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char griller mod idea need input

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have seen several images in these forums with elaborate baffles mods to the char grillers and I was just wondering if the curved tray that hangs under the cooking grates will work with my idea. I have seen the baffle convection plate that horizon sells for their units and it has several holes drilled in it so I am wondering if the tray on the CG can be turned upside down, holes drilled across it to distribute the heat and then a small baffle applied over the gap between the SFB and the tray in the SB? I haven't purchased a smoker yet and I am wanting to get a nice sized one to start with that isn't very expensive. I don't have any tools or metal working skills and just wanted to hear your input on this idea..
post #2 of 26
You got it man. I just bought the Chargriller Duo a few days ago and it works incredibly! You have the gasser side for when the ol' lady wants something fast, and it wont even bother what you are smokin. As far as the baffle goes, I just turned to ashtray in the smoking chamber upside down just as you said, and simply covered the gap by the SFB with a water pan. I am, however, going to see what I can do for that permanently but you are right on track. Good luck with whatever you get!
post #3 of 26
I did not mess with my curved charcoal try. When configured as a smoker I just invert it. My temperatures stay within 20 degrees from side to side. This way I can flip it back over and use my grill as a grill for big crowds without damaging the charcoal tray. I also remove the stack extension when grilling.
post #4 of 26
If you are new here, you should stop by the roll call so people can give you a proper welcome & let us know who you are & what you are working with or thinking about working with. This is a great place for information. That being said:

I don't know which model you plan on getting but if you check the link in my signature, you will see the model I have. I have not used the tray as a baffle as of yet. I plan to on my next smoke to see what happens. Maybe with a turkey. Something small. Yes, people have drilled holes in their trays, which really does not render them useless. You just have more of a clean up when using as a griller as the ash will end up at the very bottom of your grill. If you want to go through that on a regular basis, then so be it. The idea of the holes, small at the opening of the firebox growing larger towards the end, is to allow the heat to rise at an even distribution. I use a temporary method which is foil angled downward. This causes my smoke to run cooler at that end, where the foil is but it is what I can do for now, having no real tools to modify such as other people on this site. I am actually thinking of changing my rig to a duo, maybe. I am not sure right now if I should make my CG a true smoker & buy a Weber grill or get a duo char griller, (propane & charcoal), like the one SmokeFever has or buy a Weber smokey & keep the CG as a griller. (I really want a Lang or Horizon but $$$ are short right now.) As I was typing this post, I did not see where you are from but if you have access to a machine shop or have a garage with the capable tools, then building your own baffle & making your own modifications won't be a problem.

Do you always invert it during a smoke? I have not tried that yet & was wondering if I should give it a go.
post #5 of 26
I have seen some who have drilled. I have not found the need with mine. I took the 2 small cooking grates from the SFB & set them across the bottom on the main chamber. When I invert the charcoal tray & sit in on the grates, it matches up with the SFB opening. If I butt it up right against the opening, the opposite side of the MC will run 20-25 degrees hotter than the SFB side. I can slide the tray to the left & leave 1/2" to 3/4" gap at the SFB opening & keep my temps within 10 degrees from side to side. If I slide the tray all the way to the left, I can create a hot zone on the SFB side if I need to crisp BB chicken skin or the bacon on ABTs. I keep an old screwdriver out by my grill so I can adjust the gap between the tray & the SFB opening during a cook without having to move any of the cooking grates.

I suggest try it this way & if it doesn't give you the control you need, then you can always drill.
post #6 of 26
What temps do you get at the grill level in the middle?
post #7 of 26
I don't usually measure middle temp until I insert one of the probes into the meat. Then I move one probe to the middle near the meat. The temp then is within the same 10 degree range as long as I have the stack mod in place.
post #8 of 26

Just finished a mod to my Char Griller

I have had my Char Griller for about a year. I've had good success but uneven heat has been an issue and it also uses a lot of charcoal it seems to me. I decided to change it a little after lurking on this forum one night last week.

