettes. On a whim I decided to fill a disposable pan with them and cooked some ribs inside my smoker. The almost overwhelming charcoal taste that was added to them convinced me to buy a charcoal smoker.
I spent months watching and waiting for a "deal". I debated building an UDS, even priced it all out. I looked at the cheap sideways drum smokers being sold at Walmart knowing I didn't want something cheap, but then I spotted what looked and felt like a very sold built drum smoker at Walmart. It was the OK Joe's, but the price on it was around $300 and more than I wanted to pay.
Fast forward 6 months and I see a pallet of the OK Joe's Highland grills on clearance for $199. There were 4 of them on the pallet so I figured I have a little time. I came back into the store every couple/few days to see if the price had dropped further or if any of them were gone. No one bought a single one for about 2 weeks but I was getting antsy. So I made up my mind to spend the money. I get to the store and the entire pallet is moved from the inside garden area to the outside garden and there's a new sign, $150.
I brought it home and assembled it that night. If you're not familiar with the OK Joe's have 1 strong man or at least 2 women there to help you move this sucker. I gave up trying to get the whole thing into my house and unboxed it in my front yard and brought it in 1 piece at a time. I had already read about some of the more "necessary" mods before I bought it. It got a good bead of orange RTV between the FB and CC also between the top and bottom half of the FB and I smeared some around the outside of the exhaust tube as I assembled it.
With in a few days I was looking for other "mods" I could do so I added a simple cut and bent expanded steel charcoal basket
Then I made a chimney extension to bring my exhaust down to grate level:
I'm still working on maintaining temperature, but this was some amazing tritip I made. I let it rest about 10 minutes then cut into it. It was a BEAUTIFUL pink with a solid 1/4 to 1/2" smoke ring (I used a couple chunks of walnut). Before I finished cutting the last couple slices the ENTIRE thing had turned brown with pink only still visible in small patches.