FYI I'm working our booth at the Indianapolis flower and patio show right now. Guy a few booths down from mine has what looks exactly like the green egg.....but its black and the tag says $1390
Does it come with something in a Hula skirt that serves Mai Tai's while it's smoking?
Makes the Smokin Tex that much more appealing.
On a vertical drum smoker, is there any reason I couldn't omit the "fire basket" and just put an airtight door on the front and line the bottom/ 1' of the sides with fire brick? That way I'd just use logs rather than chips water pan and charcoal?...I have access to lots of hickory, apple, peach, cherry and others. Seems most of the big competition guys just burn 2-3" diameter green logs.
Getting the door to seal tight is the problem. But you can better accomplish sealing tightly if you re-enforce the bbl. door opening and the door by welding 1/16"x 3/4" flat steel around the frames as well as gluing some stove door gasket around the opening.
Too, I'd still keep my fire basket and elevate it a foot or so off the bottom. That way you can drill about 4ea. draft holes in the bottom sides of bbl. under the basket and screw 3/4" black pipe nipple's in the holes(purchase caps for the niples so you can dampen airflow for heat adjustment).
Also take your top lid and drill about eight draft holes evenly spaced in it as well. Buy pipe nipples for them as well. This will let air circulate up through the basket and up through the meat out the top lid of smoker. Again using your pipes plugs in the bottom as well as in the lid to control draft and installing all caps when you're done helps to extinguish coals.
If you put the fire brick on the very bottom of the bbl., chances are the bottom of the bbl. may burn out faster as there will be higher heat on already thin steel.
Check this one out. The only thing I would do differently is elevate the burning basket from the sides higher. Again, for draft purposes.
Once you get your coals burning, you could then put in larger chunks of wood.
Almost forgot, most vertical bbl. smokers burn hotter towards the center of the bbl. Drilling the vent holes in the lid about 3-4 inches from the outside ring on the lid helps even the temp out.
Also, mount your thermostat on bbl about 2/3rds up side just under your lowest rack(if using two racks).