Ok, broke down and got the Char-Griller smoker and offset firebox from lowes yesterday. did my 'seasoning' of the beast and now I have a nice mahogany color on the inside. any tips/tricks I should know about??
Congrats Dave. I also have a CG. It will work as is out of the box, but a few mods will really enhance its performance. First, be sure you have some way of measuring temp at cooking grate level. The hood therm that comes on the CG is unreliable. You can buy dial therms & mount them like in the pic above or use digital probe type therms. I stick the probe thru a half of a potato & sit it on the cooking grate.
You also want to get some kind of a charcoal basket for the SFB. Lowes sells a shaker basket by CharBroil that a lot of CG owners use. You need to mount it some way so you can still open & close the ash drawer below it. Some use stainless bolts & hang it from the cooking grate rails. Some cut pieces of angle iron that fit across the SFB above the level of the ash drawer. I had an grate from an old grill that I bent into a U shape & sit the shaker basket on.
I would start with these two mods & get a feel of how you CG performs. Then you can add other mods like lowering the stack inside the MC, sealing the chamber, etc. There are some thread on this forum with mods of the CG as well as other offset type smokers.
Also buy a length of heavy duty dryer hose and use it to extend the smoke stack down to grate level, this is a must for the Char-grillers. Another trick I use is to flip the charcoal pan in the main cooking chamber upside down, then hang it in it's highest postition. This makes a nice cheap tuning plate that will generally keep your chamber temps withing 10-20 degrees from right side to left side. And I definately second the post about buying two new therms and mounting them at grate level. My factory therm was off by 75°!
Dave, welcome to the forum,i also love my char griller as well.
to get a steady temp of 225 on mine,i open the stack all the
way ,and open the fire box vent about 1/3rd of the way,this
has served me well for several year's,good luck with your's.
oh I been lurking around taking in the immense information provided by smf. Looking forward to 2 slabs of ribs this weekend with some mesquite wood. gonna run w/o mods and then and then extend my smokestack to the grate. gonna learn how to maintain my heat and fire. Looks like now is as good a time as any.
I would honestly extend the stack first... only costs about $5 and takes all of 2 minutes to do it. Makes a huge differance in temps from side to side, and helps keep smoke even from side to side. Also much easier to do mods when the inside is clean and new... lol. Best of luck!
well the char-griller has it's first casualty. the Ash tray welds broke. I called the manufacturer and they will be sending me a new one. looking to do ribs on saturday Wish me luck :) nothing like mesquite wood and ribs!
nope haven't modded it yet. nice thing is, the ash tray (Main barrel) is the only thing that broke. all I have to do is fax to them my receipt and serial number and another one will be shipped free of charge. talk about standing behind the product
I just finshed cooking a 4.5 lb Prime Rib on a CG and it came out great. I cooked it for around 2hr at 250 degrees and pulled it out at 120 degrees and wraped it and let it sit for 20 min and came out nice and rare.
My CGSP is my absolute favorite smoker. I have not done the smoke stack mod. Mine works fine without it. I did make a mod to the firebox as was described before. I basically made a metal rack above the drawer and put a grill pan on the rack to have two levels of charcoal for increased heat and control. The only other "mod" that I did was to make a baffle. I think this is the most important mod to make. I simply turned the ashpan in the grill upside down. I wrapped it in foil. I placed three bricks insdie the grill body so that when I put the upside down ash pan back in the grill it would be setting on the bricks. This raises the pan to perfectly fit over the opening of the firebox. This baffle will help regulate temps in your smoker to eliminate the hot spot next to the firebox. I have seen other mods for making baffles, but this requires nothin but what already comes with your smoker. I do not use mine for anything other than smoking. If I used it for grilling with charcoal and used the ash pan a lot, I might look to make a different baffle.
Good luck and keep on smoking!