I've done a lot of reading and talked to a few fellow BBQ'ers on some tips on how to set up my smoker. I'd like to share the upgrades I accomplished today, and look forward to any feedback or suggestions.
I bought this used SnP for $50 from a guy that mostly used it as a charcoal grill, he said he didn't have much luck with smoking. When I asked him how hard it was to maintain a constent temp he looked at me funny and pointed out he didn't have a thermometer.
The first thing I wanted to tackle was the fire box, looking at how small of a gap between the vent and the fire rack, I knew I had to improve this first.
I took both charcoal racks and cut them about a inch or so off one side.
Then placed them in the firebox in the opposite direction overlapping each other.
This raised them up enough where I could get a much better air flow through the vent under the fire racks.
The next thing to do was design a baffle to try to keep the heat in the cooking chamber more consistant throughout. I started with a cardbaord template and designed what I thought might help deflect the heat from the fire box some.
Once I was happy with my overall design, I fashioned the baffle out of a couple cheap cookie sheets i bought at the discount store for $2 a piece. (I was suppose to go to a friends metal shop to do this but he couldn't make it today.)
I cut the pans easily with a pair of tin snips, (but if you do this make sure you wear gloves) and drilled a couple holes and attached it with a couple nuts on the studs sticking out from the fire box attachment. It fit perfectly and will hold a optional water pan if I decide to use it.
Then I needed to install a thermometer, but being the anal person I am I decided to install 2 in the door with one being on each side. I figure this way I can monitor how well my baffle system is working and can adjust the meats as needed. The install is pretty straight forward, (drill a hole and install the nut) just make sure you don't install them to low when they touch the cooking rack.
Then I took some of the left over cookie sheet from the baffle and rolled it around a can of spray paint for a template and stuck it into the exhaust tube. The metal will unroll a bit inside the exhaust tube and fit snug.
Being that I got a late start today on my upgrades I won't be able to give the smoker a test run until tomorrow (Sunday). I'm planning on a "dry run" with no meat so I can see how hard/easy it is to control the tempurature. STill doesn't mean that I can have a beer or two while I'm playing/tuning my smoker.
I'll let you all know how mt updrades turned out, and if anyone wants to comment on my upgrades, to let me know if I'm in the right or wrong direction, please feel free to comment.
Happy Smoking, Solar