I live in Santa Maria CA, where everything is grilled over an open red oak flame, with an adjustable rack, but I want some flexibility.
I have a buddy helping me build a Santa Maria style grill only with a cover, We are starting with a heavy gauge steel 20" pipe, and plan on using at a minimum 1/8" steel for the construction.
Anyways, on to my question. The interior dimensions of this thing will be approx. 30"L x 20"W x 30"H, and I want to be able to smoke ribs, briskit, and pork butt/shoulder. My first thoughts were to just weld a side box onto the side, and try my hand at charcoal/wood fire smoking, but I seems like a little too much babysitting for me...so I'm thinking propane.
I have two options here:
1. I can buy a propane burner like the King Kooker 25", and have my buddy weld it onto a side firebox. This would be the easiest and cheapest way to go, but the 54K BTU's seems like a little overkill, and having never smoked before, I'm afraid I might really screw it up, or be completely missing something.
2. I can buy a vertical propane smoker, weld it to side of the new pit, and cut a hole in the side to allow for the smoke/heat to enter the pit from the side, under the meat rack. I saw the Masterbuilt propane smoker at Sears, and it looks like it is pretty well put together, although a little thin. The idea here is that I could close the hole between the smoker and the pit, and use the smoker as designed...or I could open the hole, slide a steel plate into one of the rack locations to direct the smoke/heat into the pit, and use it as a side smoker. Basically the best of both worlds...or am I kidding myself. Having done a lot of grilling and BBQ in my day, but no real smoking, I'm looking for some advise.