I was interested in buying a couple of these – one for myself and one as a gift for my son. But, WHOA! When I read the Amazon reviews, I changed my mind.
In a nutshell, these units have a sordid history of having a temperature controller that is horribly inaccurate, a far too small wood chip holder good for only a couple of hours, poor smoke volume, too short propane hose or bent propane fitting, a lot of difficulty in staying lit, poor quality construction with missing parts, etc. (see pictures), arriving quite banged up, very difficult and time consuming assembly with no clear instructions, and if all of the above were not enough a hard to reach, indifferent, and unresponsive customer service.
Sounds like these units are built on the weekend night shift somewhere in rural China by disgruntled workers and were designed by an engineer who flunked out of school.
The unit is apparently quite large at around three feet by three feet and requires a lot of room as well as clearance from other things as the outside can reach temperatures of around 200°F. This last point is minor in my opinion, as most smokers get hot. I mean they are smokers after all.
But…other than that, there were a few comments saying that some people actually liked their units.
There might be a size difference, but I bought a very similar one of these for $125 last year. Pretty well everything you are saying to correct.
Also, once you start cooking you won’t be seeing through that nice glass.
I did a lot of reading before deciding on the Green Mountain smoker (compact Davy Crockett). I have to say that this brand NEVER showed up anywhere. Highly suspicious of something that no one knows about.
Pit Barrel Cooker or used (craigslist) Weber Smokey Mountain would be my choice but I’m old school…