The Live fire Difference and how we got here
How do you make the jump from set it and forget it coal burning to managing a live fire? For many (myself included) it starts with a drum smoker and gets fancier from there. When I decided I wanted to jump into stick burning I got myself an off-set and started the fine craft of fire management. Even though it took a lot of trial and error I fell in love with the flavor of stick burning and try as I might I could not duplicate the flavor on any other style of cooker. The problem I had was that staying up all night throwing logs on the fire was a bit of a challenge and very tiring, and it took a whole lot of charcoal to keep my big off-set hot all night. My drum certainly couldn’t handle the heat of a live fire for very long either. So there I was constantly trying to decide what I wanted more, superior flavor or sleep. Not to mention the capacity of my drum often fell short of what I was cooking on the off-set.
This is what drove me to create Ironside Smokers. I wanted live fire cooking in something that could easily switch to coal overnight. I also wanted a small footprint and capacity to match my off-set. I truly believe that our cookers fill this need. I’ve really enjoyed the flavor I get from stick burning in the Slugger and I love the ability to burn coal overnight. The frame design and thick American steel ensure that this unit can handle the high heat and fire it takes to produce that flavor. Side by side comparisons with my stick burner have been so close it’s hard to tell a difference, and I love that, and our customers love that! Some people may get one of our units only wanting to burn charcoal and that is great, but when they are ready to make the jump, they’ll be able to, and THAT is the Ironside difference! Over the next year you’ll see new products from Ironside Smokers, as we push what’s possible and keep our customers first!
Ironside Smokers is the creation of two long time friends (Pete Giese & Jeff Gaffney). We started competing in bbq competitions almost 10 years ago and have enjoyed every minute along the way. Our passion for cooking great food and building cool stuff, fostered Ironside Smokers. We're a small business that aims to do three things - make great products, leave every customer happy, and make a lot of new friends along the way. Our first cooker (The Slugger) arose out of our necessity to cook large quantities of bbq for our catering business, while occupying a minimal footprint. We figured if we had a need for a product like this, then so would lots of other folks. Although we chose The Slugger as our first product, we have lots of other ideas on the drawing board. We get a great deal of enjoyment out of coming up with new and creative ways to solve problems. So stay tuned.. We'll have more products out as time permits. Thanks for stopping by. Pete & Jeff