Originally Posted by Guamaque
You are right on. You added thermal mass to your pit. Pre heating will eliminate the pause we speak of. The downside of this is that it is wasteful and not efficient to heat your pit / cooker to 400 degrees for 3 hours with nothing in them just so you don't get a dip or pause. The best idea is to work with the pause, as it is predicted and needed.
However, our published guest has made a " factual statement" as to the cause of the pause based on false science. This theory could have been made by a hobbyist with just a theory, but not a theory based on physics. The explanation for the pause is wrong. The site should not have published his theory as science, but just as an opinion as we all have them. Once you speak science, you need facts. And the data is clearly non scientific.
The thermal mass conservation theory is well established.
Well, I don't go as hot as 400*. I tried that a couple of times and had issues with getting the pit back down to my cooking temp. I will say that my target pre-heat temp is 30* or so above my pit temp so when the meat goes on, that cool mass of meat brings the pit temp down to my cook temp.
As far as those couple of hours of extra fuel in regards to wood and efficiency...there's always some thing to do during that time. It's all a matter of perspective I suppose!