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1894
07-14-2008, 11:32 AM
Some pics of where I've been since starting in May.

Ready for seasoning :

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/cookin/IMG_9032.jpg

Gas grill grate fits in the fire box , think I'll go back to this till I find one that fits so I don't have to go back and forth with the grate.

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/cookin/IMG_9056.jpg

Flipped the coal basket in the cooker and hung it from the hangers so it was above the sfb outlet. No pics , but worked OK .

Got a couple remote therms and wanted more even temps from end to end. Set the C/G fire box grates in the cooking chamber , had a chunk of 1/4" steel that sat on top of them and seemed to hold the heat well , but took a while to warm up ( kinda makes sense ) and set the charcoal basket upside down over that.

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/cookin/IMG_9045.jpg

Off center in the pic , but leaves room on the sides for smoke and heat to escape as it travels across. Alum tent pole raises the end of the coal tray .

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/cookin/IMG_9039.jpg

With and without the ash tray , sfb view :

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/cookin/IMG_9036.jpg

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/cookin/IMG_9043.jpg

Seemed to work very well , but I thought I could get more even temps from side to side with a baffle and some tuning plates :

ash tray at floor level and rails for the plates :

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/cookin/IMG_9131.jpg

Baffle , this should really push the heat across , no it was too long and low and actually blocked the flow :smack:

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/cookin/IMG_9138.jpg

Trimmed ita bit

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/cookin/IMG_9135.jpg

made a few plates , bound and determined , I was :

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/cookin/IMG_9142.jpg

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/cookin/IMG_9143.jpg

Still too restrictive on the air flow , took the plates , baffle and coal tray out .
Went back to just the sfb grates holding the coal tray last time , seemed to run ok , I may toss that slab of steel back on as well and plan on an extra 1/2 hour to get it warmed up , seemed to get the steadyiest heat that way.

This :

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/cookin/IMG_9042.jpg
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/cookin/IMG_9058.jpg

and this :

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/cookin/IMG_9057.jpg

Did the flex vent ext when I put it together , I like the upper rack for extra room , but I bet I'd get better draft if I took it out and took out the S shape outta the extension.

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/cookin/IMG_9176.jpg

Just trying to document where I've been and it helps me learn by just posting a long thread like this . Makes me remember what was good and what didn't work so well. Once I get settled on a set up , I'll be able to concentrate on cooking the food and the current weather conditions , and not be tossing a bunch of other variables into the mix :msn-wink:

PigCicles
07-14-2008, 01:59 PM
Keep posting as you go. It will help with any future questions that might need answered.

Good job with the mods so far! :thumbs up:

SmokyOkie
07-14-2008, 02:18 PM
I just love good fashioned ingenuity! I really like the 1/4" plate mod.

i have 2 suggestions, having helped my son get his CG up and running. If you build your fire on the top grate of you fire box, that will improve heat flow into the cooking chamber and improve cross fire air flow as well. an almost fatal flaw in the CG design is that the firebox sits too low. If you build your fire on the bottom grate of the fire box, the air can't move through the fire and then into the cooking chamber. As you can see it hits a wall. Most of the air crosses above the fire instead of through it. Another alternative would be to build a fire basket that elevates the bottom of the foire so that air flows through the fire. If you do either of these, you will see an immediate difference in high temp range.

If you cut your plate narrower so that more air could escape to either side, I think your plate would work. Either that or just raise it higher in the cooking chamber.

If you do build your fire higher in the SFB, you will mot likely want to install a baffle at the top of the fire inlet opening or food on that end will have a tendency to scorch. Any full lenght baffle will negate the need for the stack extension, which IMHO only steals cooking space.

Great thread. In fact so good that i'm going to see if we can't make this a sticky. A lot of people use Char Grillers, and they do need a little post factory fine tuning.

glued2it
07-14-2008, 02:27 PM
The grate for the firebox should be above the damper.

Like Smoky mentioned, you the air to flow through the coals(fire) and not over them.

