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Char-Griller Smokin Champ mods.

jnewt26

Newbie
2
10
Joined Jun 12, 2016
Hey all, I have smokin Champ offset smoker and was wondering what mods you may have tried. I have added two thermometers at grate level, and extended the stack down to the grate using some aluminum tubing.

I am having some trouble with heat retention and I feel like I am using a ton of fuel. I usually start with a full chimney of charcoal but that seems depleted within the first 40 minutes. Again, any mod ideas for heat retention, or any other issue anyone has had with this smoker?

Thanks
 

grillfanatik

Newbie
SMF Premier Member
3
15
Joined May 11, 2017
Hi Jnewt. I have had the SuperPro for about 14 years and learned a lot on here early on in regards to the mods. I believe your model is a bit longer version of what I have but same layout. The chimney extension made a huge difference for mine to help regulate temps and even things out inside. Another big improvement was adding a water pan. I think it is an 18x12x2" pan give or a take an inch on each side. This fits right in the barrel under the grate and I have mine about 1" away from the wall on the firebox side. I tried for a while all the way against the side but seemed like the heat did not cirulate as well so I spaced it out just a bit. The next mod I did was in the firebox. The factory grate, at least on the older models like mine, sat too low. Ashes build up quick and cause problems with airflow under the coals. I built a new grate out of an old oven rack and have it raised higher. That also connects with something i have been doing more of the past few years- which is switching from Kingsford briquettes to hardwood lump charcoal as a base for fuel. I always use hickory wood chunks for smoke but mix with charcoal. Kingsford briquettes would leave a large amount of ash deposit, but the hardwood lump charcoal is much much less. Less ash buildup means more airflow under the hot coals and keeps temps a bit more steady. I go about 1-1.5 hours between adding fuel. I smoke a lot of pork shoulders and time varies from 12-16 hours but I normally chew through a bag of charcoal and a bag or two of hickory chunks. These smokers are fuel hogs but the flavor stands out since is a side draft setup. I have seen a few writeups on here that guys used bricks inside to add density and keep heat more stable and oven type insulation mats to help retain the heat in the chamber better and lots of great ideas. Some of it is trial and error but that is part of the hobby ;) . I was fortunate enough a few years back to have a friend that gave me a load of split hickory logs and I chopped them down to work in the smoker and burned with straight wood. I had the best experience going that route but is not as easy to source. There used to be a section on here dedicated to modifications on smokers and grills but that was a long time ago when I first got into this and I have not been able to find it recently. Hope this helps a bit! Happy Smokin'
 

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