I tried posting this in the 'FAQ & How-To' forum, but I could not find a "New Topic" button. If it should be there, feel free to move it.
Many years ago when I had 4 kids, I owned a 'Smoky Joe' Weber grill, which I consider a very practical and relatively inexpensive beginner's grill. It served me well while my family was large. Now that I am 75 and the kids are long gone and we've moved several times, the Weber is no more. However, family members remembered our weekly BBQs and gave us a relatively expensive S.S. mini-grill (the Cobb Grill) which I have played with for awhile. It has some very nice features which make it practical for cooking for 1-2 people on its tiny 10 1/2" cooking surface - centralized briquette basket with efficient 10-11 briquette capacity, a primarily indirect surface which does double duty as a high-temp. grilling surface for steak searing, a separate food grate that sits ~1" above the heat radiating surface for indirect grilling, and a liquid seasoning/drippings moat that eliminates any possibility of flare-ups and keeps food moist. There are accessories such as a griddle, fry pan, wok, and extender for Beer-Can Chicken which all together fit into a handy, compact carry bag for 'Tail-Gating', Camping/Hunting/Fishing trips, etc.
However, (here come the negatives from my perspective) there are some shortcomings.
1. The small capacity ash collector is welded into the assembly - it is NOT removable. You have to wait until you are finished cooking before you can dump the ash.
2. Being of small capacity, you are limited to a 1 hr. cooking period - only 1 briquette/wood chip refill before the ash collector is full. This is no good for 3-4 hr. low/slow smoking periods.
3. The briquette basket is constructed of widely spaced S.S. wire allowing small coals and wood chips to fall into the moat ruining any potential use of the drippings.
4. The lid does not have a thermometer to help guide when briquette refills are needed.
Modifying the Ash Collector
I contacted the factory in S. Africa and special ordered an insert assembly with the ash collector/briquette basket holder un-welded.
The insert assembly includes a heat deflector plate and the ash collector/briquette grate/basket holder. The heat deflector must be removed to allow a removable, deeper S.S. bowl, by carefully grinding away the four weld spots. The loss of this heat shield only increases the bottom temperature from ambient to warm. After placing the ash collector/briquette grate/basket holder in the insert, mark with a marker pen around the base of the ash collector where it meets with the insert. This will be your cutting line. Add three 'Tabs' about 1/4" square 120* apart to this cut line. After cutting, these tabs will be folded over to retain the briquette grate/basket holder to the insert. The S.S. bowl replacement is a perfect fit and came from a 6 bowl S.S. bowl set I purchased from Target.
See next post for continuation of modifications.