This is a picture of the bottom of my charcoal pan. I drilled a series of holes, using a strip of paper as a guide, from small to the largest drill bit as I had in my box. If I could have, I would have made them even bigger so that they don't clog with ash as easily. I also made the fancy pivoting cover and brace out of a pie tin that was sacrificed to the barbecue gods (it must be an Apple, Cherry, or Pecan pie to appease the bbq gods since hickory and mesquite pies don't taste as good) The natural "bend" in the rim of the pan makes for a nice handle on my cover (bottom of picture). I used stainless steel bolts, washers, and nuts (practice with paper first so you know how it's all going to fit, THEN cut your pie tin). After I had my pie shape cut out, I folded over the edges with pliars so that it would be a bit more firm and less sharp. The brace is placed so that one "stopping point" of the pivot completely closes the vents. (otherwise, you'd never know when your vents were closed)
As you can see, one of my mods is to add the fancy vent cover to aid in fire/temperature control (it's really crude compared to a WSM, but it helps). The other mod I've done is:
- see how nicely they form a "channel" of air going down the center of the pan? Yes, I do sacrifice some fuel space, but I also get 5-hours of "relatively stable" burn temps. (Also, I'd normally have the pan filled to the top with coals, but this was just set up for demonstration)
That's it for firepan! You could theoretically stop here and you've made the most important mods.......nah, lets see what else we can do.
Almost done....now to the COMPLETELY optional stuff (Modifications 4 & 5).
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