Highly Modified Char-griller Pro with Side Fire Box

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by tom c, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic

    Sealing the gaps between top and Bottom of smoking chamber.

    I used roofing flashing, cutting and bending it as needed.

    For the sides

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    I used pop rivets to attached it to the top

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    Bending the flashing for the rear.

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    I attached it to the bottom of the cooking chamber, I first tried to attached it to the top but had problems

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    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  2. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic

    Insulating the cooking chamber.

    For the top and bottom of the cooking chamber I lay out 4 sheets of HD foil 12.5 feet long, on top of each other, I then folded the one edge over twice to seam all 4 layers together. Then folded 2 of the layers open giving me 2 layers of foil 12.5 feet long and 32 inches long, which is 2 inches longer than the cooking chamber. I marked the 12.5 feet length at 32 inch marks, this is the radius of the cooking chamber. Folding the foil at the 32 inch mark I ended up it a mat that was 32 inches wide by 32 inches long, and 10 layers thick.

    For the top of the cooking chamber I rolled the mat into the top and cut a hole for the smoke stack. Because the mat is 32 inches wide and the cooking chamber is 30 wide the edges over lapped to the sides of the chamber.

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    For the sides of the chamber I cut half circles of 1/8 SS sheets the size if the sides. I uesd the bolt that were there for the warming rack to attched the rear of the  half circles and added 2 1/4-20 bolts to attached the front. 

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  3. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic

    To help retain heat when the chamber is open I added mass to the lower part of the chamber.

    Before I added my 10 layer mat the lower section I installed a aluminum angle to each side of chamber. I then lay the 10 layer mat in place.

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    I then added two rows of fire brick.

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    and one more layer of foil that can be replaced for cleaning.

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    The charcoal tray fits resting on the firebricks, I then added Grillpro grill bricks.

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    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  4. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic

    For a heat buffer I am using a 11x13 cake pan as a water pan. I place it 1/2 inch from the side to allow some of the heat to come directly into the chamber, but most of the heat travels below the pan. The pan is placed on two pieces of a fire brick cut length ways in half. A  fire brick is placed at each end of the water pan to block heat.

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    The rest of the chamber is filled by a heat sink.

     

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    Another view of my heat sink, 2 1/8 steel angles bolted together.

     

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    When I am cooking chicken thighs I remove the heat sink and water pan and add a heat baffle that bolck the heat and forces it to the top of the chamber. This allow the cook with heat only coming from the top of the chamber.

     

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    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  5. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice mods! So what type of burn times do you get out of one load of charcoal on that thing? Looks like you did a great job of sealing it up and adding all the thermal mass should make it very steady on temps. [​IMG]
     
  6. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic

    After doing these mods I found the the cooking chamber would warp as it heated. I had to use a rope to get the chamber to seal when it was hot.

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    I solved the problem by adding laches to each end of the chamber. I also added one to the fire box it works better than the high gasked I tried.

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  7. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic

    I had my doughts if all this would work. I am thrilled with how good it does work. With the inside of the cooking chamber at 231 degrees the outside of the chamber is only around 125 degrees.

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    You can place your hand on the outside with no problem with the inside at 275..

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    The temp is within 5 to 10 degrees through out the chamber.

    These pics are the temps of three Pork Butt they stay within 5 degrees through a 10 hour cook.

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    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  8. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic

    Quote:
    Five to six hours with one load of charcoal. If I am going to be doing a long cook like Pork Butts I made a propane pipe burner.

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    To use propane I just swap out the charcoal ash tray.

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    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  9. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic

    I added wheels because with all the weight trying to move the smoker was a pain.

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  10. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic

    Added a hot plate on the top of the fire box.

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  11. big twig

    big twig Smoking Fanatic

    Very impressive!
     
  12. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic


    When I first bought this unit I was disappointed with the amount of fuel it used. Now with the mods I use about 3 pounds of charcoal and ten chunks of wood for a 6 hours cook.
     
  13. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    So It's safe to say your not running in the stock class then ... eh.. If so I'm protesting... LOL.. Nice job.. well done
     
  14. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic


    LOL, if you look at my sig I list it as "TsG Custom (Highly Modified, Char-Griller Pro, with side Fire Box)"
     
  15. tom c

    tom c Smoking Fanatic

    Another trick I have learned is to boil the water before I add i to the water pan, so I don't waste fuel heating the water. I use the blue coffee pot with my Turkey Fryer propane burner as the charcoal is getting hot. After the fire box is hot, I place the coffee pot on the hot plate so the water is preheated if I need to add any more.

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  16. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Those are some awesome mods you made Tom!

    Your a very talented guy!
     
  17. Nice job on those mods Tom. Wish I had the ingenuity to do something like that.

    If so I would probably have 3 or 4 smokers around my house. lol

    Mike
     
  18. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Way to go Tom!  Great mods, and lots of hints and cool photos! [​IMG]
     
  19. Wow - ok, very impressive.  I wish I had some free time and some talent at metal working that like.  thanks for sharing.

    DW
     
  20. Hi Tom,

    I'm a new kid on the block and I dig the mods you did here a lot.  I have 2 similar Char Broiler BBQ's that I intend to mod and this looks like one path I can take for sure. 

    I have a couple of questions for you if you don't mind me asking.

    Q 1:

         Do you have to use SS pipe for the Gas Burner Mod or can I just use regular Black Steel pipe that I get at any local hardware store like Lowes, Home Depot, Ace, Orchard etc etc?

    Q 2:

         Where do you get the Ceramic Tiles and how much are they $?

    Q 3:

         Same as Q 2 but for regarding the Fire Brick?

    Thank you,

    N2 BBQ
     

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