Hello, I'm Dwayne, and I live in the North East. I've been doing a ton of direct heat grilling, but never smoked anything. I Did try once to do a pork shoulder on my weber gas, and it was edible, but not great. The other day I had real southern BBQ from a buddy who sells it up here. Tasting that made me remember my time in SC and the amazing smoked food we ate. So yesterday I found a offset smoker on craigslist, bought it, and started working. Today I did a bunch of cleanup work, paint job, and started some mods that I read online. Here are pictures from Today: (as she came from Craigslist ($60)) The deflector... Hopefully this is right. Both mods are using aluminum flashing. Its a different color on the other side. Assume that is ok? Any chemicals should burn off... I hope. All Painted up. Sanded and stained the wood parts as well, so everything should be ready for assembly and smoke tomorrow. A couple key questions for the pros here: 1. Are the mods ok, or do I need to do some other things. 2. I bought 2 Kenmore Grill Temperature Meters (with leads) and plan on leaving them in the smoker (mounted just off the grate) I assume these are ok to just leave in the smoker as it cooks even though the literature says to put it in the meat. 3. The Fire box... so there is a small grate for the bottom of the firebox. Is that enough to make a proper fire? I've seen a lot about fire baskets, etc. 4. The Fire box (part 2)... there is a larger grate in the fire box. Could I put a tray of water on there for added humidity? It that needed/smart/etc.? 5. I plan on dry running tomorrow to get a feel for the smoker. Any other big gotchas I need to watch for with the offset? Then of course, the real big question is what meat to smoke first. Happy to take suggestions on that. PS, learned what a fatty was today from this forum. I don't think my life will ever be the same. I'm going to love this place.