In the Brinkman SNP you just take the firegrates and turn them sideways.

smokerboy
01-21-2009, 07:51 PM
i have a 1/4 steel firebox with grilltop and lid it is 24" long 20" high i would like to know if it's big enough to connect it to a fuel oil drum and put out enough heat smoke smokerboy

SmokyOkie
01-21-2009, 10:11 PM
If you are talking about making an offset smoker using a 55 gal drum for the oven section, the answer is yes.

Have you considered building a vertical drum smoker instead?

peculiarmike
01-22-2009, 07:22 AM
I mentioned the fact that "tuning plates" are an effort to correct faulty smoker design in another post and got slapped. But that is the truth. And it's not a poke in the eye for the person who built the smoker.
The CG is a classic example of a design that was not well thought out before production.
The mods shown are needed. Another thing CG could do is to tighten up the overall smoker so it does not leak all over.
The Okie is right-on regarding the SFB. Gotta raise the fire so there is air flow under it. I made an expanded metal basket. And the baffle going into the smoke chamber is required to help with the hot spot above the entrance from the SFB.
In my Duo I flipped the charcoal pan and it distributed the heat more evenly, sort of a "tuning plate" type thing. It works "OK".

cabinetmaker
01-22-2009, 09:10 AM
I made three mods to mine with great results. 1st, I installed a real (Ashcroft) therm. 2nd, I used a piece of expando to raise the fire enough to remove the ash catcher for dumping. This is a required or the fire will die after 3 hrs due to lack of oxygen. The grate that comes with it is junk. 3rd, I Layed in an 8" wide piece of 1/4" steel just above the fire box opening for a damper. This brought the end to end temps from 100 degrees difference, to only 20 degrees.

As for the leaking of the lid, it doesn't bother me. I also don't want to lose the grate space from the stack extension.

SmokyOkie
01-22-2009, 10:52 AM
I mentioned the fact that "tuning plates" are an effort to correct faulty smoker design in another post and got slapped. But that is the truth. .

For the most part I agree with that. There are, however, exceptions.

A lot of comp cookers that use long tubed offsets will use the plates to create heat zones within the smoker so that they can have, say, low and slow in one zone for butts and higher temps in another zone for chicken. Faulty design there would be if they weren't able to do that.



I made three mods to mine with great results. 1st, I installed a real (Ashcroft) therm. 2nd, I used a piece of expando to raise the fire enough to remove the ash catcher for dumping. This is a required or the fire will die after 3 hrs due to lack of oxygen. The grate that comes with it is junk. 3rd, I Layed in an 8" wide piece of 1/4" steel just above the fire box opening for a damper. This brought the end to end temps from 100 degrees difference, to only 20 degrees.

As for the leaking of the lid, it doesn't bother me. I also don't want to lose the grate space from the stack extension.

By my experience, if you do something ( like you did, or inverting the ash catcher) to direct the heat stream lower you shouldn't need to extend the stack. A better mod would be to re install the stack on the end of the unit at grate level, but being as the lid opens right there, it would be very difficult.

stevemiller
08-18-2009, 11:02 AM
This makes me feel a little better knowing i am not the only person with the no heat problem. The bbq pro i have is so out of whack i can not get 200 deg out of it with a digital thermometer. The manual says to use wood which i tried and all i got was the paint burned off the fire box. I know have built a basket. Changed the stack to be longer inside(if this works i will relocate to the side) i still need to work on the diffuser. I have not tried these mods. Yet so i need to do the diffuser and try it.

BluDawg
08-18-2009, 01:23 PM
This makes me feel a little better knowing i am not the only person with the no heat problem. The bbq pro i have is so out of whack i can not get 200 deg out of it with a digital thermometer. The manual says to use wood which i tried and all i got was the paint burned off the fire box. I know have built a basket. Changed the stack to be longer inside(if this works i will relocate to the side) i still need to work on the diffuser. I have not tried these mods. Yet so i need to do the diffuser and try it.

Steve I have the same pit as the one pictured in this post. I did the mods sans the 1/4' plate and I can run 225 for 5 hrs. +- 7 front to back end to end the only thing that I did different is I made a lid gasket out of HD Aluminum foil.
take some pictures of your fire box and cook chamber and post them.If we can see your pit we can probably get her fixed.

