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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 11-26-2012, 12:24 PM   #1
Big Griz
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Default I need your advice

OK….I am new to the forum (this is my first post)and could use your advice. I have a horizontal grill with an offset smoker box (I think you guys call them stick burners) that I tried using this past weekend to do some smoking and found a couple of issues.

Most importantly, the door for the fire box is mounted upside down so that the air intake is at the top of the box rather than the bottom. I was smoking a couple of 5 lb bologna chubs because I wanted to start slow while I get the hang of things. I decided to try smoking it by placing all of the charcoal at one end of the grill and the bologna at the other and using the vent on the fire box to go control the air intake since it is in line with the intake on the side of the grill. The temp was coming up nicely so I decided to start closing the vent to regulate the temp before it got to hot (something I learned from you guys) when I found my second problem. Since the fire box is only bolted on to the grill and not welded on, it didn’t seal well and even with the vent closed on the fire box, it was drawing enough air through the gaps that I had real problems with keeping the temp right.

I said all of that to ask this. I am not a welder so even though I can use a grinder to remove the door brackets, I would have to pay someone to weld them back on so that the door is right. I would also either have to pay someone to weld the firebox onto the grill or purchase some bolts and fender washers to suck up firmly enough against the grill body to restrict air. While I enjoy grilling with what I have, I am wondering it would be better to invest the money I would spend fixing my rig and spend that making a new UDS to smoke on. I have read the UDS thread and think I could do it, but wanted to get your thoughts. (sorry this is so long!)
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Unread 11-26-2012, 12:27 PM   #2
aawa
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I am not an offset smoker genius but one thing you can do to seal the fire box to the smoke chamber is use the high temperature silicon to prevent any leaking from there.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 12:53 PM   #3
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You used too much wood, cut back on the wood and don't worry so much about the air. They are hard to work with. One of the easiest cookers in the world is a wsm. If you cut back on the air in your set up you will end up with off tasting food. It has to be a small clean fire
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Unread 11-26-2012, 01:03 PM   #4
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Do you know the brand of your smoker? Brinkman? Char-griller?
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Unread 11-26-2012, 01:30 PM   #5
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Sounds like a P.O.S. homemade job to me. Not all stickburners are "hard to work with" as grant said above. However, the cheap ones are. I've seen folks spend twice what one is worth trying to "fix" these things, some with some success, others just wasted money, time, effort, hope.

A good/inexpensive smoker would be a WSM (aka. Weber Smokey Mountain). I love my stickburner, but it's a GOOD one.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 01:53 PM   #6
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I just took it for granted he was using a cheaper one, and they are hard but not impossible. I wouldn't put money into it
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Unread 11-26-2012, 02:32 PM   #7
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You will get more useful feedback if you post what brand it is. There is plenty of info online about modifying cheap offset smokers, and most of the mods are inexpensive.

As for the firebox door, I've never seen one mounted "upside down" before. The manufacturer should fix it if it's a defect. If not or if it's homemade, just keep the existing air intake closed and put a couple of cheap ball valves on the bottom of the door. Don't put a lot of money into it.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 05:19 PM   #8
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As a cheap offset owner myself, I would advise the UDS route or the WSM if you got the money. My UDS got built for about 75bucks and that counts the new grills and the very used Weber lid, but it did include a ton of my free labor.

Since then the offset has remained a very good grill but I have yet to smoke anything else on it. The UDS will pay for itself within a summer if you used to use charcoal to fuel your offset and you want to smoke stuff weekly(or three times per week in my case)
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Unread 11-26-2012, 06:06 PM   #9
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It's the older model of this Char-Griller:

http://www.chargriller.com/index.php...emart&Itemid=2


The firebox they sell now is completely different than the one mine come with, but I got mine about 15-20 years ago.

I have just about decided that rather than spend much money on it, I am going to just build a UDS and keep this for grilling. It still does good at that. I wish I could go out and buy a new smoker, but with 2 kids in college, thats not going to happen for a couple more years.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 08:47 PM   #10
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Did you check to see if you could unbolt the firebox? If it is not welded on, it has to be attached some how. Even if you have to cut the bolts off, you can get new one and bolt the firebox into the correct position. Sounds like you need to turn the box 180 degrees to get it into the correct position. When you put the firebox back on is when you should put the high temp silicon to seal the gap if there is still one.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 10:00 PM   #11
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It's time for a UDS.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 10:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Limp Brisket View Post
It's time for a UDS.
This indeed!
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Unread 11-26-2012, 10:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Griz View Post
It's the older model of this Char-Griller:

http://www.chargriller.com/index.php...emart&Itemid=2


The firebox they sell now is completely different than the one mine come with, but I got mine about 15-20 years ago.

I have just about decided that rather than spend much money on it, I am going to just build a UDS and keep this for grilling. It still does good at that. I wish I could go out and buy a new smoker, but with 2 kids in college, thats not going to happen for a couple more years.
Those make good grills and lousy smokers unless you're name is BigMista and you are cooking on a small porch in California with no firebox.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 10:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Limp Brisket View Post
It's time for a UDS.
I agree.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 11:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyle's BBQ View Post
Did you check to see if you could unbolt the firebox? If it is not welded on, it has to be attached some how. Even if you have to cut the bolts off, you can get new one and bolt the firebox into the correct position. Sounds like you need to turn the box 180 degrees to get it into the correct position. When you put the firebox back on is when you should put the high temp silicon to seal the gap if there is still one.
I wondered about that, but the vent hole between the box and he grill match up correctly. If I unbolt it and turn the whole thing over, they won't. In theory the vent between the box and grill would be at the top of the firebox and the intake would be at the bottom right?



The way it is now, both the intake and the vent between the grill and the box are the top. I think I would have to grind of the hinge brackets that hold the door on, turn it upside down and then weld them back on. That way the intake would be at the bottom so the airflow would go across the coals/wood.

Rather than paying someone to do all that welding for me, I may drill 2 or 3 holes across the bottom and use the same type ball valve set up as a UDS and see how that works. I am going to build a UDS as well, so then I'll have two smokers to add to my signature when I create one. lol
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