I added a thermometer to my unit, but maybe chose a bad spot for it, top center of the domed lid at the end of the handle. I maybe should have arranged it differently or just planned on several electronic jobs and varied their use depending on the cooking at hand. I also added one more level for a rack and use a rack/grate from an older unit between the factory settings. I may add a couple of more rack/grate/grill positions for doing large volumes of ABTs. My first extra rack was for extra turkey legs.
I also have found that the lava rocks round these parts just seem to be too big, so I break them up into smaller sizes. About 1" or so, I think that I will go even smaller next time I change them out. That brings me to another point. Because I throw wood chunks and chips straight onto the rocks (element be damned), my lava rocks do tend to get funky kind of quick. If I use the unit in the grill mode the grease gets to the rocks and if it rains good, the water gets to the rocks, either way this turns the ash into a muck that requires a good burn off or dry off before a smoking session.
This is, I think, my second electric unit and I have had one charcoal unit before as well, maybe my thrid elect (It all becomes a blur after awhile)
The water pan is my biggest hassle and I have been giving it a little bit of thought here latley.
First, I ain't gonna lie to you. I have been known not to line the pan with foil, it is expenesive, it runs out whenever you need it the most, I have cut myself on it and the box, it takes two peices wide to line the pan, it will still leak into the pan, if you leave the edges untidy it will block the heat from below, it ain't all that easy to get the foil to line the pan because of its' shape and so on. OK maybe seven out of ten times I foil the pan, but would think that they would make a prestamped disposable liner.
Second, I ain't gonna lie here either. After a big smoke, or even a little smoke, I don't really feel like messing with scalding hot liquid, and scalding hot greasy liquid at that. I like to eat what has been smoked, put away some leftovers, maybe do some of the dishes if it isn't getting too late and relax and let the food digest. Soooooo next weekend when I go to fire up the smoker, there sits an inch of mold covered greasy water that you know is gonna stink to high heaven if you disturb it. And you know that getting that water pan out is like going through an obsticle course of little spikes that hold the grills (Did I mention that I have added to this obsticle course by adding one more grill capibility)
At any rate I think that the disposable water pan would be the best option, so I may be looking in that direction for a suitable solution. I invision a large diameter pie pan of a shallow depth. Why shallow? Why I am figuring on adding maybe another rack of course!
Consistent smoke? Almost Impossible I say! But shoot for adding a bit every 30 to 45 minutes whether it needs it or not. Yes, this is kind of on the heavy side, smaller chunks or lighter flavored woods for the faint of heart. Wet or dry? From what I can tell, it don't burn/smoke until it dries out. I used to keep a bucket on the porch full of chunks and just let them soak there, turns out that the dog likes to chew on the soaked chunks so I gave that up. I may try a metal plate to try and slow things down or a castiron skillet. I think that most of the little iron boxes are too small for the average chunk. And I have above mentioned issues with foil!