Ya'll got lots of maple trees up there in the frozen north. You get more heat from a wood fire than you do from charcoal. A horizontal pit is a stick burner, the hotrod of the BBQ world. If you want to get high performance from it... a nice even heat, stop putting regular in your tank.
I never met a Cow that I didn't like with a little Salt & Pepper! Certified PORK-A-HOLIC