Cons - Needs just a couple of mods to make it work well (Still under $100)
I got this smoker to get started smoking on the cheap. To be honest you really need to do two things to this smoker (at a minimum) to make it a decent smoker.
1. get a grate for the charcoal and elevate it from the bottom of the charcoal pan.
I used the charcoal grate from my Weber "Smokey Joe" it fit perfectly, I added three
equal sized rocks to keep it about 4 inches from the bottom of the pan and "Wow' the
fire burns much better.
2. Add a thermometer to the lid, $8 at Lowes or Home Depot, the built-in temperature
"Gage" is pretty useless.
That's it and I've had many successful runs of TriTip, I did do a six hour pork shoulder
smoke and it was labor intensive trying to keep the temperature constant, which is near
impossible to do. This is not a "Set it and forget it" smoker, it requires frequent observation.
But for the money it's a sweet way to get into meat smoking.
I have been using one of these for over 25 years. It is my go to smoker for many occasions. I learned a long time ago that the wind plays into cooking with any outdoor cooker. The area of Texas where I live seems to have wind almost constantly and when it gets to about 15-20 mph it would suck the heat and smoke out the bottom of this smoker. I acquired a 55 gallon drum and cut it right at one of the rings around the side and removed the top. Now when it gets windy I just sit the drum ring around the smoker. It fits perfectly and stops any problems from the wind. I have run a constant temp of 225 for better than 10 hours.