I'm going to work on my pit this weekend, I would like to be able to use it in a comp. I'm working on a plate where it's connected to the fire box. I've seen some that are only 12 to 14 inches with the exhaust lowerd to grate level. I've also seen the plate run almost all the way through the pit and the chimney moved to to the other side of the pit to make a reverse flow . Is it worth the work for the reverse flow?
As my dearly deceased old Daddy was fond of saying..Its hard to make a silk purse out of a sows ear. Which is similar to the elusive goal of which you seek. Best thing is load it up with firebricks from stem to stern in the cookchamber part..put them in under the cook grate in a V shape then stack as many as it will hold on the far end. If the big hole toward the firebox aint greatly diminished lay another up there to block it off till its about two or three square inches. Should hold about 22 bricks if you do it right. Carry the bricks around in five gallon pickle/chlorine buckets. Be careful on grass cuz the pointed feet tend to sink especially when it rains. Forget all that other non sense. Quit being a cheapie skate and buy a real pit.
Tried the stack lowering trick and could not tell it helped much of anything. Did reduce the amount of available cooking space on the cook grate. Not claiming it wouldnt help somebody else to do that of course. Just did not seem to make a notable difference to me.
I would lug it along. Seen many hit first brisket with such gizmos. Just plan on swapping ends with the brisket a few times. Shallow pan of water up next to the firebox helps block a good bit of radiant heat from the gaping hole. Cook with the firebox door open about an inch. Keep the dead ashes raked out from under the fire grate. Control temps with the cook chamber door. If the temps get wild prop it open a bit. Wooden wire brush was just the right size on mine. When the temp calms back down shut it fully.
As my old pal Belly Maynard was fond of saying.."It aint the pit that matters but rather the Pit Master." I believe that firmly but have seen them cheap offsets bang out a first place brisket a time or two too often