I have this unit and yes it gets hot and can hold heat well. But you will need to make mods for best results. The fire box comes with a crate and you can cook direct if you like. You will need to paint fire box and may need to gasket around stack and door to hold more smoke but I have loaded this cooker up and it produce. By the way I bought mine for 579 so that is a real good deal.
Spoony Rub It, Smoke it, enjoy it. 2 Oklahoma Joe 20, Weber 22, Turbo 1100 weber 18.5.