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smoke hollow 4-in-1 combo grill - Page 2

post #21 of 70
Man that's an awesome idea for the winter months. Like a dummy I never thought of using a welding blanket to insulate. Duh I even work in the maintenance department in manufacturing and weld. Guess when I'm at home I don't think of work related stuff. Thanks for the tip.
post #22 of 70

dpr3244- Wow-never thought about that aspect. Don't think so cos it (at least for me and another member I suggested it to) insulates to keep heat in. I would think it would continue to do so which might let you turn down your gas or close off some of your vents a little(but you need airflow) and use less gas or charcoal. The blanket is made of fiberglass and even tho mine is a white or blondish color and would reflect sunlight better than a black cooker, I would think it would still hold in heat. Might try to put the 4-n-1 in the shade out of direct sunlight. All my units are in the car shed here on the farm and there's alot of wind here in W.OK. You could try and just watch it. I'd think it might make the temp skyrocket. Like all say here, "trial and error". Let me know what it does in that latter case. Good luck.

post #23 of 70

dpr3244- Another thing to look at with the 4-in-1 is rust. After reading all the reviews from 3 different places that sell them the main issue people had is pre mature rust. The paint on them is very thin so any exposure to moisture and they will start to rust. For this reason I decided to give mine a good paint job with Rustoleum 1000* satin finish paint as I assembled it. I took apart everything that was pre built and painted all the painted parts except for the inside of the charcoal cooking area. Then if you read on the Chris G blog he mentions seasoning it both inside and out. He states he also does this every spring. With that and a cover it should last a long time with out the rust issue. I have mine all built and am hoping to season it this Saturday. Follow the mods on the blogs and you will have a pretty good smoker when your done. I have to say the Satin finish on my main cooking parts and high gloss black engine enamel 500* on the legs, lower rack, braces and fronts of the drip pans looks awesome. If it cooks half as good as it looks it will be well worth the money. I will post picks of mine once the weather here in Utah decides it isn't winter anymore. 27* and raining right now.

post #24 of 70
Thanks. I debated painting and may do so. Does the seasoning with vegetable oil keep the rust away? To do the outside just coat it and heat at same time as inside? Will that make the outside oily and nasty? Not sure my wife would allow that but makes sense. Which is easier to use to seal the seams, JB Weld or the RTV high temp? Thanks for the info so far, I'm really enjoying the sure.
post #25 of 70
Yet another question from a guy without a clue. I've read on here about people putting pans of water, rock, sand, clay flower pots, bricks etc in their smokers to help with heat control. Does this work with offsets as well? If I put something like a disposable cake pan or roasting pan full of sand or water or whatever under the smoker chamber grate will it help keep the temp where I want it? Thanks.
post #26 of 70

         dpr3244- In the Chris G blog he states he seasons it with Canola oil in the spray cans from Sams club. he says he sprayed it and then heated it for a couple of hours and then after it cooled he wiped the excess oil off. He has a link to a report of seasoning a BBQ by getting it hot and then spraying it. Here is the link to SSCRIB's blog http://blog.truthdialogue.com/category/cooking. The Chris G blog http://www.nibblemethis.com/p/smoke-hollow-faq.html. The post about seasoning the Chris G refers to is http://www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/calibrating_and_seasoning_your_grill.html. Like I said I haven't seasoned mine yet because I need the weather to get a little better but I assume the outside will not be sticky or greasy afterwords. I am going to do mine that way and see how it goes. I just want to protect my investment as much as I can so I can enjoy it as long as possible.Read the comments that are posted to the Smoke Hollow blogs, there is alot of great information in the comments as well as the blogs. I asked questions to SSCRB through his blog and he responded back quickly and gave great advice.

