Last week I upgraded from a "vertical" charcoal water smoker -- which had turned out pretty good product (pork barbecue, mostly) but didn't allow for much heat control -- to a low-end "horizontal" smoker, basically a grill with a firebox on the side.
And the new unit is not performing. I treated it first with oil, as the directions called for, but the smoke generated by my hickory is kind of funky. And the cooking chamber doesn't seem to get hot enough, since even when the thermometer reads about 300 (higher than you're meant to go) my food can go hours without seeming to cook much at all.
Am I doing something wrong? Should I try to rig a water pan? (It doesn't look like there's space for one.) Treat the metal again? Get a better thermometer?
Thanks in advance for any advice,