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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 10-31-2011, 07:32 PM   #1
miamirick
Knows what a fatty is.
 
Join Date: 11-11-09
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Default char griller smoking pro

looking to buy one
any reviews from currect owners would be appreciated

thanks in advance
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Unread 10-31-2011, 07:35 PM   #2
mbshop
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what are you really looking for and do with it ? its a good entry unit but needs many mods to get it to a point that its not fustrating. many are happy with it and others are fustrated with it. i now use mine as my main rotisserie unit.
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Unread 10-31-2011, 07:41 PM   #3
Dave Russell
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I have a friend that has one of the older ones and it's a little heavier gauge than the current ones. Maybe his was made in Arkansas or wherever they were first made?
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Unread 10-31-2011, 07:41 PM   #4
Gnomatic
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I had one of those, it was my first cooker. Its a good unit, especially for the $.
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Unread 10-31-2011, 07:47 PM   #5
miamirick
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my goal is get into a stick burner currently use my GOSM big black, have had a bradley electric so want to expand into the next level for 200 looked like a good one to start out with
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Unread 10-31-2011, 07:58 PM   #6
bookie
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I currently have one and can't wait until after the first of the year to get something else. I use mine about 4 times a month, mostly as a smoker with the SFB. As a grill, the charcoal grate doesn't hold up all that well. Mine is less then a year old and doesn't have much life left. I use the grates from the SFB to help with the heat on charcoal grate. My main problems come with the smoking part, nothing fits/seals anywhere close to tight. The ash pan on the SFB has a 1/4'' gap about all the way around. I've replace it three times, twice on their dime and wants on mine and the 1/4'' is the best I could get. When I first light it, smoke comes out everywhere but the stack and I've done the mods. I don't think you can use wood other then chunks for smoke. Cheap THIN Chinese steel welded in China. I would consider something else. These are just my opinions, I'm sure some really like this unit.
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Unread 10-31-2011, 08:04 PM   #7
miamirick
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Thanks Bookie thats what i'm looking for real reviews!
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Unread 10-31-2011, 08:09 PM   #8
DLR
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I had one as well as a matter of fact it was my first smoker. Yes they are kinda flimsy and leak alot but it's still a pretty good starter as far as off set smokers go. The mods can help,the charcoal basket being probably the more important of them and they require a lot of baby sitting. Check CL you might get lucky and find a good used smoker for the same money.
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Unread 10-31-2011, 08:22 PM   #9
Caslerck
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I've had mine, with SFB, for about four years, and although I don't get to "low & slow" often enough, I haven't had the same problems Bookie described relative to leakage. Never tried the grill. I had temp consistency problems early on, but threw out the spray mop, quit peeking, recently got an ET732 and made myself a basket, and now getting about a two plus hour burn before adding more lump & chunks.
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Unread 10-31-2011, 08:50 PM   #10
Terry The Toad
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I used a CG with a SFB for 2 or 3 years. It had all of the problems documented above... the main one for me being temperature control problems. However, I had fun using it and it got me interested in serious smoking. I upgraded to Lang 48 earlier this year. I donated my old CG to a Boy Scout yard sale. I kind of wish I had kept it for regular grilling. It worked fine for that.
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Unread 10-31-2011, 11:25 PM   #11
BillywannaQ
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Thin metal, leaks like a sieve, hard to maintain a constant temperature. No heat baffle or tuning plates. I would save your money and get something better.
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Unread 11-01-2011, 06:01 AM   #12
pigout sc
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I use mine for burgers and also smoke chicken with it. I would not want to smoke a large cut ( large butt, brisket) because it is way to hard to control temps and get a long burn without refueling. If looking for just a smoker check out wsm.
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Unread 11-01-2011, 07:00 AM   #13
cliffcarter
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I've had mine for 3 years, no mods BTW, and love it for cooking chicken, ribs, wings and smaller roasts when using it as a smoker. Brisket and butts require too long a cook time to use it for those cuts, at least for me.
It works fine as a grill IMHO, I grill on the side nearest the SFB and leave the lid to the SFB open for air flow.
If you want to use it as a stick burner cut the sticks about 8"-9" long, they'll fit better in the SFB.

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Unread 11-01-2011, 07:11 AM   #14
Warthog
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Been using mine for 3 years. I only use it to make ribs. For the price you can't beat it for a starter offset. I did do several mods. I use my UDS for briskets and Boston butts.
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Unread 11-01-2011, 09:53 AM   #15
jcpetro97
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I have had one for about 4 or 5 years now. I didn't really mod it, at the time, I didn't really know that much. The charcoal grate on the SFB is crap. I am currently rectifying that one. It is a good starter ( in my opinion ). Yes it leaks, yes there are no baffles, and the various other issues people have talked about. However, I have cooked some really good ribs, and even a pork shoulder on it, and have never had a complaint.

The one "mod" I did do, is that I flipped the charcoal shelf in the main chamber over to use it as a baffle.

The one word of caution I would mention, is that depending on what kind of charcoal you use, and how hot it gets in the SFB, the paint may peel off, but again, that was a quick fix for me.
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