      As for the water pan I bought some foil pans at Sams club that fit perfectly into the charcoal tray. Dirt cheap too. 30 of them for around  $5. They are "Baker's and Chef's" brand" "half size aluminum steam table pans" (11 3/4"X 9 3/8"X2 9/16").

post #27 of 70
Thanks. I'd read the other blogs but not sure I'd seen the one on seasoning. Like you I want to make sure the grill lasts as it'll likely be a while before I can afford another. Hope your weather improves soon.
post #28 of 70

dpr3244- I don't know what it would hurt to season the outside. I would imagine they used the same paint inside and out and  if it seasons one side, it should season the other. At worst you might end up going to the car wash with it. I never even thought about doing it cos most grills, etc, have a pretty, shiny paint job on the outside but I  don't recall a smoker with one. I think most are flat black. Could end up being real weather resistant. Dad told me to learn everything I could in school cos the lessons were free. But when you get out on your own, every lesson you learn costs you money somehow or another and again, Dad was right! Only one way to find out.   

post #29 of 70
I'll definitely season the outside periodically. Who knows the oil may make it more rust resistant than paint.
post #30 of 70

i used 2 shipping blankets layered from harbor freight-  only issue was towards the firebox side they melted a bit.  be sure to leave a bit of a buffer between your firebox and where your blanket starts.  Oh- other trick- I just used a stapler to attach pieces of blanket together (i cut them to fit per se)

post #31 of 70
Cool. I know it'll be a learning experience and don't want it to be any more difficult than had to be.
post #32 of 70

I have had mine for about 3 month now, I am looking forward to the summer months when I will have the sun and summer heat to assist in keeping more stable temps, but so far I have smoked a bunch of stuff, like salmon candy, buck board bacon, chicken cordon bleu and it has worked great, I am still learning the quirks and tricks for this one but that was expected. I did purchase 16 feet of stove rope and some high temp gasket sealer and sealed the top of the smoker and side fire box. I have used some bricks in the fire box to raise the grate up off the bottom for better air flow and added a smaller wire grate so the charcoal won't fall through. I also added some bricks tot eh charcoal basket in the smoker box to help keep a more steady heat and I used a disposable aluminum pan cut, bent and folded to extend the smoke and block the direct heat on the fire box end of the smoker box, this forces the heat and smoke to travel farther across the smoker box and in my mind gives me a better heat and smoke distribution.

 

Like any smoker you have to play with it and learn what makes it work at it's best, as many have said it is not a $2000 smoker, you will need to work just a bit harder to get the job done but I knew that going in. I still love to see the faces of my friends and family when they see it, there are dents all over my deck from peoples chins hitting the floor when I unveil this monster. The gas side and sear burner are awesome for a quick steak or burger. All in all this is an awesome grill and is everything I expected and more.

post #33 of 70

thanks for the info.  I have very little mechanicl aptitude and am hoping to finish assembling mine this weekend if time allows (3 young kids and lots of work to do take a lot of my time).  The last post stimulated so more questions that I thought I'd post here as well as in the charcoal smokers general forum to try and get a better idea of how to do this stuff and learn something.  I've learned a lot so far and appreciate all the info people have given me so far.

 

1. I bought the Nomex gasket to seal the smoker and fire box, but keep thinking it might be easier to use a caulk type substance. I thought I'd seen some instructions where someone had used Rutland High Temp Sealant or Gasket Maker or something and I think they said they'd put a bead around then put a thin strip of wax paper on top of it and closed the lid to flatten. Is that as effective as the Nomex and how exactly would I do that. Also, where can I get the material to do that if it works well? that sounds easier to me than the Nomex and I'm thinking might be significantly cheaper. I was also worried about the sealant sticking to the lid and basically glueing it shut. If someone could give me some details (and even maybe pics) that would be a great help.

 

2. You mention the disposable aluminum pan. I'd read about the deflector plate and was concerned about the cost of it as well as a permanence of it as I plan to use the charcoal grill aspect of this as well as learning to smoke. With the disposable aluminum pan it doesn't sound like it'd be expensive and maybe wouldn't take much to put it in and take it out. How exactly did you do this and can you just quickly and easily pop it out? Has it made a pretty significant difference? Any pics?

