Finding a pot to use for the build was tough but eventually picked up a 32l wort boiler from a brewshop.
The fit wasn't quite perfect but good enough so a quick drill gave me three supports for the grate.
Then the hardest part. I decided to drill holes in the base rather than cutting it out for now. Turns out drilling stainless steel is a lot harder than aluminium! About and hour and a half later I had a ring of twelve holes finished.
You'll notice the three protruding acorn nuts - those provide a standoff inside for my drip tray and also mean when I set the pot down its not on the base and doesn't pick up dirt etc.
Inside view now it's done.
Time to fire her up then. Started a few pieces of lump and added them to a pile of unlit lump in the base of the Smokey Joe with a couple of chunks of Oak I have lying around. In hindsight the lump is really broken up and less than ideal.
Pot on, lid on, grate probe in place and away she goes.
Came up easily to 225f and I closed the bottom vents as it came up so as to not overshoot. Gave it half an hour to get settled and popped on a couple of chicken legs I had brined overnight and two burgers (because they were in the fridge and needed eaten!)
Temp was stable between 215 and 230 for around another two hours. Noticed it starting to fall and discovered it was raining! Removed the burgers as they were done and opened the vents a bit more to eke out another hour or so.
Chicken was up to 167f as the temp inside started to tail off. Took the chicken off when the Q dropped to 210 and lifted the pot off for a look.
Still unlit coals left and that black lump in the middle is my oak. Not sure why it dropped but happy for a first outing.
Burgers were good. Chicken was very juicy and tender but probably not my favourite meat to smoke. Will have to try Pork or Ribs next time.
Thanks for reading!