Originally Posted by Bigmista
I try not to tend. If themps are hanging between 225 and 235 (like they usually do) I don't open the lid. At about 2.5 hours I'll check to see if they have pulled back. I'll check every half hour until they are ready to foil.
The mods I am thinking of making are putting wheels on it, having the holes drilled instead of burned thru and putting pipe fittings or something like that in there that is easier to close off, working out some type of hook system to raise the ash pan out of the cooker instead of reaching down into the barrel.
I have two suggestions for the ash pan/coal pan, cut out the bottom of the drum except cut about 1 inch away from the edge, then take a second drum, cut it off just below the lowest ring so that you have a squat drum that is completely open at the top, set the first drum on top of the squat drum (lower squat drum holds coals/ash) and you can than remove the top cooker at any time to have full access to the coals. Make sure the lower/squat drum is cut square so that it will seal as the top drum rests upon it.
Or, Using a second drum cut a door that is 1/2 larger than the opening, fasten on hinges then, make a seal with silicon around edge of door, then get a pull - latch to hold the door tight.