I chose rockwood because i found a consumer review list and it was one of the highest recommended companies so i figured why not.
Lets hear some feedback and thanks in advance!!
That is not too bad with a COS. I went through 2/3 of a bag of briquettes on a recent smoke of 11 hours. 1/2 hour to warm smoker and 10 1/2 hours of smoking. If I would have used lump, I probable would have used the whole bag. I love lump, over briquettes anytime, except for longer smokes, I use them to cut cost, and less tending of the firebox, except for excessive emptying of ash build up. I have a Char-Griller type.
One thing about owning a cheap offset smoker, is that you NEVER run out of fun, trying to modify it into a $2,000.00 smoker. (Which we will never be able to do!) LOL
Yes, Raise your basket, or fire grate higher!!! I used a small grate from a scavenged gas grill grate, that fits perfectly in fire box on top of the drawer slide. But you could just some expanded steel to fit as well. If you want to grill in fire box only. I have another grate that I can still put on top of basket if I want to fast sear a steak or something. Throw away the charcoal holder wire grate that came with it. You'll never use it more than once. I threw mine out before I ever assembled it! LOL
Hope I've helped a bit. Tried to find my post with pics of my firebox, but couldn't locate it.