Re: Sealing my new pit
HAVE to? No, there's plenty of pits that turn out good BBQ that aren't sealed.
But, as if you say, there's "ton of heat loss", think of all the fuel (and $$.$$) you could save if you did some sealing. Aluminum foil packed into the leaky spots can be a quick and pretty inexpensive temporary fix to see what kind of benefit you could expect.
Having said that, I'm not the best person to be giving advise on sealing pits, 'cuz mine are already air tight,
The Battle Wagon used on the BBQ Pitmasters Show "Chicken Wang, Chicken Wang, Chicken Wang" NOW lives in O-Town, Floriddy
Stump's Smoker "Baby" (Pretty in Pink)
Stump's Smoker "Tailgater"
Stump's Smoker "Monster" (01/08/2013)
Weber Smokey Joe (Homer Simpson Edition Mini BGE