Custom smoker is refers usually means A heavy duty smoker. Buy having a custom smoker they are thicker than the department store won. Thicker steel is important because that it holds heat and transfers much better. This makes smoking much les labor intensive adding and adding wood . Also the pit will last much longer. Those department store pits do not last long some can be rendered useless in one year. Falling apart and rusting away. They are cheap but they really do not get the job done. So it’s worth the investment.