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Chargriller Duo with SFB assistance needed

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Howdy......

 

I'm a newbie.  I recently purchased a Chargriller Duo w/sfb.  I've made a few mods, (extended stack to grate level, sealed the leaky spots, and made a Coal crate for my SFB.  I've read several posts on this forum regarding Mods to aide in evening out the heat from the SFB to the Cooking barrel.

 

What's the definitive modification I can make to my Duo to even out the cooking temps?  (Water bowl, tuning plates, baffle)

 

I'd really appreciate any suggestions, pictures, directions, etc.  This is the only thing that's standing between ok BBQ, and great BBQ.  (at least I hope....lol)

 

Thanks......Smokeysteveo

post #2 of 13

I have this very same unit. Allot of people have built baffles. I chose to flip the charcoal bin upside down and raise it up till its arch is pretty even with the SFB.This method gives me fairly even heat temps at grate level(05-10 degree difference). The only real drawbacks are there is no room left for a drip pan and if you ever want to use it for pure coal grilling you'll need to either clean it or burn it off. I wrap mine with tin foil before smoking so I can just toss the foil away. I also didn't build a mesh coal holder for the SFB. I burn on the top set of grates. It seems to work fine for me. I don't smoke every week - maybe twice a month or so. I have done butts, ribs, brisket, meatloaf, roastbeef, and boneless turkey breasts. All have come out wonderful. The Duo does need to be tended to, but that's have the fun. I normally check mine once an hour or so in the summer and twice an hour in the winter. Judging by your "howdy" I'm assuming that your from the south so winters may not be an issue for you. Up here in Vermont it's -21 degree presently and we haven't even reached our cold months  It's definitely not a set-it-and-forget it smoker. Have fun and keep on smoking in the free world.

 

Edit: Don't rely on the therms they give you as they can be way off. Do yourself a favor and buy a good thermometer. I have found that mine are consistently 25 degrees off on the low side so I only use them as a quick gauge. A water pan isn't needed as it's only real purpose is to add mass to the griller so it holds temps longer. I personally don't think that it adds moisture. One last note remember internal temp is the key to great Q don't rely on time it's just a reference.

 

 

Chris
 


Edited by gmc2003 - 1/3/13 at 6:20am
post #3 of 13

Steve, morning......  Tuning plates or a baffle would be a good start.....  I recommend when installing either of those, have the plate tight to the firebox end of the cook chamber, and have it above the opening to the firebox...  Not exactly sure how much space below the cooking grate to the top of the firebox opening...  you don't need much... the plate will radiate heat to the grate anyway....  Here is a drawing to explain my thoughts better.....  The plates can be spaced to adjust the heat at the cooking grate.... 1 or 2 plates can be used as a heat deflector to move the heat....   You may need some sort of brackets to hold the plates up near the grate....   It is important to keep the plates above the firebox opening.....  If the opening is above part of the grate, it can be blocked off to a level where the plates start.... 

 

There's one approach.... It may be time consuming and cost a few bucks but the improvement to cooking/smoking will be worth it.....

 

Dave

 

 

1000

post #4 of 13

X2 to what gmc2003 stated, flip the charcoal pan in the main chamber upside down, and slide it as close to the firebox opening as possible.  Wrap it in foil for easy cleanup when you want to do some straight up grillin'.  I took 2 pieces of 1/4 x 1 flat iron and cut them (I think 14" long) for the grate to sit on, but you can just hang it like you do when it's right side up, but setting it on soemthing stable allows you to slide it to almost cover the opening from the fiebox.  Then the heat will have to enter under thye grate, and disperse from the sides and ends, allowing for more even temps. 

gmc2003, I highly recommend the charcoal basket, you can just pick up one of the stainless woks from Academy or Lowes and it should fit right in the firebox, thats what I did before I fabbed a box for it. 

Happy smoking!

