roger that, thanks
chargriller seal modification - Page 2
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- 123 Posts. Joined 1/2011
- Location: Omaha, Nebraska
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I've got tube sealant that was recommended on this site as well. How do you apply that - pics would be nice!
Namely, it's Silicones Unlimited silicone adhesive sealant 5005 (two black tubes).
How can I apply that to seal the smoke and holes in my char griller?
Edited by alexhortdog95 - 10/14/11 at 7:49pm
I drilled it from the inside and used a right angle screwdriver to hold the screws while I tightened the nuts. I vise gripped the angle iron to the tub to drill through both the tub and the angle at the same time. To apply the silicone I just laid down a bead and laid the rope on it. Any excess that squirted out I just wiped off. For some of the holes I used a short nut and bolt to seal the hole.
I did two burns and cooked a whole chicken, sprayed a full can of pam on the inside of the cooking chamber and it still smells like serious chemicals. I wonder should I remove it and apply another type of rtv?
Any pictures on how you gasket the backside (underneath the lid)? Is it the same way as the front and 2 sides? I can't imagine it would be.
Also, did you find it best to mount the angle iron channels and gaskets with the lid mounted or taken off?
Here's how the cooker started. Found this brand new on craigslist for $95.
So loving the fact that I'm a 5 minute drive away from Vasbinder's pit maker and 20 minute drive away from Pits by JJ.
Had David Vasbinder make me a new framed out charcoal grate and Jose make me a charcoal basket. Here's David's shop:
Added the aluminum baffle, a 12x12x6 charcoal basket, and a new 1" framed out 3/4" expanded metal charcoal grate 17" deep and the length of the internal cooking chamber cause the one it comes with is too close to the bottom plate and has no ash clearance. The new charcoal grate also doubles as a bottom deck food grate on the side that has no live charcoals on (I figure I'll always put charcoals only on one side to have hot cold zones)
The baffle is folded to come up just to the bottom of the grate, and with a half sheet aluminum pan, I made myself a tuning plate. Which I can put a water pan for heat sink if need be.
I attached a 5/8" Rutland gasket rope with Red Permatex Gasket Maker silicone to the back side to close up the gap between the bottom and lid.
Then I made a half inch angle iron channel around the front and sides and fill with Red Permatex silicone to seal those up. Tried to put the rope but 5/8" is too big and prevented the lid from closing properly. Needed the 1/4" size but for now this will do. You can also see how the triple decker set up now with the new bottom grate, the factory cast iron grate, and the warming rack.
I did a cook with this set up and while it was fine, I want to mazimize my cooking chamber space, so I decided to add the SFB and added a toggle latch secured by pop rivets.
Then I sealed the lid edges with red permatex. This worked well to seal the sfb from losing heat, although I'm not sure how long the red permatex will last on there being that it's so hot. I did 2 cooks with it and it has held up with minor needs for touchups.
This nex job is sealing the bottom edges of the sfb tray. After first cook I had to trim a lot of it back out cause it was not allowing the tray to close properly. The upper edges seal job was necessary though. Cause I found that openings on these will allow heat to escape there instead of going to the cooking chamber because of path of least resistance.
So here's the cooker after those mods, and I couldn't for the life of me get it to go past 180F on the middle grate (measured by a calibrated stoker probe), even with the vents wide open. My baffle was only covering the right third of the CC, so the smoke couldn't have drafted straight out of the chimney. I guess with all the sealing that I did, there's not enough air flow going into the sfb
So I took the Stoker fan out of my Lonestar Grillz, drill a hole with a hole saw bit in a wal mart 3.5" metal dog food bowl, and mounted the fan on the bowl and the bowl on to the sfb
Voila... (In Borat's voice) Great Success!! The Grate probe (Labeled 2 - Grate) is placed on the Cast Iron grate level, the mid length probe (Labeled Mid) is placed on the warming rack (which should be called the scorching rack cause the hottest point of the pit is at the top of the dome where the heat pools before it makes it's way out close to grate level through the 3" drier vent extension. The Short length probe (Labeled 2 - Short) is placed on the bottom deck (the framed out charcoal grate I added) and is the least hot part of the pit. I found that by targeting 240F on the middle grate, I can get 300-325 on the warming shelf for poultry, put briskets on the middle grate, and put ribs on the bottom deck at 225. Perfection!!
So in the middle of this test run, I got hungry, so I pulled out a frozen prime NY strip and placed it on the bottom deck (coldest grate) for slow thaw and reverse sear. I want to maximize the time it sits there for flavor and not have it heat up too fast. Threw a mesquite chunk on top of the charcoal basket in the sfb and let it ride. 30 minutes later, I can now insert the probe in it, spray canola oil on it and sprinkle my steak seasonings on it.
Meanwhile, I placed one of my cast iron sfb grate on top of the charcoal basket to let it scorch, and when the steak hits 100F, it's time to sear it. The aroma of searing steak is now intoxicating. I still place it a little to the side to prevent flareups.
I am one happy camper tonight that I now have two excellent cookers, and this new one turns to be the one that'll give me 4 hours of sleep run on an overnight cook. I tested each full load of charcoal basket to easily give me 4-5 hours of consistent 240F middle grate temp with stoker.
These are the only pix I got of the back. I just laid a bead of RTV along the back of the tub and laid wax paper over it and closed the lid. Remove the wax paper after it dries.
I put the rails and rope in with the lid on so I could get them positioned correctly.
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What you have done is fantastic! You came with great but simple ideas. I think that you can add extra insulation if you add an insulation blanket for the lid cover. I'm looking for some at internet but most are 1 inch short for the char-griller (29" and the char-griller is around 30"), so I'm thinking in buying the raw blanket materials and stitch one by myself.
I covered the bottom of the main chamber of my char-griller with oven fire bricks (8" x 1"x 4") and that helped a lot to reduce the fuel (like 15%). A con with the bricks is that they reduce the space inside the chamber. I was thinking in covering the inside (or the outside) of the lid with more bricks, but the grill is already too heavy as it is now and I don't want to use any plaster (for that end I better start building a pizza oven ), so instead of that I will try to use the insulation blanket and see how much extra fuel I can save.
Could you please comment in what was the difference in fuel consumption before/after you did the seal modifications on your char-grillers?
Thanks and again, congrats for your ingenuity and great ideas.