Still have to fireup the Smoke N Pit, when the rains stop and see where I'm at with thin metal plates.
PS Here is what temps looked like using my Marvick 732
Heavier plates are nice if you can get them for a reasonable cost. Another option is buy a stepped drill bit and take the 11X17 heavy aluminum baking sheat and drill rows of holes that start at 1/4" along one of the short sides, then after you have drilled a few rows at 1/4", step up the size to 1/2" and drill a few more rows, then for the last few rows step up to 1".
Then put the pan in so that the smaller holes are closest to the firebox, this allows some heat to come up near the firebox while forcing most of it towards the cold end of the smoker and the larger holes.
your basket looks good. i just thought that video was pretty good for anyone else thinking of making one.
Nope - it would never retain a cure anyway - the fire would burn it off. Just let the charcoal burn for a bit incase of any coating the manufacutre puts on the expanded metal.