First overnight cook on the CharGriller

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Original poster
Jul 17, 2007
I needed to get some experience on my new Chargriller to get an idea what to expect on a big cook I have coming up. I have modified it some by extending the stack, adding grate level therms, and a charcoal basket. I also have a Maverick dual probe smoker therm. I needed to know how long I could go without adding fuel, and how steady the temps would stay. Here is how things went.

6:45 pm - Added two unlit chimney's of Rancher Charcoal and a few chunks of hickory to the basket, and fired up another chimney on the gas grill.

7:14 pm - Added lit chimney to the basket.

7:30 pm - Cooker 115* Realized I forgot to open up the vent on the SFB so I opened it fully

7:45 pm - Cooker 230*

8:00 pm - Put on two 8.5lb Pork Butts on the cooker. Cooker drops to 210*

8:55 pm - Cooker 248* Closed vent to about 1/4 inch.

9:20 pm - Cooker 255* Closed vent to about 1/8 inch.

9:30 pm - Cooker 235* Meat 115*

10:00 pm - Cooker 235* Meat 127*

10:30 pm - Cooker 237* Meat 134*

11:00 pm - Cooker 235* Meat 142*

2:15 am - Cooker 213* Meat 165* Added 1 chimney of unlit Cooker temp dropped to 205*

2:30 am - Cooker 204* Meat 165*

3:00 am - Cooker 195* Meat 161* Shifted charcoal and added 1/2 lit chimney.

3:30 am - Cooker 231* Meat 164*

9:00 am - Cooker 230* Meat 186*

10:20 am - Cooker 233* Meat 192*

11:00 am - Cooker 215* Meat 192*

11:20 am - Cooker 210* Meat 192* Added 3/4 lit Chimney

11:30 am - Cooker 230* Meat 191*

12:00 pm - Cooker 242* Meat 195*

12:30 pm - Cooker 245* Meat 197* Wrapped the meat in foil and a towell and put into a cooler to rest for about an hour and a half.

Here are the pics






As you can see in the last photo, the bone just slid right out of the meat. I think these are the best I've turned out so far. The things I've learned, is that
1) I can go about 6 hours on a load of fuel
2) When I added charcoal next time, I will empty the lit coals out of the basket into the chimney before adding unlit charcaol, then dump the lit coals back on top. I think this would have kept the temps up between the fuel change.

Other than that, I think they turned out pretty well. If anyone has any more tips, I am open to suggestions. I got most of what I did from here anyway.

Looking good.... sounds like you have a handle on it already. Sometime, try placing an aluminum pan of hot water toward the right side. Leave about 3 to 4 inches or so from the sfb. I like to do that and I think it helps add some moisture and hold the temps more even..... just my opinion for what it is worth.....

Well I was trying to get away from the water pan since I always used one on my ECB, to see if there was a difference. I honestly think these came out moister than the ones on the ECB, but probably due to lower temps. Plus I have the pan inverted in the main tray to spread the heat around. Once the fire got going, the temps stayed pretty steady.
it looks like everything worked out pretty well and you really didn't have any issues...I think I need to try things like you did for my first go around....although, I'm going with the 3-2-1 rib's for my first attemp.

It also looks like you "extended" the length of the pan in the main tray with that correct? I guess you just formed the foil with the arc of the pan and made it hit the sides... anything else?
I did at first, but then I noticed that it was about 30* hotter on the far end, so I took the foil off the end closest to the SFB. Then it got hotter on that end so I took the other end off. It finally evened out. I do have the pan pushed quit a bit closer to the side with the SFB. Other than that, I just tried to seal the lids with folded up foil and I set a brick on the handle of the SFB to keep it closed tightly.
I got it at Harris Teeter. I think they have them at target as well. It was with the small designer trash cans, for $9
I love it when the bone slides out of the butt nice and easy.

Very nice job and great documentation. Thanks for sharing.
Very nice technique, photos and very well explained and laid out so anyone could follow these directions. Well done!
Looking delicious! Congrats on the wedding again and great job on the food. Appreciate the play by play!
ok so I think I need the basket for the firebox.

I have had trouble with the ash cutting off the airflow to the bottom of the coals & wood, then temps start to go down.

When I do a long smoke I need to add fuel & wood about every hour. As time goes on I need to add more often cause the air is wide open & temps start to drop. The more I add the more ash the more ash the slower it burns & the temps keep going down. I have tried to just keep it burning by stirring the coals which helps very short term then starts to go out.

The Chargriller is a very good unit other than that.
With that basket, I only had to add fuel every six hours or so. I have it supported by a couple of pieces of AL angle, and it i high enough that I can slide the ash tray out underneith it, so I can dump the ashes very easily. Also, the ashes just fall through the basket so they never choke it out.
Jstreet ......... good detail, & great post.

I used to live in the Charlotte area and miss the Harris Teeter grocery stores. (in fact I used to work for them) They were the best chain in the 'south', hope they still are. That was the only store I would buy meat from. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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