I purchased a cheap Brinkmann offset smoker a couple of years back because my $35 tower smoker didn't hold enough meat for big cookouts. Anyways, of course the thing keeps temperature terribly and the thermometer is off by about 20-30 degrees, depending on the actual temp, not to mention the front by the hotbox vent is much hotter than the rest of the cooking chamber because it has no offset. As a result, I end up having to add coals constantly AND mess with the vents, takes way too long to cook and keeping a constant or steady temperature at 250 for ribs is about impossible.
Anyways, I am planning on adding a line bricks, two across, on the bottom of the cooking chamber to help hold a better heat. Not sure if taking the time to drill a heat shield by the vent is worth the time, effort and money on a sub $200 offset smoker. I am also going to add new thermometers, hopefully digital, to the front and back of the cooking chamber. Gonna try it out this Friday, I'll report back.
Edited by southernfried, 04 May 2011 - 11:57 PM.