I've got a propane Masterbuilt vertical smoker (my first smoker).
I've done a lot of the mods that were recommended... cast iron fry pan for wood chips, using an aluminum disposable tray for water, checking internal smoker temp with an independent thermometer.
All good ideas.
I've never gave much thought to adding gasket material to the doors, or making the smoke vents larger - I don't think either one is a problem for me.
But, one thing that's pretty stupid, but a real pain - is adding wood chips to the smoker.
First I tried 'throwing' a hand full into the fire pan - most landed on the ground, bouncing off the edge of the pan or the grate on to.
Then I tried a spatula. Eh, not so good.
Well, this is a pretty obvious solution, but as I used it again yesterday when I was smoking pork chops, I thought I'd share the idea that I invented. I say I invented it because I haven't read it anywhere else. :)
First, I've found that if you buy aluminum pans at grocery stores, you're paying way more than you have to. I've found 3 sizes of aluminum pans in stock all the time at Home Depot for a fraction of the price. One of the sizes at Home Depot is the perfect fit replacement for the steel water pan that comes with the Masterbuilt smoker.
So, for my idea. There's a small size aluminum pan that's sold 10 to a pack (I think).
What I did was use a pair of scissors, I cut two of the corners from top to bottom, then folded the short side of the pan down flat.
In essence, this makes a 'chute' - you can fill the pan with wood chips, and slide them right into the fire pan without any of them spilling on the ground or into the fire burner area. I've used the same one now for 4 different smokes and it's still working fine. The wood chips slide right out of it - although I do use dry chips. If they are soaked in water, maybe it won't work as well but I've stopped soaking the wood chips. I never saw the value of doing that.
Here's some pics.