What's up? My name is Kirk, I like long walks on the beach, sunsets, and......awe no I don't, I liked smoked meats and cheeses. Finally decided that I wanted to try my hands at smoking as I love the tastes of smoked foods. So, the other day, tired of paying over $10 a lb for smoked cheese decided to look in to doing it myself. I used the simplest cheapest meathod of shoving a soldering iron in a ceramic coffee cup of wood chips, putting it in the grill just to see what results would come. Although not the ultimate results I wanted, I was still very pleased. I think more then likely I was just using the wrong wood (hickory) and will try some apple and/or cherry wood next. I still think I might by the A-maz-n smoker for cold smoking. I have seen the UK one also and even though it looks a little nicer, pretty does not matter and I would rather buy American. I also see a little more versatility in the A-maz-n smoker with the ability to light both ends. Also decided to build my own hot smoker. I like the low maintenance idea of electric and gas and since my electricity is free (for me), I don't have to go get it refilled, and I could see no benifits of gas I decided that electricity was the way to go. I thought about building a wood box first and after looking in to materials and what I would want to build if I did the cost of building it, the realizations that it was really bigger then what I needed and just coming to reality of what a beginner needs I decided to go another route. So then I considered buying an electric. Of course as most of know that have looked in to it, we quickly realize the price of an electric jumps from inexpensive to life styles of the rich and famous. Well seeing as the inexpensive does not seem to perform well nor do they seem to be something to grow in to, I just didn't want to set myself up for failure. Also seeing as I am not rich and although some may think of me as infamous, I am dfinitely not famous. Well, the end results of a little research in to economical good results resulted in me deciding on building a clay pot smoker. I ended up finding all the materials locally too for about the same or cheaper then online. Bottom pot - $21.99 at Bloomfileds Dish Barn Top bowl -$19.99 at Bloomfields Dish Barn Single burner hot plate - $10 at Freds discount store Pie pan to hold chips - $1.75 also at Freds Grill grate - $10.99 at Lowes Grill thermometer - $7.98 at lowes Then I wanted to bring the temp control outside but wanted to make it nice and not gheto lol So I spent another $2.20 on a metal box at Lowes , had the wire and crimps already (but if you ddn't the cost would be a couple bucks) Total cost was roughly $75 (+tax) and the end results were this Right now, I am messing with the temp controll to see where to set it. So far it looks as if I can set it a little lower then 150 degrees (of course, it is currently only 39 degrees out an I know that will change as it gets warmer) and well over over 250 degrees. I also may attempt to drill a hole in the lid to permanently mount the thermometer instead of just setting it in the hole in the lid. Also, this will bring it a little closer to the rack where the food sits which may not matter but can't hurt.