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Time for a new smoker!!!!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
hello to everyone...it has been a while since i have been to the website. I got very busy with work and family. I have a brinkman verticle charcoal smoker (cabinet style) and have not been happy with it. I have had several good smokes but with smaller cuts of meat. I just can't get temps to stay up - so smoking times are way to long on larger cuts. Anyway the wife has approved the purchase of a new smoker!! - I plan on buying the char-griller pro with side fire box this weekend. :D Needless to say I am very exited. I hope to make the mods this weekend also - If all goes well I will be smoking a big shoulder & fatties sunday.
Hopefully I won't screw things up too bad - this will be my first time with a side fire box. any tricks on fire/temp control? I was using lump charcoal with the verticle - should I stay with that or go to reg. charcoal??
Thanks for any help,
post #2 of 15

Re: Time for a new smoker!!!!

Hi Pat, Welcome back to the Forum. So you get to buy a new smoker-you lucky guy. I don't know much about the Char-griller, but someone that uses a char-griller will be able to give you some good tips. I use a propane smoker and the ECB.

Havd lots of fun playing with the new "toy". Let us know how your smoke went.
post #3 of 15

Re: Time for a new smoker!!!!

Patrick, I don't have a CG but I know many folks that do and are quite happy with them. I would recommend getting to know your new pit before making any mods to it so you'll know if they "improved" performance or not. Two of the most common modifications I hear folks talking about are a charcoal basket and extending the smoke stack to the cooking grate.

Do keep us posted and congratulations on your new smoker. 8)
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Re: Time for a new smoker!!!!

I will be picking the smoker up fri afternoon!! :D :D I plan on cooking on it this weekend but I have a couple quick questions...
Do I have to do anything to the cooking grates before or after cooking ? They are cast iron, they are supposed to be "preseasoned."

At my local lowes they have sheet steel that is 22 gauge but it does not say non-galvonized. Is there a way I can tell by looking which it is? I am wanting it to make the extension on the smoke stack and on the air inlet into the cooking chamber.

thanks for any help...Patrick
post #5 of 15

Re: Time for a new smoker!!!!

Sunday, If I remember my Metals class from High school, Galvanized steel has been coated with zinc. Galvanized pipe is gray/black in color but I'm not sure about sheet steel.

If you're looking to extend you stack down to the cooking surface, use an aluminum vent stack. Just loosen the seam where the stack is connected, re-size the stack to the diameter you need and fasten the overlap with sheet metal screws or drill some holes and use rivet instead of screws and attach this to the existing stack with sheet metal screws or rivets.

Hope this idea helps you out!!
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the idea Earl.
Can i get the adjustable vent stack at lowes or homedepot?
post #7 of 15

Re: Time for a new smoker!!!!

I've heard of folks using two different types of materials found at local home improvement centers to make the stack extensions. A flexible aluminum dry exhaust duct and a rigid vent stack like used for a gas water heater.

The cast iron grates may be pre-seasoned, but seasoning cast iron is an on-going process. Heat from the side fire box and from direct or indirect grilling will burn the seasoning off. What I'd recommend is after firing up the grill and brushing the CI grates, oil the grates before placing food on them to help prevent sticking while cooking. Then after the cooking is finished, brush the grates down to get the crud off of them while they are still warm and applying another coat of oil (top and bottom sides) to prevent them from rusting between uses. Another tip I’ve heard is to rotate the inside grates to the outside periodically to help maintain a more even seasoning.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bob -
which kind of brush is best to use - brass or one of those "stone" or ceramic types?
post #9 of 15

Re: Time for a new smoker!!!!

Patrick, use a pad scrubber to clean the grates and use a natrual fiber brush [no nylon or plastic] if the grids are hot ] to apply a veg. oil.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Re: Time for a new smoker!!!!

Well the first smoke on the new chargriller was a HUGE success!! I cooked three maple fatties and a 7.5 lb boston butt. I coated the bb in mustard and then jeff"s super rub!! Man it looked good. The bb cooked for approx 10 hours and reached internal temp of 200*. Then I double wrapped it in hd aluminum foil and placed it in a cooler with towels for about an hour. It was VERY fall apart tender - you didn't have to pull it you could just looked at it and it fell apart! :P And talk about good - OH MY GOODNESS!!!!

I did pretty good at maintaining temp - it stayed between 215* - 265* . So much easier than the square verticle brinkman that I had before!
I did find a big diff. in grill temp between the side close to the fire box and the far side - over 100* ! Also the meat didn't have a big "smoke" flavor. I was using hicory chunks with reg charcoal - I guess I need to use more chunks!! I plan to extend the smoke stack down into the grill further - maybe that will help with the smoke flavor. And I saw someone had turned the charcoal pan in the grill upside down to help even out the heat. I think I will try that before constructing a vent at the fire box.

Thanks to this website and everones advice, everytime I have smoked it has been a hit!! This last time was the best! You guys are great!!!! thanks again, Patrick
post #11 of 15

Re: Time for a new smoker!!!!

Patrick, I'm glad the first big date with the new unit turned out so great. And to have the meat fall off of the bone-now that's tender :!: You have the right idea of trying different trick to improve your smoke without having to do drastic and costly modifications.

At this moment I have two turkeys in my smoker. Using some apple sawdust for the smoke. Man does my backyard smell fantastic. :D This is a pre-turkey day trail run for the big day. Having the in-laws over that day and I looking to score approval points with the father in law 8) .
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks Earl
I bet your backyard does smell good!!! I have not heard of using sawdust for smoke... sounds interesting. Do you just toss a handfull ontop of your coals?
Good idea doing a trial run. A smoked turkey will def. get some serious bonus points with the in-laws. Good luck...hope the smoke goes well.
post #13 of 15

Re: Time for a new smoker!!!!

Patrick, My turkey smoke was great. Two birds in the smoker at 1:00 pm
out at 7:00 pm. 6 hours at 250 degrees. Internal temp. 180 degress.
I even have some bird left for some samiches!! :D

When we had the family meat cutting business we also ran two gas fires smokehouses. We used fruitwood sawdust for all our smoke. We would dampen it a bit before placing it on the fire pan.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Congrats on the smoke Earl - sounds mouth watering - How big were the birds? Sounds like you will get some good points with the in-laws come turkey day.
post #15 of 15

Re: Time for a new smoker!!!!

The largest was 12 pounds and the other was just over 10.
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