Re: Temperature Control of SmokerHowdy hillcitysmoker!
I don't have the CharGriller but talk with many that do. Most leave the vent stack open while smoking and regulate the temperature using the intake vent on the side fire box (opening the vent means more air and more air makes the fire hotter, likewise closing the vent cools the firebox). Many have either purchased charcoal baskets from CharGriller ( 2 fit nicely into the SFB) or have made their own baskets or rings from expanded metal. Having a basket allows you to add 1-1/2 to 2 chimneys (if you have a chimney starter) of unlit charcoal in a tightly stacked pile and the place about 12 to 15 lit coals on top for a "Minion Method" burn. When lighting the CG have the SFB intake vent wide open then as the main body's temperature approaches 200* close the vent halfway. As the temperature reaches 225* you may need to close the vent to 1/4 of less to maintain a constant temperature.
Using this method gets reported 4-5 hours of constant temperatures. As the temperature begins to drop it will be necessary to reload the baskets and place the lit coals back on top. To help recover temperatures more quickly add a little lump charcoal on top, just a little, so it will burn out by the time the temperature rises back up. Adding a little charcoal at a time will cause temperature drops and spikes making it very hard to control and requires constant fiddling with the dampers.