 

3. I'm also curious about sealing the corners. Most of the stuff I've found online makes it sound like there are signfiicant gaps in the conrners of the chambers, as well holes between the charcoal and gas chambers. I see the holes between the charcoal and gas side but it appears there plates welded into the corners of the smoker chamber and I don't really see any open seams. It does look like the plates are just spot welded so maybe each side of the plate is where I should seal? Also, a lot of people suggest JB Weld as the sealnt, but would the Rutland (or other brand) high temp sealant/gasket makeer work just as well and be easier with no mixing? Also how do I seal the holes between charcoal and gas sides, they're probably 1/2 and inch to an inch square (I'm not great at estimating and haven't looked since last weekend so could be way off).

 

4. Do I need to seal the firebox and if so what do I need to seal? I've read that you need to and also that you shouldn't as it cuts back on airflow and am a bit confused. Opinions?

 

I appreciate your help and am really enjoying this forum. I may copy this and post as a thread in the general charcoal smoker forum as well to try and get more views as I'm clueless and can use all the help I can get. Thanks again and have a great weekend.

 

DeWayne

post #34 of 70

dpr3244- I bought the BGE nomex gasket that has the high heat glue already applied. It worked awesome going on but I haven't put heat to it yet so I don't know how well it will stay put. To me it just seamed better than trying to apply a glue and then stick the gasket down.

 

I used the JB weld to seal up both the fire wall and Smoke chamber. If you take a flashlight and shine it inside of the box's at the seams you will see how much light comes through. I was really surprised at the gaps revealed between the bottom and sides in the smoke chamber. As for the gaps between the gas and charcoal side I took some metal flashing and cut it a little bigger than the holes then used the JB weld and covered the whole thing and it sealed up nicely.

 

As for the not sealing the firs box because it would cut back on airflow, that doesn't make sense to me because you want to be able to regulate your air flow by using the damper on the door. If there are to many leaks allowing air into the box you are cutting down your ability to control the airflow and thus it will be harder to control your temps.

I also feel you on the working taking up all your time. I have only had 2 days off last month and I'll get 2 off this month. It's killing me because I want to be using my new toy.

post #35 of 70

The seals around the lid stay put as long as you dong get food on them and be careful when cleaning.  I used the gasket you can buy for the BGE on the smoke box and the gasket used for fireplace glass on the fire box.  I will use the fireplace glass gasket from now on, it is more durable, cheaper, easier to get and better seal.  Just remember to adjust the lid for the height of whatever gasket you use.

 

I used the high temp JB weld, after it set I sprayed it with oil and got the chambers as hot as I can to cure it good and to test for leaks.

 

I tried the bricks in the fire box, not sure about temp control but it did keep me from using  so much wood.

 

Got some surface rust over the break.  Scraped it down and applied some oil for now.  Wiped the whole rig down and stacked the fire box ready for quick start.

 

FYI, write down what you do each time you cook, like what wood used, outside temp, food type and other misc info.  I helps you to dial in the magical combo that made you cook the perfect meal.

 

I hunt.  And deer meat is a staple for our family but if you are like me, there isn't enough "juices".  Did some experiments and found that a 75/25 mix of deer meat/ 98% fat beef was a perfect combo.  I know most of you already mix it in but I found out something interesting with the 75/25 mix.  The beef by itself flamed alot and caused burning without attention.  The deer meat by itself didn't flame but was too dry for me.  75/25 was just as juicy as the 50/50 blend and there was little or no flames.  75/25 for the score and win.

 

Just some misc. stuff wanted to share.

post #36 of 70

"1. I bought the Nomex gasket to seal the smoker and fire box, but keep thinking it might be easier to use a caulk type substance. I thought I'd seen some instructions where someone had used Rutland High Temp Sealant or Gasket Maker or something and I think they said they'd put a bead around then put a thin strip of wax paper on top of it and closed the lid to flatten. Is that as effective as the Nomex and how exactly would I do that. Also, where can I get the material to do that if it works well? that sounds easier to me than the Nomex and I'm thinking might be significantly cheaper. I was also worried about the sealant sticking to the lid and basically glueing it shut. If someone could give me some details (and even maybe pics) that would be a great help."

