Since I only occupied the 2 top racks with pork shoulders, I thought I would get creative and decided to put an aluminum tray on the bottom rack filled with water as I discovered the attention for water replenishment about every 30-45 mins into the 4 out of the 9 hours of my first use of the smoker. This did the trick for me as the smoker temperature went up to 250+ easily. And although you are only required to use the wood chips for the first 3-4 hours, I decided to keep up with the replenishment of the wood chips throughout the duration of the smoking process for that added wood smoke taste and... boy did the meat turn out great!! Just like anything, one will only get as much out of experience, based on the amount of attention and care put into it, especially monitoring it the first time it is used. This way, proper adjustments can be made and future smoking experiences will be much simpler as it did for me. I made it a successful first time experience for me and did not allow what I could not control bother me and instead, I did improvise and will make some minor modifications to my smoking process. However, Char-Broil should make a permanent design modification to not place the water tray above direct heat. Possibly leave the wood chips tray above direct heat then the water tray above the wood chips tray as I did. I am a Consulting Engineer, so may be we can talk to get you more sales on this product =).
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