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The smoke is in the genes!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi all, it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but life has been a bit hectic and I let it run its course.


But, I didn’t come here to complain, I came to act like a proud papa!


#2 son came to me a week or so ago with a Craigslist ad about a Charbroil offset smoker that was for sale for $50.  I asked him why he wanted it since we already have 2 homemade offsets, a large vertical, and the homemade electric smoker.  He stated that he wanted his own smoker and wanted to do some mods to this one like he’s seen online.  How could I say no?


We went and got the smoker and it was in pretty good shape.  No real rust, all of the grates were there, and it looked like it had been taken care of.




When we got it home, we set it up, started a chimney full of lump charcoal, dumped it into the fire box, added a fist sized piece of hickory wood, and waited to see how the temperature variation would be from end to end.   As figured, it was terrible.  So, the next

afternoon, we went to the local home improvement store to get some materials to start the modifications. 


We used porcelain tiles (3/8”x16”x16”) for “tuning plates” in the bottom of the pit, and used one tile that had been trimmed as the diverter piece to get the smoke/heat to travel under the other tiles.  In order to get the smoke stack extended down, we used some aluminum flashing and inserted it into the bottom of the stack and brought it down to where a rack of ribs would fit under it, about 2.5” above the grate surface.  During the initial test, we also noticed that there was quite a bit of heat/smoke escaping from the lip around the main smoke chamber door, so we used the lid sealing tape that’s made for a Big Green Egg to seal it up.


So, it was time for another test.  We did the same test as before, one full chimney of lump charcoal and a small block of hickory for smoke.  The temp difference from the firebox end to the stack end was now 6 degrees, not too shabby, and the door seal worked ok, but we’ll need to do something a bit different since we are still losing some smoke/heat.


Even though we still have some mods to do, the boy cooked on it yesterday!  All I did was provide guidance as needed.  For the most part, he followed the directions in my workbook and I got to sit back with a cold one!  He cooked 6 racks of babybacks and, in my opinion, NAILED THEM!  The wife and in-laws raved over them, and rightfully so, he did a great job for his first solo cook.








Yeah, I’m a bit proud now!  Our 21 year old likes cooking in the kitchen, but not so much on the smokers, but it looks like the 16 year old is gonna be taking me on soon in the Q department!


I’ll get some pics of the mods if anyone wants to see them.

post #2 of 8

Great stuff!

post #3 of 8

Hmmmmm, I expected him to be older for some reason while reading the story.....16 is an awesome age to be doing ANYTHING besides texting....LOL. Happy for you he is showing an interest and getting his own gear even. I see a 'torch' being passed eventually <grin>. Sit back, relax, enjoy the beverages and the grub produced.....Proud Papa indeed. He's going to be one very popular Dude in his circle of friends doing Que like that....and trust me, gals love a guy that can cook <grin>.......Willie

post #4 of 8

Looked real tasty from my seat..



post #5 of 8
Nice looking smoke and POINTS for your young Pit master!
post #6 of 8
That's awesome CB, nothin like having the kids interested & involved ! icon14.gif
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks all!  He and I will be working on the pit a bit more this week so we can take it out to the farm this coming weekend.  He plans to do his first brisket.


Chef Willie, he is old beyond his years.  Honor roll student and CONSTANTLY trying to improve something!  So, this was right up his alley.  

post #8 of 8

Hey CB.  You have every right to be proud--not many 16 year olds that want to do anything, let alone mod out his own smoker and do the cooking.  Way to go!!



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