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  1. Being the Hillbilly that I am, I'd use a jigsaw to cut off the rusted bottom so that the smoker would sit level without the legs. Then I'd get a flat concrete paver to sit it on. I'm sure it could be made more airtight with some felt on the bottom edge - or even throw some sand around the edges that sit on the paver. If you wanted it to sit higher, put a couple of concrete blocks under the paver. This way is probably not gonna be much to look at, but I'll bet it will still smoke. There's plenty of instructions/videos on the 'net of people who use cardboard boxes for smokers - with an indirect or no flame heat source, of course. That's how I'd fix it for +/- $20.
  2. In my opinion, if one has the patience and the taste for it, making cornbread is one of the easiest, most sure-fire and rewarding ways to put the finishing touches on a CI skillet.
  3. Too big? https://www.amazon.com/PFC-080-050-023-5SF-Plastic-Carrying-Black/dp/B013UCNT8E/ref=sr_1_54?keywords=8+inch+plastic+case&qid=1573073170&sr=8-54
  4. I've been using a round. stainless steel, cake baking pan and sand for years as a deflector. I put a couple of inches of clean playground sand (sold in 50 lb. bags at my local Lowes for less than $5.00) in the cake pan. The sand also absorbs the fat drippings and I just toss it out when I'm done. I've never used a store bought deflector, so I can't compare... It works for me.
  5. I used to work on a transmission line construction crew with a bunch of guys from eastern NC. These guys hauled their pig cooker with them when we'd go on jobs for extended periods. We'd chip in and buy a half or whole hog for them to cook for the crew on regular occasions. They were my heroes... They would buy the white vinegar in the glass gallon jugs (back in the '70's), put a healthy dose of red pepper flakes in each jug on the day before the cook and let it blend overnight with a good shake once in a while. They poked holes in the jug lids and shook the sauce onto the hog every couple of hours while it cooked. When it was done we cut our own serving from the hog and had the option to use the leftover sauce on our meat. It was plain and simple - a sauce they'd been using for generations - and some of the best pork I've ever eaten. Those were good times.
  6. I recently gave one of these to an about-to-be newlywed couple as a housewarming gift. It's a solid skillet that should last for generations and they loved it. At this price, it was a no-brainer to order one to hold onto for another gift. Thanks for the head's up!
  7. The National Park Service has banned campers and picnickers from bringing in their own firewood. They contract vendors to supply wood that has been heat treated at 160*F for 60 minutes to kill insects and critters that they don't want in the parks. Last time I was in The GSMNP I picked up several bundles of beautiful, clean, split (2"-4" dia.) White Oak to bring home for smoking. I was allowed to "cherry pick" the stack of bundled firewood for my camp fire. If you're near a National Park you might want to check them out from time to time to see what they're offering....maybe even get to know their supplier to get a head's up on good smoking wood. It's not completely seasoned, but it shouldn't take as long as fresh cut wood. As I recall, the prices were reasonable.
  8. I have one of these hats. It's sturdy and lightweight. They have a good selection of other styles, too. I spent the first 20 years of my working career outside as long as it wasn't pouring rain or too icy to stand up. So far - no problems - and I'm gonna try to keep it that way. https://bigbendsaddlery.com/product/two-dot/
  9. Hanging out in cool mountain streams...
  10. Rip

    Shut down time

    My opinion...I think we expect too much from these grills - especially new out-of-the box. Ten years ago when I got my Bubba Keg, information was not as plentiful on Kamado Cookers as it is now. Fortunately there was a forum for Bubba Keg Grills and I gleaned what I could from them. My Bubba had some shut down, temp holding and smoke leaking issues when it was new. The advice was to seal up around both vents, which helped a great deal. The next step - as I was advised - was to go to the butcher and get some unsellable Pork scraps and cook them to seal up any other small leaks during the cooking process.. Cooking the Pork scraps did help some more but ultimately it took several months of semi-reglar bugers, butts and steaks before I considered it "really close" to leak proof. During that break in period I learned a lot about the grill. I don't keep my grill squeaky clean. I need the "seasoning" to prevent leaks. When I do a cleaning - usually when the pressure washer is nearby - I give it a short blast to knock of the bigger stuff, but try not to disturb the areas around the gasket and the vents. These grills are built to tolerances as close as can be attained with ceramic or steel within reason($) - but they aren't rocket ships. The best advice I got from that forum was "learn YOUR grill" they're all "individuals". Have patience - don't worry if your grill doesn't shut down as quickly as someone else - even if it's the same grill. Charcoal, weather, the length of the cook and other factors might influence your cool down. Have fun - eat good...your grill takes time to develop its own personality. Edit to add: I'm only relaying the advice I was given and my experience - not suggesting there's not different or better ways...except for the "Have fun - eat good" part.
  11. Collard Sandwiches are a "thing" in Eastern NC. But they're good anywhere and even in the very local area where they're popular there are several variations. However you like them - eat more of them - Collards are one of the most nutritious foods in the world! https://myhome.unctv.org/the-original-collard-sandwich/
  12. All the advantages of an Akorn, but more better... https://broilkingbbq.com/grills/keg/
  13. Rip

    Rain caps

    That looks much better than the conglomeration I came up with years ago....an old pot lid bolted to a colander....
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