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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.

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Old 08-08-2008, 01:10 PM   #16
Got Wood.
Join Date: 07-31-08
Location: Fort Towson, Ok

I just bought one last week and I have exactly the same problem.

I got some GE silicon seal and went around the firebox and sealed all the joints. Lots of leakage available into the firebox from the seams.

Replaced the flimsy door on the firebox with 3/32 steel - and then used silicon seal and wax paper and made a "gasket" for the door. If you can't replace the door, you can still use the silicon seal/wax paper system to make a good enough gasket to seal the existing door.

Also used silicon seal and wax paper to make a "gasket" for the door that lifts up on the firebox.

NOW - still am having same problem - so tonight am going to go around the cooking chamber with 1"x1"x1/8 angle iron and start sealing up the horizontal joint on the cooking chamber.

I put some oak pellets in it the other night and watched where the smoke came out to identify all the places that the firebox/smoking chamber leaks.

I am hopeful that once I get this thing sealed up that it can be made to get up to temp and hold it.

My thought it that there is just too much heat escaping from all these leaks and that it's not staying in the cooking chamber long enough to build temps to a cooking level. I also fooled around with the chimney - full open, full closed - didn't seem to make much difference.

Even using the BBQ Guru - I couldn't get it up to temps.

If you are relying on just the suction from the stack, then sealing that cooking chamber is going to be critical in order to make the air come thru the firebox first. Also, try taking some heavy duty aluminum foil and make a stack extension - just for a test. The higher the stack, the better it will pull.

I also am going to put some sand or bricks in the bottom of the cooking chamber to add to the mass of the cooker - and hopefully retain some of the heat.

Can't wait to get off work and into the shop and start welding on this sucker. I think it'll be a good cooker once we get the airflow problems worked out.

I also added a shield inside the smoking chamber to get the heat from the firebox moved more toward the middle of the cooking chamber, - that did even out the temps some.

Send me an email at and let's compare notes.

Hope that job comes thru - keep up the faith man.

Rodney Wren
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Old 08-08-2008, 01:48 PM   #17
Full Fledged Farker
Join Date: 05-30-07
Location: West Chester,Oh

Most of my temperature problems stem from the ash buildup when using briquets on a long slow cook. It will start out great hold temperature for a while then slowly creap down. I have the stack extended. Don't have the baffle, but did turn the larger grate in the chamber upside dow to act as a baffle once but couldn't get up to temp. My main problem should be solved by raising the charcoal/fire up off the bottom to allow the ash to fall down and not choke out the fire.

try a basket that holds the fire up off the bottom more than it already is. Your problem seems to be air flow control.

Also, when I started out I didn't have the side fire box and made the fire on one side of the grill, opposite from the stack. worked really well, might be something to try in the meantime.
Char-griller pro deluxe w/SFB
22.5" weber kettle (rescue)
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:51 AM   #18
Got Wood.
Join Date: 07-31-08
Location: Fort Towson, Ok

91vw03 is right - lots of ash buildup in the bottom of the cooking chamber.

Also found out this weekend that Sam's self starting charcoal is the wrong stuff to use. Actually got some serious puffs when I added some more charcoal to the firebox. Boy was that exciting.

OK - sealed off the cooking chamber on all sides with angle iron attached to the bottom of the cooking chamber. Stopped maybe 90% of the leakage between the lid and the lower chamber of the smoking side. Man, this thing leaked more than the Titanic.

Went back to the store and got some regular - non-lighting kingsford - added that to the firebox and the temps came right up and held just fine.

So, sealing the firebox, and cooking chamber and using better charcoal is getting me closer to actual cooking. I also think I'm going to get a welding blanket and throw it over the firebox -

I've got the temp diff from one end of the cooking chamber to the other down to about 20 degrees - I'm pretty happy with that -

I'm going to build an expanded metal charcoal box like 91vw0 suggested and try that.

I may move the chimney down to the firegrate level, but since I'm using the BBQ Guru, I haven't decided if that would help any.

Hope one day this week I can get some ribs and actually start cooking for the first time.

Rodney Wren
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:20 PM   #19
Ye Olde Party Palace
On the road to being a farker
Join Date: 03-05-10
Location: Portland, MO

I have tried finding the Mods section that keeps getting mentioned, but haven't been able to find it. I want to compare things that I have already done with my SNPP with those that more knowledgeable haave tried. Any help finding the Mods would be appreciated.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:29 PM   #20
Wandering around with a bag of matchlight, looking for a match.
Join Date: 08-10-08
Location: Dayton OH

Having gone through the complete mods on my "cheap" Chargriller w/sidebox, these less expensive cans are obviously lighter guage steel. I've found later in the Fall, that wrapping the top half of the can with foil face duct insulation helps hold in the heat also. Putting an expanded metal basket in the sidebox, and making all the changes/baffle/tuning plates made all the difference in the world, and yes, get that sand out to get air up under your fuel (plus will provide more room for ash). Follow those directions and the cheap box will do a bang up job for you.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:50 PM   #21
is Blowin Smoke!
Skip's Avatar
Join Date: 07-24-07
Location: Wantagh, NY

Originally Posted by chad View Post

Extend the chimney down to the cooking grate with a split juice can or a piece of aluminum flashing formed into a roll.

^^Best piece of advice

Also use a disposable aluminum pan under your fire grate with the one end folded down for air flow. When it fills with ash pull it out and dump. Unless you don't have a side door on your firebox

Just looked at the model. It probably has a small baffle on the side of the firebox. Get yourself a piece of steel that can reach in that hole and drag out the ash. I used a bent spatula.
Yeah it looks good...but how does it smell?

"you're eating tree RAT, tree RAT, you're eating RAT!" -- landarc
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:51 PM   #22
big easy
Is lookin for wood to cook with.
Join Date: 08-16-11
Location: Racine,WI

I have a snp also, found mods on yahoo,( tuning plates, baffel, fire brick in cooking chamber,extending the outlet tube to grate level...) i found some charcoal burns better than others. a cheap tuning plate is to hang the cooking chamber charcoal grate upside down this will help even out heat from end to end.

I'm in the prosses of building a couple of uds's now, so the snp will probably be not get much use.
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