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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 02-01-2011, 05:17 PM   #1
jorbroni
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Default keeping fire hot on offset smoker

Hey guys

Do anyone have any tips on keeping a steady temp on a chargriller? I'm having the hardest time doing so.
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Unread 02-01-2011, 05:38 PM   #2
noe.a.gonzalez
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The way I do it is by using a custom charcoal basket I made out of expanded metal. It's roughly 10"x10"x7'. Similar to the ones a lot of brethern have made. I use the minion method by filling the left side of the basket with unlit Royal Oak lump charcoal. On the right I dump a full lit chimney of plain ol' charcoal briquettes. After that, I open up my vent stack 100% as well as my firebox vent. Once I get to 225F, I start closing the firebox vent until it stays steady.
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Unread 02-01-2011, 05:42 PM   #3
Alba Gu Brath
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X2 on the minion method. I also try to keep it away from any drafty areas too. My Offset is about as tempermental as my Wife...LOL
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Unread 02-01-2011, 05:55 PM   #4
RX2006JE
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I built a maze in my silversmoker, but before i has that made i used a deep foil pan and cut the bottom out of it and then started it minion method and that seemed to work well. I also extended the smoke stack down to grate level.
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Unread 02-01-2011, 05:55 PM   #5
dmprantz
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Are you referring to the Chargriller Smokin Pro? It looks like that's the only one with an offset firebox. When I had my NBSS, I found I got the best results by first cleaning out any ash, leaving the bottom grate in place, closing the door and vent all the way, pouring in as much Kinsford as it could hold, throwing a few hot coals on top, and closing the door. Leave the exhause open. The gaps around the door provided just enough air for a Minion method and it burned for a while, fairly even temps.

dmp
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Unread 02-01-2011, 06:19 PM   #6
Dave Russell
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Turn the cooking chamber's charcoal grate upside down and support on bricks with the end of the grate all the way flush with the FB end of the cooking chamber. You want the charcoal grate just high enough so that the opening to the FB isn't visible. With this easy mod, you can leave the FB vent open (as it should be in such a small FB) and get sweet thin blue smoke. I start with some K blue and a couple of splits, then just keep the fire going. The smoke is so thin that you can practically cook w/out looking at the gauge, just feeding the FB w/ a couple of small splits that you have preheated on the FB when the smoke starts to fade. Add more charcoal if you want higher temps.
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Unread 02-01-2011, 06:47 PM   #7
Q-Dat
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http://www.barbecuebible.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=1467

These guys seem to have alot of info in one place.
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Unread 02-02-2011, 06:17 PM   #8
Frank Grimes
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The only way is to do a couple of mods and use a charcoal basket, and even then it's tough. The metal just is not thick enough to keep a steady fire without a lot of attention. It was a great smoker to learn on, but now my WSM is so easy.
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Unread 02-02-2011, 07:01 PM   #9
Scott_nra
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I have the same grill and still like it although I dream of an upgrade one day. I find a good cooler of beer so you don't have to be away from the thermometer long helps. It's almost a constant dance with the Damper and the coals and wood for me, every 15 minutes or so. I have a new two probe thermo comming that is wireless that will expand my range a bit. One day, when I grow up, I'll get something better but for now, it's easy to cool 'er down if it runs a little hot with the damper and the lid. Harder to heat it up. Over stoke it a bit use the dampers and the thermometer, more beer and a friend to chat with. In the warmer months I shoot some hoops with the boy while we're hangin' out. He's gettin big fast. It's our own driveway tailgate.
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Unread 02-02-2011, 07:42 PM   #10
bfraser61
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I tried using cut up fireplace ceramic inserts. I lay them under the coals as well as along the sides. I have found that they hold the heat pretty well after the coals/sticks burn down. I did leave the ceramic bricks at home once and used rocks instead. It worked but not as well as the ceramic fireplace bricks.
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Unread 02-02-2011, 08:40 PM   #11
El Lobo
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lots of air in the firebox, and consequently lots of wood. It was -15 yesterday and I burnt quite a few splits. Took 2 hours to build up a big pile of coals, but after than it ran steady at 250. I find the biggest problem with that cooker is the air gaps, seems to blow all the heat right out of it. Only way to combat that is to have lots of fire in the firebox so it recovers quicker. Suppose i could seal it better.
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Unread 02-02-2011, 10:41 PM   #12
CastandBlast
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I agree with bfraser61. Before I got my midnight smoker I had a ridiculous time keeping temps in my "creation" offset. I lined the smoker with bricks from a fireplace remodel. It weighed a million pounds but it smoked in below zero weather. I also covered it with a blanket (I know, I have a problem, admitting it is the first step).
I have also been pre-warming my sticks and logs. I set them on top of my firebox.
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