Chargriller super pro -maintaining temp. Need help.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by flyfish, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. flyfish

    flyfish Fire Starter

    Need some help for my next steps. Did a smoke yesterday. A little windy and in the 50's. Started off with ribs and temp was fine (200-225). Put chicken (8 thighs) and fattie on and had a real hard time since temps stayed between 150 and 200. Went through about 20 lbs of charcoal. Used a water pan.

    The grill leaked like a sieve so I know I need to seal it and also do the dryer vent mod since there was a definite hot spot. Had the water pan in the middle of the grill.

    Finished the food off in the oven since afraid of getting sick since meat only got to 140. Ribs were fantastic and so was fattie. Chicken a little dry but think that was due to oven (should have foiled them like ribs).

    Question is what was I doing wrong - need mods, fuel, etc.
  2. flyfish

    flyfish Fire Starter

    Ok. Think I may have answered my own question by doing a search. I think the biggest thing I can do is to get a charcoal basket and change to lump coal. Airflow was definitely restricted looking back.

    Will try flipping the charcoal pan too.

    Any recommendations on a remote thermometer? Drove wife nuts running in and out all day constantly checking. Any recommendations to add as in lid therms?

    I do need to seal it up and do the dryer vent mod. Learn as you go I guess. So much great info. Should have searched first (hey I'm a newbie). Will post pics. Best ribs I ever had
  3. ristau5741

    ristau5741 Meat Mopper

    I think you can have wood fires in a Chargriller, that is the way to go. assuming you have a firebox,  my recent success stories are primarily with wood fires, gets the grill up to temp in about a half hour, then start switching over to lump, adding more wood as needed when the smoke box cools.
  4. mrlederman

    mrlederman Smoke Blower

    You probably have more info than you ever wanted to know after searching, but I thought my experiences may help in some way.

    I used (still have) a Charbroil offset smoker and after a Google search it looked similar to your smoker. My grill has a pretty small firebox and also leaked a good deal of smoke. I found the biggest issue I had was my temps would get hot and then after a while level, very briefly in a range I wanted to smoke, and then would drop and I would fight to keep them up. I always used the minion method and kept adding coals every so often to keep the heat going.

    The easiest fix is usually the obvious one, so make sure your vent on the firebox was open and letting air get to the coals. For the not so obvious maybe - I don't know about your particular model, but for me, the size of the firebox was really impeding on my ability for longer smokes. In the beginning of the smoke I would be OK, however, as time went on and I needed to add coals the ash would build up so much it was essentially snuffing out my fire and I wasn't getting enough air in the firebox. Unfortunately, I did not have the ability to open a side door in the box, only the lid, so I didn't really have a way to dispose of ash. I often used a metal skewer like a fire poker to get air going through the coals, or I would lean the coal grate up so more air could get to the underside of the coals. You had already mentioned using lump to cut down on ash, so it seems like you air having the same problems I had. Another thing that may help is add coals that are already grayed over - maybe that would help keep your heat up and cut down on some ash (just an idea).

    Also, try not to get too overwhelmed by trying to keep the temp regulated and what not (not saying you are, I just know I would get bothered by it). Learning your smoker and what works and what doesn't is part of the fun and challenge of smoking meat. I actually look at it like a badge of honor to control the temp. using wood or coal while battling the elements.

    Sorry for the long rant, maybe something in this is of some use. I hope you get your mods and things working the way you want. Also, glad you enjoyed the ribs ! Eating the results can be the best part!
  5. Hello Flyfish. I'm new at smoking too. But I got a lot of good info off of this forum. I'm still learning a lot myself, but thanks to the mods I learned from this site I think I hit the ground running. Here's a link to describe some of the mods I did on my unit.

    I found Royal Oak lump burns best for me. A smoker a brisket around 300 for 6 hours and used less than a 17 lb bag. Temp outside was 55-60.

    I start the fire using one chimney of unlit and add one chimney of lit charcoal. I add chimneys of lit charcoal as needed. Hope some of this helps you.

    One more link for CG owner.

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds like you are on your way!  Learning to use a new unit is half the fun and almost all of the headaches!

    I would ask how you are measuring your pit temps?

    My stock offset therm in the lid will read about 170 when the actual temp at the grate is in the 230 to 250 range.

    Keep at it, you will get there!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  7. flyfish

    flyfish Fire Starter

    Wow. Thanks for all the great info. So glad I found this site. There is so much information. Treating this like a journey but also impatient.

    The thermometer I am using is the stock one in the hood. Will need to get either a digital remote or add mechanicals. Any suggestions? I know do a search.

    Biggest issue I have is ash building up and learning how to vent properly. Looking to either add a grate inside or charcoal box. Also will be picking up some lump and experiment with what works best. Also thanks for the links to the mods that were posted. Will be making them and I'll post my progress.
  8. Wow Talk About Irony. I picked up some good info on using my chargriller from some of Venture's old posts. So you've got a Nittany Lion getting info from a Cornhusker, and passing it on to a Buckeye!!!. Wow.

    Anyway, to be honest that stock thermometer is terrible. I put 3 tel true thermometers at grate level. They aren't cheap (about $28/piece on Amazon) but there's no calibrating or messing around with them. Or you can buy yourself a Maverick 732 from Amazon, whatever is best for you.

    As far as flipping that pan over for even heat, I would definitely recommend just buying a baffle from Just email Ernie and he will ship you one. It takes a few minutes to learn and find the correct placement for it on you're unit, but you're temps will be within 10-15 degrees from side to side. Without it, firebox side can be up to 100 degrees hotter!

    Like I said, I hope some of this helps. I spent about a month searching for info on how to get this thing working properly. But it was so worth it!!!
  9. flyfish

    flyfish Fire Starter

    5oclock. Thanks again for all the info. Ernie has been emailed. Stopped at local hardware store to see what they had for materials for baskets. Yours looks like it would survive a war. Thinking about going the cheap route to start (grill was only supposed to be to cook burgers lol) but know that it makes sense to buy right from the start. Will probably look at the maverick. I know if I'm running out to check on the smoker I'll be curious to peek. If I can monitor temps from inside, less inclined to do so.

    Lots of reading / learning to do. Again thanks to all that commented.
  10. You're welcome. Good Luck. Post some Pics.
  11. Just a tip - Lump Charcoal does burn hotter and it produces less ash.
  12. flyfish

    flyfish Fire Starter

    Thanks for the help everyone. Things have been a little crazy. Hoping to smoke some ribs this weekend.
  13. Just found & joined site, Hello everyone! I have the Chargriller Deluxe w/ added SFB. Doing the mods but really have been unable to locate a good charcoal basket anywhere. 5'oclock....Did you build that basket or purchase somewhere? It's the best I've seen & can't find the Char-broil shaker basket that smokers were obtaining 5 years ago, must be discontinued.

    If you made basket yourself, would you be willing to make a fully compensated one for me? Thanx in advance!

  14. I bought it from this web site.
    Email or call Jeff and tell him what you want, and he will build and ship it to you. What I did do in order to hold my basket up was bolt two 14 inch pieces of angle iron ( 1 1/2 inch) on the inside of the side fire box. Use only stainless steel nuts and bolts.
    My basket it 12x12x6. It's actually a little bigger with handle. If you need anything else just ask. Good luck!
    Last edited: May 30, 2014
  15. Thanx for the info Buddy! I'll keep you in mind w/ more questions as they come around... :)

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