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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    29

    Default Tired of CG w/SFB - Where to Begin

    Hey Everyone,

    I have been struggling all summer to get the temps in my CG with the SFB to keep them at or even above 200. It takes a ton of work, which I don't mind, but would like to see a football game for more than 5 minutes a time. So my question is: I live in South Lyon, Michigan, near Ann Arbor, and I was wondering if there were any MI folks here that know where I might find a barrel. I would like to either build a UDS or if someone around here makes them, purchase one.

    If there are no MI folk here, where would a person find a barrel? I have an apple orchard, or two, around here, but wasn't sure if I could get one there. And if so, how do I try? Do I just walk up and say hey, can I buy a barrel? lol

    Thanks,

    Rob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Carthage, MO
    Posts
    10,055

    Default

    Get in touch with BBQ Bubba. He might be able to help you out one way or another.

    Send a private message to Bbq Bubba
    Plank Owner ..................
    I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    w.KS
    Posts
    3,158

    Default

    Hasn't Bubba made about 10 of those things? He's just try'n his best to not buy a pellet pooper.

    Couldn't you just go by some fill'n stations and ask if they have any or know where to find some? Sounds like 15-W-40 is the new "salt-n-pepper" nowdays.

    Mistakes - It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Texas Hill country
    Posts
    3,030

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rhmclay View Post
    Hey Everyone,

    I have been struggling all summer to get the temps in my CG with the SFB to keep them at or even above 200. It takes a ton of work, which I don't mind, but would like to see a football game for more than 5 minutes a time. So my question is: I live in South Lyon, Michigan, near Ann Arbor, and I was wondering if there were any MI folks here that know where I might find a barrel. I would like to either build a UDS or if someone around here makes them, purchase one.

    If there are no MI folk here, where would a person find a barrel? I have an apple orchard, or two, around here, but wasn't sure if I could get one there. And if so, how do I try? Do I just walk up and say hey, can I buy a barrel? lol

    Thanks,

    Rob
    The low heat problem is a really easy fix on the CG.
    1) Build a coal basket out of expanded metal to raise the fire to the center of the air intake. That allows proper drafting of the fire. This is supported by 3 pieces of 1/2"angle iron cut at 13". That allows you to empty the ashes and leave the fire undisturbed.My Basket is 13" X 12" X 4".



    2) Remove All of the Cooking grates from the fire box and the cooking chamber. Remove the the charcoal pan from the cooking chamber. Now reassemble as follows; take the two small cast iron cooking grates from the fire box and place them in the cooking chamber one at each end.Place the charcoal pan back inside of the cooking chamber UP SIDE DOWN on top of these two grates and slide it up tight to the fire box.(look at picture above ) Now replace the cooking grates.Install the coal basket in the fire box load it up with with lump and some chunks of your favorite smoking wood and start it using the minion method. Open exhaust W/O and air 1/2-1/3 open. I can hold 230-225 4-5 hrs(measured in the center of the pit at grate level.By adding more air I can get it up to 450) then I just dump a 1/2 chimney unlit in behind the fire and go another 4-5 hrs.
    3) Don't trust the POS thermo installed in the lid. Get a digital to monitor you pit temp.


    thermo probe in center of pit

    These mods can be done for about $30.00 Thermo is $14.00 at wally world, 1/4 sheet of Expanded and the A/I at Homo Depot about $12.00
    Be kind to me, it's not my fault I'm a "PORK-A-HOLIC"!!
    *
    *
    MY Blog:Http://acountryboyeats.blogspot.com
    Chargriller Smokin' Pro/SFB
    Webber 22.5"
    Memorial UDS Big Jim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    29

    Default

    Yeah, I've done most of the mods. Made an expanded metal base just below where the cooking grates would be. Put a basket on top of that. Have a baffle in the MC. Extended the stack all the way down to the grates. I have 3 different thermo's all calibrated, and an electronic one sitting at the grate on a cork. Opened the ash drawer some, and right now as I am typing I have a fan blowing in through the air inlet on the SFB. Right now I am sitting just over 200.

    I got most of these tips from the great people here on the site. I have run out of ideas as to why I can't get the temps up, as others seem to do with this setup. I love my CG, just wish I could get better temp control with it.

    That's why I am thinking if I had a drum smoker, along with my CG, I might have the best of both worlds.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Texas Hill country
    Posts
    3,030

    Default

    I would be willing to bet you that if you were to remove the stack extension and the Baffel and flip over the coal pan in the main chamber it would solve the problem. Adding a baffle will block the heat from entering the chamber at the fire box and dump the heat farther in to the chamber, lowering the stack to the cooling surface evacuates that heat at a faster rate. Sometimes less is more. If your baffel is to long you will be putting the heat right out the stack.
    The best way that I can illistrate this is to picture this in your mind.Turn the whole pit upsidedown think of the heat and smoke as if it were water and trace the flow through the pit from the air intake to the stack. The best efficiency will be achieved by allowing the air to circulate under ,over, and through the fire.Moving along the legnth of the cooking area and exiting up and around the food before exiting out the stack.
    I'm not saying don't build a UDS by any means. I my self am planning to assemble one by months end. I just would like to see you get the CG right.
    Be kind to me, it's not my fault I'm a "PORK-A-HOLIC"!!
    *
    *
    MY Blog:Http://acountryboyeats.blogspot.com
    Chargriller Smokin' Pro/SFB
    Webber 22.5"
    Memorial UDS Big Jim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ruskin, FL
    Posts
    6,290

    Default

    I have a few drums that I'd be willing to part with. If you don't get an answer from Bubba, let me know and we can work something out. I'm not too far away, N.Central Indiana.
    ~Brian~
    BBQ Jones comp team
    KCBS Member
    KCBS CBJ

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Tulsa, Ok
    Posts
    2,326

    Default

    I have never used charcoal in the SFB of my CG. Seasoned pecan easily gives 400 degrees. I don't think they were really designed with charcoal in mind (unless you use it in the cooking chamber to grill with). The fire grate needs to be raised, but thats just to clean the ash tray (which needs it quite often).
    Master Cabinetmaker,KCBS Certified Judge,Student of the smoking arts,All around gear head
    Ugly drum smoker,Chargriller,Custom Backwoods Chubby,Bellfab backyard model

    "I love what mine cause, whats mine is all mine. Gives me a reason to go get more"- John Popper, Blues Traveler.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    south GA
    Posts
    65

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rhmclay View Post
    Yeah, I've done most of the mods. Made an expanded metal base just below where the cooking grates would be. Put a basket on top of that. Have a baffle in the MC. Extended the stack all the way down to the grates. I have 3 different thermo's all calibrated, and an electronic one sitting at the grate on a cork. Opened the ash drawer some, and right now as I am typing I have a fan blowing in through the air inlet on the SFB. Right now I am sitting just over 200.

    I got most of these tips from the great people here on the site. I have run out of ideas as to why I can't get the temps up, as others seem to do with this setup. I love my CG, just wish I could get better temp control with it.

    That's why I am thinking if I had a drum smoker, along with my CG, I might have the best of both worlds.
    As mentioned, take the baffle out & use the MC charcoal tray like BluDawg described. If your temps are still low, just slide the charcoal tray away from the SFB opening. Just a half inch gap can make a big difference in the temps. Also, if you are using a form of the Minion method with your basket, push the unlit charcoal away from the MC & dump your lit charcoal towards the MC side of the basket.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    4,976

    Default

    My son has one and he just builds the fire on the cooking grate w/o any basket. He doesn't have any prollems other that wind.

    I've seen him running over 300

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