- The biggest advantage of hanging meat is that you don't have to worry about a sear. With large cuts you can trim away all fat and get more bark. With poultry, you can hang them dark meat up and still have a pretty breast when you flip it over to serve. You also get great smoke penetration all around.
- Another perceived advantage is that I think the juices render out better and meat cooks up more tender. This could be all in my head, but I think gravity does some cool things.
- Finally, I think it's faster to get meat in and out of the cooker.
There are disadvantages too:
- First, you have to have an appropriate cooker to hang meat. Horizontals won't fly, and even verticals need enough space.
- For large cuts, hanging meat does not make as much use out of available space, so you can cook less meat when hanging.
- Hooks and harnesses aren't free, so there's a cost involved.
- Not all meats should be hung! There are some people who do it, but I don't hang briskets, as an example.
With this device, the pros and cons are pretty much the same as above. It's designed to work with a kettle lid, so if you don't have one, you may not appreciate it as much as the rest, but at the end of the day, it's a good product.
EDIT: I should say that I had a Cajun Bandit for about two years, and once I got this device, I never used the grates. To be fare though, I probably used it 5-10 times in that timespace (too many cookers). I've since sold the CB, but I kept the meat hanger because it's just that darned good.