direct smoker vs side box

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pitmasternmakin

Newbie
Original poster
Jan 30, 2011
12
10
South Western KY
Ok , What I have learned about smoking is from my uncle.  I have cooked on a concrete block pit where I built an oak slab fire and transferred hot coals to the the pit. The coals are about 24 inches below the meat.  I cook between 185 and 210 degrees.  This does work well and seems to be the most popular form of smoking in this area. Although fuels, temps and cooking times do vary.

Cooking this way does seem to let the temps go up and down between refueling.

The question is for you folks that cook with a side box fire pit.  Is it easier to maintain steadier temps with a side box type cooker? It seems that the major majority of professional pits are built with the side box fire pit. is this because it is the best way to smoke or ???

Thanks for your comments
 

tyotrain

Master of the Pit
Mar 31, 2010
2,407
19
Upstate new york
Ok , What I have learned about smoking is from my uncle.  I have cooked on a concrete block pit where I built an oak slab fire and transferred hot coals to the the pit. The coals are about 24 inches below the meat.  I cook between 185 and 210 degrees.  This does work well and seems to be the most popular form of smoking in this area. Although fuels, temps and cooking times do vary.

Cooking this way does seem to let the temps go up and down between refueling.

The question is for you folks that cook with a side box fire pit.  Is it easier to maintain steadier temps with a side box type cooker? It seems that the major majority of professional pits are built with the side box fire pit. is this because it is the best way to smoke or ???

Thanks for your comments
The side box is set up that way for a indirect heat source. sounds like your pit is set up with direct heat were the heat source is right under the meat.. On most good side box smokers or ones with good mods you can hold steady temp really well.. hope this helps..
 

smokermark

Meat Mopper
Nov 15, 2010
265
15
Rural Nebraska
It's all good! You're likely to get lots of opinions about which styles/methods are "best". I can only speak from my own experiences. The cooker I use is an offset with the firebox-grill directly offset the barbecue smoking chamber. I like cooking with it because the uniform temperature and fairly simple management of the heat using charcoal and wood chunks for the barbecuing I do. It's relatively efficient in fuel use. I have a temperature range of use from 200-400 deg. and can move it if necessary. So, if you're cooking as low as the 185 degree range, I'm going to struggle with that or maybe make some modifications to do it. I do know this whatever you cook with irregardless what type you use the experience you have using it accounts for a lot. I would be lost barbecuing in a mortar setup but that sort of setup is intriguing to me.