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lazy
03-11-2009, 11:34 PM
Long story short: We're on a tight budget. Can no longer get parts to keep our old Sunbeam gasser going. Prefer taste of charcoal, but wife won't/can't start charcoal unit. Therefore need a gas unit. Units that don't stretch the budget appear to be made out of tinfoil and plastic. When you lift the lids, they wobble more than weebles... Nobody uses a cast aluminum lid anymore? Nobody uses charrocks anymore, just diffusers? So looked at more expensive units, seem to be a huge gap between $100-$250 or so. Great. Well, we'll make it our birthday gifts to each other and up the budget.

So many at the $300 level also seem to be massive expanses of plastic with a little bit of steel thrown in. Lots of pretties, but pretties don't cook the goose. Finally stumbled across a Char-griller gas unit displayed with the add-on firebox. Gas and a small charcoal grill in one unit. Looked good. Not plastic-based. And the best bang for the buck. Started doing some research and came across this forum and a couple others (one makes me think it's tied to Char-griller at some level. Way too rah-rah). Except for the elitists, everybody seems to be happy with the brand. Then I found a reference to the Duo. Checked it out. There goes the budget again. I think that's probably what we're going to do, unless somebody around here can steer me in a better direction. I've never tried any smoking, but I never had a unit that would do it before.

I still have a couple of questions...
1. Does the charcoal unit work as well as a Weber domed unit for indirect heating? (had one years ago and loved it). With the lid just arched in one direction as opposed to 360 degrees, just how much difference in temp am I going to experience between the edges and the center.?

2. I keep seeing references to seasoning the grill, but I haven't found an explanation as to why. The grids on both grills on the Duo are porcelain-covered, so what are we seasoning?

3. I assume the burners rust out due to moisture in the propane. I never turn the propane off at the tank. Could that lead to premature rusting of the burners? If I turned the tank off and let the burners burn off any propane in the system each time I was done with hit, would that lead to longer-lived burners?

4. What kind of life can I expect out of these burners? I figure with the number of burners I replaced on the Sunbeam, I'll come out about even in a few years if these burners last longer.

Sorry about the long post. I talk too much.

Thanks for any input you folks can offer.

peculiarmike
03-13-2009, 07:09 AM
Long story short: We're on a tight budget. Can no longer get parts to keep our old Sunbeam gasser going. Prefer taste of charcoal, but wife won't/can't start charcoal unit. Therefore need a gas unit. Units that don't stretch the budget appear to be made out of tinfoil and plastic. When you lift the lids, they wobble more than weebles... Nobody uses a cast aluminum lid anymore? Nobody uses charrocks anymore, just diffusers? So looked at more expensive units, seem to be a huge gap between $100-$250 or so. Great. Well, we'll make it our birthday gifts to each other and up the budget.

So many at the $300 level also seem to be massive expanses of plastic with a little bit of steel thrown in. Lots of pretties, but pretties don't cook the goose. Finally stumbled across a Char-griller gas unit displayed with the add-on firebox. Gas and a small charcoal grill in one unit. Looked good. Not plastic-based. And the best bang for the buck. Started doing some research and came across this forum and a couple others (one makes me think it's tied to Char-griller at some level. Way too rah-rah). Except for the elitists, everybody seems to be happy with the brand. Then I found a reference to the Duo. Checked it out. There goes the budget again. I think that's probably what we're going to do, unless somebody around here can steer me in a better direction. I've never tried any smoking, but I never had a unit that would do it before.

You can get the Duo for about $300, including the side firebox for smoking (which also doubles as a charcoal grill for burgers, etc.)

I still have a couple of questions...
1. Does the charcoal unit work as well as a Weber domed unit for indirect heating? (had one years ago and loved it). With the lid just arched in one direction as opposed to 360 degrees, just how much difference in temp am I going to experience between the edges and the center.?

Can't answer that one, I have never used the charcoal side as a grill, only to smoke. Pigcicles might have some insight, he also has a Duo.

2. I keep seeing references to seasoning the grill, but I haven't found an explanation as to why. The grids on both grills on the Duo are porcelain-covered, so what are we seasoning?

You are "seasoning the entire unit inside, not just the grates. Gets rid of left over stuff from the manufacturing process.

