Barbecue is not the same thing as grilling.
True barbecue involves cooking meat over low heat for a long time – often for many hours. I have a grill (a Weber kettle), but having to manage the fire for hours isn’t a lot of fun. Smokers like the Weber Smoky Mountain start around $300 – and don’t even get me started about the Big Green Egg ($700+!).
And then I saw an episode of “Good Eats” where Alton Brown made his own smoker out of a hot plate, two flower pots, and a metal grill. The light bulb went on in my head. “I can do that!”
A Google search turns up many hits for “clay pot smoker” and I’ve benefited from their advice. One of the modifications I wanted to include was to move the temperature control outside of the smoker into a separate box so I wouldn’t have to disassemble a hot smoker just to adjust the temperature.
Note: I live in a condo and don’t have much in the way of tools or a place to work. All of this was done with just the hand tools I had on hand (mostly screwdriver, wire cutter/stripper, and electric drill).