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Original poster
Hey gang,

Greetings from the land of the highest grocery taxes in the U.S. ... TENNESSEE. Hey, they just past a bill to lower the tax from 6% to 5.5% so I'll be sticken that $4 for every $1,000 I spend into my retirement fund...LOL.
I've been a occasional smoker for a few years but really know nothing other than light a fire/burn some meat.
However, now and have finally taken the plunge to get serious. I recently purchased a Char-griller...I believe it's the 840. It has the 4 cast iron grates and the side fire box.
I'm in need advice on maintaining a constant 220 degree fire. I've usually fill a charcoal starter chimmney full of charcol and dumped it in the fire box and then drop a few chunks of soaked oak on the coals for the smoke...this may be the wrong way. Please inform as to the best way.
I have so many questions about even temps across the grill (I've heard of tuning plates to help?)...finding wood other than Wal-marts, best charcoals...HELP !!!!
Welcome art_injector. Glad to have you here.

I have a Char-griller with a sfb and here is the mod of making the stack come down to the grate level on the Char-griller. Just buy a 3 1/2" flex dyer tub and attach it to the lids stack with a hose clamp. You won't have to remove your warming rack if you don't want to. I did see somewhere a pic of someone who inverted the charcoal tray and they drilled a bunch of holes in it. If you do a search on char griller mods you will find stuff.

Good luck on smoking
Welcome Art-

You've come to the right place. Check out Jeffs free smoking course and smoking downloads! That'll get you started.

I believe they've also been adding a baffle off the fire box opening. That seems to be the case for all the smokers with the side firebox.

We do have several folks with these smokers they should be along shortly.

Gee I thought Connecticut was bad I think the only thing we don't tax here is groceries. At least not when you buy them from a supermarket. Junk food is taxable though, chips, soda pop and that sort of thing.
First off welcome. I will say this everyone here is very helpful and very friendly... I have already become addicted to the site. But here is some advice dont come here when you are hungry... Because it is torture!!!!

Smoke on and welcome to the forum
Hi Art! Welcome to the SMF!...
...Glad you found us! You've found the place to be to get those questions, and many more, answered.

Why not sign up for Jeff's Free 5 Day eCourse...The price is Right...and it'll get you started off right!

Great Folks, Great Food, Great Fun...SMF...It's THE place to be!!
Welcome aboard art_injector!

I also have the Char-Griller with the SFB... I have modified the crap out of it!

There are two mods that are quick, cheap, easy and help alot to stablize temps... one is the chimney mod that beerivore mentioned, and another is to hang the charcoal pan upside down, just above the top edge of the firebox opening.

You will find that the temp guage on these CG's are crapola at best, especially where they placed the doggone thing. You want to measure the temp at the grates. Use a simple oven thermometer, or get yourself a grill surface thermometer. Much more accurate. I have two 3" dial units which I will install at both ends of the lid at grate height to monitor the temps at both ends of the cooking surface. Also, you can get a digital thermometer, like the Maverick ET-73, that will monitor your meat temp and the grate surface temp at the same time. They can be had for around $40.

I have installed a baffle at the firebox opening and added tuning plates in the cooking chamber. I have yet to fire it up with this mod, but will be this weekend. See .

Good luck!
Hey, This place is addictive alright...I appreciate all of the help. I'll try hanging the charcoal tray upside down...but what are tuning plates/baffles? Where do I get those and where do I put them?
The temp gauge is a piece of crap alright, I got that the first day I cooked on it, but I have yet to get a replacement.
I had a friend tell me I needed to "seal" off my grill with a high temp caulk and that that would help regulate the temp to...any truth to this?
Hey fellas, any other help as far as starting/maintaining a fire in this thing or finding a good source for woods...I'm all ears. I have several recipies that I'd be willing to post in exchange.
Welcome, Art. Nice to see you on the forum. I look forward to your sharing with us on the forum. It's a great place to hang out with some mighty friendly people. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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