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Getting Smoker Up to Temp

jayways

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Joined May 21, 2019
I have had my CG Pro with side fire box for several years now. The only mods I have done is to add the dryer vent inside the main chamber and I installed two new thermometers at grate level. I also have a baffle that I can put in. I have always had a hard time getting the smoker up to temperature when I first start cooking. I start with two Weber chimneys full of standard Kingsford Blue charcoal. I usually dump the first two chimneys into the firebox and then I put the grill grate back into the firebox. I then put my wood on top of the grill grate when I'm ready to start smoking. It seems this only gets me to about 190-200 degrees. Any thoughts?
 

lemans

Master of the Pit
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I just gave away my CG 5050 w/ firebox over the weekend.. had the sryer vent, Horizon convection plate ,tuning plate and two river country thermometers at grate level. But two things you didnt mention Charcoal basket and pit stoker..I used the IQ120 and was able to keep 275 -300 for a few hours before refiling with charcoal. Also switch to Lump Charcoal it burns hotter and cleaner.
 

gmc2003

Legendary Pitmaster
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When I used my Char griller duo I would flip the charcoal ash pan(in the cook chamber) upside down and use it as a baffle/deflector of sorts. I would also put the unlit charcoal on the upper grate in the fire box and lite about 15 coals. I would then place the lit coals on the far side of the firebox(near the vent) and let it burn towards the cook chamber. I could achieve higher temps(around 260*). The only problem I encountered was the consistent babysitting. It get's old real quick. For longer cooks I would have to replenish the burnt coals once they reached the opposite side.

Chris
 

jayways

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Joined May 21, 2019
I don't want to distract from my original question, but...didn't it used to be a HUGE no/no to add unlit charcoal while cooking? It was almost as big of a sin as using lighter fluid in the forums several years ago.
 

gmc2003

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I don't want to distract from my original question, but...didn't it used to be a HUGE no/no to add unlit charcoal while cooking? It was almost as big of a sin as using lighter fluid in the forums several years ago.
Yes and no. What I mean is(and didn't make it clear). I would let the charcoal burn across the upper firebox grate. When it was close to the end(cook chamber side) I would gently knock down the ash and refill the grate with fresh charcoal. The lite charcoal would then burn it's way back toward the other end of the firebox(towards the vent). So basically all I was doing was extending the line of charcoal. I wouldn't consider it dumping in unlit charcoal. It's more of an unusual take on the minion method. And yes dumping unlit coals on top of lit coals produces nasty smoke, but this way the lit coals are slowly lighting the unlit coals so no nasty white smoke.

Chris
 

jayways

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Joined May 21, 2019
Yes and no. What I mean is(and didn't make it clear). I would let the charcoal burn across the upper firebox grate. When it was close to the end(cook chamber side) I would gently knock down the ash and refill the grate with fresh charcoal. The lite charcoal would then burn it's way back toward the other end of the firebox(towards the vent). So basically all I was doing was extending the line of charcoal. I wouldn't consider it dumping in unlit charcoal. It's more of an unusual take on the minion method. And yes dumping unlit coals on top of lit coals produces nasty smoke, but this way the lit coals are slowly lighting the unlit coals so no nasty white smoke.

Chris
Yeah, that is what I was getting at. The Minion method and Snake method all use unlit charcoal. It sounds like it is OK to use unlit charcoal as long as your not trying to start too much of it at once.
 

jayways

Newbie
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Joined May 21, 2019
I have been giving this some thought. My baffle is a pretty thick piece of steel that runs pretty much the entire length of the smoking chamber with about a 1" gap along both edges. All the ones I have seen i pictures/videos don't go more than half way or so across the chamber. I might be restricting flow or keeping it trapped underneath of the baffle. Any thoughts?
 

pineywoods

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The baffle on my Lang runs from the firebox to about 8" from the far end of the tank
 

Berettaclayshooter

Smoke Blower
143
54
Joined Jul 14, 2018
When I had my smoking pro, I would put in about a chimney worth of charcoal on top of the grate and then put a full glowing red chimney full on top to get it started and get it up to temp. I would then just burn wood splits about 3"-4" thick to keep it going. Char-griller even suggested that to get much over 225F. you needed to burn wood and suggested 16"-18" splits. But mine was pretty used when I got it and then the cook chamber rotted out. But I got every bit of my $50 out of it in the 6 years I had it.
 

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