I am well versed in cooking but just getting started in smoking.I have a party to put on in October in the woods of N.W. Florida that I want to smoke some butts for. We are looking to serve somewhere around 250 people. I do not have a smoker as of yet and want to perfect my technique on the same or very similar smoker as the one I will be using. The research I have done shows that I am able to build one out of cinder block with a firebox it. I will already have a truck and trailer full of other stuff for the weekend so cinder block seemed compactable and cheap. I thought of using gas as my heat source and just put wood to it for the smoke. I have a couple of burners which should work with some minor changes. Gas because it allows me the ability to kinda set it and forget it. The concerns I have with a firebox will there be enough heat getting to my cooking chamber? Does my heat source need to be in the chamber and just keep the meat away from it? I have gathered enough info to know I need to ask some questions so here I am! I am not set on the cinder block idea but what ever I take needs to be inexpensive, portable and able to travel well. It would be nice to have a big fancy smoker on wheels but I am not willing to go through the expense of getting one to use it once in a while.