Originally Posted by Dave Russell
Get the firebox. I used mine for grilling for a year before I finally caught it on sale at Kroger for $40. It makes smoking with the Char-griller a lot easier.
Not gonna happen! I researched offset indirect vs an"in the cooker box indirect" way of doing 'Q before I bought the Chargriller. I do want the control, both of the smoke and the temps... and I've got it with my current set-up. Did an 8 hr cook today and maintained tmep of 210-230° and thin blue smoke the entire time, once I got the cooker back up to temperature after the (refrigerated temperature) food went in. Was stabile enough that I went on an hour and a half ride and stopped at one of our favorite sandwich shops for a cuban coffee. Still on target and thin blue smoke when I returned.
In fact the only time I had any problems was when I wasted some time turning the cooker around so the intake would face the wind. I read in another thread that Chargriller offsets performed better with a better burn if the intake faced the wind. Not so with my Chargriller(no SFB). Mine's almost fully baffled, left to right and has a few other mods too. Once I turned it back so the exhaust stack side was toward the wind, the temp went up by 30-40°(in 5 minutes) and stabilized. With intake facing the wind, the temps were way low with the intake side way even lower(by 30°) than the middle and left side. This is what I typically see during a long cook:
That's between 220 and 230°, including one inside on a grill grate.
I can run errands, go for a ride, stopping for a coffee or sandwich, or go walking at the mall. I have about an hour and 45 minutes adter adding charcoal and a wood chunk or two, before I need to check it again. These Chargrillers can be made to keep steady temps and consistent smoke without constant attention, but do need some mods for Low and slow BBQ, with or without a SFB.
As someone else mentioned.... because of the large thin skin, they're pretty much of a fair weather smoker. I have a vertical cabinet smoker that I have wind breaks for, and can throw a welding blanket over. I bought the Chargriller for one reason.... I like the large accessible surface when cooking lots of different pieces of meat. Pulling shelves out to turn meat over is messy.
BTW: Used just over 7 lbs of charcoal, total of lump and briquettes today during an 8 hr burn. Plus threw one or two wood chunks in each time I added charcoal.