It's funny you should menthion that, Tip. I actually was thinking about ordering an extra cooking grate for my kettle so I can do cut-outs with coals on the sides for indirect cooking, then use a non-medded grate for cold smoke & sear. Then I started thinking about getting an extra 3 racks (just in case of a UDS project). I just don't have alot of ambition for it right now...too many other unfinished projects.
Then, there's the growing equipment list, and shrinking space in my kitchen...heh-heh, my wife already started to frown when I mentioned ordering another charcoal kettle to avaid what happened tonight (ran out of grate space for cold-smoked Ribeyes...oh well she'll get over it, and learn to appreciate it next time we do a big burn, or a summer bash.
I also thought about taking a cheapo 20# propane tank that has a faulty OPD valve (it was never filled), and using it to make a SFB for my Smoke Vault 24...now, that would be COOL!!!! I've got a couple other tanks I could use as well for other SFB jobs (one is well-purged).
Burn barrels won't fly around here...neighbors are too close and we're in town, too. Hardwood isn't even touchable around here anyway...I'd have to find a shipper from back east someplace (spendy).
I think I can live with the briquettes for now. I get a $150.00 gift card every 3 months from work, and that's what I've been purchasing my cooking accessories with...I have most everything I need for now, so I can buy lots of briq and some lump with that...$600.00/year should do the job. That's about 3/4 ton of briquettes, or 9-21.6lb double-bags of (GULP) blue-bag Kingsford @ Sam's (regular price including tax).
Let's see here...that's just over 388 lbs of briq, for 90 days...4.31 lbs/day...that comes out @ 13 smokes totaling 29.8 lbs of briq...I won't burn that much doing 8-10 hour smokes...more like 16 lbs, so 24 smokes in 13 weeks...works for me!
Maybe if I hunt around alittle back in my home state (ND) for a source, I could get some Ash, Birch or White Oak, and haul it back myself after a home-town visit (that's about all I can remember growing there for hardwoods when i was a kid).
It'll all work out. I've just let myself get into a slump and needed a way to recover from it...the gas smokers are nice, just too easy after awhile...and the charcoal flavor is just too good to not go after it when you can.