 

You can use the Rutland brand, myself I was too cheap to spend that much cash, I went to WalMart's auto dept and got a tube of high temp gasket seal, ran a bead around the lid then placed my stove rope on that. I closed the lid put some weight on it and left it like that for several hours to make sure it was good and dry, it has worked perfectly so far.

 

"2. You mention the disposable aluminum pan. I'd read about the deflector plate and was concerned about the cost of it as well as a permanence of it as I plan to use the charcoal grill aspect of this as well as learning to smoke. With the disposable aluminum pan it doesn't sound like it'd be expensive and maybe wouldn't take much to put it in and take it out. How exactly did you do this and can you just quickly and easily pop it out? Has it made a pretty significant difference? Any pics?"

 

I saw pics of the more permanent style on some ones blog on here I believe, but like you I may want to use the charcoal side sometime so I did not want to permanently attach something that would prevent that. I just cut the corners so I could flatten the pan out, stuck part of it through the hole into the fire box and bent it so it would hold, then did the same tot he under side of the charcoal rack (which I have raised all the way to the top) it was not difficult and seems to work great plus I buy 50 of those pans at a time at Sam's Club because I do a lot of cooking and they are handy to have around so they are less than $.25 each that way I think, so if I mess one up taking it out I will just make another. I am about to put a 10lb pork butt on this morning for some pulled pork, I will see if I can get some pics that will turn out before I get it started.

 

As for your question #3, I have a couple spots that leaks very small amounts of smoke but so little I am not going to concern myself with them at this point, I think it is grill specific, depends on how drunk the welder was the night before he welded your grill. Mine must have stayed home the night before he made my grill :)

 

"4. Do I need to seal the firebox and if so what do I need to seal? I've read that you need to and also that you shouldn't as it cuts back on airflow and am a bit confused. Opinions?"

 

I sealed my lid just like I did to the smoker box with stove rope and high temp auto gasket sealer, other than that I left the rest alone, you will find that raising your charcoal grate in the fire box up on a couple bricks will allow more air flow, as for the bricks in the smoker side I am not sure if there is a ton of benefit but they have to help hold a little heat and in my small mind holding any heat is a good thing and I had the bricks so why not.

 

post #37 of 70
Thanks. Got my grill put together and gasket on firebox and smoke chamber today. Not sure if I'm going to do the jb weld or not as I don't see any real gaps around the bottom or corners so maybe I got a sober welder..:). Plan to season tomorrow and time and money permitting try a smoke maybe next weekend. Still need to extend the chimney and I guess block off holes in firewall between smoker chamber and gas side. Really appreciate all the advice and info here and look forward to more.
post #38 of 70

Okay, new here and I think I posted this in the wrong area, but I just purchased and put together the 4-in-1 and noticed that the tops do not fit properly on the gas or charcoal sides.  They do not sit on the base properly (it is almost like they are bent or something).  Is there a way to adjust the hinges or is that normal (there is about 1/4" gap on one side).  I am assuming that when I put the nomex seal on, it will be even worse.

post #39 of 70
I just did mine and after putting on the nomex seal I loosened all the hinges some, adjusted the lid until the seal was tight all around and then retightened the screws. Also might want to make sure to take out the rubber stoppers on the lids when you do the seal, I forgot that part at first. Planning to try mine out this weekend. Good luck.
post #40 of 70

option to consider- whatever gasket i used was fine- the recommended sealant dried quite brittle/rigid.  I put my gasket not on the lid, but on the actual part of the grill where the lid lays when its closed.  gravity helps the glue stay on a bit more while it is setting ;)

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