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Smoke Seepage Issue w/ pictures!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
FYI - This is my first time attempting to add photo's. I posted earlier about my CG 830 offest smoker. I just bought it last week. I tried to smoke a chicken (3lbs.)yesterday and it took me about 6 hours (not 8). My problem is that I couldn't get my smoker hotter that 200* in the that 6 hours. I added hot coals about every 2 hours, when I noticed that temp. was going down. After I put in the new coals from my chimney, the temp would got from 175* to 200* for about 10 mins. Then, it went back down. In that 10 min time span, I noticed a bunch of smoke seeping out from the door. I was wondering if I should try to install a stove/fireplace gasket and if anyone has had this issue. Any adivice would be great!

I'm using cookie sheets as tuning plates...probably a bad idea?

My baffle out of 22 gauge sheet metal

From inside the fire box

New shaker basket for my coals
post #2 of 10
Hi there, sorry to hear about your problems but I think I can offer a few suggestions. First off, your temps, dont trust that thermometer that came with it. 9 out of 10 times they are way off. Better off to spend spend a few dollars on a good probe or a dual digital like Maverick sell. If you get a replacement screw in probe style, redrill the hole so the therm is at grate level or as close to is as you can since this is where the meat is. Your tuning plate, I would say go to your local steel shop if there is one around, and have them shear you a few pieces how ever long it is from front to back on the main chamber, as close to even or slightly above the line of the firebox and have them about 4 or 5 inches wide. This way you can arrange them as you see fit.

Second, you can get the gaskets, but a cheaper method, one that I use and is VERY effective, is to take some aluminum foil and fold it over itself a few times till its about an inch wide, then wrap it around the edges. When you close the lid, the foil will compress and seal like a champ.
post #3 of 10

Welcome to SMF

Welcome, glad to have you here at SMF!
post #4 of 10
Oh man, wheres my manners. I did not realize you were new here. Welcome aboard. Yeah Thomasyoung below beat me to it LOL. Glad your here. Remember, if your unsure of anything, JUST ASKPDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #5 of 10
First off, welcome to the forum. Secondly, if ya take the "tuning plates" out, and the charcoal tray, and anything else that may be in there, ya still wont get much over 250-275 no matter how much ya seal it. Those are the temps the cgsp's are designed to run at with the sfb on. What's most important is the firebox seals well, not necesarily the main cooking chamber. What I do is dump 1 large style chimey of unlit coals on the side towrds the main chamber opening. Then dump a full lit, ashed over chimney full towards the dampner side. Your shaker basket should be slightly overfilled now, and you'll peg 250-260 in about 30 mins. That will give you about 2 hrs or so..then I check wood and coal every hour from there on. The other advice you got was good also. The therms that come with the unit r junk. Make sure ya got a good one thats calibrated. Just remember for every piece of meat ya pitch, ya could have been that much closer to buying a good thermo. Hope this helps
post #6 of 10
As I already told you in chat, remove the charcoal tray in the MC, it's just more mass that absorbs your heat. Another technique I found when I owned mine was on barbecuebible.com in the CG thread, was if you weren't going to remove the charcoal tray from the MC, to raise it all the way to the top, and flip it over so that it it acts as a natural baffle from your SFB. I did everything you did thus far plus a lot more and I still burned through fuel. It is NOT the more fuel efficient cooker for what it is and is better suited strictly as a grill. Again, look over at barbecuebible.com, there's an entire thread devoted to the chargriller family.
post #7 of 10
Very good trick there, Meat Hunter! I'll need to try that myself on my SNP.

Welcome to the forum, scriprp!

I can't think of anything else not already mentioned above (lots of good tips/advice there), so I'm not much good to you right now icon_redface.gif, maybe in the future though...

We all go through issues with our rigs the first few fires we build in 'em, so hang in there. The tips and advice you can get here are priceless, and free!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!

Good smokes to ya!

post #8 of 10
It took me a little while to figure out the right amount of charcoal to get the temps right. Chrome shaker basket works a lot better than the wok. I picked up some of this to seal my door when I get some time to install it. Going to glue it on. This is an experiment in progress.

Back of door


Sides and front

I'm not affiliated with these places. Just where I could find it and had good experience with both. 7/16 turned out to be a hair small for the back so I ordered the 9/16 from AK because I only needed 3ft.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Great ideas guys, thanks for all of the info.. So far since I posted that. I've removed the tuning plates (cookie sheets), charcoal tray, sealed up holes inside each corner of my SFB, wrapped the entire inside with aluminum foil and currently in the process of trying to install the 3/8 stove gasket, which wouldn't adhere last night. I'm going to fire her up here in the next day or two and see if she'll get above 200*.
post #10 of 10
Are you using lump? What I do is, like you are trying, line the bottom of the pit with aluminum foil, and wad it up where the lid hits the base. I use a cookie sheet as a baffle and I also use the minion method in my SFB. Usually don't have to add charcoal for about 4-5 hours of cooking after the given that it takes about 45 min to get to temp. I've had good luck with this unit after taking everyone's advice.

Oh and the stock thermo in this unit is made and installed with the specific purpose of keeping asian children employed. It is not, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES to be trusted.
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