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Char-Griller Smokin Pro with firebox- Mods

post #1 of 544
Thread Starter 
Sorry for starting a new thread on a subject that has been covered many times but I wanted to post a few pic's of a few modifications I am making and also to asks opinions on what I am thinking for a tuning plate.

First mod I made when I purchased the smoker was adding a dryer vent tube to help keeping the heat and smoke under the hood and more at grate level.

Next step was filling all unneeded holes with ji-temp fireplace caulking. I am also still thinking about Debi's suggestion and running a bead of caulking around the edge of the lip of the cover and laying plastic wrap over the caulking and closing the lid for a formed tight seal and letting it dry and then removing the plastic wrap. Still unsure if this is needed?

I also took the cheap thermometer that came with it out and replace it with a better one and used the hi-temp caulking to seal this in place also. The original one was just snapped into place with a metal O-ring and smoke seep out the cover around the thermometer.

Next I replaced the wire briquette rack that came with the firebox, hot coals had melted this badly and I was having problems keeping the coals out of the ashes which was not helping me keep the smoker heat up. I cut out 2 pieces of heavy expanded metal and double layered them and positioned them higher than the previous briquette rack. Should have plenty of air flow under the coals now !!!

Now on the tuning plate is where I am starting to question my thinking and curious how others have mounted or positioned a tuning plate in their Char-griller. I do not want to drill holes in the belly of the smoker to mount the tuning plate; I feel this will just promote rust and possibly stress the metal body when it is under heat and make the belly and hood not fit snug? The metal tuning plate I am using is 1/16" thick steel, very solid and very heavy. So I set bricks in the belly to prop the tuning plate into position.

The tuning plate is snug against the firebox wall with about a 1/4" gap between the grill and the tuning plate around the other 3 sides. Is this enough air flow so the firebox is not smothered?

Also I am thinking about cutting a hole in the tuning plate to insert a water pan.
post #2 of 544
Wow, nice work MOss! I think the only comments I could make are in the tuning plate area. The plate process I was going to try was multiple plates at different widths and and spaces. Do you think you'll get even coverage of smoke and heat without the gaps? I have faith in your thought process, so I'm guessing you're pretty sure you will. Keep us updated....especially those of us who have the same rig!
post #3 of 544
My question is will the bricks on the firebox end allow for good heat and smoke movement or creat a problem with the air flow through the smoker, causing a bigger problem. When I put a tuning plate in smokinmeat's smoker, I used the bolt holes that hold the legs to mount a rail on each side for the plates to rest on. My .02 worth.

Here's the thread w/pics. You can see the rails in the pics.
post #4 of 544
is a tuning plate necessary in a unit of this size? i have the same smoker.

post #5 of 544
I have the same one. I mounted a piece of metal that extends about 15 inches into the smoke chamber. I mounted it using the exsisting holes at the top where the fire box mounts. It seems to work good and keep a steady temp. Also mounted angle on the inside of the lid and installed fire place rope or high temp rope to seal the lid. I am interested to see how the plate you installed works.
post #6 of 544
Thread Starter 
Geek with Fire and Shortone
Seeing the tuning plate modification the Shortone did for smokingmeat both your concepts on the gaps address's my airflow concern. I am thinking of trying what I have set up to see how it works and if I need the gaps I can always pull out the saw again !!!

I am new to a side firebox smoker and smoking with charcoal, I have only had this smoker a few months. I find myself smoking at the far end of the grill because of the additional heat on the firebox side. I am hoping a tuning plate will give me additional smoking space.

I am so use to propane and electric vertical smokers I am determined to be successful with this style of smoker. Then the next step will be a dream come true; a pull behind my pickup style stick burner (maybe someday) !!!

I am interested in seeing pics of your set up.
post #7 of 544
I thought the object of the tuing plate was to have a series of plates to slide around with gaps between them to regulate heat alowed up and into the cooking chamber? Am I getting ahead of you Mossy?

You'll definately be better off with the expanded metal coal basket the wirerack thing is just plain useless!
post #8 of 544
I'll take some pics and post them tomorrow.
post #9 of 544
Thread Starter 
That is my dilemma on the tuning plate and/or plates. How I have read from a majority of the posts about tuning plates is that is to defer heat away from above the firebox opening into the belly of the smoker, also to retain heat when the coals are unexpectedly dieing and also to eliminate the need for a waterpan (which I do not agree with,.....yet).

This old man is still learning, it is a never ending process. I wish Geek with Fire would find a way to store what we have learned onto a hard drive, because I just keep forgetting stuff I learn !!!
post #10 of 544
Yea, I agree. I chuckled the first time I read Mossy's description of the heat melting the rack, because I'm in the same boat; mine looks like it's been run over. You're right, it is totally useless.
post #11 of 544
Mine too. I like the expanded metal idea though.
post #12 of 544
hey mossy- though i have the brink snp- it's very similar to your question is( cause the pic was misleading to me) does that tuning plate cover the whole main chamber ?? cause on my pit i have the baffle betwen the firebox & chamber, the waterpan,& i double or triple wrap the closest grate(there's 3)as a tuning plate... i can slit holes for chix or use as a plate... just asking.....
post #13 of 544
I'd have to add one thing Mo...those bricks will bust up pretty quick with the intense heat. I was using a couple standard bricks to hold my pan up in my ECB^2 and they lasted maybe 3 smokes. Fire brick would be the best to use here, and to address the possible flow problem; minimize their size- maybe split in half and support from the 4 far corners below the plate.

Hmm better yet, weld some legs on the plate itself!
post #14 of 544
Hey Mossy, here's what I did for the tuning plates...

I cut two lengths of aluminum angle and fastened them to the bolts that hold the leg assembly to the chamber. I cut three pieces of sheet metal to span across the angles.

I also bolted a baffle in place at the sfb opening.

It took a little getting used to at first, but now the whole deal works great!
post #15 of 544
MossyMO, here is my set up.
I bolted a piece of angle even with the two pieces that the ash pan slides under, and put a removable ash grate. I have a charcoal box made out of the same metal that I set on top.

I bolted a baffle above the hole from the fire box, it extends about 10"

I welded 1x1 angle around the bottom of the lid on the front and sides, and glued heat gasket around the angle. I need to reglue, its falling off in some places.

Also put a new shelf on the front, and side, and a hot plate on the fire box
post #16 of 544
Those are what looks like very good ideas.I hav'nt done anything to mine yet and am not happy with the performance.Looks like I've got some work to do.Gramason I really like the idea of the extended work area on the outside.I've got some cherry boards that would look good there,thanks for the idea.
post #17 of 544
Yeah what Hawg said that's what I was tryng to do, but need thickererr metal I think. Mine buckled. The expanded metal works great though and is easy to get.
post #18 of 544
Thread Starter 
Thanks for taking the time to take and post pics, much appreciated. Does the baffle you have seem to level out the temperature from sis de to side?

On the tuning plate I think I need to cut out some separate plates like Geek with Fire, Shortone, HawgHeaven and DeejaDebi have mentioned.

I am trying to utilize the entire grate area and cool down the fire box end so I can smoke there also. Might not happen but I need a few times of failing before I quit trying !!!

I agree with you on the bricks not holding up, besides that they make the smoker heavy. I think I am going to try HawgHeaven's angle iron for supports.
post #19 of 544
Mossy your right! i always find myself on the left side of the cooking chamber
before the end of a smoke.
great ideas,time for some mods, thanks.

post #20 of 544
i just meant by the pic it looked like1 long plate the whole diameter of the chamber.
and yes we do fall if cooking over fire was science caveman would have waited for edison to perfect it first... lol
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