As I read through this thread a couple of questions come to mind that I have not seen answers too, or I should say, have not seen definitive answers too. I do realize that a lot of this is at user discretion and/or preference, that there may not be a right or wrong answer to many of the design elements.....many ways to skin a cat. . . etc
With that said I am looking for pro's and con's, recommendations based on experience more than what is right or wrong:
Charcoal basket size is one:
For those of you built you baskets on Weber charcoal grates, what are the pros and cons of using the grate from an 18" versus the one from a 22-1/2". I'm not looking for pros and cons of the build, but rather of fit, form and function. Does one clog easier than the other? Is the smaller that much easier to get in out of the drum that makes it a no brainer? Does one seem to achieve more consistent temp's from edge to center of drum?
The other thing relates to the 24" from bottom of charcoal basket to first cooking grate. I have seen some insist that this should not vary much from that. I do understand the importance maintaining distance from heat source to delectable flesh. But I'm not sure why that the 24" +/- generally accepted grate to flesh distance isn't, at least somewhat, charcoal basket or more specifically charcoal height dependent?
i.e. if you are running a 15" dia by 12" high charcoal basket and start will a full load, uncommon I know, you start you cook 12" from the heat source If you are running a 18" by 8" high basket (roughly same full load volume) you start your cook 16" from heat source.
If a 24" grate to grate height works for the first scenario why won't a 20" grate to grate height work for the second?
I'm not disagreeing with the general 24" rule, and I understand maintaining proper distance to prevent flare ups, over smoking, and maintaining consistent cooking grate temps is all part of it, just trying to figure out why that seems to be somewhat of a hard and fast rule regardless of basket size and distance from flesh to heat source when you start you cook?
In process UDS, Weber 620 & Q200, ET732 Black, CyberQ II Black, Thermopen Orange, TW8060