A few basic questions about my temps

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by jdfire40, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. jdfire40

    jdfire40 Fire Starter

    I have a chargriller smokin pro. I have smoked now with it about 10 times. Everything has turned out great when I cook, but I'm just having problems keeping my temps up. I have used all briquettes, all lump, & even tried a combo of both. I know using a basket will help out, I'm looking to get one in the next week. For those without the basket do you start out with 2 chimneys already glowing & then just add fresh coals as you need, or do you start the coals you have to add & then dump them in when they are glowing?

    I'm in the FL panhandle, the temps have been in the 50's & 60's, so that shouldn't be a problem. I have messed around with the opening on the side of the firebox, but I'm still using a ton of charcoal everytime I cook.

    Any help would be great!
  2. mpeachhead

    mpeachhead Fire Starter

    I'd try some variation on the minion method, which would consist of putting a lot of unlit charcoal into the box, then adding some lit to it. That should keep the temp up as the unlit charcoal slowly lights.

    Something that will really keep the temps up is to feed oak sticks into it, which I do on occasion. It's painstaking and has to be done often, but it will keep that baby roaring.
  3. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    A couple of things to note on your chargriller. I have the same smoker and keep these things in mind:
    1.) the stock gage is about 50-75 degrees off. If you are going by that, you are cooking too hot (this would explain a high usage of fuel)
    2.) The thing leaks like a sieve, so it requires some intervention. Others have used high temperature silicone, but I just roll up aluminum foil and mash it in all of the doors and openings. If you see smoke coming out of anything but the exhaust pipe, plug it with foil
    3.) The firebox packs ash really bad. If you dont use a basket, at least raise up the stock grate with some large rocks. This lets the ash fall below the grate, yet still allows air under the hot coals.
    4.) For reference, I go through about (2.5)-(3) 10 pound bags of royal oak when I do a boston butt (about a 15 hour smoke). This is more than I'd like, but I've not done a good job of keeping it sealed.

    Hope this helps,
  4. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    JD and Josh, you both need to see my post in the charcoal basket thread.
    You guy's can save a TON of charcoal with a simple basket!!
  5. husker-q

    husker-q Smoke Blower

    I have same unit - Last smoke I bought a 17 inch extendable grate (charbroil) from Lowes and set it up higher (it sits on the upper guides) so the bottom of the coal grate is just above the top of the outer air vent - that really helped keep air moving under coals. I may drop it a bit - but good for now.

    I was going to buy the mesh to make a basket - but it seemed too ligh a guage - so went with the replacement guage
  6. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If ya cant get a basket, thats your 2nd best option, at least your ash wont snuff out your coals! [​IMG]
  7. jdfire40

    jdfire40 Fire Starter

    Thanks everyone. I have done a few mods already. I have the other grate in the firebox to raise it. I am going by a thermometer that's inside the smoker. I learned the first time I smmoked with it the outside thermometer was WRONG!

    After seeing what geek put about 2.5 to 3 10lb bags for a 15 hour smoke I don't feel as bad now. I did a 14 hour smoke & used 2 10lb bags. I have smoke leaking out all around the lid on the sfb & from around the lid of my smoker. I'll have to look into getting a better seal!

    Thanks again everyone!
  8. bustedluckbarbq

    bustedluckbarbq Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    At the cook chamber lid i added some angle and woodstove rope gasket... an idea Gramason had, did to his, and helped me with... in the fire box i added some angle above the drawer angle and put expanded metal on it... to do like Geek and them said... lets ash fall and if it starts getting deep you can slide the drawer out-dump-and put back in without disturbing the coals...

    check out the char griller mods sticky... they helped me maintain temps and not go thru as much coal...

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