I like the idea of your expanded metal. That is a nice way to hold your charcoal. I am a bit too shy to chop and channel my Smokenator after shipping the puppy half way around the world, though it might well work. I like how it protects the meat from direct heat and with two, I might even be able to put food in the cavity between the two if I didn't have a smoker box or drip pan set there.
The charcoal seems to burn okay, not like it is getting oxygen starved. Taking the water pan out would improve the air flow, I will try that next, without putting anything over the larger rectangle opening of the pan and see what that does to my temperatures. Not quite like snipping it with the metal shears but some of the same effect.
Thanks for the input!
Another Tandang Overseas - Weber 22.5 OTG/Smokenator 1000/Pizza Kettle - 2 Thermapens - Mabuhay BBQ