CB American Gourmet Temps & Mods

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by dan of the highlands, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Hey folks,
    The Char-broil American Gourmet was my first foray into the off-sets, much less a pure smoker of any kind. Before that I was all about grilling on Weber kettles. The CBAG can do a successful smoke, but now I understand only too well about its limitations. Here is a pic of my little corner of the yard. You can see that this CBAG is pretty small sitting next to the Weber.

    With the chambers being only 11" wide there is not a lot of room for mod work. I have recently added a baffle and a tuning plate, but now I am having difficulty getting the temps up to 225. Below is a shot of the baffle and the dirty tuning plate... baffle is 16 ga. and tuning plate is 18 or 22 ga. I think.

    ...and a shot without the tuning plate...

    You'll notice that I bent the baffle to act as a ledge for the tuning plate. The tuning plate plate is bowed down in the middle to direct the grease down to the drip can. Well, at least that was the intent. Some scrap cement and brick were put in the bottom to try to stabilize temps a bit.

    Looking at the two photos below, you get the idea that I could shorten the baffle by an inch or two maybe....

    What d'ya guys think? Here's another view from the firebox side...

    I could take some off by cutting straight across the two middle holes. I just bought 3 new 12 ga. plates that I was thinking to cut to the right size and use a tuning plate sections. That would be easier to adjust that the one peice plate that I had above. I was trying to approximate the Horizon tuning plate but it involves too much guess work when it comes to drilling the holes.

    What do you guys think?
  2. pinkmeat

    pinkmeat Smoking Fanatic

    I think you're covering up the hole there...and restricting the heat flow significantly. All you need to do is force it downward. I think it is noticeably blocked by the size of the baffle.

    What if you bent out that baffle at a 45? would your tuning plate still work...or heck, since the cooking chamber is so small, you may not even need a tuning plate. It may restrict more than it helps.
  3. guvna

    guvna Smoking Fanatic

    pinkmeat said it right. try taking out the tuning plate and bend that baffle out at a 45 degree angle. you'll probably use less fuel as well.
  4. roadrunr

    roadrunr Meat Mopper

    you completely blocked the flow..put the baffle at a 45 just enuff to redirect the heat down. tuning plate, n my opinion ( for what its worth ) isnt doing ya much good on that little guy. use the baffle, and maybe a water pan should be good to go..
  5. Thanks Guys. I guess I'll start with the baffle change that ya recommended next weekend and do a test run with just that. As small as this smoker is, it does get about 50 deg. hotter by the fire box with the mods I had there. Frankly, I think I also lose a heck of a lot of heat via the top of the firebox. I don't know why they dont mount the firebox lower. Seems like it would help the draft and provide more convection heat rather than radiant.
  6. I think every one is right, adjust your baffle. It looks like it is down far enough to restrict alot of heat. Probably why fire box is so hot.

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