Char Griller Smokin Pro, Grill & Smoke?

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Original poster
Mar 25, 2014
Hi all,

I've checked out these forums for a good few years but this is my first post.

I'm originally from the U.K. but came to MS for school in 2004 and got hooked on bbq and grilling in general. I moved back here in 2008 and for the last 5 years have been using a cheap kettle grill to grill once or twice a week and smoke butts, ribs, hams, fish, chicken and brisket.

It is in desperate need of replacement and although it has served me well, I'd like something that controls low temps a little better, has the ability to grill/smoke and can cook larger amounts of food, as every now and then we have a large get together and I'm sick of smoking in batches.

A friend recently bought a large BGE which is amazing and  definitely solves the first two issues but it's surface area is about the same as my current kettle and as I don't really want to drop $800+ when I've been producing good food on a $45 grill, no matter how easy it is to use.

I recently used a cheap offset for the first time on a trip to a cabin and while I didn't use the SFB, I was amazed at the sheer amount of food I could grill at once. 

I looked at some of the higher-end offset smokers but they seem in a similar price range to the BGE and look like they are used almost solely for smoking. I don't really want to make a big purchase right now and would rather spend a couple of years with something cheaper to see if I like the offset style.

After doing a bit of research I found the thread on modding a Char-Griller Smokin Pro to make it smoke more evenly and effectively:

This looks right up my alley but I was wondering if anyone who had modded out the Smokin Pro still uses it a good bit for grilling? I looked through the thread and saw some people said they would occasionally use it for a grill but I was thinking I would probably use it 50/50 grilling and smoking.

I would imagine for cooking a couple of steaks or chicken legs, I could just use the SFB but if I wanted to use the larger grill, would higher temps in the 500 degrees range hurt any of the mods? I'm specifically thinking about the chimney extension here.

Any feedback from people who use this setup for both grilling and smoking would be much appreciated. I can't wait to get started.


I had a Smokin' Pro for many years.  I modded it by extending the smoke stack down to grill level, and added a lot of firebrick to the box to add mass and baffle the heat coming out of the firebox.  After adding all of that firebrick I never spent the energy to take it all out for grilling, and then replace it for smoking, so I smoked on it and grilled on something else.  I cooked a lot of good food on it, but had several problems that ultimately had me looking for another solution.  One thing I could have done to help in air flow control would be to add gaskets to the lid and firebox, but never found a good solution.  My main problems were: 1. having to constantly tend the fire and air vents, 2. Very hard to control temperature in windy weather, 3. Also very hard to keep temperatures up in cold weather.  I tried covering the outside with insulation with limited success.  Ultimately the constant fire tending got to me.  Like you, I eyed a BGE for many years but never could justify the cost.  Then about 2 years ago I found the Char Griller Akorn Kamado grill, and that did the trick.  It was under $300, and solved every problem I had with a smoker, as well as adding some capabilities that I never had with any grill, like getting hot enough to do pizza really well.  With a load of charcoal (about 5 lbs)  I can cook all day and still have some left.  I have done 12 hour cooks without running out of OR adding charcoal.  Once temperatures are stable, I never have to tend the fire itself and rarely have to tend the vents.  I can cook overnight in my sleep.  When the cook is done I can shut the vents and save the remaining charcoal for the next cook.  I can smoke pork and brisket at 225, roast chickens, turkeys, pork and beef roasts at 350 to 400, cook pizza at 650, and sear steaks at 800.  People even bake bread on them, basically anything you can do in an oven you can do in a kamado with better flavor.  I have also smoked cheese on it.  I did do a couple of minor gasket mods to increase airtightness when I got it, but I understand that this is not always needed on newer models.  I would highly recommend it over the Smokin Pro.
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Funny you should say that...after digging a bit more, I found the Char Griller Kamado and also started leaning towards the Weber Smokey Mountain. I think I've fully come to realize that there is no affordable unit that will be able to both smoke and grill large quantities of food & it is usually only when I'm smoking that I cook a large amount so I might go with a WSM initially, using my current Kettle for grilling in the meantime & then later in the year, buy a Char Griller Kamado.
Larger quantities at one time are where the Akorn will fall short.  It can hold a decent amount, but not as much as a 22.5 inch WSM.  I had 15 people over for the Thanksgiving weekend and I solved the problem by planning and cooking ahead.  I made some pulled pork butt ahead as well as some brisket.  Those are easily rewarmed by sealing the meat in vacuum sealer bags then throwing them in a pot of boiling water.  I baked the 22 lb turkey thanksgiving morning then put on a ham.  We had plenty for everyone for the weekend by doing it that way, but since I usually cook for smaller crowds the Akorn has worked out so far.
I bought the CG thinking about a smoker/grill combo.  After using it I decided it would be a dedicated smoker.

With only two in the house, the old Weber 22.5 is still great for grilling.

Good luck and good smoking. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.