this set up comes with a light weight disc that goes on the bottom grate just above the fire that is the heat diffuser. while bringing it home in the dark & during rush hour my stepson was following me & called me to tell me something had blown out of my truck 4 miles further down the road. it was the diffuser. I thought it was under the grate. so someone on this site or the weber kettle site suggested wrapping the bottom grate with foil which I did. 1st cook everything cooked really fast. the food was grilled not smoked. I have since called the previous owner for hints & bought a 20" pizza pan to replace the diffuser. I suspect my problem was more that the temperature was too high not the ab lib foil diffuser. I have a maverick dual probe digital thermometer on the way. when it arrives & I can monitor temps i'll fire it up again & let y'all know how it goes. in the past when smoking with webers I either did a small indirect fire or a thin ring of coals along the outside edge. this time the fire got away from me. next time i'll use the minion method for the fire. overall I think i'll be happy with this set up. I also plan to buy a wsm or horizontal offset so this can be used for smaller smoke or as an extra capacity grill.
as far as the gear & it's price? and this just m.h.o.. if you've smoked on a weber kettle & were happy with that this is for you. it is better than a kettle but is still limited size wise. if you are serious about smoking i'd go for a wsm. I see this as a compromise. the quality of the coal ring & the extension are excellent. the heat diffuser was nothing to write home about. I've read about great customer service but I've sent 3 them maybe 4 emails inquiring about replacing the diffuser in the last 3 weeks & as of yet have not received a reply. there's a contact form only on the site, no email address or phone number. the full set up which includes; extension ring, cooking grate, diffuser, & heavy coal ring is $159.00. I've seen 3 18" wsm's on my local craigslist go for $75-100.00 since early December. one used twice with a weber rotisserie ring for $125.00 & 1 went for $200.00. I suspect these are being sold when the owners upgrade to 22" wsm's. I've not seen a 24" YET but i'll jump on it with both feet if I do.
Edited by rober49 - 2/17/16 at 7:54am