I just finished modifying it into a reverse flow unit. I added a piece of angle iron on each side of the smoking chamber to support the flipped over charcoal tray. I caulked the seam between the SFB and the charcaol tray and did not drill any holes. I also moved my stack to the other side of the lid. I did slope the angle irons down away from the SFB about 1/2" to keep grease flowing that way, I might have draft problems but I'll need to try it out to see. I have lit a fire in it and got smoke where I expected to but I'll try it out officially this weekend.
post #9 of 26
I inverted it, put it on the highest setting on the firebox side. On the left (non firebox side) I don't use the hanger at all but rather just set it on the bottom of the chamber near the bolts that hold the chamber to the frame. I smoosh it over so that there isn't any (or very litle) gap between the top of the tray and the right side of the chamber.

I didn't not drill any wholes in it.

I also took the charcoal grate from the SFB and placed it under the inverted chamber tray with a bag of ceramic briquettes on it.

Left to right I am 6 degrees difference usually.
post #10 of 26
Okay. Thank you.

Thank you for the great info. Can't wait to get the tubing & trying this mod on my next smoke.
post #11 of 26
There are a lot of mods many have done, and we're all proud of themicon_cool.gif

After reviewing the performance of mine and reading about others, I think the following are true of the chargrillers:

1. If you don't mod this smoker at all it doesn't perform well as shipped from the factory, there are huge differences in temperature and the smoke goes almost directly from the firebox to the exhaust without lingering.

2. If you trust the factory thermometer in the lid you will have disappointing results.

3. Their are two essential mods that pretty much MUST be done to get good performance. Aside from these two mods everything else is optional and up to the user whether or not the cost and the hassle of the mods are worth it but the following two mods MUST be done.

A. Dryver vent tubing mod to extend smokestack to grate level. Cost $7 max, time invested max 3 minutes (not counting trip to buy it)

B. Invert the charcoal tray OR invent some other kind of baffle. Cost $0 if you just invert it, more if you really customize something, time 12 seconds if you just invert it, more if you really customize something.

My advice for anyone getting started with these to models is to do A and B above and start cooking meat, and then tinker with it from there. Lastly, get a good thermometer probe in the sucker at grate level.
post #12 of 26
What he said....^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
post #13 of 26
The only thing I would add to the above is get some kind of charcoal basket for the SFB.
post #14 of 26
I always have the charcoal grate inverted when the CharGriller is used for smoking. This is most of the time. I only place it in the normal position when throwing in lump for grilling.
post #15 of 26
I have had my Char-Griller Super Pro for about a year now, I have great success just flipping the charcoal pan upside down and hanging it from the hangers at it's highest setting. I usually have a 10-20° differance from one side to the other, but never had any issues with one end being to hot.

Also to make clean up easy I wrap the inverted tray tightly with a piece of tin foil, and line the bottom half of the cooker with foil as well. Then when I'm done and it is all cooled off I just have to remove the foil from the back of the tray, and roll it up with the foil on the bottom. Give the bottom a little wipe with some paper towel and viola! clean up is done! biggrin.gif
post #16 of 26
what I did was purchase a few high heat thermometers for directly outside the firebox then a few regular temp thermemeters and put one on the bottm left corner about an inch or so above the grill line and one agled down on the top left corner this will give you an upper and lower temprelativly close to where the meat would be
its worked very well for me as of late
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the input. I just now gotten back from Lowes with the Char griller super pro and side fire box. I have seen directions on mounting the dryer vent and I'll just invert the tray as you all have suggested. I will also pick up a basket for my coal and I have also seen some ppl adding the dryer vent on the outside of the chimney and curve it down to help keep wind from blowing down the chimney. What about door sealing and do any of you use a water pan in yours?
post #18 of 26
I line the bottom of the MC with foil for easy cleanup. I about 6" extra on both the front & back. I roll the extra foil loosely back to the edge of the chamber & slowly close the lid. I also do the same along each side. (see below)

I also have a couple of double or triple folded strips of foil where I gave a couple of small gaps on the SFB door & the ash tray door.
post #19 of 26
Did you get it put together last night?

Some units (mine was) aren't punched that well and you have to put some real effort into knocking out the knock outs to attache the SFB

Get that puppy seasoned and give us some qview biggrin.gif
post #20 of 26
Lowes will put it together for free.
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