I have a CG and have made a couple of mods for it and will be making more in the near future. The 1st time I used it as a smoker was last weekend & I was able to control the temps fairly easily. Maybe it was beginners luck or something. I have a charcoal basket and I used the minion method. I flipped over the charcoal grate in the smoker to act as a baffle. To help control the amount of heat coming through the SFB, I blocked the gap between the top of the flipped over charcoal grate and the opening to the SFB. I later read that blocking that gap could cause more heat to escape through the lid of the SFB and make me use more fuel. Sounds reasonable to me so I am going to raise up the charcoal grate so that its over the gap. I also have 2 thermometers installed in the lid, 1 on each end, & I have the Maverick ET732 and I put the probe in the middle towards the front of the smoker.
I still need to seal around the lid of the smoker to keep more smoke from escaping and extending the inside of the chimney using the aluminum dryer vent. I will also be changing the plastic tires to pneumatic ones so I can move it around easier on gravel.
Here is my charcoal basket. I wanted to make it as big as possible to hold as much fuel as it could. It works pretty good and I can remove the ash drawer if the ash gets too deep during a long smoke without removing the charcoal basket.
I need to close that gap to keep too much heat from coming in through the SFB.
I had cut an old cookie sheet in half to close that gap but think the end result was heat ecsaping through the SFB and using more fuel. I have some metal bars that I am putting in the bottom for the baffle to sit on. It will raise it up to cover the gap while also creating a small gap along the front & back of the baffle to allow smoke to flow up. Currently the only opening for the smoke was at the far end of the baffle.
I've installed a thermometer at each end of the lid. I tested them for accuracy before installing them and they're pretty close. There is almost a 25 degree difference from one end to the other.
Finished product. 6.5 lb pork butt smoked at 240-250 for about 9.5 hrs to an internal temp of 203. Gonna do a brisket over labor day weekend, maybe some ribs, mac & cheese, a fatty or 2, & beans as well.