Chargriller Question

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by itherrkr, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. itherrkr

    itherrkr Newbie

    I have the Chargriller Pro with the side firebox. I have had it for a couple of months. During this time I have struggled with getting/keeping temps in the 225 to 250 degree range. I have done the chimney mod, charcoal basket and these have helped alot. Thinking of the mod that seals the lid. When the wind blows I am totally screwed. Lucky if I can hold 150. Anyway, the actual question is, how are the temps affected by a cold outdoor temperature, say 32 degrees? I am assuming it is going to have some effect, can anyone tell me if it is a major effect, or a few degrees. I may take it up to our cabin this winter as well , but we could be smoking at about 0 degrees and that might be a bigger problem? Kent
  2. mcp9

    mcp9 Meat Mopper

    r u taking ur temps from the stock thermometer? if so, dont. its anywhere from 50-150 degrees off. im not sure about the outside temp question. im down here in alabama. it doenst get that cold.
  3. howufiga

    howufiga Meat Mopper

    Guess I got good one, mine is only 25-30 degrees off! :p I added two ebay thermometers at the grill level. Much more accurate. You can get Char-broil thermometers at Lowe's for like $6 a piece.
  4. itherrkr

    itherrkr Newbie

    It has been close at times and off 50+ degrees others. I have a thermo that sits inside on the grate.
  5. jond

    jond Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I agree with the comments re the stock thermometer, it's garbage, mine was (is) woefully inaccurate but have added new ones.

    I haven't done the chimney mods yet as vent pipe in the uk seems to be 4" plastic and haven't found anywhere cheap to get the pipe.

    What are you using for fuel? My lid fits like a carrot in a shirt sleeve but have closed the gaps off with foil whilst i try to obtian the permanent fix.

    Where do you site the probe? How do you have the chimney damper and air inlet set, when you adjust what do you change?

    I really *thought* i was struggling initially but now my problem is keeping the temp down with accurate monitoring. I may be completely wrong but the sealing on the lid or lack of it should in my mind provide more airflow to the fire thus increasing combustion and heat.

    I'm sure the experts will be along shortly to shoot me down but just thinking about the things i looked at and changed and trying to help.

    If you haven't already you may want to drop into roll call.


  6. dirtman775

    dirtman775 Smoking Fanatic

    stack mod.notice the strip on the side.
  7. dirtman775

    dirtman775 Smoking Fanatic

    one more, hope this helped.
  8. itherrkr

    itherrkr Newbie

    For fuel I am using lump. Based on what I have read on this site, chimney damper is wide open and I adjust with the air inlet only. Usually this is wide open or close to it. Occasionally, I can get to half open. My temp gauge is just a gauge I sit on the grate inside. I think I will be adding 2 holes and 2 temp. probes in the lid in the not too distant future.
  9. itherrkr

    itherrkr Newbie

    Dirtman775, I notice you purchased the same basket for charcoal as I did. I took mine and cut off the ends leaving about a 1/4 inch in or so remaining. I then put the basket in sideways in the sfb through the top. Fits great resting on the existing grate rests and I can remove the ash pan to dump the ash if it gets too full, without screwing with the coals. Wondering how the bottom of the basket will hold up over a long smoke though.
  10. dirtman775

    dirtman775 Smoking Fanatic

    i've had mine for 1 yr and a half and still holdin up.
  11. itherrkr

    itherrkr Newbie

    That is good news!
  12. dirtman775

    dirtman775 Smoking Fanatic

    even if you have to replace it, it's not a major dent in the wallet.
    Happy smokin.
  13. fireguy

    fireguy Smoking Fanatic

    Are you using briquets or Lump?
    And how much of it are you using?
    Are you using some lit and some unlit in your basket?
    And Do you have the intake and stack opened all the way ?

    these things will all effect the temp a great deal... also might try another thermo.

    I sealed mine up only for the cold windy winters, and it works good with a few other mods.

    Hope this helps!
  14. jond

    jond Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    OK, in my very limited experience i would suggest:

    1, Do a search for the Minion method

    2, I concur re chimney damper being fully open and controlling via air inlet

    3 Look at getting a remote thermometer, how often are you opening the lid? Rule 1 is smoking takes time, you don't need to see it just smell it. I have a Maverick ET-73 which i love and allows you to know the meat and chamber temp without lifting the lid. When you open the lid you get a big drop in temp, with good monitoring you can open when required to spray or mop. you also know when to adjust the dampers.

    4 Adjust the damper by halves, if the temp shoots up close by half an opening and monitor, if still high close by another half. The same rule applies for low, write down what you did and when as it will help you learn your smoker.

    5. All of the above i have learnt here and applied and trust me i'm still very green but confidence is gaining now i can control the thing ;) ish.. lol

    Above all enjoy, this is beyond cooking IMO its Alchemy :)

  15. lostarrow

    lostarrow Fire Starter

    The chargriller is a good warm weather smoker. It's hard to keep temps up in the winter. The ambient temp greatly affects the lid thermometer as it measures the lid temp not the internal air temp,in the summer my lid temp will read 175 while my 2in therm read 100 (without a fire).What I suggest in the winter is to smoke on the chargriller for 4 hours foil and finish in the oven at 250
  16. motorhedd

    motorhedd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    For cold weather like you are talking a welding blanket over the cooling chamber will my experience briquttes like to crap out rather quickly and choke on ash...lump is the way to go.I also have a small galvanized garbage pail that fits nice under the sfb so i can pull the ash pan and dump the ash.Hope that helps a lil.
  17. smoke freak

    smoke freak StickBurners

    Here is my .02 ........
    I burn wood. I have no problems with temps even when its well below freezing. In fact I like the cold best cause I can build a slightly larger fire making it a little easier to maintain. Since I am tending a relatively small fire, I add unlit coals from time to time to keep the bed of coals where I want it. Helps maintain temps and helps with ignition of the next addition of wood.
    However it sounds like most here are just using lump and ckunks with good results. Keep trying different stuff till you find what works best for you.

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