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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2007
Would like to have had cast iron grates on the fire-box, instead of the porclean covered wire type grates. The unit has a "sort of" slide out ash-removal tray... but the fire grate rests directly on the removal tray... which means the fire must be completely out to remove any ashes. I have a Charbroil (model CB500X) grill that's "roughly" set up the way I think the firebox side of the smoker should be like.

The other side of the smoker is pretty nice. It's pretty darn big for average family smoking.

The handle on the door is pretty lame though. It's wobbley, and hard to lock the door in place. As more simple hinge pin sort of handle would have been better.

But with all that to say. It smokes pretty good for the average "Joe" or "Josephine".
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on December 22, 2011
I have had this smoker for about 5 years. I smoke around 50 to 100 racks of ribs on it per year so I have tested it pretty well. Big issues are this: You can load the thing with 12 racks, but if you do, the temp from bottom to top of the cooking chamber will be around 25 to 50 degrees apart. The doors don't shut tight especially on the fire box. And it is made of thin metal so 5 to 6 years is about it for this due to rust.

Pros: Great for the patio, has a decent grill, easier to use than the horizontal smoker as far as temp control. Also for the person that said that it is difficult to reach over 200 degrees...I have never had any kind of issue with that. I have had it up to 450 degrees and achieved that with lump charcoal. 200 degrees can be accomplished by sticking your head in the fire box while smoking a cigarette...OK I have not tried that, but it not hard to get it hot enough and I live in Minnesota.

Great for home and amateur use, not substantial enough for the Big Boys and Girls on the BBQ circuit.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2007
I prefer the vertical smokers like this one, for its capacity. also on the plus side: dual purpose grill/firebox, heavy duty construction.

downside: rust, even though i keep out of rain; can't find extra racks; and, the biggest drawback, it's very hard to get temps over 200 for any sustained period, unless you use whole split logs.firebox is just too big for standard smoking with one large chimney starter's worth of charcoal or briquettes.

as such, i mostly use this just for fish.
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on July 11, 2014
Just as with all smokers (in this price range) fabricate a charcoal box (12"x12"x6"deep) from a 24"x24 expanded metal purchase at Home Depot... use 3" bolts for legs to give it plenty of air under coal & room for ash to drop. Purchase the green egg gasket kit & seal around door. Use high temp silicon for any smaller leaks. Works great. For an 8 hr smoke, I held 250 degrees for 4hrs before adding more lump coal to wrap up a 7 hr smoke.
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on May 13, 2010
Great smoker. Throw away the stock thermometer and get a good replacement and add a baffle where the firebox enters the smoke chamber and you've got a winner!
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on July 8, 2013
The grill does not hold a steady heat. Smoke comes out of the grill through the doors, pit lid and top. Hard to keep up with the fire.
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on October 28, 2013
I love it it cook perfect ribs, chicken, Make my own chipotles Only thing I have not done is fish
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