Thoughts on Insulated Firebox?

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Aug 22, 2012
Central Illinois
Hi Everyone,

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: .  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!

I just ordered my new PCC 24x48 backyard model. I had the same question you had. I wasn't quite sure if it was worth the $600 for an insulated firebox. As a matter of fact I ordered mine Tuesday with a non insulated firebox. I had a hard time justifying the cost especially since I live in New Mexico and for most part weather has never really been a factor in controlling pit temps. Inexperience and a smoker that was not very air tight were my biggest issues till I joined this forum. That being said I could not help but worrying I was making a mistake that I would regret later. I have been saving for a nice custom pit for a while and it is going to have to last me a long time. This morning I called Sarah Beth and changed my order to include the insulated firebox. Although it put me a little over my budget I feel relieved that I will not be spending all that money and end up having regrets about my purchase. The other good thing is I have 4-6 weeks till the balance is due so I have a little time to save up the extra $$. I thought they were going to want all the money when I ordered it but they only required 10% down.

Anyway, just my thoughts and what I went through making me decision.

Good luck with your decision and your new smoker.

Thanks for the input. After reading what your thoughts, I agree, and think i am going to go the same route.  I have been debating this for several days now.  I plan on having this cooker for quite a while and hate the thought of having any regrets.  I have read nothing but positive reviews of the smoker with the insulated firebox.  In the long run, the extra cost won't be such a big deal.  So, I guess I fork the money over and go for it!

Good luck with yours.  I am sure we with both be happy campers :)

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