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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 04-05-2011, 10:31 AM   #1
poisonfrog
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Default Questions from a new griller

I received my first off set charcoal smoker grill last year from my wife and daughter. i have had pretty good results but have a few questions.

i am using a chargriller smoking pro model

i seem to be going through an amazing amount of coal through a 5 hour cook session, about a full bag of brickets (i know i should use lump i just dont know what brands are the best once that is figured i will purchase in bulk.)

im sure its just basic fire control, but maybe i m missing something,

i would like to go with a solid thermo probe setup , preferably multiple probes to keep a better eye as to what is going on in there without having to constantly open the main door ( see fire control mentioned above)

so wich thermometer is offering the greatest bang for the buck?

and lastly with my specific grill in mind are there any after market upgrades i should be looking for to make it an even more solid system. i want this smoker to last at least 3 more summers before i switch to a uds

thanks in advance i truly appreciate the help

frog
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Unread 04-05-2011, 10:46 AM   #2
Downtown Smokeout
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I have the larger model Char-Griller. There are a few very necessary mods IMHO, the smoke stack extension, sealing up the lid and SFB, and making a fire basket. I don't think it's possible to get outstanding results out of this smoker. It was a good one to learn on and I still use it regularly, but the thickness of the metal and inability to completely seal it up are always going to make you want a better one. Yours will be a little easier to control becasue it is smaller, but I would invest in a nice crappy blanket for winter smokes. I use a moving blanket over the top and it makes a huge difference. There are several good links, pics, tips in this thread.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=76440

No need to wait on the UDS. They are completely different animals. I use both depending on what I'm doing.

Here is a pic of the fire basket I made for the CG.
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Weber Imperial Sequoia (restoration in progress)
Weber Platinum (The Green Lantern)
Weber OTS 22.5
Weber SJ
UDS (with more to come)
Cheapo gasser
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Unread 04-05-2011, 11:38 AM   #3
Downtown Smokeout
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Also, I used wood furnace/oven gasket for the lid instead of foil which will be recommended several times in the link I posted. You can get it at Lowes, Home Depot, someplace like that and it comes with adhesive. Just make sure the surface is clean.
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Aaron

Weber Imperial Sequoia (restoration in progress)
Weber Platinum (The Green Lantern)
Weber OTS 22.5
Weber SJ
UDS (with more to come)
Cheapo gasser
Old Smokey ES (A gift, don't buy one)

Humble member of the Society for the Preservation of Authentic Royal Magical Rare Kaskaskian Peppers
Honor bound to protect, prepare, and serve
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Unread 04-05-2011, 01:40 PM   #4
poisonfrog
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thanks for the really quick response i am reading an article right now that deals specifically with modding my beast and why.

frog
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Unread 04-05-2011, 02:44 PM   #5
42BBQ
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Don't be afraid to build a drum sooner than your plan. Heck you might finance the drum solely on savings for fuel. For example, I've done an 18 hour smoke on my UDS (with a pizza stone deflector plate) and only went through 3/4 of a bag of regular K blue bag. The bag was a 20 pounder from Costco. Also, since you are currently using the offset get ready for the annual memorial day sale of K at HD. Stock up when you can. As far as thermo probes, I love my Maverick ET-73, very affordable and mine has been really reliable. Good luck.
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Unread 04-05-2011, 03:08 PM   #6
GrillinFool
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I have that same POS. It works but it has a couple real disadvantages over other grills. First, horizontal smokers are bad physics. Smoke and heat want to go up, not sideways. A baffle is almost required, as is something to distribute the smoke. The lid doesn't seal well, so the heat is easily pulled away with the slightest of winds (hence the need for the gasket or foil). And the firebox needs some work to keep the charcoal out of its own ashes, which if not addressed, makes anything beyond 4 hours a nightmare as keeping the temp up with your coals nestled in their own ashes.

I documented what I did with mine to resolve all these issues, but in the end I now just use it as a horizontal barrel smoker and go indirect as I do almost strictly high heat smoking and using the firebox makes it really hard, even with all the mods, to get the temp above 225, much less 325. But these mods I did will help a lot.

Here's a link to what I did. Hope they help.
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Unread 04-05-2011, 03:08 PM   #7
Downtown Smokeout
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Somehow I forgot about the probe question. I also have the ET-73. I mounted two aftermarket thermos in the lid about 1.5" above the grate and I still rely on the Maverick more than those. Also works great for the drum. I've heard that they have a new one with better range, I would have to recommend getting the upgrade.
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Aaron

Weber Imperial Sequoia (restoration in progress)
Weber Platinum (The Green Lantern)
Weber OTS 22.5
Weber SJ
UDS (with more to come)
Cheapo gasser
Old Smokey ES (A gift, don't buy one)

Humble member of the Society for the Preservation of Authentic Royal Magical Rare Kaskaskian Peppers
Honor bound to protect, prepare, and serve
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Unread 04-05-2011, 04:09 PM   #8
Big_Alvin
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i have both the super pro and the outlaw both with SFB. i have done the mods on both and they work fine. the only thing i did not do is use gasket seal rope to seal around the chamber. i have the baffle and tuning plates, chimney lowered to grate level and a charcoal basket that i built like the one above. i have no problems maintaining temps across the chamber. In fact my last cook on Xmas eve was done in 20 degree weahter . i was able to maintain 225 temp with a temp delta of +/- 5 degrees from fire box side to other end. the best smokers, no, but for now they work fine and you should have good luck with it if you do the mods. for temps checks i have a couple of maverick ot-03bbq units that attach to the grates and i put one at each end to monitor temp from side to side. for meats i just picked up the old mavericks et71 single probe. i don't have the need for the ones that send signals to my cell phone or laptop and these were cheap. so enjoy your new chargriller, make the mods recommended and you should be ok. at some point i'll upgrade to a more commerical unit (more $$) but these units work fine.
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