Greetings! Newbie to smoking at home, and this forum! Very informative and has helped me to several good smokes in my Brinkman Smoke and Grill, but tired of fighting the temps, even after mods (they did help) but after research here, decided to return this poorly designed COS, and found a very heavy 8-10 year old NB Red River on CL ($70!) very rusted and pitted, owner stated he never used the fire box, only grilled in it, So I am restoring it with the info I have found on this site, but a couple more questions for the pros, please.. First, you didn't state I would come out looking like a coal miner, wow very messy, glad I'm outside for now! Main Unit is rusty under the grate level, but heavy smoke buildup, with some rust, from the grates up, what is the best way to remove the buildup above grate level? would like to start as close to bare as possible inside, and then season properly... What is the best, easiest way to clean the junk creosote out of the chimney? I have removed it for painting, but its bad inside... Should I use a rust reformer prior to painting? or just a good sanding down to close to bare? Should I paint the firebox or just, grind/ sand to bare and season ala Pam spray, or is there something that will keep it black? Don't want to go to all the work to paint it, just to watch it peel the first time it gets a big fire. Cast iron grates are really bad, sat in snow all winter, restore or replace with ceramic? any other suggestions or mods for this smoker would be appreciated, will post pics when its complete!