BluDawg
08-18-2009, 01:44 PM
This makes me feel a little better knowing i am not the only person with the no heat problem. The bbq pro i have is so out of whack i can not get 200 deg out of it with a digital thermometer. The manual says to use wood which i tried and all i got was the paint burned off the fire box. I know have built a basket. Changed the stack to be longer inside(if this works i will relocate to the side) i still need to work on the diffuser. I have not tried these mods. Yet so i need to do the diffuser and try it.

Here are A some pictures of the FB Coal basket and stack Exhaust w/O Intake 1/4 open.

http://i968.photobucket.com/albums/ae164/Bludawg51/PHOT0058.jpg


http://i968.photobucket.com/albums/ae164/Bludawg51/PHOT0060.jpg


http://i968.photobucket.com/albums/ae164/Bludawg51/PHOT0067.jpg

SmokyOkie
08-18-2009, 01:52 PM
This makes me feel a little better knowing i am not the only person with the no heat problem. The bbq pro i have is so out of whack i can not get 200 deg out of it with a digital thermometer. The manual says to use wood which i tried and all i got was the paint burned off the fire box. I know have built a basket. Changed the stack to be longer inside(if this works i will relocate to the side) i still need to work on the diffuser. I have not tried these mods. Yet so i need to do the diffuser and try it.

Raise the fire grate as high as you can in the firebox. burn a good hot fire with lump charcoal and add a minilog every 30-45 minutes. You should not have a problem.

I have cooked on 3 different units done that way and had no problem.

1894
08-18-2009, 05:37 PM
# 1 . Make sure that opening between the fire box and cooking chamber looks like the pic above.
Since my OP I have stuck with three bricks to hold the charcoal tray upside down in my cooking chamber . Them bricks absorb a lot of heat before they start radiating it back. :msn-wink:
Other change I made was a better , higher charcoal holding device ( that lil wire basket didn't work for me ) maybe more lit coal to get things all heated up .
Keep changing things one at a time , you will get that char-griller running well. Wind , outside temps , ash buildup in the firebox ,opening that cooking chamber lid too often , etc etc all affect the temps. Laughed at myself on my last cook because I had a tough time keeping the temps below 250 :shrug:
You will find that groove , have fun and enjoy the ride. :thumbs up:

Umpa
08-18-2009, 11:38 PM
i have a 1/4 steel firebox with grilltop and lid it is 24" long 20" high i would like to know if it's big enough to connect it to a fuel oil drum and put out enough heat smoke smokerboy


mines about that size (22x22).. and is paired up to a 250 gal drum.. works great.. just make sure that you play with the height of smoke box to drum.. mine sits too high i think.. but its not gonna move.. so i learned around it..

1894
07-07-2016, 09:43 AM
Been a while :blushing:
It seems I neglected to update pics on my char-grilla

Where it sets is a victim of swirring wind , anywhere in a 360 circle the wind can change to during a few hour cook.
Spin the beast so the general wind is toward the fire box (ash pan often left 1/4" to 1/2 " open ) but that does not always keep the air flow going as good as I like it. So , along the lines of a fire place or wood burning stove some extra height to the chimney adds some extra draw.

4" flex duct ( allum dryer vent type stuff ) fits over the stack with the cap removed. This can rotate 360 to point downwind. Looks like this :

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/mad%20hunky%20jerky%20beef/IMG_0833_zps4eb348fe.jpg (http://s45.photobucket.com/user/littlelou66/media/computer%20fun/mad%20hunky%20jerky%20beef/IMG_0833_zps4eb348fe.jpg.html)

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f59/littlelou66/computer%20fun/mad%20hunky%20jerky%20beef/IMG_0827_zps0187975c.jpg (http://s45.photobucket.com/user/littlelou66/media/computer%20fun/mad%20hunky%20jerky%20beef/IMG_0827_zps0187975c.jpg.html)

Another thing for when not in use , a 3 liter soda bottle with the bottom cut out sits nice over the stack with the cap on . ( no pic )

Hope this helps

tomshoots
07-07-2016, 04:16 PM
Good thread Phil! Thanks for sharing. Lots of Chargrillers on this forum.