I paid $199.00 for mine about 3 years ago. It is a pretty good unit I suppose, but it is a BEAR to feed. It will burn up 20# of charcoal and a dozen or so splits of wood on a butt or brisket smoke. That is why I converted mine so it will run on LP. The way I am set up now, I can smoke with the charcoal/wood in the side firebox and when I get to the point of either foiling or just being ready to finish without any more smoke I kick in the LP burner in the smoke chamber under my water pan and let it handle the rest. Works fine for me.
As far as construction goes, the metal is a little light but not as bad as some. I do like the upright smoke chamber. You can pack a lot of meat in. You may have to work on the door latch (I did) and I also added some legs under the firebox where it joins the smoker box to help level things out.
I love my BSKD, although I don't use it as much as I use the little old Lang. This is a great smoker, though you have to do the charcoal basket and baffle mods to get a good burn. These mods will add an hour to your assembly time, but it is really worth it! Here are a couple of pics of the mods that I did when I put mine together two years ago. Just be sure that you don't use anything galvanized. I also say DO IT!
Don't know if you guys have done it yet, but the best thing I did to mine was to raise my charcoal/wood grate up to give better clearance. I had an expanded metal grate made and put angle iron on the sides so I could just slide it in and out. Use the same old ash pan to catch the ashes.
Cajunsmoker I did raise up the rack with fire brick. I also made up the temperature deflector. The one thing that I keep going back and forth on is adding sealant around the door to help with maintaining the temp
I'm glad I saw this. I got a Smoke King last year...FOR FREE from a friend and had some great success with it. However, it cost a lot to feed that beast, and I still had to finish some cuts in the oven. Basically it looks like you added a "hood" to deflect the heat more under the water pan, correct? Also, the elevation of the charcoal rack was raised. Is there anything else I need to do to get more efficency out of my charcoal and to be able to maintain higher temps for a longer period? Thanks in advance for any assistance. Sincerely, noob.
Those two things will help a lot. I also have stopped using water in my water pan. I just foil the pan leaving an airspace between the pan and the foil for insulation purposes. This keeps from having to open the door so much to add water and gets the heat up in the smoke chamber much faster in the beginning. The only other thing is to build your fire using the Minion method and start with only about 4# of lit charcoal with about another 8# of unlit. This will give you about a 4 - 6 hour burn time under normal conditions. After that add lit charcoal about 3# at a time every hour to an hour and a half.