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my char griller smoking some

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My char griller smoking some pork shoulder, brisket flat and beans.

I thought I would post up how this goes today. I have been having problems getting up to 225 or over. It seems like I was burning a lot of charcoal too. So today I started throwing in some splits. I cut these splits into 5 to 8 in lengths and approx 2 to 3" spuares.

Mods so far.

Extended the inside of the stack down.

Testing out the new charcoal basket. Prior to this I would use the coal rack flipped over for the increased height. With a bunch of unlit and a full chimney of lit Kingsford charcoal.

My other charcoal rack is upside down and pushed all the way against the firebox side. I suspended it with bolts so it is above the fire box opening. I can document that later.
post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
A sneak peak at the pork and beans. The brisket is hiding in the shadows in the back ground.


My problem is I still could not get above 225 with the vent wide open and the stack wide open. I am not able to turn the char griller so the vent faces into the wind. I felt heat escaping out the vent. Now this should not happen. So here is question number one. What is the correct calculation for stack diameter and height?


Quick let's cheat and improvise. I repurposed a muffler off the race car. This is just sitting above the stack. I had a quick temperature rise. So I must be on to something here.



210* on the left side. 250* on the firebox side. So I need to work on baffles. I hope to even out the temperature with out increase fuel usage by blocking or splitting the cook chamber from top to bottom.
Edited by jakesz28 - 9/1/14 at 7:55am
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
So I have been throwing some chunks of wood in the coals every 30 minutes or so. I burnt some paint off the side fire box so I do have a hotter fire. I need to seal the cook chamber with a gasket. All the extra holes have bolts in them. Maybe I can use some foil as a cheap seal today?

The chunks are quickly turning into lump by the looks of this.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

With the foil on the edges all the smoke is escaping out of the stack and not the sides.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
While preheating my split/chunks they start smoldering. So watch for a fire while preheating.

The charcoal is long gone only coals are from my chunks. I have been able to hit 275 if I want so burning wood and the longer stack helps.

Almost time to pull off the smoker, wrap, and rest before pulling and slicing.

post #6 of 14
That smoke looks awesome. I have the chargriller outlaw and usually smoke around 275-300. I start off with 2 chimneys of LIT chimneys of charcoal. I dump the lit coals in my firebox then throw in 2 splits. When temp starts to drop 10-15 degrees I add another LIT chimney of charcoal. Add a split every 30-45 min.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I just picked up a 3" exhaust pipe extension. So the muffler goes back to the shed. Need a 3 inch rain cap or I need to weld in a 5/16 stud for the factory cap to bolt on.

How do you guys clean these out in between smokes? Should I be worried about burning off the grates to sterilize them? Or is preheating good enough to get rid of the nasties?
post #8 of 14
try using lump charcoal for higher heat, plus it does not ash up like those pucks....lump is hard wood made into those black charcoal, then I use small amounts of fruit wood for smoke flavoring....I load up my charcoal basket that looks bout the same size as your with royle oak lump....
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Fire box is 12x12x6. I will pick up a couple bags of lump next time I head to the store. We usually keep the standard old Kingsford's on hand for the grill and Dutch oven.
post #10 of 14

Have you used a wired probe on the grate at meat level to check your temps?


I have not extended my chimney.


With the amount of coal you have in that fire box I would probably run about 325? Maybe higher?


I only use briquettes to bring my smoker to temp and clean the grates.  Then I switch to lump for the actual smoke.


With this amount of briquettes, about half or a little more of a Weber chimney, I come to 275 for cleaning:



These coals have burned down some and are not fresh out of the chimney.


When my stock lid therm reads 170, my actual pit temp at meat level at the grate will be in the 250 range.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have not stuck a digital meter in it. I just got a nice 8" stainless thermocouple probe for my Fluke meter. Could bring it home from work for the next smoke. I did check surface temperature with my infrared temperature meter. The surface of the lid did come close to matching the probes I added on the lid. Maybe 5 to 10 degrees higher on the top of the lid. The bottom was in the 340* range. That led me to think the upside down charcoal tray is stopping a far amount of heat from rising. Tried measuring the exhaust stack/discharge, I don't think it was that hot either.
I will try a calibrated probe and meter I got at work.
post #12 of 14

The infrared therm is of little use in this application.  More of a toy.


Get a good probe designed for the purpose.  Maverick and many others make them.


For my cheapies I used something like this:



The Maverick comes with a neat metal clip that works well


Good luck and good smoking.

post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by jakesz28 View Post

Fire box is 12x12x6. I will pick up a couple bags of lump next time I head to the store. We usually keep the standard old Kingsford's on hand for the grill and Dutch oven.

when you see how much the lump DOES NOT ash up as bad as the pucks do, you'll be can even use lump for the dutch ovens as well icon14.gif ....
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
I still have not been to the store. Today I did a full lit chimney and emptied the bag of kingsford in the basket on some small splits. Then added cherry for the smoke. I forgot to bring home the SS thermocouple probe I had at work.

The fire may be hotter then the two probes I have say. I cooked this chicken and fatty in about 2.5 hours. Did a simple brine for the chicken and made a Chipotle Pepper fatty. Has bacon, peppers and onions in the center with some taco seasoning.

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