Chargriller w/ SFB Questions - Newbie with Questions!

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by kecats, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. kecats

    kecats Newbie

    Hi EVeryone,
    I did post in Roll Call. A few days ago.

    I also posted on the Electric Smoker side, but decided last night that we would get a Charcoal, so here I am again.

    I bought this for husband for Christmas, so I couldnt ask his help. So... here I am!

    Alright, at Lowes... Me or the guy working there helping me, didn't know much about these - if anything. We had no idea how the firebox works, other than it does indeed NEED it to work effectively as a Smoker also.

    BUT what I dont know is...... Do you put your food in the little firebox? Or does it go in the regular sized grill?

    I'm thinking the wood/charcoal or whatever goes in the firebox, and it blows the smoke into the large sized grill.... Am I right? But if that is the case, how does the smoke get INTO the grill?? AND, do you have to put a type of Fire into the grill too, or does the Firebox do it all for you?

    Second. Do you put wood in this firebox, or only charcoal??

    Third. Can you use it for both a Grill and a Smoker. I mean once you use it as a smoker, it seems as though you would get that flavor everytime you tried to grill something.

    Thanks so much, I'm novice completely!! lol
  2. mr mac

    mr mac Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    You are correct in that the firebox has the fire and you can use any combination of charcoal and/or wood. The food does go onto the main part of the smoker (larger side) and coals are typically not put there unless you are using your unit as a grill (direct heat source). If you are grilling then you can put charcoal in the main body.
  3. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    1. You are correct, there is a football shaped knockout in the grill and in firebox where they connect together that lets the smoke go from the firebox to the grill.

    2. You can use both or either, can use whatever you prefer.

    3. Both the firebox and/or the grill can be used as a grill. If grilling in the grill portion after having smoked with the Chargriller there may be a light aroma/taste to your food from smoking, but in mt opinion that is good.

    Make sure both you and your husband check out the modifications many users have made to their Chargrillers to improve the performance and stability of their grills, you will not be disappointed; the modifications are found in the "charcoal" section of smokers in many numerous threads.

    You are going to have a very happy husband !!!
  4. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    That is a definite PLUS. I grill aged porterhouse steaks in the side firebox, and they are the best steaks we've ever had.
    Kecats, indeed getting that aroma is part of the pleasure. So much so for my wife and myself that I add smoke chips even when cooking on a gas grill; it really enhances the flavor of grilled food.

    You're gonna love it - and your hubby's gonna love you for getting it for him. [​IMG]
  5. kecats

    kecats Newbie

    Awesome! Thank you so much for helping me answer the questions! You're the best. After Christmas, he will be getting a link to here - he will love it also. He is a newbie novice also, and always looking for new ways to do things.

    We had an electric simple little thing, but it broke long ago.

    So, it sounds like this Char-griller is a good one?

    It also looks (on the box) that it doesnt have a thermostat on the outside of the grill anywhere. I'm thinking hubster will need this, to know what he is doing. lol

    Thanks so much, you're great!
  6. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I don't have a Chargriller -- yet -- but I am going to get one. Everything I read here, and elsewhere says it's a good grill/smoker for the money. I have a friend who has the grill -- they love it -- and just bought a smoker box to attach.

    I plan on making the modifications before I use it -- just get it done and working right from the get-go. The grille does have one thermometer -- center grill. All modification suggestions call for adding two more -- at grill level, so you have it at the right hight and across the entire span of the grill. It all makes sense to me. As noted above, there are posts that will tell and SHOW you what to do. I've found this to be a great site for input and information.

    Final note -- in our area the change of address kits available at the PO counter have a 10% off coupon from Lowes. I couldn't think of a finer use than a brand new smoker!

    I think everyone is right -- you and your husband will love that smoker/grille!
  7. kecats

    kecats Newbie

    Aw man, I didnt think about the 10% off thing from the post offices. I wish I wouldve!

    However, the side firebox, was the only one left - and the box was all messed up, yet everything looked to be there - we went through it. So the store manager gave me 50+% off on the firebox! Made it only $30, instead of $69
  8. mr mac

    mr mac Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Sweet score on the firebox! I think he'll love the Char-Griller to be sure! Just make sure he smokes something on it and shares it with us!
  9. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Kecats - grats your hubby will like it. Here is a link with some nice pictures for a few basic mods. Ignore the wheel mods, unless you plan on moving it a lot you can also do a search in the forums for chargriller mod and get lots more ideas!

    A few points of interest that seem to work well:
    • Fire goes in side firebox, get a charcoal basket mod ASAP. This allows your fire to breath better, and run longer at a steady temp. When you are doing a 6-8 hour smoke it makes a huge differance.
    • Extend the smoke stack to grate level - a must for smoking.
    • Get two new thermometers - the one in the lid is useless... usually off by at least 50°.
    • Flip the charcoal grate in the main cooking chamber over and use it as a baffle/tuning plate to even out temps from one side to the other.
    • Buy a role of heavy foil and line the bottom of the main chamber with foil before each use. Makes clean up a breeze!
    On your question regarding grilling in the main chamber. I personaly do not grill in the main chamber. The reason being that when you season your smoker it gets a nice smokey coating all over the inside. This helps protect the inside of the smoker from rust - especially the cast iron grates. If you then light a hot fire in the main cooking chamber it will burn off that seasoning. Then you have to re-season the inside of the smoker again. For my hot grilling I picked up a used 22" Weber Kettle for $25 off of craigslist. I also use the Weber as a place to light my chimneys of charcoal.

    With a few mod's and some practice you will really like this smoker. It is a bit of a fuel hog compared to some of the verticals, but I love having a lot of room for cooking. Just remember the only dumb question is the one you don't ask! [​IMG]
  10. warthog

    warthog Smoking Fanatic

    I got my CG at Lowes. Make sure they put it together for you as that is a free option. As others stated have your husband look at some of the mods that can be done to the CG. I love mine for the price.
  11. kecats

    kecats Newbie

    Thanks again everyone!

    I can't wait to give it to him! He won't be expecting this! [​IMG] He is kinda expecting a small little bullet style electric like we last had, but I went a little overboard on this one instead. :)
  12. olewarthog

    olewarthog Meat Mopper

    I use my CG for smoking as well as grilling both direct & indirect & have only had to season mine once (the first time). I have a small spay bottle I use with cooking oil. After I clean the CG from a cook. I spray the cooking grates & wipe over them with a paper towel. This keeps the grates from rusting. I also wipe down the outside of the SFB where the heat burns the paint off to prevent rust there also. Finally, I give the inside of the main chamber hood a good spray coating of oil & I don't have to worry about reseasoning.

    Be sure to clean out the ash as soon as it has cooled or the next day. Leaving ash inside the grill will cause rust & corosion. I also foil the inside of the main chamber. If I am smoking & using the ash tray as a baffle, I foil the bottom (top when inverted) as well. If you leave 6"-8" of extra foil along the front & back, you can roll this up loosely & it helps seal the air leaks around the hood for better air draw & temp control.

    Like someone else suggested, get a basket use in the SFB. There are several threads on here on how to make one from expanded metal. Lowes has a shaker basket made by CharBroil that works well in the CG firebox. You just need some way to mount or suspend high enough in the SFB so you can open the ash drawer below it to dump ash during a long cook.

    There are quite a few CG owners on here ready to help & lend advice so don't be afraid to ask. Good luck & Merry Christmas.
  13. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What a nice wife you are! Once he gets it have him take a look at this

    This will give you an idea of some of the improvements that can be made on the unit. The unit will work as is but this will make it even better and easier to enjoy! Nice job!

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