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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 07-16-2007, 12:14 PM   #1
itschris
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Default When buidling a charcoal box...

I'm going to build my own charcoal box, but I have a couple of questions. Like everything else in BBQ, it all seems easy until you actually do it. I have a Brinkmann Cimarron:

1) How tall should it be? Should it be any higher than the opening of where the firebox joins the smoke chamber.

2) How high off the bottom of the firebox should it be? Obviously the deeper the box is (front to back dimension) the higher off the floor it'll be.

3) I'm assuming I should make it as big as I can but limited by the ability to get it in and out. I'm just looking for some rough dimensions. Should be smaller footprint and taller, or larger footprint and shorter?

4) Am I supposed to take the log light out after the coals are list. I haven't since there's a locking screw on it and figured it's okay as a permanent install.

Thanks in advance!
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Unread 07-16-2007, 01:25 PM   #2
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Chris,
You always post these when I'm nowhere near my Cimarron.
I made one that is as big as I could make it and still get it in and out of the door on the end of the firebox. It sits on top of the original charcoal grate. Obviously, the more clearence under it, the nore room there is for ash accumaltion = longer cooks.
In short, I'd make it as tall and as wide as you can and still get it in the door.
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Unread 07-16-2007, 01:30 PM   #3
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I had a 14 x 14 x6 one in my OK Joes (16 x 16 firebox) and it was a bit too large. 13 x 13 x 6 high should do nicely. It should be easy to put in and take out as needed. 14" across left plenty of room for ash, I'd think 13" would still be far enough off the bottom.
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Unread 07-16-2007, 02:09 PM   #4
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PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here ya go. Mine is about 3 inches off the floor of the firebox. You are right about building it as big as you can and still get it out of the smoker!!!!
Smoke On!!!!!
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Unread 07-16-2007, 03:35 PM   #5
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Sweet! Thanks guys.
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Unread 07-16-2007, 03:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbormaster View Post
Chris,
You always post these when I'm nowhere near my Cimarron.
I made one that is as big as I could make it and still get it in and out of the door on the end of the firebox. It sits on top of the original charcoal grate. Obviously, the more clearence under it, the nore room there is for ash accumaltion = longer cooks.
In short, I'd make it as tall and as wide as you can and still get it in the door.

Well... next time you staring at, let me know how high your comes up, i.e. if it above or below the opening to the smoke chamber.

And what do you do with your log lighter? Do you leave it in all the time?
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Unread 07-16-2007, 03:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itschris View Post
And what do you do with your log lighter? Do you leave it in all the time?
I have the Cimarron that is one model below yours, no log lighter or side burner, just the big wheels.
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Unread 07-16-2007, 04:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itschris View Post
And what do you do with your log lighter? Do you leave it in all the time?
FWIW, I take mine out, since it makes cleaning out the ash that much harder.
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Unread 07-16-2007, 04:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbormaster View Post
I have the Cimarron that is one model below yours, no log lighter or side burner, just the big wheels.
My OK Joes had the log lighter. I'm almost positive that the fireboxes are the same size, just on opposite ends. A 13 x13 size should fit in through the top with a bit of tilt and twist - the 14 x 14 took some work and created some frustration.
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Unread 07-16-2007, 09:53 PM   #10
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I think I'll take some serious measurements and perhaps build a cardboard mock up now that I have some guidelines. Do I really need to do that snake thing or can I just dump in the basket and be done with it?
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Unread 07-17-2007, 06:41 AM   #11
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Log Lighter????????? What is that?

I start with a 20 lb. bag of charcoal and then go to Sticks.
Stick Burners Rule!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love fire and flames and the smell of:
Real Wood Smoke Flavored BBQ!
PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Smoke On!!
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Unread 07-17-2007, 08:28 AM   #12
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I"m gonna risk it and answer you

My Cimarron has a recepticle in the fire box for a rod that attaches to a propane tank. It's sit under the charcoal grate and quickly ignites the charcoal, wood, whatevers in there.

Now... if you were just screwing with me... you can all get a laugh at my expense. I can take it.
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Unread 07-17-2007, 05:34 PM   #13
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Here's mine and what I wrote about it on my site. I think it's important to have plenty of room around the sides for the air to circulate. My basket is 18X18X9 with 3" legs in a 24X24X24 firebox, still holds more then 40 pounds of charcoal if I wanted to. This ia how I use it.

On the back end we had a 18x18x9 inch basket made that goes in the firebox. After a couple years this basket bottom burned out so we had to rebuild it. We cut it down a couple inches and made a bottom of 1" angle steel. The ash can still drop out over the angle and it should last a long time. We removed the fire grate in the cooker and put legs on the basket to allow more air flow. I think it’s important to allow enough space around the basket for the air and this basket allows 3" of air space all around the firebox. When we light the fire, we put in 20-30 pounds of Kingsford charcoal. This is one bag and whatever we have left over from a previous cook. Also in the basket goes 3-4 knotty, crotch pieces of hardwood ( we like cherry) that people who have wood stove call all nighters. After the fire gets fully lit, we clean the grates and close down the dampers to about 5% open. With good weather conditions the pit may still hold steady at around 250°. ( the sweet temperature for our pit) for 6-8 hours. If it’s cold or windy you may have to tend the fire with 2 logs every 2 hours and a good shake of the basket. Kingsford seems to work best with the heavy ash, it naturally dampers down the big fire.





There's more pictures on my site
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Unread 07-17-2007, 11:32 PM   #14
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Here's one I did for the New Braunfels. I'm going to test another one that's higher and use it in a UDS.

[IMG][/IMG]


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Unread 07-18-2007, 09:49 AM   #15
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Perfect... thanks guys. I'm going to buy a small welder this weekend and have at it. I think I'm also going to build a large basket for the smoke chamber to use as a large charcoal grill. I though a grate over the firebox last time and made a couple of quick burgers and the wife and kid couldn't stop raving... so I might as well get the most out of the rig as I can.
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