Just bought new Smoker, need tips/help

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by daddyzaring, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. daddyzaring

    daddyzaring Smoking Fanatic

  2. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Seasoning is fairly simple. If you have a large quantity of the factory "goop" coating the inside I would suggest building a small fire just to warm things up a bit. Then wipe out the inside to get as much of the factory goop out. Some people also follow up with a good cleaning with something like Simple Green.

    Once you have it as clean as you want you can set up to season it. Easiest way is to buy a big can of PAM and spray down the entire inside, grates and all. Then build a fire in your fire box (recomend you get a charcoal basket), and get the smoker up to temp. (usually around 250-300°). Once you are up to temp., add 3 or 4 fist sized chunks of hickory every hour for at least 3 hrs. (I did mine for 5 hrs.). This is also a good time to learn how to controll the temps in your smoker.

    When you get done the inside should be a nice mahogany brown color and smell like a little slice of heaven!
  3. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    ^^Nailed it
  4. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Congrats on the new smoker [​IMG]
  5. daddyzaring

    daddyzaring Smoking Fanatic

    Are there any mods or anything like that I should do or consider doing?
  6. 5lakes

    5lakes Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member


    I almost bought the same one. I did choose a Char Griller that is quite similar. I'm slowly getting it ready. Still some snow on the ground so I'm making all the mods inside before I do any smoking with it.

    Not knowing what you might have done so far, here's what I have:

    This pic shows the back air blocker.

    The Char Griller has a gap of about 1/2 an inch between the bottom and top halves. This blocker (actually just a strip of metal used to cover a carpet edge by tile) is riveted in place. It touches the cover only when it's closed. You can also see the baffle and tuning plates, but here's a better picture of that.

    I also have some rope gasket between the firebox and cooking chamber to seal that area.

    Not shown (because I don't want to show the shabby job I did on it...) is the internal smoke stack extension that drops down to grate level. I'm going to do a better job in a day or two and can post a pic of that if you want.

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Someone will have an answer.[​IMG]

  7. daddyzaring

    daddyzaring Smoking Fanatic

    Okay just finished putting it together a little while ago, will season it tomorrow.
    Now what does a baffle do and what are the tuning plates for? It has an adjustable charcoal tray in the main part, is that as good as a charcoal basket, or did you mean for the smoker box?

    Just out of curiousity, would modifying the frame affect the rest of it? I was thinking of enclosing it with sheet metal for storage, and reinforcing the bottom rack with a sturdier sheet of metal? Oh, and replacing the wheels with some lawn mower wheels, or something beeter than the cheap hollow plastic wheels it came with.
  8. bobeque

    bobeque Newbie

    The tuning plates help distribute the smoke/heat from side to side.
    The other mod would be the extension of the stack to the grill. Usually with a 3" flexible duct.
    I would season your smoker, and try it un-modded before you change it.
    I charcoal basket is a must though.

    just my $0.02
  9. daddyzaring

    daddyzaring Smoking Fanatic

    A charcoal basket for the smoker box, or instead of the charcoal tray?

    Looking closer at the lid, it has somewhat of a gap, a 1/4 inch or less, any suggestion on what to use to seal it better? Also, how badly would I need to extend the stack down? It hasa a warming rack that is in the way of being able to do that?
  10. bobeque

    bobeque Newbie

  11. bobeque

    bobeque Newbie

    If you are going to use the warming rack, it might not be a easy. some people remove the rack when smoking so the flex tube is in place.
    With the char griller, there is a liner to use charcoal in the main body. Some people only have the warming rack then doing direct heat cooking. I'm not sure with the char-broil.
    From what i've seen, this is an important mod. the smoke will be on the meat longer before it goes out the stack.
    I might see a specific mod list for your model. i'll send it to ya if i do.
  12. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The charcoal basket is for inside the firebox. Basically it lets you load a larger amount of charcoal while keeping it from plugging up the air vents. Most people use the minion method with the baskets: fill the basket 2/3 to 3/4 full of lump charcoal or briquets, then light a full chimney of more lump/briquets and dump it into the basket once it is going.

    If you have a charcoal pan in the main chamber that hangs below the cooking grates you can flip it upside down and use it as a tuning plate. Basically you are wanting to force the heat to travel the length of you cooking chamber below grate level as much as possible before it heads out the stack. Other wise the firebox end gets real hot, and the heat (and smoke) go straight up out of the firebox to the roof of your cooking chamber and out the stack... missing the meat.

    Also extending the chimney inside the smoker down to the cooking grate level also helps to make sure that the heat and smoke travel across the meat before leaving the smoker.

    If your tuning plates are slightly lower than the opening to the firebox, a baffle is used to deflect the heat down under the tuning plates. Basically it is a piece of sheet metal attached just above the firebox opening that angles down and drops the heat under the tuning plates. Use cardboard to create a pattern and then get some sheet metal, tin snips, and rivets to cut out the baffle and rivet it to the smoker.

    If you poke around the charcoal smokers forum there are pictures and examples off all of this that will help give you a better visual. [​IMG]

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