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Char-Griller Smokin Pro with firebox- Mods - Page 27

post #521 of 543
So just wondering....I've read over almost every article, PDF, and story on modifications that people have done. My thing that I have ran into was a poorly taken care of smoker from a craigslist ad. Talked the guy way down because I knew the main chamber was ok but the SFB needed replaced. I got a new SFB bolted it on and the crapoy tac welds on the end cap and rolled metal body broke! Like broke off so that brings me to my question....
If I weld the whole thing would that help with some of the sealing on the SFB itself?
post #522 of 543

Depending on how you  have it welded - yes it should. I am a big fan of using USDA approved high temperature silicon as a sealant, especially the SFB door as well as the joint between the SFB and main chamber. .  

post #523 of 543

whats a smoke shack how does it work

post #524 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Breedlove View Post
 

whats a smoke shack how does it work

A smoke shack is a brand of electric smoker. There are also old school smoke shacks for doing hams where they have a shack with a small fire and they cold smoke for days..... Neither are really what this thread is about.

post #525 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warthog View Post

Here are some mods I did to my pro.


First one here is the vent extension






These are the SFB with the Lowes Basket






Dual Thermometers at grate level



Vent extension with rain guard
what kind a basket is that exactly? I mean original purpose.
post #526 of 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaburr25 View Post


what kind a basket is that exactly? I mean original purpose.

 

I think it is called a vegetable shaker basket, IDK if Lowes has them anymore. I did pick up a couple of similar ones at Ocean State Job Lots this past year.

post #527 of 543


I know this was a long time ago, but are you saying that you used the baking tray inside of the charcoal/smoke box, and not inside of the grill itself? I thought about trying something like that too, and wondered if it is worth the try

post #528 of 543

Okay!

So I had a smoking I wanted to do this weekend and read this forum a couple days before. I am handy but don't have a ton of tools at my disposal so I went CHEAP and EASY. Perhaps if you are like me or not even handy at all you try these mods.

 

First I purchased this heat plate from Lowes for like $18:

It was all prepackaged, plus is has the slots so smoke can get through evenly.

It had an extension piece which made it a bit long, so I just used the extension piece block some of the heat directly form the opening initially (as pictured) but ended up moving it to the top rack of the grill in hopes it may help keep/ reflect some of the heat from up in the top of the grill down. Though it may have done nothing up there.

There were 2 screws sticking out from above the hole so used those to hold e right side of the heat plate, then used the legs it came with on the other side. it had a very slight slope down from the opening.

The second mod I performed today was also just as basic. I found a stainless steel wire basket also at lowes in the plumbing section, its supposed to be for stackable storage. I was originally planning to get a sheet of the steel lath stuff that others have done and fabricated a basket, but this $8 solution suited my better. I then used a cast iron picture holder thing I had lying around the house, basically it is just a # (hashtag) shaped piece of cast iron, and it was the perfect size to brace between the sides of the smoke box to hold the basket about 4 inches off the bottom:

So this is what all the mods I I did looked like:

 

The other 2 things I added was the dryer vent mod, and I also added 2 new Webber Brand temperature gauges which I drilled in 5 inches into each side, and 4 inches up from the grate. Unlike others I actually found my stock gauge on the smoker side to be fairly accurate and I put in a poulder gauge right next to it on my last smoke and they were always fairly close, so it served well on this as a good indicator of the temp higher up in the box. 

 

Now for how it all worked:

The Heat plate seemed to do its job effectively and the temp across both sides of the box was within a couple degrees almost the entire time. I did remove it for 20 minutes or so just to see if it was working and the right side gauge jumped from the 225 it had been at to 320 and the left gauge dropped to below 200.

The coal basket seemed to work well as the co9als were staying well lit and not getting all stuffed up. I did have to empty out the ash tray about mid smoke as it was getting a bit full in there.

At this point I am not certain that the dryer hose did anything at all, because the grill is not well sealed the smoke was just coming out of EVERYWHERE! I have plans to do the fiberglass seal and some other mods in the near future to remedy that, but again, I don't think the hose mod by itself is worth the effort.

Unfortunately I was too distracted by actually chopping up and eating the Shoulder and Ribs I smoked on her this weekend to snap some pictures, but they were beyond beautiful!

