What to do with my new smoker??

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by fireguy, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. fireguy

    fireguy Smoking Fanatic

    Hey all, As some of you read, I just got a new Chargriller pro.... Tommarow I plan on a few mods and then seasoning.. AS a first time charcoal smoker, I have afew questions... 1st off, I plan on startin with reg bagged charcoal ( I have alot), so how much shall I use and how often shall I add More to maintain a certain temp?? 2nd , What is the benifit to Lump??? and 3rd, I assume I start with the air intake and the smoke stack both open all the way, then close the intake to drop the temp, and at what point do you close down the smoke stack??? Thanks for any help, Trial run tommarow and hopefully have a smoke out on sat..[​IMG]
  2. ba_loko

    ba_loko Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Well, lump burns hotter. That will be a learning curve that you'll master soon. Yes, leave the exhaust open all of the way all of the time. The only time you close the stack is at the end of the smoke to (hopefully) salvage any lump you may have left burning. As far as the intake, well, you'll just have to play with that and get to know that smoker. I don't think any of us could tell you how to add and when, due to every smoker being different. Shoot, even your ambient temperature could make a difference, as well as current weather.

    The one thing I do know is that we want pictures though! [​IMG]
  3. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What Kev said.

    As far as temperature control goes, when firing it up, I would keep the intake open full until the temperature passes your desired more by 25-35 degrees; ie, if you want 225, let it rise to 250. Add your food and set the intake to 1/4 open. Monitor the temperature every 15 minutes for the first hour or so. Make small adjustments.

    I can't be more specific than that. Kansas is to the west of me and to the south of you, so I'm sure the airflow is way different there [​IMG] . (I'm sure AJ will be getting me back for that one!)
  4. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What Kev and Geek said! [​IMG]

    Now, smoke something!
    And take pics.
  5. bustedluckbarbq

    bustedluckbarbq Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Congrats on your new smoker... on mine the intake ends up around 1" open... exhaust all the way open all the time... to stay around 225... I tried closing everything at the end to smother fire out and save the fuel... it coated the lid inside the chamber with light black residue.... I dont do that anymore... when ya get her goin' - if ya need anything just holler!
  6. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeah, I did that too at the end of the curing run. Worked great on my old Weber kettle grill. But the Smoke N Pit leaks like a sieve. The next morning there was nothing left but ash in the firebox and yucky black crap in the smoke chamber (cresote, I would guess.) [​IMG]

    Now I just let it burn out.

  7. teeotee

    teeotee Smoking Fanatic

    As everyone else said it'll be a learning experience for a while. The curing process is a good time to find out how it will retain heat etc.

    While you're making the mods i would definitely be making a charcoal basket.

    Congrats and good luck. [​IMG]
  8. fireguy

    fireguy Smoking Fanatic

    Well just started seasoning and a trial run.... So far so good... Stuck in 1 chimney of charcoal at 12, stack and intake wide open, got to 200 by 1220 and has maintained 200 give er take a few Deg.. Since its not getting any hotter, I started another chimney of charcoal to add to see how the temp reacts..its a bit breezy, damp and cool out... Ill post some more later.

    Oh ya, thus far Ive only added 2 thermos, stack extention, and instead of tunning plates... for now I just turned over that half moon shaped grate in the bottom of the smoke chamber... seems to be holding a consistent temp all the way across... Also as everyone said that thermo that comes with the smoker is total crap...it will be fiinding its way to the garbage very soon.
  9. I did the same thing with the half moon shaped grate...just flipped it over, seems to work just fine as a pseudo tuning plate. You may also consider a wool blanket or moving blanket to help hold the heat in the cooking chamber. I use one all the time in cooler weather. See pics below.
  10. teeotee

    teeotee Smoking Fanatic

    Not sure if anyone else had this problem I tried flipping over my charcoal pan to use as a baffle and had problems getting/keeping the temp all the way up.

    Right now i'm using a foil oven liner and that seems to be doing ok. I have found something that i may buy this weekend to use as a more permanent baffle. Will post pics if/when i get it.
  11. teeotee

    teeotee Smoking Fanatic

    Joe, where did you get them funky wheels for yours ????
  12. I got them at harbor freight. They are 8" pneumatic tires. Here is a link for the 10" tires, they seem to be out of the 8" (online anyway). A former member posted a nice link to some mods and thats where I got the idea.

  13. fireguy

    fireguy Smoking Fanatic

    OK , guys.. need to pick some brains. I couldnt get my chargriller to over 230 deg... I had the stack and chimney fully open. the only mods were: 2 thermos, stack extension, flipped over the charcoal grate for a makeshift tunning plate. It held pretty consitent temps for about 1 1/2 hrs.

    Will raising my charcoal up allowing more air to the coals allow it too reach a hotter temp???

    Also, I noticed smoke coming out around the lid of smoke box... I assume there is a significant heat losss with that.. Would some of that high temp gasket be benificial???

    Or do I simpy need to add more coals?? I had 2 chimney fulls in at once..

    I plan on using some roy oak lump sat and smoking a loin and country ribs..

    could use some help before if availible.. thanks guys
  14. fireguy

    fireguy Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Ken, charcoal smoking is so new to me not sure of my self yet, I am most likeky over complicationg things.

    I will try Lifting the coals and adding more coals for my Sat smoke...

    I did use reg charcoal yesterday, will the royal oak burn hotter and faster???

    Any other Suggestions will alway be welcome...

  15. fireguy

    fireguy Smoking Fanatic

    Will try, the only prob is our Depot is really small and seems like they dont have what the bigger cities do. It is something I will def do as soon as I can get my hands on some.. thanks
  16. ba_loko

    ba_loko Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Fireguy, make sure the "knock-out" has been removed between the fire box and the cooking chamber. Often times it is missed during installation. Your opening should have a "football" shape to it. If you're wondering if yours is put together correctly, please take a picture of that area and post it.
  17. teeotee

    teeotee Smoking Fanatic

    I have part of a brick on the handle of my firebox to help it seal better. That helped, just have to remember to put gloves on before taking the brick off. Raising the coals should help, i found that when using the original charcoal grate that the ash falls through and chokes out the coals pretty quickly.
  18. fireguy

    fireguy Smoking Fanatic

    Geeeeeezee , give me little credit... LOL
  19. fireguy

    fireguy Smoking Fanatic

    Actually, the firebox seems real tight, the smoke chamber lid is where I see a good amount of smoke leaking out. But I like that info for possible futer issues.

  20. ba_loko

    ba_loko Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Well, no offense intended. As a matter of fact, my knockout plate was left in place for quite awhile before I figured it out.

    Good luck.

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