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Old 08-22-2010, 11:30 PM   #16
Oldschoolbbq
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Default Southern Squire............................................ ..;}-

Start your smoker with a Chimney of bruning coals.When they are glowing,put them in the Firebox and add 3 or 4 sticks of wood(aproximately 8"X3"X3")




This should make a good bed of embers for youin 15 to 20 minutes.Once you have a good coal bed and warmed the pit beyond the wanted temp. , then add your meat and let the temp. re-built, close down the intake a LITTLE bit until you get to your cruising temp.
Now sit back and enjoy a drink and some good conversation;but keep an eye on your smoker chamber temp.,if it goes up-close the intake a little.Down,add a stick and open the intake a little.Repeat as neccessary.
Hope this helps and,
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:34 AM   #17
Dave Russell
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Originally Posted by DennD View Post
Not gonna happen! I researched offset indirect vs an"in the cooker box indirect" way of doing 'Q before I bought the Chargriller. I do want the control, both of the smoke and the temps... and I've got it with my current set-up. Did an 8 hr cook today and maintained tmep of 210-230° and thin blue smoke the entire time, once I got the cooker back up to temperature after the (refrigerated temperature) food went in. Was stabile enough that I went on an hour and a half ride and stopped at one of our favorite sandwich shops for a cuban coffee. Still on target and thin blue smoke when I returned.

In fact the only time I had any problems was when I wasted some time turning the cooker around so the intake would face the wind. I read in another thread that Chargriller offsets performed better with a better burn if the intake faced the wind. Not so with my Chargriller(no SFB). Mine's almost fully baffled, left to right and has a few other mods too. Once I turned it back so the exhaust stack side was toward the wind, the temp went up by 30-40°(in 5 minutes) and stabilized. With intake facing the wind, the temps were way low with the intake side way even lower(by 30°) than the middle and left side. This is what I typically see during a long cook:

That's between 220 and 230°, including one inside on a grill grate.

I can run errands, go for a ride, stopping for a coffee or sandwich, or go walking at the mall. I have about an hour and 45 minutes adter adding charcoal and a wood chunk or two, before I need to check it again. These Chargrillers can be made to keep steady temps and consistent smoke without constant attention, but do need some mods for Low and slow BBQ, with or without a SFB.

As someone else mentioned.... because of the large thin skin, they're pretty much of a fair weather smoker. I have a vertical cabinet smoker that I have wind breaks for, and can throw a welding blanket over. I bought the Chargriller for one reason.... I like the large accessible surface when cooking lots of different pieces of meat. Pulling shelves out to turn meat over is messy.

BTW: Used just over 7 lbs of charcoal, total of lump and briquettes today during an 8 hr burn. Plus threw one or two wood chunks in each time I added charcoal.
Sounds like you've got it goin' on!

I cook for a large household and always seems to have extra folks eating here, so having the entire cooking surface, minus the hot zone is nice. Also, this is a good way to burn all the free wood I have. Charcoal adds up, and I use enough of the stuff grillin'. I use my wsm for overnight butt/brisket cooks as it's a set and forget sort of thing w/ Stubbs natural briquettes. Looks like you've done nicely turning your CG into a set and forget set up though!
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:22 AM   #18
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I use my wsm for overnight butt/brisket cooks as it's a set and forget sort of thing w/ Stubbs natural briquettes. Looks like you've done nicely turning your CG into a set and forget set up though!
Not quite set and forget... not for overnight. 1st time I did a pork butt with it yesterday(8 hr), but use my cheap cabinet smoker for brisket because I can extend the "forget it" time to nearly 3 hrs. Wish I had the money for a WSM, but not unless one comes up on Craigslist. Semi-retired and doin the best I can on a meager income.

SouthernSquire..... I went back through the posts and saw that you are using a baffle..... under your cooking grates? There are lots of solutions for baffles from the right side of the cooking chamber near the SFB, to a ways under your cooking grates (or most of the way across) for better heat distribution. Some use holes in the baffle at intervals underneath the grates. The baffles people were using to even out cooking temps in their GG offset cookers is what inspired me to start experimenting with baffles in mine.

As to the girlfriend... with every successful 'Q, feed her. If she appreciates good 'Q she should drop that "in competition with your cooker" BS. If she doesn't appreciate good 'Q.... well, what can I say?
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Last edited by DennD; 08-23-2010 at 09:41 AM..
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:18 AM   #19
SouthernSquire
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Y'all have definitely given me a lot to think about. Sounds like there is much more trial and error in my future before I will have a good routine to have a more consistent fuel supply. One thing that this is for sure, I'm definitely never going to use kingsford briquettes ever again. Lump coal from here on out. I'll also be sure to pre-heat the chunks before adding them to the fire box. Hopefully this will give me a more consistent and cleaner burn.

One other thing that I've noticed a day later that concerns me... the exterior roof of the firebox -- through only three burns -- has lost all color and has taken on a rusted/burned out look. I know this is not the most expensive/heavy duty model out there, but I shouldn't be worried that the fire is burning through the fire box already should I?

More and more I'm starting to believe with others on this thread that the chargriller is a good grill, but a not so good smoker, however, I've seen it used by numerous bbq competitors who have turned out decent product, so I know it can be done with practice and patience. Not that this is an immediate need, I hope and pray that my chargriller has some better days ahead of it, but does anyone know of a good resource where people sell refurbished smokers online? Not sure that I am ready to put down $1000 plus for a genuine smoker, but if I'm going to upgrade, want to upgrade to something real.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:00 AM   #20
Dave Russell
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The paint of my Char-griller firebox peeled off on the very first cook. You'd think they'd use high temp paint. duhh.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:15 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennD View Post
SouthernSquire..... I went back through the posts and saw that you are using a baffle..... under your cooking grates? There are lots of solutions for baffles from the right side of the cooking chamber near the SFB, to a ways under your cooking grates (or most of the way across) for better heat distribution. Some use holes in the baffle at intervals underneath the grates. The baffles people were using to even out cooking temps in their GG offset cookers is what inspired me to start experimenting with baffles in mine.
Yes the baffels are under the cooking grates. It wasn't so much the temperature in the cooking chamber that concerned me as I was able to get it to 225 degrees and my food did cook on time (was actually "over cooked").

My concern was in my inability to maintain any consistency with the fire and hold the temperatures for long periods of time. I hate to admit it, but I was throwing wood chunks and briquettes into the fire box sporadically and without really know how much to add and when to add it. As a result my temperature was all over the place and most disturbingly I would fluctuate between clean smoke and heavy smoke.

Just no consistency...
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:58 AM   #22
Dave Russell
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Very helpful set of guidelines for adding charcoal. Wherever you got that set of temp control tips, it's a good source! Thanks for sharing!
Miketron is obviously a good student of Gary Wiviott's "bbq boot camp" book called "Low and Slow." I think Wiviott must have better tastebuds than me since he only uses lump, and never left-over, at that. I do like his suggestion at smoking in the 250-275 zone, though. I'd always heard to cook 225-250 for a long, long time. You can't drink beer if you're asleep.
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