I'll call myself a rank amature, although I do love me some smoked meat and I have turned out some pretty good stuff with a big chief modified and attached to a natural gas grill. I insulated the Big Chief and ducted it into the side of the grill. I put a row of bricks over one of the grill's burners to moderate the heat and it did a fairly good job. Thing is, I did too good of a job with the insulation on the Big Chief and it burned out the wire connections to the element. It went to the scrapyard. So then I got me a Maytag electric stove for free off of Kijiji. It's in excellent working condition and it's very sturdy. Since it has a concealed main element in the oven, I opted to cut a hole in the oven floor, about the same size as my wood chip pan, over the middle loop in the element. The pan sits on the element and with the temp set at 225 degrees, makes a nice cloud of smoke. This particular model vents the oven out of the front of the control panel through a very narrow opening; not satisfactory for the amount of smoke that would be pouring out of it. I plugged the opening of the vent and knocked out the oven light fixture instead. There is now a 2 3/4 inch hole in the top right corner of the oven. I will fashion a chimney tube to take the excess smoke away. Since this unit will live outside, I will install a 220 volt outlet on the exterior of my workshop and build an enclosure for the stove. I foresee a small problem with the oven door because of the location of the wood chip pan. I'll have to open the oven to replenish the wood chips. If this messes too much with the process of cooking, I'll have to make a side swing door with a smaller access hatch to get at the pan without exposing the whole works to our frigid arctic air. While the oven will be dedicated to smoking, I should be able to bake bread in it if I put a steel plate over the smoker hole. Baking bread outside is good when it gets hot in the summer. The stove top will remain fully functional for cooking the rest of the meals. I hope to keep the cost of this unit below that of a comparable store bought smoker and so far the price is $0.00. That will come up a bit as the build progresses but hopefully not too much. I'll take some photos as the work progresses and post them when it is done. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. For now.