Few more tips for you to use your new cooker AtlGater:
1. Foil your ash pan before use. You can just roll up the foil and throw it away for easy clean up.
2. Foil your deflector before use. Just trust me on this.
3. Only build a fire in 1/2 to 2/3 of the firepan on any cook. Cook with hot side and cold side. Most food cooks best by starting on hot side just long enough to get grill marks, then move to cool side and shut the lid. Few minutes later, amazing food.....
4. Make sure the cooker is level. If it is not, then the grease drain may not work.
5. Scrape the grease drain channel on every cook. My grill brush has an edge on the back for this. I just scrape the gunk out of the channel over the firepan before I light the fire, and the gunk is burnt up.
6. Use lump charcoal. Briquettes are very hard on cookers. The ashes absorb moisture from the air and turn acidic, eating up the metal. If you look at old cookers that are in the HB shop for repairs, you can easily pick out the ones that burned lump versus briquettes.
7. The empty space below the ashpan is an excellent warmer/holding area. You can put food down there even while cooking additional food. It will stay warm but not so hot to cause additional cooking.
8. Lower the firepan all the way when your food is done. The mechanism will last longer if it is not supporting weight 24/7. Put a bit of white high temp grease on the threads occasionally so that it continues to operate without much resistance.
And if you really want (I never have), you can buy some self-adhesive nomex tape and seal up the cracks in the lid and the door.
Big Green Egg - medium
Cookshack model SM050
The Good One Rodeo clone