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Gotta Have It - Cast Aluminum Fireboxes
There are a lot of factors that make a barbecue great. One of those factors is its ability to retain heat. the major player in the heat retention capabilities of the barbecue is the firebox. Frankly, it only makes sense since this is where the source of your heat is.
A barbecue's firebox is where the magic happens. A well designed firebox will be constructed to turn the radiant heat from the burners and grills into convective heat creating an oven inside the barbecue. Yay, science!
The Best Firebox Construction
Over the past 38 (!) years of selling barbecues in Canada, we have become convinced that the best material for a barbecue’s cooking chamber is cast aluminum. Won’t rust, won’t tarnish and holds the heat better than steel. Ideal for harsh Canadian climates. When shopping, cast an eye (see that?) on the construction of the cooking chamber before you make your decision.
Most barbecues will have some element of cast aluminum construction in the cooking chamber. It may be just the end caps, the basin, or the lid. This part of the barbecue often has the best warranty, because cast aluminum is darn tough.
What about stainless steel?
Some of you are probably asking "if cast aluminum is so great, what's all the hubbub about stainless steel"? Yes, people still say hubbub, okay. Look, we're not saying that stainless steel isn't great. It's just that the quality of stainless steel used is so different from brand to brand.
If you're opting for an all stainless steel firebox, make sure it's double-walled! Otherwise, your barbecue is going to leak heat like a sieve. You should also make sure that it is 304 grade stainless steel. The gauge will also make a huge difference. The thicker the steel, the better its heat retention abilities.