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Let the mods commence

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by erodinamik, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. erodinamik

    erodinamik Smoke Blower

    I've finally started making the mods to my Char Griller that I have been reading about.  I decided to start small with some mods that I have been slowly seeing the need for.

    The first thing I did was get some expanded metal to put in place of the grates in the SFB to burn the charcoal on.  I am quickly realizing that I need to make it into a full on charcoal basket so contain the charcoal and keep it lower in the SFB to hold more charcoal.


    The next thing I did was turn the charcoal tray in the main chamber upside down to make a sort of tuning plate to see if I can even out the grilling surface temps a little bit.


    Finally I got some vent pipes to lower my exhaust stack to right near the grates.  2 90 degree elbows work great.  I just jammed the top elbow into the exhaust pipe but it doesn't fit well, so I need to get a screw to hold it in there.


    Hopefully these will help me keep my temps a little more steady and lower my charcoal consumption.  I've got 2 fatties on there right now to try 'er out.
  2. erodinamik

    erodinamik Smoke Blower

    I've been lazy and really wanting to smoke more stuff so I just took the expanded metal and put it below the lip that holds the grates and it stayed since the smoker is round.  Holds the expanded metal lower which works out great!  I smoked my first turkey the other day and the temps were through the roof.  It was the first time I've ever had to close down the air inlet to keep temps in control.  It was awesome.  I'll post more pics when I get the chance.
  3. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Legendary Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks like some good mods so far.
  4. erodinamik

    erodinamik Smoke Blower


    So here's my new "mod".  I took the expanded metal I had from before and inserted it below the lip that holds the cooking grate.  I also took a little extra I had left over to extend it to the end and used the original charcoal grate to cover the hole.  This set up lowers the platform 2-3" and is able to hold a good deal of charcoal and flows GREAT.  It amazing how hot the smoker gets now and how efficiently it burns the charcoal.  I used to use several bags to smoke and now I can use about 1/2 a bag and it leaves almost no mess.  I've finally had to start closing off the air inlet to keep temps down.  Now it's a challenge to keep it down to 250 where it used to be hard to keep up to 225.  Some day I'll get a great that is one piece and fits the whole smoker box.
  5. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Congrats on the mods, sounds like things are looking up for ya. Not sure how tough it would be, but I see an air gap. I believe that if you can seal that up on both sides of the door, the temps will be even easier to control and maybe even a little more efficient.

    I am in no way knocking the mods you have done, rather suggesting another that may be pretty easy with stove gasket and high temp silicon.

    Good Luck and enjoy those long efficient smokes.
  6. I have a Char-Griller with SFB and similar mods.  I've extended my chimney exhaust to grate level and added a piece of sheet metal inside the cook chamber, just above the "football" hole at a 45 degree angle, to direct more of the heat down and through the cook chamber, instead of directly in and up (overcooking your food closest to the SFB).  I had steel panels across the bottom, but find that I get hotter temps without them.

    In looking at your SFB set up, I've read other posts which indicate that they RAISE the level of the charcoal tray, so that it's almost level/even with the "football" opening, allowing more direct heat to get into the cook chamber, and a larger area underneath the coals for better/more air flow.  What you've done is the opposite, but I like the idea of having more space for more charcoal (if necessary).  I think I may try your method out first...worse case scenario, I'll make a charcoal basket with legs to "raise" it closer to the level of the opening into the cook chamber.  Thanks for the pics and ideas...now a little SFB testing!