New to the site, but not really new to smoking. Started using an old propane grill that I somewhat converted into a smoker (racks, wood box, thermometer, etc). Other than only having a small smoke surface to work on, this actual made from great small meals.
Well, family bought me a smoker from the big K, and I have been experimenting with it fro a couple of months now. As you can guess, first fire up was a near disaster, the ol' stand-by propane was calling into action after the first load of fuel cooled and the second chimney load couldn't get the smoke box temps high enough.
After searching many avenues, and stumbling upon the great site, I have made a few mods, like one for each firing, to see what if anything I could do to make this work.
I now have the chimney extension, the baffle plate ( the original charcoal tray upside down) and have been using water trays for baffles and moisture induction and a fuel basket. I still have issues with getting the temps back up after the first basket load has done it's job after the first few hours.
Also, even with the fuel box loaded to the max, and two chimneys full of red hot coals, about the only thing I've managed to do is burn off the paint. Temps never get above 235, with two accurate thermometers, stack wide open and damper at max.
I am thinking of converting this smoker to a propane burner. It make great food, just requires constant fuel adding and minute to minute attention.