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Got a CharGriller for $155! Football cutouts!! & how to setup the firebox?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So I have been looking for a new smoker and called lowes today. They had the Super Pro Char griller for $139 and I couldn't beleive it, the fire box for $16! So I jumped on it right away. They had 2 fireboxes left, they mark the old 2009 models down.

Very easy to put together but those (words of frustration) football cut outs! Are you kidding me CharGriller? They weren't even spot welded. I drilled out the screws and bashed it with a hammer for about 20 minutes till I was sweating and needed a beer. I bent the whole side of the grill in but bent it back. Took a dremel tool to it and opened up the whole quite a bit but not completely. Why would it not already be opened on the firebox? I guessing this cutout needs to be opened fully to have proper heat flow? I'm buying new blades for my sawzall tommarow. I have to season it and smoke for the super bowl.

How do I setup the fire box? It came with 2 grills but neither of them look like they work well to me. Whats the best way to set this up? I need to get it going tommarow.
Overall I am happy with the construction and quality. The cutouts are probably the dumbest thing that I have ever put together but for the price it can't be beat.
I have already done the dryer vent mod and planning a few other thanks to you guys on the site.
post #2 of 13
Ive got one, but bought mine in a package, so the knockouts were already opened up. Cant help you there.

But on the firebox, the grills that came with it are to actually cook in the firebox. If you are using strictly for smoking you wont need them. You should have also got the little charcoal wire rack thing. You put that in the bottom and dump your charcoal on that. But it works better if you make your own charcoal basket. can hold more coal and gets better air flow. Check out the mods page here if you havent already. Good luck!
post #3 of 13
If you would giv us a picture or two we could probally help you out alittle better. I would also think that the opening should be really easy to knock out but if you didn't opt to use it it would have to be somewhat sealed up to.
post #4 of 13
I had MAJOR issues with mine. Beat the snot out of it and then finally had to use a jig saw to cut and those ears were a biatch! I finally got it, but didnt fit well (probably due to banging it around). Called company and sent me new better punched cutouts. Must still be some in the pipeline that were poorly punched.

Call CharGriller.

post #5 of 13
I know you don't want to hear this but I had zero problems removing both "footballs". Sorry to hear you worked up a pretty good lather. I drilled out each hole with a 5/16" bit then worked a heavy duty chisel edge putty knife into each tack weld and broke each one individually. The panel then was easy to tap out and remove.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Its not too bad. But you would never think you would have the assemble it this way. You figure it some nuts and bolts then they bring up hammering and cutting off 1/4 of the side of the unit. Once I get the right sawzall blades ill be good to go for the super bowl.

Thanks Guys. Have a good one.
post #7 of 13
Sorry to hear about your difficulties, tuna, but congrats on the new rig! For your firebox setup, the important thing is airflow. Make sure you set your charcoal grate up so that there is room underneath for air to get under your coals. Read the mod threads for some good charcoal basket designs. Good luck, and happy smokin'!
post #8 of 13
I had to use tin snips on mine, it was a pita.
post #9 of 13
$16 for the SFB! What a steal! I got my Super Pro on sale just before Christmas for $99.00, but the SFB cost $69.00!!! Great deal. There is a sticky thread regarding modifications to this unit. Covers stack mod, wheels, thermometers, charcoal basket etc. There are also a lot of pics of other CG owners units and the mods they did. All good stuff.

Congrats on the new smoker and many happy smokes!
post #10 of 13
I found mine for $99 also but nobody had the side fire box around here so I had to order one does not look like it will show up in time to smoke for the super bowl.From everthing i have heard though once it gets here I will just make my own charcoal basket since theirs dont seem to hold up
post #11 of 13
The reason the football is left in the SFB, is that CG also sells it as a stand alone table top grill.

That charcoal grate that comes with the SFB is not very useful. As others have said, you need some type of charcoal basket. There are some threads around with diagrams on how to make one from expanded metal. A lot of CG owners (like me) use a Charbroil shaker basket that Lowes also sells. You need some way to mount it so that you can remove the ash drawer without disturbing the basket. Some use stainless steel bolts. Other have cut pieces of angle iron that fit against the sides above the drawer. I had grate from an old grill that I bent to hang from the cooking grate rails that my basket sits on.

The SFB cooking grates can be used if you want to grill a couple of steaks over direct heat in the SFB. I put them across the bottom of the main chamber & sit the inverted charcoal tray on them to act as a baffle.
post #12 of 13
If you decide to go with a charcoal basket, here is the best way I have found to build your fire to get good stable 225-245 temps and at least 2-4 hours before needing to reload for long smokes.

Start by mixing a 3-5 good sized wood chunks in with your charcoal. Leave an open space in the front left corner of the basket. Since air flows from right to left across the basket, your fire have to burn from left to right against the air flow & slow the rate of burn.

Light about half to 3/4 of a chimney of charcoal. I am using a elcheapo chimney from Walmart so I go with about 3/4. If you have the larger Weber chimney, go about half. I use the side burner on my gasser to start the chimney. I don't wait until all the coals are ashed over. Just get a good hot fire going in the chimney

Dump the hot charcoals into the open space you left in the basket & close the SFB lid. Be sure both the stack & side vents are open all the way.

You need some way to accurately measure temps at grate level in the cooking chamber. The stock therm in the hood of the CG is not very accurate nor will it give you a good reading on what the temp is where you food sits. I use a digital probe therm with the probe inserted thru a half a small potato sitting on the cooking grate. You can see on in the pic below just to the right of the butts.

Depending on the weather, it will take from 10-30 minutes for your cooking chamber to come up to temps. If you are shooting for cooking temps around 225, you will want to close the side vent down when the chamber temp hits about 200. I normally close my down to less than 1/4 open. If you are shooting for 240+ temps, the wait until the chamber temps get to 210-215 before closing down the side vent. Within about 15 mins, the temps will stabilize. You can then make small adjustments to the side vent to adjust the temp up or down. Whenever you make adjustments give it about 15 mins to stabilize. Always leave the stack vent completely open. The only time you really should change the stack vent would be to close it briefly to help choke down a fire that gets too hot.
post #13 of 13
I cut a 2x4 the length of the inside the main chamber. That provided me a solid base to the side so I could knock out football with hammer. Someone one here suggested it to me and it worked like a charm. had it out in less than a minute.
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