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Insulating A Char-Griller??

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
So some might think this is off the wall but since Im just getting started in the smoke and que world I am just seeking advice and pointers.

One of the things I have been noticing when I smoke or just do a burn in my smoker to learn its odd points and the biggest one I see is the thin metal...ugh so much heat loss!!
My idea is to take a welders blanket and literally bolt it to the top half of my main chamber all the way around. It would be a lot like just draping it over the thing and I am sure I could at least make it look good(wife and grandma are seamstresses).

If anyone has experience doing something similar or any other suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks to everyone!!
post #2 of 19
I have a Char-Griller also. I havn't notice an exceptional need to have it insulated. Sure the metal is thin, but it seems to do fine as long as I'm not smoking during the winter when it is less than 30 degrees out (which I still do occasionally), just takes a little longer and a little more fuel. I put a couple of foil casserole pans in the bottom filled with water that helps with heat and moisture rention.
post #3 of 19

Several people have used welder's blankets for just this purpose.  A few have done what you're talking about as well.

 

Have you done any of the other mods for the chargriller?

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Aha I knew I wasnt alone and mods...lol. Yes i have done a lot of mods for it. Gasket to seal the chamber, 2 therms on chamber, baffle plate inside, USDA silicone gasket between the chamber and firebox, charcoal basket in firebox, and fan set up for temp control. I researched before building it up!!
post #5 of 19

Sounds like you're well on your way!

 

If you do the insulating blanket, please post pictures so others can learn from your idea.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well so far after quite a bit of research and talking with another guy on SMF we collectively thought a non fiberglass blanket would be best to keep stuf out of food if it falls apart and just in general fiberglass sucks to touch.

So we found a non fiberglass blanket. Its by Tilman and heres the link directly to their website

http://jtillman.com/products/blankets/med-duty/615/

Seen a few post on it as well were a gentleman bought the bigger 6x8 size and made almost a cover out of it...thats what i may do we will just have to see how the cookie crumbles..
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by wdoss89 View Post

Well so far after quite a bit of research and talking with another guy on SMF we collectively thought a non fiberglass blanket would be best to keep stuf out of food if it falls apart and just in general fiberglass sucks to touch.

So we found a non fiberglass blanket. Its by Tilman and heres the link directly to their website

http://jtillman.com/products/blankets/med-duty/615/

Seen a few post on it as well were a gentleman bought the bigger 6x8 size and made almost a cover out of it...thats what i may do we will just have to see how the cookie crumbles..

I saw your other post and was going to comment....but I'm not a member of the group :th_crybaby2: LOL

 

I am working on modding my electric ECB and this is one of the things I wanted to do! If you end up finding a good deal on the welding blanket would you please share?! Also please post how the insulating goes so guys like me can learn!! Thanks

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well I have found it at a local shop in my town that I am getting it ordered for $78 instead of the $90 to $100 I have found it online. Best thing I can say is go to tilmans website and do the local retailer search. Call up a local place and see what they say.
post #9 of 19

Thank you for the advice!!

post #10 of 19

There is a certain point in the modification process that you have to ask yourself if you wouldn't be better off getting a new smoker/grill or keep pouring money into a sub-par device that will really never be a great smoker.

 

For about a year and a half I owned the Char-Griller 5050 duo with the side fire box. In that time I made extensive modifications - effectively doubling the original cost of the entire unit!  So about $350 original cost plus another $350 or so over the time I owned it. Did it work better? YES - it kept solid temps across the entire chamber and was effectively sealed against any smoke loss.

 

However - I think I would have been much better off in taking the $700 and getting a higher quality unit in the first place.

 

I ran into the same point under discussion in this thread - do I insulate the unit so I could smoke all winter or upgrade to a much better unit?  After much research I purchased a Char-Griller Akorn Kamado style grill/smoker. I spent only $269 (Lowe's 10% discount) and it literally is 10 times the grill/smoker my last unit was. Totally sealed and insulated. Uses very little fuel. Produces BETTER results - tender, juicy meat - with much less work compared to the offset smoker. It is basically a poor man's Big Green Egg for 1/4th the cost yet gives you about 95% of the performance.

 

A side benefit is that I can sear steaks and make pizza at very high temps.  It is rated up to 750 degrees F, but I have had it over 1000 degrees for short periods with no problems.

 

The only negative may be if you plan on cooking/smoking for large groups and you need a lot more space in your smoking chamber. Other than that I cannot see any negatives with this kamado grill/smoker.

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkonrad45 View Post
 

There is a certain point in the modification process that you have to ask yourself if you wouldn't be better off getting a new smoker/grill or keep pouring money into a sub-par device that will really never be a great smoker.

 

However - I think I would have been much better off in taking the $700 and getting a higher quality unit in the first place.

I know you are trying to be helpful, but it seems a little harsh.

 

Since he already has the smoker he can't really get something different in the first place. Certain situations call for modifications, and certain situations call for new toys. I am in the same boat as him, going the mod route to insulate my smoker and I am happy to do so, as I am sure he is by his posts in another thread about the same process.

 

Not trying to discount your experience and knowledge. That does look like a nice smoker you have. I just think it's a little out of place in this situation.

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I want to say first off Thank You to both of you for the input and opinions.

rkonrad45 All in all the whole process has not been that bad, when you started with a free smoker that cost nothing more than moving it to my home. It makes too much sense to just mod it out and make it perform as great as I can make it.

Trust me when I say I would much rather have a insulated smoker cabinet or a fresh steel 1/4" or 5/16" pipe smoker...but the $1500 for that can come later in life when Ive burned threw this one. My thing was I was ready to start smoking meats so by the time I purchase my forever smoker Ive got such a wealth of knowledge and experience with a lesser smoker I will just have to master the new one!

So again thanks to both you guys Im here just to help anyone else along their way as a few others have been helping me...because isnt that what Jeff made the forum for?
post #13 of 19
My apologies guys. I wasn't trying to cause a problem. I'm here to learn and help others also.

wdoss89, looking forward to seeing how your insulation turns out on your smoker.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
No problems here I was just wanting to clarify the reasons I am modifying mine so much as opposed to saving money right now towards an awesome unit.
post #15 of 19

No time or effort is ever wasted when spent learning something!

post #16 of 19

No "harshness" intended on my part. Just sharing my experience with the modification process.

 

Honestly, I wish I had read a post similar to mine before I even purchased my last smoker/grill.

 

But - good luck on your mods. You are right - when the smoker is free it is definitely a no brainer to do the mods and see how far you can go!!

post #17 of 19

Sorry again for stirring the pot. Glad everyone is on the same page and friendly! Thanks guys

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'll tell you what I really wish I would have had it before this weekend...did my pork shoulder and had a heck of a time keep temp up with the cross wind and high 30°chilly weather we had. Made for a long process and plus I had to pull the shoulder off at 190°. I can say getting a shoulder to 205° for me is the perfect temp. The 2 others I've done that did reach 205 pulled so smoothly and easily...this last one was a bit tough to pull still tender just tough.

On another note I flipped this one also...do you guys flip your shoulders about half way through or not?
post #19 of 19

I didn't flip the one I did. Did you notice a difference in the finished product when you flipped it?

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