I guess I kind of panicked when I ran into all that negative stuff I saw on the net about horizontals. I have already anticipated having to deal with maintaining temp consistency. Academy offered me this smoker at half price so it really was cheap. It does have a little rust inside as it obviously had not been cured. I plan on cleaning it in and out real good, coating with oil, then letting it burn hot for several hours. I remember doing this on my first unit and it seemed to hold up really well.
The exhaust comes out dead center of the end plate with the bottom of the hole being right at grate level. There is a deflection plate over the firebox hot air exit that extends 7" into the 26" long cooking chamber and is angled downward. I guess maybe OK to start with and see what happens. I wonder if bricks in the cooking chamber might serve to add thermal mass and reduce temp fluctuation.
I will plan on picking up some 3/4" expanded diamond grate and making a charcoal basket. Looks like a great idea. I am also pondering the thought of using flat brick in the bottom of the firebox, wonder if this would slow down BTU loss and also add some mass here to slow temp fluctuation. Also hope it might serve as a means of height adjust for grilling.
I noticed the chimney charcoal starters at Academy, hope that might serve to reduce heat up time.