Thanks guys. I'm going to do another smoke tomorrow so I'll try to raise the fire basket a bit. I've basically got a webber grate with expanded metal wrapped around it, and some ss bolts holding the metal together and holding the grate off the ground. Should be an easy fix.
As for the stack, i'm not exactly sure how to do that. I didnt have a hole saw, so I used an expanded drill bit for my holes at the bottom, and use a recip saw for the one on top (no bung). The hole got kind of sideways and isnt exactly a circle, so any ideas there? Perhaps just seal this hole completely and make a new one?
blu - the chicken skin wasnt rubbery at all, it was fairly firm. Attached some pr0n