My Char-Grill Mod Photos. Enjoy

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by caljr, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. caljr

    caljr Fire Starter

    Finally found the time and figured out how to post pics. Here is what I did to my Char-Grill.

    I attached the unused legs from the side fire box to the charcoal grate in the main chamber. Notice the right side, I bent the legs to fit directly over the bolts that are holding the side fire box on to the main unit. This also makes the side of the baffle closest to the fire lower than the far side which will allow heat to rise and evenly distribute.




    Here you can see the slight evevation from right to left


    This shows the pattern I chose to drill 1/4" holes in the baffle. Fewer holes on the fire side, more on the cool side.


    This is what the baffle looks like when in place. Fits flush on the fire side, just above the bolts.


    I fill in the spaces that are left with foil, forcing the heat through the matrix of holes in the baffle



    This shows what I used to seal the smoker better. My biggest compaint about this model is that it is not sealed well at all. I went to Ace Hardware and purchased 12' of "stove gasket" and the cement shown in the pics. I attached it to the front and sides in one continous piece on the outside. The back I attached to the inside of the top. I used a bunch of those black office alligator clips to hold it on overnight and then fired the grill really hot to set the cement. Make sure that you sand all the surfaces that the cement will touch on the smoker or it will not hold.



    Here is what I did to the stack.



    Added two more thermometers which I found at home depot for $7 each


    I could not find a charcoal basket for a reasonable price so I went to home depot and this is what I ended up with.




    And here she is in action!


    And all my hard work was well worth it.
     
  2. pinkmeat

    pinkmeat Smoking Fanatic

    looking good!
     
  3. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice demo with the pics! [​IMG]
     
  4. caljr

    caljr Fire Starter

    Its the "sizzle" that sells the steak, right!
     
  5. I would be leary of using plumbers tape for my charcoal basket. I suspect that there is galvinization plating on the outside of that that could burn off and end up on your food.
     
  6. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, I would bet Craig is right. Lots of people use bolts (non galvanized of course) or wire to hold the charcoal basket together.

    Wow, that's a lot of white smoke. If you're happy with the way the meat tastes, then roll with it. If not, you may want to try to reduce that to more of a thin stream of blue wisps.



    Remember, if you can smell smoke, you're smoking. You don't necessarily have to see it.

    Dave
     
  7. caljr

    caljr Fire Starter

    Good point. Maybe ill use some bailing wire to hold it together. There is alot of smoke in the pic. I was doing alot of testing of the seal to see where the leaks were and setting the cement that I used to attach the seal. I do admit I am still trying to figure out the proper settings for the damper and stack to reduce the smoke output. I am a self admitting rookie!
    Thanks for the feedback
     
  8. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow, you've done a great job with those mods. Congrats my friend.
     
  9. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    good mod job thanks for sharing[​IMG]
     
  10. bigbaldbbq

    bigbaldbbq Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Great job on the mods!![​IMG]
     
  11. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You'll want to leave the stack damper wide open whenever you're cooking. Use the intake damper to control the temperature.

    For a clean burning fire and thin blue smoke, you want a small HOT fire versus a large smoldering one. I see some pretty good sized hunks of wood on your rack underneath the smoker. Are you burning those for heat or using charcoal for heat and the wood for smoke?

    Great job on the mods by the way.[​IMG] I like your baffle design.

    We were all rookies once. I am by no means an expert. No explanation necessary. I am not judging you, just offering suggestions. If you're happy with the way you are doing it, just tell me to mind my own business and I'll leave you alone.[​IMG]

    Dave
     
  12. caljr

    caljr Fire Starter

    I have done 2 smokes since I got the thing a few weeks ago. My first smoke I used Charcoal for the heat and chunks for the flavor. This particular time I used the wood you see on the rack for the heat and the same chunks for the flavor. I was trying to figure out which will be more consistant as far as keeping a 225 to 250 degree fire. I didnt get much bark on my first smoke with the charcoal and the wood I did. I was not having much luck with the minion method. I open for ideas. Charcoal or Wood or both?
    Half of the fun is figuring this out so I enjoy the feedback [​IMG]
     
  13. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use lump charcoal as my main fuel, and then add in a chunk of wood every 30-45 mins for flavoring.
     
  14. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It is pretty difficult to burn actual wood cleanly in the smaller horizontal offsets. The fireboxes just aren't big enough to support a hot enough fire without driving the temps up too high. Now I know some people on here do it and I didn't say it was impossible. I just said it was pretty difficult.

    Most people with those types of smokers use lump charcoal for heat and wood chunks for smoke flavor. What kind of charcoal were you using?

    Dave
     
  15. graybeard

    graybeard Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Hey caljr. I gotta tell you that those thermometes you bought are true POS! (pieces of $hit). They are as bad as the one that came with your grill! 50 to 80 degrees in most cases. Get you a good one and also a good meat therm so you can get your butts to 200 to 205.
    BTW, using all wood should make good bark and dang near black, which is fine. You prolly bought those gauges @ Home depot or Wally World and that's where I would take them back!!
    I'M MAD AS HELL @[​IMG] CHAR-BROIL[​IMG] for selling such crap!~!



    beard
     
  16. caljr

    caljr Fire Starter

    I used Cowboy lump charcoal that time and after going to a real Smokers BBQ store they told me that stuff was crap and made from recycled furniture and things. I bought some good lump at their store for same price as the Cowboy. We will see how it works.
     
  17. caljr

    caljr Fire Starter

    I have learned where I live to use what I can find. Not too many options. I get my hickory chunks from Lowes. They carry a big 25 pound bag for a good price. I was trying to find a pic for you but I didnt see it on their site.
     
  18. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Amen to that, brother. [​IMG]

    When I was first starting and using charcoal in the SnP, people were always, and I mean ALWAYS, telling me to get some RO lump. No matter how many times I posted that RO lump was not available in my area, they were still telling me that. Not all products are available everywhere.

    Gotta go with what you can get and make the best of it.

    By the way, I don't think Cowboy is made from "recycled" furniture but I do believe that they use unfinished scrap hickory and oak pieces from furniture manufacturing plants. As long as it's unfinished then there should be no problems. Cowboy gets a lot of bad comments from a lot of people. The fiew times I used it I thought it had a very nice aroma to it. My complaint was the size of the pieces and the short (seemed to me anyway) burn time. The pieces are so light, it's like they cook most of the mass out of it. But, like you said, if you don't have many options, you gotta go with what's available.

    Dave
     
  19. caljr

    caljr Fire Starter

    My complaint with Cowboy is much of the same. Seemed to burn quickly and I hate how many small pieces there are that fall through the chimney starter. I did get Royal Oak briquettes instead of the lump for that reason. I was told that they are the same thing just formed unlike the lump. Mind you this is also from the same person that said Cowboy was from furniture. I have not smoked with them yet but look forward to trying them. Any comments on RO lump vs RO briquettes?
     

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