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Another newbie...

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Didn't start in here but I thought I'd post up here and say hello... My name is Chris and I am from Georgia. I'm working with a Char Griller Smokin' Pro w/side box. I've extended the top vent pipe almost down to the grate and built a fire basket for the fire box after the factory fire grate ended up being FUBAR after the first cook. I'm still learning the art of smoking meat and I'm also still trying to get the hang of the offset smoker. I had done a little "hot smoking" I guess you'd say, in my Weber charcoal grill but wanted a real smoker. I've really enjoyed the Smokin' Pro so far and hope to move up to a nice trailer mount smoker after a while.

I'm looking forward to getting to know some of you and tapping into the experience of the members here to speed along my learning. Just found this forum tonight and can't wait to dig into some of the old postings to come up to speed.
post #2 of 22
Chris, I'm tickled that you're here. You'll find lots of folks who will do anything they can to help you. I've got the Char Griller with the SFB. If you've got questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
post #3 of 22
Welcome, Chris! From what I have read here, most of us fit into the category of "still learning the art of smoking". Even the old pros often make comments about new things they've learned here. That's what SMF is all about, so ask lots of questions. Glad to have you with us.
post #4 of 22
Welcome aboard the Smf. I have a char-griller also, with a few mods they turn out some great chow.
post #5 of 22


Hey Pork Butt, Welcome to SMF, da_n good advice, just ask for it. I have been reading alot of info and soaking up on alot of tips, and taking notesicon_cool.gif
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the welcome. So far my biggest problem with the Smokin' Pro has been that my butts have reached 195 internal WAY too fast for the indicated temp on the built in thermometer in the lid. I figured it would be off, but I've decided it must be WAY off. Cooked several 5lb butts and with the factory thermometer indicating a fairly steady 225-230 the butts reached 195 in less than 5 hours both cooks and didn't really plateau around 165-170 as people say they should. Also, they didn't pull very easily.

I have a 10 lb butt and some ribs to smoke this weekend and I'm going to use a known accurate thermometer to read the pit temp near the meat and see how far off the stocker is. I've already read where someone said theirs was almost 100 degrees off. I'm thinking mine may be that far off as well.

Anyway, we'll see. I can't wait to fire it up!

Oh... I'm also doing ABT's and a couple Fatties for the first time this weekend. I can't wait to try those things!
post #7 of 22
Chris, you'll eventually want to add thermometers down at great level on the front....one on each side. They really do help. I'll try to remember to post pics soon of how I did mine. That will give you a much better understanding of where your temps are running.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yep, already thinking about doing that. Just need to find suitable thermometers and round up what I need. I'll look forward to seeing pics of how you did it.
post #9 of 22
Hwllo Chris, and welcome to the SMF. We have a great many of friendly and knowledgeable members who can help you with your smokin, grillin' needs. I hope you have a great smoke real soon!
post #10 of 22
Welcome to SMF! There is alot to dig into here. Youl find so much information here!
post #11 of 22
Welcome to the SMF Familyicon_exclaim.gif

I like BA_LoKo's idea up till now I had used a Taylor probe thru a potato or a block of wood. I would rather use the Taylors for the meatPDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #12 of 22
Welcome to SMF PorkButt.
You might want to try your local LP gas distributor for the thermometers. They have a lot of quality gas grills and you might find what you need.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #13 of 22
welcome to smf.you for sure will want to get a digital probe thermo for meats like b*tts & briskets. there's a few to choose from in the smoking meat store.
post #14 of 22
Welcome to our playhouse!
post #15 of 22
PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif Welcome to the SMF PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the love. Just finished my first ABT's and fatties. About to post up Q-view in the Pork forum. Worked out my huge issue with the Char Griller too. Now if it were only made of thicker metal...
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
As for the huge issue with the Char Griller...I cooked my first batch of ABT's and fatties and used two thermometers besides the factory lid mounted one. I found that the factory thermostat is around 100* off (reads that much lower than actual cooking temps at the grate level) at +/- 230*.

Explains why the butts I've smoked have cooked too fast and didn't pull at all. I've been basically indirectly grilling/roasting them at probably close to 400* by keeping the factory thermo at 225-230*. Pics of the factory thermo and then two others I used to get real cooking temps at the grate. Pics taken within seconds of each other, as fast as I could move around with the camera...

Also finally got a true grip on my fire since I wasn't having to constantly stoke and feed the fire to keep the faulty thermo to what I thought was 225-230*! Never got "bad" smoke, just thin, wispy bluish smoke... Finally got a handle on this Char Griller. Now if it were only made of thicker metal!

I still want the ET-73 and two through the lid dial thermos but I can get by with what I have for now.
post #18 of 22
icon_biggrin.gifWelcome to smf. Check out the 5day ecourse its free and very helpful as are the people here aslo.
post #19 of 22
Best bet on the CG is to keep that stack wide openPDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
On day three now. icon_mrgreen.gif
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