3. I assume the burners rust out due to moisture in the propane. I never turn the propane off at the tank. Could that lead to premature rusting of the burners? If I turned the tank off and let the burners burn off any propane in the system each time I was done with hit, would that lead to longer-lived burners?

I also leave the gas turned on at the tank. Can't see any problem with that. Any gas left in the tubes after the control valves are turned off will be burned or vented.
I do burn mine wide open for a while (10 min. max.) after grilling to burn off residue from the grates. The porcelain is not permenant on the grates, they are cast iron though.

4. What kind of life can I expect out of these burners? I figure with the number of burners I replaced on the Sunbeam, I'll come out about even in a few years if these burners last longer.

CharGriller burners are stainless and so far no problem. I use mine a lot and have had it 2 years. Not to say they won't burn out tomorrow, but..

Sorry about the long post. I talk too much.

Thanks for any input you folks can offer.

The Duo is stamped sheet metal construction. It is far from air tight as far as smoking goes, but it works. The side firebox needs a charcoal basket mod that is easy to fabricate. The gas side does fine. And you can grill in the side firebox. A weather cover is extra and a good thing to have. Chargriller says he bought a new cover and it appears to be better material than previous covers which lasted about a year.
I doubt you will find anything to beat the combination at $300. Lowe's sells the Duo and they are higher priced by about $50. I bought mine at Academy.
Your choice. Hope this helps. Like I said, look for Pigcicles to chime in or send him a PM. He's a BUSY guy but will respond.
My :twocents:

lazy
03-17-2009, 07:31 PM
Yeah, I got it last week. Tightened everything up today ("assembly" seems to be pretty loose word at Lowe's...) and started seasoning the charcoal side. No SFB yet--the kids have to have something to buy for my birthday:msn-wink:...

In the past we always preferred the cheap-arse generic charcoal mainly becuase Kingsford leaves everything tasting like Kingsford. Instead of tasting beef/chicken/pork, we just tasted Kingsford.

So I chose the cheap (???!! prices have gone up since we used charcoal...) stuff again for seasoning, and threw some mesquite chunks on top of the coal. Chargriller's manual says to use "50 to 60 briquettes". I couldn't keep the temp below about 450 on the OEM tmometer without closing the vent totally--and even then it consistently ran an indicated 350 or so. Since most people say the t-stat on these units are inaccurate, who knows what the real temp was? Let one batch of charcoal die down quite a bit, threw some burgers on it for supper (oooooh gooooooddd!!!!), pulled the charcoal tray out, wiped everything down, smeared bacon grease on everywhere I could reach, and then moved the coals back in and threw some more charcoal/mesquite and brought it back. I'll let that burn down and see how she looks.

Many on the forum have mentioned that this grill doesn't seal well, and based on our grill, they've greatly understated the situation. I had smoke rolling out from under the lid all the way around. Closing the vent had minimal effect on the temp. Guess the stove gasket and good tmometers will be the first mods. Decent wheels/axles next. Dang wheels look like the the spindles are busted--very knock-kneed...

SmokyOkie
03-17-2009, 09:50 PM
Remember, the CG grill is only that, a grill w/o the SFB. Everything changes when you add it.

No, they are far from perfect, but for the $, you really can't beat them.

If you are in BA, go to Warehouse market at 145th aND 91st and get some Ozark Oak lump. You'll never look back, and for about $4.00 per bag.

lazy
03-18-2009, 12:06 AM
Didn't notice that brand when I was there this afternoon. I'll look for it as I use up what I got.

peculiarmike
03-18-2009, 10:35 AM
If you add the SFB (you will like it) I would recommend the use of a Dremel Mototool with a thin grinding disc to cut the tabs and remove the piece where the SFB mounts. Saves bending up the end trying to break the tabs and then having to straighten it.
Wear good eye protection. :msn-wink:
:twocents:

lazy
03-18-2009, 11:14 PM
The tabs are supposed to be removed? I thought you were just supposed to punch out (yeah, I know many folks say it's not easy) the plate? I looked at it yesterday while I was seasoning it, and it looks like you could just use a chisel on the spot welds and take it right off. Then again, the Dremel (handy little buggers, aren't they?) would be a lot easier...

