Insulated Fire Box vs. Thicker Metal

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Big Frog
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Insulated Fire Box vs. Thicker Metal

Postby Big Frog » Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:23 pm

First post, figured you all would be able to help me out in my decision.

I'm having a pit custom made. 72"x28" chamber, one door (ability to smoke whole hog), offset firebox, warming box on top, reverse flow.

Here's my question: The firebox is 1/4" thick and smoking chamber is 3/16". I've got it in my budget to do one last upgrade: insulate the firebox OR bump up the whole chamber to 1/4". Both upgrades cost the same.

1- Which would y'all recommend?
2- Is 3/16" in the chamber good enough?

(I live in Fort Worth FWIW)
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Re: Insulated Fire Box vs. Thicker Metal

Postby TX1911 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:29 pm

I'd go with the 1/4" chamber, personally. I think the benefit of the thicker chamber will exceed the insulated box with a thinner cooking chamber.
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Re: Insulated Fire Box vs. Thicker Metal

Postby TX1911 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:29 pm

Oh, and welcome! Drop by the new members section and say 'hi' when you get a chance!
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Re: Insulated Fire Box vs. Thicker Metal

Postby Notorious Q.U.E. » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:31 pm

I'd have to agree that the cook chamber will be the biggest surface area from which to lose heat. Good analogy is if you're heating your home and you have a choice to close the front door or the garage door to minimize heat loss, you're gonna go where the money is with the bigger are of heat loss.

1/4 cook chamber would be my vote. Welcome. Even though I'm not Texan, I lurk around here as a token Coloradan.
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Re: Insulated Fire Box vs. Thicker Metal

Postby k.a.m. » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:54 am

Upgrade the cook chamber to 1/4". If you are not going to be introducing heat/smoke into the warmer then the firebox will be your heat source for the warmer. If you insulate it you will not get warm enough to hold food properly.
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Re: Insulated Fire Box vs. Thicker Metal

Postby Big Frog » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:32 am

Thank you all for your input. (Resetting and assuming I can't afford the upgrade) Do y'all have any opinion on 3/16" in the chamber?
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Re: Insulated Fire Box vs. Thicker Metal

Postby TX1911 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:38 am

It's acceptable. Not ideal, but it's better than most store-bought.

My personal opinion, and take it for just that, is that if you're spending the money to have this built, spend a little more to get the thicker walls. Last thing you want is to have it built, get it home, start cooking on it, and start having regrets.
Again, your mileage may vary.
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Re: Insulated Fire Box vs. Thicker Metal

Postby OldUsedParts » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:38 am

I'm a novice and no way a builder but may I ask if you have done anything to improve the insulating qualities of the chamber :?:
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Re: Insulated Fire Box vs. Thicker Metal

Postby Big Frog » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:47 am

OldUsedParts wrote:I'm a novice and no way a builder but may I ask if you have done anything to improve the insulating qualities of the chamber :?:


No, nothing's besides contemplating the extra 1/16th in thickness.
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Re: Insulated Fire Box vs. Thicker Metal

Postby OldUsedParts » Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:49 am

My thoughts would be why upgrade thickness and not make it as air tight as possible ? Even if it was made from 1/2" stock it has to hold heat to produce proper temps that last the needed time. :dont:
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Re: Insulated Fire Box vs. Thicker Metal

Postby Notorious Q.U.E. » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:14 pm

I've got to agree that the holding of heat in the cook chamber is what churns out the best Que. Even if you have to delay fabrication, I've got to agree with the other posters that thickening the cook chamber walls is worth your while.
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