After several weeks of research (a lot on this form) I finally had my first smoke this past Monday Labor day. I have a OK Joe highlander from big box store. I refused to pay the $268 so I had been watching for them to go on clearance. My wait paid off as I picked one one for $136 a few weeks ago. The cashier said that was a mistake but the box had a big sign saying clearance so they sold it to me. I did all the modificationsame found here and on youtube. I sent another $70 on high temp sealer, baffle plates from local metal sales, and aluminum pipe. I seasoned whole smoker with bacon drippings. I did buy a couple of oven thermometers for grate. Found that when lid said 300 grate level was 250.
Anyways I'm in southern indiana and the attached pics are from my first smoke of Boston butt (8lbs) and some chicken. It was a success and can't wait for the next smoke. [IMG]