So there you have it, a working smoker made from easily available parts.
Here's what I spent:
Trash Can w/ lid: $12.00
Electric Hot Plate: $13.00
Wood Chip Box: $10.00 (actually, I already had this, but they are cheap if you need to buy one.)
Temperature Gauge: $9.00
So for just over $50, you can build a smoker.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.