Char-Griller Lid Seal

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by thundernoggin, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. thundernoggin

    thundernoggin Newbie

    I'm looking to seal up the lid on my Char-Griller. I would rather not use fiberglass rope if I can help it. Has anyone tried something other than the rope or foil? Thinking about using angle iron and this or maybe gluing this stuff around the edge but I'm not sure how flexible it is.
  2. helljack6

    helljack6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    High temperature RTV sealant. I've used it and it worked probably as good as anything else. I own a Char-Griller myself and can honestly tell you that the amount of gaps around your smoker, unless it's completely mis-aligned, isn't going to make that much difference, as several have noted at in the chargriller topic (about 230+ pages of chargriller owners. The important thing is getting the smoke down and low to the cook grate by extending the smoke stack down via the use of some flex tube and using a Lowes shaker basket in the firebox to extend the time of your fuel. Several also have suggested using the minion method to start the char-griller and putting the lit coals on the left side of the shaker basket closes to the wall between the firebox and the main chamber and let it burn left to right to further increase your burn time. Hope these tips help.
  3. thundernoggin

    thundernoggin Newbie

    I've made those mods already and tried using the minion method. And it still wants to run cool and from some of the threads here it seems others have had the same problem. My lid does not align that well and you can slide it around pretty easily so you have to be careful when closing the lid. I'm not sure how much difference sealing the lid will make but judging from the amount of smoke pouring out it's worth a shot. It seems like it would run better if you could keep the air flow running strictly through the two dampers.

    Was hoping someone had some experience with one of those gasket types because I'd rather avoid fiberglass rope if I can help it. It's a lot of fun tinkering with it and figuring out what works and what doesn't.
  4. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would have to respectfully disagree with you on that one. I have run several tests on mine and sealing up both the fire box and the smoking chamber makes a significant difference; both on temperature control as well as fuel efficiency. You can prove this pretty cheap on your next run. Just go buy a cheap role of foil and use it for gasket material on all of the gaps. Pull out about a length of foil and roll it into a loose rope. Then mash the rope into a gap around the metal until you get a good seal with the doors closed. It's not pretty, nor intended for long term use (even though I've been doing for almost a year as a "temporary" fix) but it will at least prove the concept.

    I had always noticed efficiency issues, but it really got bad when I built a large fuel basket. The thing, even with a control system, would overheat out of control with the intake fully closed. When I sealed up the firebox, that problem went away. Also, after sealing up the smoking chamber, I noticed that the control system made smaller changes to the intake less often. That equates to efficiency.
  5. thundernoggin

    thundernoggin Newbie

    Thanks Geek with Fire. That confirms my suspicions. I'm gonna take a run at some of that slide on door gasket in hopes it doesn't wind up being too fat. When the wife asks why I need lid gaskets and computer controlled power draft I can blame you[​IMG].
  6. helljack6

    helljack6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I agree completely on your proof of concept, I was just stating based on what i've read from the forums on another website that has a dedicated char-griller thread. Heck, i've even done it. But, I think the important thing to ask the OP is are you relying on the factory therm or are you using a completely different therm as the ones from factory in my and as well as several others (again stated from another forum/thread) have concluded were to be way off in readings. Mine was almost 50 degrees colder than what the true temp is. Just asking as you didn't state it and that could be the source of your char machine running "cold".
  7. davenh

    davenh Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I agree with Geek with Fire. I had bad problems with keeping temps down and stable. No matter how I loaded the basket in the firebox it always burned out of control. I sealed up the firebox and all the issues went away. Was able to completely fill the basket and still good temp control with the intake. The chargriller fireboxes leak like crazy under the clam shell door.
  8. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Agreed. the factory therm is a wasted hole in the smoking chamber. I rely on a thermocouple mounted near the exhaust tube. Why Chargriller even bothers wasting time an money mounting that crap on their box will never cease to amaze me.

    I also forgot to mention that in addition to what Dave mentions, I lay a large (40 pound) limestone rock on the firebox lid. The added pressure removes any gaps that the foil doesn't fill.
  9. thundernoggin

    thundernoggin Newbie

    I've got a couple of 3" River Country thermos mounted at grate level. The temp did run away from me when I first seasoned it but after that it was all cool running. Also have to constantly open the SFB door to stoke and stir the coals to keep things going. No amount of damper or ash door seemed to help. Burning Royal Oak lump and hickory chunks in a suspended wok to let the ash out. So that's what got me thinking about air flow problems. And in case anyone asks, yes, I removed the football punchout and cut a matching hole in my SFB which used to be a Patio Pro. Also put a heavy helping of orange Permatex between the two of them to eliminate the possibility of air leaks there along with filling all open holes with bolts or RTV.
  10. trashcan

    trashcan Smoke Blower

    It's a great mounting point for little metal pigs, chickens and stars. And, it's a great way to let heat and smoke escape so the end user gets frustrated. I epoxied mine in place because I lacked said metal dohickies and a decent amount of smoke was escaping.

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