Originally Posted by Mark
Clogging has never been a problem for me. The one thing I'd do different is use my "butterfly valve" approach in a removable lid so that the barrel can be lifted off all the internals (a.k.a., what Pat does).
Yeah, using your setup the drippings wouldn't get down there I guess. What I was thinking was a removable bottom. Basically have the bottom removed and put a lid on down there with a ring clamp to seal it. I had planned on having a setup similar to Barbarian's where he has the bottom lid inverted on the ground, but with the ring down there around it ready to clamp down. I could set my charcoal basket directly on it (with 2" clearance below) if I had the kind of vent on the bottom like you had. After lighting I could simply set the drum on top of the lid and clamp it up to seal it. This way I could get the most room available for the food because the charcoal basket was the lowest I could possibly get it, and with the least amount of parts required to do so. In this set up however, drippings would get down on to the bottom of the cooker and drip out of the intake. I could put in a pan like you did, but was trying to avoid it for the simplicity sake.
Luckily, I have not built it yet so I can still decide on the approach!
I still have to get my drum. Once it's here though then whatever seems best at the time is probably what I'll go with.