 

Now the problems: With the current mods really it was tem control that was the success, but I was only able to get the thing to hoover at about 210 no matter what I did in the fire box. I tried everything I could think of but it stayed at a constant 210, one thing I did to remedy this was occasionally taking a handful of red coals and throwing them into the corners of the grill, this brought the temp up to a fairly steady 225, but I literally sat an manned this thing for the entire 8 hours that I had the shoulder in (and the ribs did the 2-2-1 method) 

I am sort of in between here, because now looking back I think it was all worth it for the food I got, but because of the time and attention it took I really felt like I had put in an 8 hour work day. So im thinking, "hmmmm... should I spend another $xxx on getting this thing slightly more acceptable to control but putting in some more mods, or should I just consider it a grill alone, and buy a base/mid range electric smoker?" I don't have the answer yet, other than to say I guess im sort of excited at the prospect of seeing how well I can jimmy rig this thing which may carry its own satisfactions.

post #529 of 543

Next time load that basket with unlit briquettes, then dump a fully lit chimney of Royal Oak lump charcoal on top to start the fire. You should be able to get 250° or higher quite easily. You may also find that leaving the ash drawer open to get more airflow will help getting the temp up. I am of the opinion that the dryer vent mod should not be done, instead extend the stack down to 6-8 inches above the cooking grate for better airflow.

post #530 of 543


Thank You!

post #531 of 543
So the biggest thing I have found being the problem with the Char-Griller is the thin metal that is used to manufacture them. The solution that I have found all started with basic bath towels. And let me to discover a non fiberglass Welding blanket. It is a 3/16 of an inch thick thermo felt material. So basically what I've done is insulate outside the smoker to help in heat recovery and stable temperatures. The link below is a thread that I started discussing the options out there for this exact thing.



http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/236268/insulating-a-char-griller/20#post_1487082
post #532 of 543

go to www,kickassbbqsouth.com and check out Mister Baffler. Many have had great success with my baffle

post #533 of 543

Totally agree with insulation.  I used some fiberglass house insulation - 2 1/2 inch - and put a sheet of galvanized duct metal over it on a little New Braunfels offset.  See the attached photo. This cut fuel use by two thirds, ash buildup by the same, reduced inside temperature variations by three fourths, and made the unit more stable with outside temperature changes.  The other day, I saw a Treagar smoker in Ruff's BBQ Shop in Golden, CO, that has an insulating blanket with the Traegar name over it.  They has used it a lot by the smoke marks on the outside.  

 

The plastic coating over the insulation melted but the sheet metal supports it.  I screwed it down with drywall screws.  It has worked real well for three years.  

 

Good luck.  I can give you some thoughts on how I did it if you want here in comments or at Clifford_F@yahoo.com.  

post #534 of 543
What about tin foil to line the lid and bottom with for heat retention? Or put lava rocks in the bottom. Couldn't hurt.
post #535 of 543
As far as insulation goes...I wonder how a water heater jacket would do..m
post #536 of 543

 I see that many are doing the extended chimney/duct pipe mod, so what if you did that but instead of going done on the same side of the chimney, run the duct along the back and come down on the other side (firebox side) ?? If you have tuning plates w/firebox baffle wouldn't you have reverse flow without having to move the chimney itself to the firebox side ??

post #537 of 543

Chargriller Pro.

I used the aluminum hose to drop the exhaust down to grill level on the same side. Put HF pnuematic tires in all 4 sides using PVC pipe as a spreader. Bought an adjustable porcelain coated grid for the firebox using the old screws foe support. Used an old stove broiler pan top for a smoke distributor plus some cheap perf pans in the bottom. Fire up with charcoal and use apple wood logs. Cook Pork butts at about 225F +/_ for 8+ hours using cheap loaf pans on exit side of fire box filled with water only. I put the butts in the remaining broiler pan top (lined with foil on all sides for ease of clean up) to catch and use drippings. My son says I need to start a food cart with the results, but retired is RETIRED!

I am a Texan, I grill steaks, smoke most everything else. GREAT GRILLING TO ALL!

 

I

post #538 of 543

I am having a problem finding the grate that you are using in your firebox. Any Ideas where I might find it? I have check Lowes and Home Depot...nothing....

 

Plus what is the diameter of the hose you are using for the smoker?

 

Thank you,

 

Paul

post #539 of 543

I got my expanded metal grate at Lowe's.  Just be sure that you don't ask them, "Where is your expanded metal?"  Those idiots have no clue what it even is and will tell you that they don't have it.  It'll be in the hardware isle at the end, past all of the nuts and bolts.

post #540 of 543

Got my porcelain grate at Home Depot Model # 550-0002 and cut a little off. Working well so far. I burn a mix of Charcoal and apple tree trimmings.

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