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DC new guy who wants to destroy his CG CC

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ok first off let me introduce myself.

I'm Steve from Northern Va, I am an Infiniti Tech by trade and I enjoy cooking meat over fire for fun. Like many of the people here I have read tons of barbecue and smoking articles opinions and stories at all various extremes.

When it comes to grilling I have a 22.5" Weber that has cooked absolutely everything over the last five years. A few years back we bought a Char Grill Silver series, with the best of intentions. I have only used the smoker function of this beauty a few times with mixed results.

Fast forward another winter and I have recently refinished the inside of the CG (used it as a large grill and burned the smoking chamber walls) and christened it this past weekend. After several hours in the smoker and near continual monitoring and adjust to maintain a temperature at the lower end of the safety range, while mathematically the fire was 3-4x larger than it should be. This is the same reason I left this for dead a few years back when it pulled this same stunt.

This afternoon I was contemplating destroying the grill but I wanted to give it one last attempt, as instead of saying I've screwed this up and kicking myself I did the math and figured the heat loss through the the CG is unacceptable especially as I plan to rely on this to feed a group of friends.

I went to Home Depot and bought some fire barrier expanding foam and blue painters tape. My logic is to seal all the points that leak heat, which on my unit is everywhere. I plan on using the tape on the body and the creating as close to a perfect seal that will not emit toxic fumes if exposed to the heat range of a smoker.

Upon Googling modifications to the char broil on a whim I stumbled upon the same saga again and again (I don't know why I never thought of that before). I hope to be brought up to speed by the guys here when it comes to making the best out of the summer. Is modifying this thing going to retain enough heat to retain a consistent 250F or is the gauge of steel used just never going keep heat correctly and I should scrap this thing and get a new unit.

Any help y'all can impart on me would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 17
Welcome to SMF, Steve. Glad you joined us.
post #3 of 17
Hang in there. Someone in the know will be by to help you out. Welcome fellow Ginyan!!
post #4 of 17
Why can't I find a pic of the CG Silver Series?

Regardless here's some ideas for a CG Smokin Pro.



I would toss that tape and foam. I would go with a Oven door Gasket and High Temp Silicone.

post #5 of 17
Welcome to the SMF Steve, We are glad to have you onboard
post #6 of 17
You are at a crossroads, there are many here who have modified their budget Side Fire Box SFB to do a more than adequate job, and are happy. There are also many who have upgraded to another smoker. However as you already guessed the design and metal thickness will always be a struggle to over come. If you love to tinker, fuss, constantly watch/tend, expend a lot of hours to learn the quirks, and pay extra money to do it, then modifying your SFB is the way to go for you. However you have a perfect excuse with the wife to sell your SFB on Craigslist and upgrade to a Weber Smokey Mountain WSM. The metal is light, but the design works and it is a quality backyard smoker. It is so good that many BBQ competitions are won with a WSM, in fact the KCBS 2009 Team of the Year used WSMs.

Oh, and WELCOME to SMF!
post #7 of 17

Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us. This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.

For those of you new to Smoking, be sure to check out Jeff's 5 Day Smoking Basics eCourse.
Click Here it's "FREE" ... 5 Day eCourse

I Would Highly Suggest Reading these posts on Food Safety by bbally.

This thread will tell you basically everything you need to know and the man explaining it is
both a ServSafe Instructor and a HACCP Instructor.


Here you can get the 2009 USDA Food Safety Guide from his site.

How to post Qview to Forum:

When you uploading to Photobucket I always use the Large IMG setting, 640 x 480 it is a nice size...

Everyone here enjoys seeing the Qview so be sure to post plenty of pics...

Large ones that us old people with bad eyes can see.

For Step By Step Instructions On Posting Qview Check Out This Tutorial

post #8 of 17
Welcome to the forum. I have the opportunity to purchase a new smoker, (thinking WSM) as I have the CGSP. I am not happy with having to fight with it to keep the temps up & I certainly do not have the right equipment to upgrade / modify it as I would like to see. If given the choice, I would get something else. Oh wait! I do have a choice & I am getting something else!! Phew. Thought I was stuck there for a moment.

Whatever you decide, enjoy your stay here at the forum as the information is plentiful here.
post #9 of 17
Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks here and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.
post #10 of 17
Howdy, welcome to the SMF!!
post #11 of 17
Great to have you.
post #12 of 17


Welcome to smf, I use a propane smoker myself, the gosm, and it holds a pretty constant temp, and I don't have to babysit it.
post #13 of 17
Welcome to the SMF, I am not far from you in Va. I started with the same smoker you have now and have retired it strictly for grilling purposes only, If you are looking for something that holds temps and is less maintence I would reccomend either a UDS or a WSM. They produce great results, either way goood luck and we look forward to hearing from you .

post #14 of 17
Welcome to the forum. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the CG Silver an old gasser grill?
post #15 of 17
Welcome to the SMF forum, You came to the right place. Good people and good info.
post #16 of 17
First off welcome Steve to SMF. Now don't go beating up the smoker just yet. You can solve most of the problems here. You'll like it here cause there are abunch of good folks here that would just love to help you out with just about anything to do with smoking. We really like to have newbies here because they can bring in a new propective to how things are done. There's nothing like a new set of eyes to give and new way to make things that little differant to make things alittle better. So I hope you know about the Qview here.
Here's a link to photobucket it's free and easy to download pictures. Then if your really new to smoking Look up the E-course.
It's also free and it will give you the basics of smoking. So after all of that you just need to go grab something to smoke and if you have any question just post them here and we will answer it quickly so you don't have any mishaps with your smoke.
Welcome To Your New Addiction
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the warm welcome, which is far better than the forum I moderate. oops

I really love the horizontal layout of this style smoker and I do not think that I will be switching to a wsm or electric. I like to start and tend a real fire and I would rather get a smokinator for my Webber. One of the main selling point of this type of grill was it's versatility and usable grilling area. In thinking the cost vs. benefit ratio the modifications I would consider for this device are going to alter it's usefulness as a grill as well. At the end of the day unless I insulate the thing with header wrap or plate steel it is always going to have poor thermal retention properties.

Whether I keep the smoker or pass it on to another smoking rookie and search craigslist for someones no longer needed smoker.

I look forward to reading some of the discussions and debates here. Many of the guys I know and discuss this topic (in my top three, although I don't know if it tops cars yet...) with tend to have a limited depth into this and I tend to feel like a freak and carry on. I am a food nut though and travel to Capitol Hill to buy my vegetable, and fish, but not meat. For anyone in the DC metro area in need of meat check out the Springfield butcher (http://www.springfieldbutcher.com/) they sometimes have (true in house) dry aged prime steaks for unheard of prices. I stumbled upon this place a few months ago and I have been drooling in anticipation of warmer weather.

Anything though is better over fire and cooked outside, this is especially true when it comes to fresh, local ingredients and non mass produced meats.

Smoke em if you got em fellas
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