I sold my Horizon 16" Classic and I am looking at an upgrade. I have been leaning towards a Peoria Cookers Backyard 24"x48" model. The Horizon was a touch on the small side for me, and I think that this Backyard model will give me all that I need. Here is a link to the cooker: http://www.peoriacookers.com/custom-cookers/backyard-cooker.html . Here is my question....I am working within a budget and one of the options to add to this smoker is an insulated firebox. The main issue is cost. The cost to add an insulated firebox is almost $600. Is it really worth it? With the other options I am looking at, I am already looking at a total cost of a little over $2000.
I live in Central Illinois (about 15 miles from the Peoria Cookers factory). I may enter some small local competitions during the summer, but mainly this cooker will be used for family cookouts and football Saturdays and Sundays. I cook year around (except in subzero temps.....much like the last month!). I mainly cook with seasoned cherry, apple, and hickory.....all of which I have a fairly good supply. Can anyone give me some thoughts and their experiences with an insulated firebox? Is it worth it?
Thank you for all of your help!