unclelchap
03-19-2009, 06:37 AM
dang! i wish i could have seen this post BEFORE you got your duo. i have been thinking about getting that setup for a little while, but due to some set backs i couldnt aford it. Smokie Okie once asked me if i thought the duo had enough space, and i thougt it did but it made me second guess. so i wondered back into lowes to look at it again and its on sale for 299 ( reg is 329 ) but they also have the CG gasser (same as on duo) for 189, and the super pro for 139. umm thats 328 w/o the sfb! 1 less than reg pr on the duo with more charcoal grill! its not an all in one but who cares! maybe you can fabricate a rig to hold them both:shrug: i think when my fund are right ill go with this setup

sorry about the late info:oops:

peculiarmike
03-19-2009, 10:01 AM
You can buy the complete Duo WITH SFB at Academy Sports + Outdoors for $300.


dang! i wish i could have seen this post BEFORE you got your duo. i have been thinking about getting that setup for a little while, but due to some set backs i couldnt aford it. Smokie Okie once asked me if i thought the duo had enough space, and i thougt it did but it made me second guess. so i wondered back into lowes to look at it again and its on sale for 299 ( reg is 329 ) but they also have the CG gasser (same as on duo) for 189, and the super pro for 139. umm thats 328 w/o the sfb! 1 less than reg pr on the duo with more charcoal grill! its not an all in one but who cares! maybe you can fabricate a rig to hold them both:shrug: i think when my fund are right ill go with this setup

sorry about the late info:oops:

unclelchap
03-19-2009, 08:55 PM
You can buy the complete Duo WITH SFB at Academy Sports + Outdoors for $300.


yeah but the closest Academey sports is 40-45 min away and the nearest lowes is about 2 min! also im saying that for a few dollars more you can get more grill/smoker, and unless there is a dramatic difference in price from site to store it looks like academey is gonna run about 360 for both as per http://www.academy.com/index.php im not able to run in the store and check the price. i also went to lowes today and the cg gasser was $179 so that makes 392 ci more charcoal side for $378 w/ sfb and gasser ($18 bucks more ) im just sayin' if you live near academey sports then thats the place to shop i guess but i dont so therefore.........


dont get me wrong i have been drooling over that duo for a while now,as a matter of fact its what led me to TQJ in the first place! and if i had the money when i first saw it it would have been mine! but since i couldnt buy it then, it gave me more time to think about other setups and this was one of them. no disrespect to all of the cg duo owners out there! especially since i dont own one!.........yet!

SmokyOkie
03-19-2009, 09:16 PM
For my $ this (http://www.academy.com/index.php?page=content&target=products/outdoors/grills/smokers&start=0&selectedSKU=0263-40521-3725) is the way to go. The last thing I knew, you could but them for $149 at the stores.

Buy a smoker, then buy a gas grill if you still think you need one.

As Chappy said, no diss on the duo, just kinda like tryin' to buy a car and a truck all rolled into one. You don't get a real good one of either.

lazy
03-19-2009, 11:05 PM
Academy must be cheaper in other areas. Lowe's and Academy were same price on the CG units in Tulsa last week. Firebox was $10 cheaper at Academy. They even had employees wandering around that appeared to be functional. Major improvement over what I found last year when I was in looking for something. Wonder if Lowe's prices vary store to store like Wallyworld's do.

PigCicles
03-20-2009, 09:42 AM
Lazy I've been kind of watching this thread when I have the time to bounce into it. The Chargriller Duo is a nice choice if you want a gasser and charcoal set up in one unit, it is a very handy tool to have around. I do use the gas side more than I do the charcoal side. That is due to the fact that I have other smokers though.

If you plan large group feeds then you will find that the space is some what limited. But for average family need it is great.

Chap - if / when you get the chance and if you have the room you should get one for sure. Just know that they take up some linear footage with the side firebox attached.

peculiarmike
03-20-2009, 10:28 AM
I'm not a CG stockholder. And I'm not a caterer or big party thrower. I'm just sayin' the Duo suits MY needs and I like it. You may not. It will cook everything I need and more.
As a guy said in a song - You gotta please yourself. Hope the info helped.

:D

SmokyOkie
03-20-2009, 11:02 AM
No way m I knocking the Duo. Personally, I prefer not to use gas. that's just a matter of personal preference, not right or wrong.

peculiarmike
03-21-2009, 07:10 AM
You gotta please yourself.