Finally got my drum prepared and Big Poppa Smoker kit assembled! Here she is on the seasoning and first run with some nice TBS! I'll apologize now for not having any food pron!
I was too preoccupied making sure everything was working right on the first run and forgot to get any in-process or final product pictures.
I loaded her up with a mix of mostly RO lump and a little bit of Kingsford Comp. Lit about 12 briqs and a few lump chunks in the chimney and threw those in the basket when they were ready. I didn't have the temp alarm set on the maverick and ended up leaving the vents wide open too long and overshot my target of 225-250°. It reached temp much quicker than I planned and was at 300° after only about 10 or 15 minutes. Perhaps I lit more charcoal than necessary for the lower temps also? I struggled to get it to go much below 280° over the next 6 hours that I ran it. Temps were very solid though, so that was encouraging!
After it ran for a few hours, I threw on a couple fatties. I did one naked with just a rub and did one hot sausage stuffed with pepper jack cheese. Both turned out excellent! I brought them into work and they were pretty well finished off between 5 of us in a matter of maybe 10 minutes tops. Can't wait to do the next run...I'm thinking maybe a nice pork butt.
On a slightly separate note, my drum came used with the "dreaded" red liner in it. It wasn't until after the liner was still intact after a long hot burn that I did some searching and realized the red liner was called the "dreaded" red liner. I tried taking a wire wheel to it post burn, but that didn't do much at all. I did a lot of reading and finally decided I was just going to scrub/wash it down and season over the liner. This is where I made a discovery that may help someone else...
I took one of those green and yellow Scotch-Brite pads and some dish soap and started rubbing the inside. Almost immediately the pad and my hand were covered in kind of a thick, almost pasty, dark red, just like the liner. A quick rinse and I was shocked to see that a very quick scrub in the one area had gotten me right down to bare metal!! What the wire wheel hardly touched, the SB pad and Dawn powered right through almost effortlessly! I knew those things were crazy abrasive, but dang! Now perhaps my red liner wasn't as bad as some (it was a "food grade" barrel that was previously filled with chicken broth), but it might at least be worth a shot for someone else with the red liner to try the SB pad and dish soap trick and see if they have any luck. Perhaps it will save someone else a lot of time and effort with a grinder like it did me!