Help with Char-Griller Smokin Pro w/SFB

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by rbrinton2373, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. rbrinton2373

    rbrinton2373 Fire Starter

    I have used both charcoal briquettes and hardwood lump charcoal but I have a hard time breaking 205 degrees using the SFB. Any suggestions other than putting charcoal directly in the main chamber? and would that really hurt much as long as I didn't get a too high of a temp? Hopefully that all makes enough sense to understand. any help would be appreciated.
  2. How much charcoal and or hardwood lump are you adding at a time? Sounds like maybe you arent using enough fuel to heat that baby up. A chimney full with a few wood chunks gets me to 250+ degrees in no time.

    I have the same smoker that you are using!!!
  3. rbrinton2373

    rbrinton2373 Fire Starter

    I usually use 2-3 chimneys to start and then add a chimney every 30 min-1hr depending on the fluctuation. Honestly I am hoping that since it has warmed up in the area that I may get a better temp.
  4. bunky

    bunky Smoke Blower

    What are you using for a temp gauge??

    I have a Smoke N Pit Proffesional and I have no problem getting up to temp...

    how about the Dampers Wide open??
  5. rbrinton2373

    rbrinton2373 Fire Starter

    I have 2 different digital probe thermometers that I use plus a a few dial thermometers. I don't rely on the stock thermometer that is built in to the unit. I never reads close to any of the others. For instance right now it read about 100 degrees when the other 2 dials I have are reading almost 200 degrees
  6. gabriel

    gabriel Smoke Blower

    I have a similar smoker (link in my signature) and I use about a chimney and a half of either lump or briquettes and I can get a little over 250.

    I would check your seals between your fire box and any other places for heat to escape. And your temp guage could be off also. I smoked last weekend when it was 40s here and was able to get up to 250 with the above amounts.

    I agree our smokers are a bit more picky, and I'm still working on getting control of mine.
  7. rbrinton2373

    rbrinton2373 Fire Starter

    I was planning on tackling some of the "seal" issues with the smoker a little later. But maybe that is a big part of it and I will have to do something a little sooner than later. plus get on some of the other mods I've been meaning to get to. lol
  8. Silly question Ryan...but you did knock out the football shaped cut out between the SFB and the cooking chamber right?

    We have seen this before.
  9. rbrinton2373

    rbrinton2373 Fire Starter

    LOL. Actually no I did not remove that piece but it had been removed long ago.
  10. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I always hate asking this, but it is the first thing to rule out. When you mounted the firebox, did you punch out that football sized hole in the side of the smoking chamber? If not, that is your problem.

    I know this because when I first got my firebox, I tried running it without removing the knockout; only so I could still use the chargriller without the firebox whenever I wanted. It clearly failed, so I knocked it out.

    Aside from that, I'd say also make sure both dampers are open full until you reach the temp you want to reach. Then back the firebox damper down to control temperature. Never control temperature with the exhaust damper or you will get bitter smoke. Also, measure temperature at grate level for accuracy (which you may already be doing).

    Hope this helps. Keep us updated,
  11. Great minds think alike!!!
  12. rbrinton2373

    rbrinton2373 Fire Starter

    OK so right now I have added my second chimney of coals, I have both my chimney and intakes all the way open, with three thermometers at grate level and I am ranging from 215 - 195 degrees? and it's been an hour since I started.
  13. Whats the temp outside? How long are you letting the chimney of coals burn before you dump them in? And the stack should be all the way open all of the time while cooking.
  14. rbrinton2373

    rbrinton2373 Fire Starter

    Yes chimney is all the way open and I let the chimney burn for 15-25 minutes before adding it. I make sure the coals Are burning cood before adding them.
  15. rbrinton2373

    rbrinton2373 Fire Starter

    Oh and it's about 60 degrees outside temp.
  16. Sounds like you are doing everything right. I can get 250+ in 30 degree weather...I would start by sealing all the holes in the smoker. I just put a nut and bolt into every hole I could find that wasnt holding something together. A lot of people on the forum have that same smoker, maybe someone else has another idea.
  17. tmw611

    tmw611 Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I had the same setup with minimal mods and found that if I poured the fuel to it I had an issue with what seemed to be not enough air to feed the fire. I proved that by opening the drawer to allow for more air and the temp went up. I then since then added a basket to lift the coals from the bottom and that seemed to remedy the situation.

    I did have some problems keeping temp up Saturday but I believe it was due to wind, and cool temp.

    Just a thought.
  18. chargrilled

    chargrilled Meat Mopper

    I have been fighting the same thing with the heat. Most mods are done I just need to seal the grill I guess. We were having like 40 MPH winds when I smoked though and I KNOW that had something to do with it. I moved my pit around the deck and noticed major heat changes.
  19. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think TMW is on the right track here. even if you had a leak in the smoking chamber the size of a small animal, you should still be able to get it hotter than that. I think your fuel is getting starved. The fastest thing I would suggest (asside from fabricating something....which you will need to do eventually) taking some rocks or bricks and prop the stock charcoal grate up in the firebox. Just don't block air intake on the damper side of the box. This should allow air to reach more charcoal and stoke the fire.

    I use a blower fan on mine and can get temperatures over 350, so I know you're not asking too much from the equipment. Keep us updated, you'll get this problem licked; I'm sure of it.
  20. bustedluckbarbq

    bustedluckbarbq Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I added a couple pieces of angle above the slide out drawer in the firebox and put the grate up on that.... raising it up....air flows for better fire.... ashes have a place to fall... can clean out on a long smoke without disturbing the fire..... after all the mods that Gramason helped me with.... I can get 350 in cold weather....

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