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks very much for the posts! I'm gonna give the plates a try. Also, thanks for the drawing Dave! Will come in handy for sure.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruno994 View Post

X2 to what gmc2003 stated, flip the charcoal pan in the main chamber upside down, and slide it as close to the firebox opening as possible.  Wrap it in foil for easy cleanup when you want to do some straight up grillin'.  I took 2 pieces of 1/4 x 1 flat iron and cut them (I think 14" long) for the grate to sit on, but you can just hang it like you do when it's right side up, but setting it on soemthing stable allows you to slide it to almost cover the opening from the fiebox.  Then the heat will have to enter under thye grate, and disperse from the sides and ends, allowing for more even temps. 
gmc2003, I highly recommend the charcoal basket, you can just pick up one of the stainless woks from Academy or Lowes and it should fit right in the firebox, thats what I did before I fabbed a box for it. 
Happy smoking!

I did he same thing ith my first char griller....... I could not find it, but there is a no weld charcole basket here in SMF. The basket was the best mod in my book....
post #7 of 13

Bruno994, I agree with the basket. I've just been kinda lazy or to busy to find one or make one. For the majority of smokes I do the upper grates work out fairly well.

 

 

Chris
 

post #8 of 13

Here is what I did with my Chargriller pro-----

 

1000

1000

You will notice all the holes in the deflector plate.  That did not work out as well as I wanted. Those didn't allow temps to even out as much as I liked.  So, I just placed a steel plate across those holes, and it was long enough so the end of the plate is about 6 to 8 inches from the far end of the smoker body.  I then will place 2 concrete pavers under the plates and 4 across the top of them for thermal mass.  The drip pan sits on top of the pavers.  I use NO water pan. The temps were only a few degrees apart from one side to the other. The last batch of ribs were fall off tender and moist.  Also, keep in mind, I have a home made PID controlled stoker blower.  This set up may be too restrictive for a natural convection set up.  I can force the heat and smoke into the chamber.

post #9 of 13

I also believe that there is no one modification that is the "silver bullet" to making this grill a good smoker.  I feel it is necessary to do all the standard mods to make this a great smoker because they all work together.  Those mods are, extending the flue down to grate level, some sort of baffle plate system and the charcoal basket mod.  And maybe sealing up all the leaks.  My opinion is those are "must have".  Also, I will never grill on it again.  It is a dedicated smoker.  I will grill on my Weber kettle.  Oh, and throw some old blankets over it when your smoking, that helps too.  Even in summer.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jarjarchef View Post


I did he same thing ith my first char griller....... I could not find it, but there is a no weld charcole basket here in SMF. The basket was the best mod in my book....

 

I think this is the thread you were looking for? Looks like a quick & easy way to make a basket...

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks a bunch Scooter! I've extended the stack, had a charcoal basket, and sealed as much as I could. Will install a baffle and tuning plates next. This will be a dedicated smoker for me as well.
post #12 of 13

Just noticed there is no link in my post above  hit.gif Not sure how I missed that http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/89796/i-call-it-the-20-20-charcoal-basket

 

I think this may be the one jarjarchef was talking about...

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeysteveo View Post

Howdy......

I'm a newbie.  I recently purchased a Chargriller Duo w/sfb.  I've made a few mods, (extended stack to grate level, sealed the leaky spots, and made a Coal crate for my SFB.  I've read several posts on this forum regarding Mods to aide in evening out the heat from the SFB to the Cooking barrel.

What's the definitive modification I can make to my Duo to even out the cooking temps?  (Water bowl, tuning plates, baffle)

I'd really appreciate any suggestions, pictures, directions, etc.  This is the only thing that's standing between ok BBQ, and great BBQ.  (at least I hope....lol)

Thanks......Smokeysteveo

I used the coal grate upside down, I welded it to original vent plate for the smoke chamber. This allows me to get good seal at the SFB. I also moved the vent as far as I could to the right, and extended the vent with metal flashing material. I have not sealed the lids built a coal box. I used the coal grate in the firebox, I just clear the ash out of the way for air movement.

These mods have improved the temperature in the meat I now get consistent temperature form one side of a whole ribeye to the other, about five degrees difference. The smoke is also penetrating deeper, so I am using less wood. Next I will seal the lid of the smoke chamber and possibly insulate the smoker.



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