I finally had a chance to a get some modifications done on this smoker. Picked this up new for 1600.00 in Alabama last summer. As many read, these smokers have been know to have an undersized firebox and too small air intakes. And sure enough, that's correct. I could barely get a clean fire and holding a 225 temp was almost impossible. The smoker lid had a long handle that would smash my beer cans and rendered the shelf useless. We had to fill in some of the skip weld to seal her up a bit as well. The fire box grate was about 6 inches off the floor of the smoker.
Just picking it up
1. Added some more intakes on the firebox (probably overkill but this SOB gets air now..LOL)
2. Ripped out the high firebox grate and replaced with a fireplace grate.
3. Did away with the long smoke chamber handle and replaced with two small handles with a counterweight.
4. Added some hooks under the shelves for tools
5. Replaced the junk temp gauges and added two on each end of the chamber.
Fired it up yesterday. She was burning clean at 225-250 and breathing well. I opened the vents and took her up to 375 no problem and probably could have gone higher. I'll finally be able to cook on this darn thing. Not too bad for a 1600.00 smoker, beer and a buddy with a welder who also is a painter...LOL Beer and paint tomorrow.
Overall, If you buy these cheap smokers knowing you get what you pay for, a few simple mods later and you'll almost forget how pissed you were trying to cook on it the first time