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Char-Griller offset smoker

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I have been considering an offset smoker... Something that I can use real wood in. Not being a financially well endowed person, I have ruled out spending $500-$600 for a brinkmann offset.

All that being said I came across these Char-Griller setups at Lowes.com and it got me kind of interested.

It looked to me like I could get set up for a little less than $200. That's more realistic for me since I really can't sell the wife on the idea that I need another smoker when she already knows full and well what I have....Does/has anybody used or owned one of these? What did you think of it?

I saw some online reviews and they were decent, but then again any schmo can write a review at some of these sites whereas here at SMF I know that people will stand behind what they say because they have a reputation to think about....

Please help me out fellow SMFers... Are they Junk? Are they a good value? Are they a good starter that will last me for the next 5 years?

Thanks in advance!!
post #2 of 23
I do not have one, but I know ALOT of smokers on here do and seem extremely happy with them. I am sure they will pipe in.
post #3 of 23
Brinkman offsets are that much? I think my kids bought me my Smoke' N Pit offset for fathers day at Wally World some years back for like 129 bucks. icon_confused.gif
post #4 of 23
I have one of these and i will give you my honest opinion of it:
The CG is a good value for a starter offset smoker. You do need a couple of mods to perform before you get it dialed in. For starters, you need to extend the exhaust stack to the cooking grate level. This is done easily with flexible dryer vent hose. Next is a charcoal basket, which can be easily made of expanded metal. The CG is very versatile in that you can smoke or grill in it using the charcoal pan. The bad points: Well, it looks good size, but in reality, I was only able to fit two briskets in it at once. Also, the metal is kinda thin. It may not last the five years you wanted with heavy use. Third, it leaks like sieve. The lid does not seal well, and there are alot of screw holes that have to be plugged. Hope this helps.
post #5 of 23
I have the CG Pro with side fire box. I got it last year for Christmas and I like it alot. Gramason can offer you some great mods to do to this smoker. I am in the process of getting started doing the mods to mine. It is a great grill/smoker for the price. I would recommend it as well.
post #6 of 23
I have one, and it works great. I did some mods, but for the money you can't beat it. If you get it and need help with the mods, PM me and i'll send you some pics.
post #7 of 23

Here is a link to the standard mods made to the standard off sets. Good luck with your decision.
post #8 of 23
I have the Char-broil Silver smoker offset smoker and it is a real nice unit.
Heavy duty and works well, only had to do a couple mods.
Home depot sells these..
post #9 of 23

How bout this

I have a BB-Chef offset from bbq galore. Its a slightly thicker steel and has a sturdier construction than the other small offsets. I got mine for 200$. You may have a issue finding a bbq galore near you. Hope this helps.
post #10 of 23
I have a Chargriller Pro with the side fire box. It is a great starter Stick Burner, but as has aready been mentioned it does need a mods. And yes it does leak like a sive, I use foil to plug the gaps durring cooks.
I will say that the metal on the new ones is a lot thinner than the one I have which is about 4 years old now, and I was not impressed with the workmanship of the new ones either.
Just my 2 cents
post #11 of 23
I have one and did the mods when I put it together. I've had it about a year and it's still in good shape, keep it covered when not in use. For the money, it's a nice value.
post #12 of 23
I got a Brinkman Smoke N Pit at Walmart for less than $200.00. Also Academy Sports has a New Braunsfel for about the same size for 189.00
post #13 of 23
I agree with the previous posts. I've had mine since May, and have been turning out some great vittles ever since. I did the mods (easy), seasoned it good, and use some foil here and there to keep the smoke from leaking so much, but as far as I'm concerned it was a great investment. I turn out Que that's ten times better than the que joints around my area for 1/4 the price. Even had my father in law state that he can't eat ribs at the restaurant anymore since trying mine, as they don't have any flavor in comparison. Stuff like that'll puff yer chest up quick!

The thing that sold me was the ability to use it as a charcoal grill with the internal pan, and the cast iron grates. Personally, I checked out all the similar sized horz. offsets, and thought this one was the most versitle, and was above average as far a being a sturdy well built product.

I will tell you this...don't buy the chargriller cover. It for sure is crap. It got sun bleached and brittle (tearing easily) after about 2 months. Store it in the garage, or under a cheap tarp.

If you're worried about needing more room inside the smoke chamber...the Outlaw by Chargriller is still available at the Sportsman's Warehouse near where I live. It's about 30 bucks more, and about 6-8" longer. Hard to find, but they've still got them there. Uses the same SFB.

Hope this helps...sorry about being long winded!
post #14 of 23
Unless I misunderstood your question, the only thing I don't know about is using it as a true stick burner. In my opinion, the chambers are just too small to burn only wood. I think you will oversmoke if you aren't carefull. However, I have (in a pinch) used only wood, but I pre-burn the wood in a tub outside the smoker, and shovel the embers in as needed. A lot of work, but does work.

Other than that, it's a great smoker. Get yourself some high temperature silicone, and pump it in anything that leaks smoke. After a while, you'll get it sealed.

Enjoy! Can't beat it for the money, IMHO.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks to everyone from the input so far.... Feel free to offer more if you have any. Now that I know it's not a piece of junk I get the feeling that I may wanna look around at the stores like Lowes, Home Depot, and Mennards in the near future so I can see one for myself up close and see if they have any othere sizes. Obviously if I can get a little bigger setup for a few more bucks I will do so. I'm pretty sure that I can make for some first class mods to anything I get, but on the other hand sometimes its nice to not have to make any mods to begin with.

Some of the stores that were mentioned aren't available in my area, and I hate to pay freight so that may impact may choice as well.

Question for rwc565....
Did your Brinkmann Smoke and Pit require any mods to make it work well?
post #16 of 23
This is what I was afraid of. Its a great value, for sure, but anything that cheap is going to leave you wanting more. Better to buy an ecb and just save up for the one you really want. Or hell, just build a custom smoker out of a 55 gallon drum for a $150 and a lot of sweat, you could have a kick butt smoker that would last ten years!
post #17 of 23
Hi Geek,
I agree with 100% you can not beat it for the money but..............
I have not had any problems using straight wood in mine,
I start my fire about 1 to 1 1/2 hours before I am ready to cook.
I get the pit up to temp and build a good base of coals. Then I'll add my meat that i am cooking.
I use small logetts that I cut up ( about 3 inchs wide by about 14 inches long) and pre heat them on top of the fire box before I add them. I'll add one about every 50 minutes or so depending on outside temps and what ever temps I am cooking at. So far I have not had "over smokey flavor" The only problem I have had is it does eat a lot of wood and does need a lot of attention when I burn just wood.
post #18 of 23
I have the char griller pro... i copied the mods Gramason did...(he actually helped me do most of them..) i LOVE the thing! I use charcoal... lump and split oak... depending on what i have... You sure need a good thermometer tho... the stock one is junk....
post #19 of 23
As Seaham said I have the Charbroil Silver Smoker as well. Pretty good for the money. Requires the same mods as the CG. A little smaller cooking area, not that much though.
Can be picked up in store at Home Depot.
post #20 of 23
That is what I did. I took a 55-gallon drum, and bought the fire box for the char griller and put it on it. I have no problems gettting to 350° smoker temp. See sig pic, or go to the galley, and click on my album.
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