Char Broil offset smoker/grill questions?

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by number41, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. number41

    number41 Newbie

    Just got a new 1280 CB grill.  Not top of the line but it'll serve my purpose for a few years hopefully.  It was a fathers day gift so I just had time to put it together.  I sealed the fire box top and bottom together with red RTV and used RTV  in between grill and firebox.  Also, used the RTV on the smoke stack.  

    Since these are cheaper grills.  I am not sure how to seal the sides.  There's a decent amount of space on each side.  Would like to do that before I season it.  

    Any specific details/pics?  

    Also, the semi circle holes for the rotisserie, I need to seal those also.  I think I saw someone just put a bolt, some washers and a nut on it to seal it off.  Is that my best bet?  What kind of bolt should I get?  Stainless, etc.?

    I did make a charcoal box with expanded metal.  Should that go on the factory coal grate or do i remove the grate all together? 

    Speaking of seasoning, the manual isn't clear if I should put charcoal in the firebox and grill area or just firebox?  Any thoughts?

    I also have a couple of thermometers to go on the lower portion of the top of the grill.  Just need to get some drill bits to go through the metal.  

    No idea when I'll get around to a baffle.  Any cheap/free ways to evenly distribute heat through the chamber until I can get something better?  

    Thanks for any other ideas?  
  2. I also got a 1280 for Father's Day. The FB side was 50 degrees hotter than the flue side.

    I got two heavy duty (commercial) sheet pans, raised the FB side of the coal grate to it's highest position and the flue side to the lowest.
    Now I have only about a 5-10 degree difference and I am getting a nice even roast.
    I am doing the meat on the generous sized rack instead of the regular grates and is doing a very nice job.
  3. number41

    number41 Newbie

    Thanks sarge.

    Nice idea.  What size are the pans and what material?  I'm always concerned with getting the wrong kind of material and it leaking harmful chemicals/odors.  

    Also can you elaborate on your last sentence?  You don't use the grates that came with it but instead use some rack??

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
  5. number41

    number41 Newbie

    gotcha.  You use the warming rack as the cooking surface.  

    thank you.  
    sarge912 likes this.
  6. number41

    number41 Newbie

    Also, I might have just found a possible resource for a baffle plate.  So, do I need one with holes???  Just not sure why i see some with holes and some without.  I know what the purpose of the holes are, I just don't know which is preferred.  

    What measurement would I need?  
  7. number41

    number41 Newbie

    just bumping this again.  Still haven't scored a baffle plate but would still like some specific measurements if I can possibly get one made. 

    If not, I may try and find some pans, etc. 

    Also, I put on some stove rope to help seal the lid.  I think it'll help but I may still have a little smoke escaping.  I also added two decent thermometers near grill level.  

    Gonna go buy some cheap kingsford or something and maybe a piece of wood to season it tomorrow.  Should I add the charcoal in the side box and the main chamber or just the side box???

    Any other thoughts?
  8. I am not sure what measurements you mean. I gave you the size of the pans I used. Each were 18"x13" I know that they look almost square but this site seems to compress some pictures.
  9. number41

    number41 Newbie

    Sorry, thanks.  I guess I was just curious for others that have baffles, etc.  If I am having one custom made, what would the measurement need to be.  Meaning length, width, and even the 90 degree or 45 degree on the side of the firebox.  

    i am not certain I'm getting one made but I ave some guys at work that said they can.  Just might take a while.  I may have to go your route and get one or two pans so I appreciate your measurements.  
  10. number41

    number41 Newbie

    Seasoning is going OK.  One bad thing is the stove rope piece I installed on the right side pretty much came off.  I'll decide whether to re-glue it or maybe get something else.  Wonder if I can use the red RTV stuff in place of the cement.  Anyone happen to know if the rtv would suffice to gold the rope?

    One surprising thing is the temps are staying almost the same from left to right.  Maybe 10 degrees difference at the most.  I was certain they would vary greatly but so far, so good.  And I don't have a baffle or anything in it.  

    One annoying thing I just discovered is the bolts I put through the rotisserie holes get in the way of the metal pieces that rails/lower the charcoal grates.  Maybe I can hacksaw them a bit????  I will often use it as a charcoal grill.
  11. I just bought the same smoker (my first) a couple days ago, knowing it is a cheapie (fits my budget, unlike "good" offsets) but should serve my needs with a few mods, and found this site and thread when researching said mods. Haven't cooked in mine yet, but have started working on it and did a test/cleanout burn today while cooking on my old grill.

    My plan for those rotisserie holes is to just cut a patch out of whatever steel I have lying around and probably red RTV it in place and paint with black BBQ paint. Silicone in contact with the firebox makes me nervous but it should be fine around the cook chamber lid, whether or not you ever burn coals in that side. Heck, if you are in a hurry you could just put some foil over those holes and tape over the outside to hold it in place as a temporary fix - you just need it airtight, not mil-spec or tornado-resistant.

    I also removed the warming shelf as soon as I got the whole thing assembled. Two reasons for that: I probably won't ever need it, and it sits very close to the chimney/smoke stack, which I wanted to extend down close to grate level. For now at least my extension is a 24oz beer can with the top and bottom removed, and it fits pretty well. Also added a thermometer I had from an old gas grill, right under the stock gauge, which is a complete joke.

    And I cut a disposable aluminum cake pan to deflect the smoke down as it comes into the cook chamber from the firebox. The charcoal grate and the its adjusting thingie holds it in place against the wall. I also set the charcoal grate in the cooking chamber at a medium height, wrapped it in heavy-duty foil, and poked a few holes in it, which seemed to distribute the smoke much more evenly than nothing at all would have. I'd like to convert to full-on reverse flow and add some height to the peewee-class chimney but I'll probably use it like this at least a few times before I get around to any serious mods.

    Next up is to add temp gauges at both ends and some Lavalock or Fireblack or whatever for door gaskets. Maybe I'll even get around to smoking something!
  12. funny, I wanted the 1280 because it has the rack. I use it extensively when I grill, especially for thick steaks and chicken.
    Wally World had a better smoker for just a bit more but it didn't have a rack.

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