How to smoke on my Char-griller without firebox

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by munsonbw, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. munsonbw

    munsonbw Newbie

    First, let me say Hi.  I have gathered tons of useful information over the past couple of years and, with the help of the forum collective, have consistently produced food that friends and family rave about.  Thanks for making me look good!

    I picked up a "regular" Char-griller charcoal grill from Lowes a while back to use for general grilling.  I also have a MES that is my standard smoker, but thought I would try my hand at smoking on the char-griller.  My MES is also at my other house, so I am kinda stuck with the Char-griller.  My question is how to set up smoking without a firebox?  I apologize in advance as I am sure this information is on the forums somewhere, I just can't find it.  I have tried with reasonable success in the past using lump charcoal and foil packs of chips, but I wondered if tossing chunks of hickory (the kind you get at Lowes for smoking, about 2-3" pieces) on the coals might also work.  Curious what you think.  I planned to put the meat for smoking on the chimney side of the grill and leave the furthest grid open for the coals.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Welcome to the forums... you started out right by searching.. the search bar at the top will be your best friend ...

    I made a charcoal basket for my griller... and also extended the exhaust stack on the inside down to about grate level.... here's a few pics of my mods... as you can see in my signature line I use a Chargriller with a special made charcoal basket ....

    This one shows both the basket and the exhaust extension

    here is just the basket with a divider in the middle (for shorter smokes)... I mix small chunks of the smoke wood right in the charcoal...

    the size of the basket is... 5w x 17l x 5h ... hope this helps...

    another thought... The griller has so many air leaks it is very hard to control temps... I have to run with the intake pretty much closed all the way and then the exhaust closed down to about a quarter open.... just to hold around 225` ...
  3. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    here's one more pic

    maybe one more

  4. tc fish bum

    tc fish bum Meat Mopper

    i have the same mods as jack with a sfb , try putting a heat baffle next to your heat source to help stop direct heat, tin turkey size pan folded in half works just fine and you can shape it to boot. your never gonna get really even heat ever, I have tuning plates and have sealed it with oven gasket and still  have 20 to 50 deg fluct. that don't  mean you cant make really good Q on it. just gotta babysit a little more, and with cold beer,  good friends and family that's not so bad.
  5. munsonbw

    munsonbw Newbie

    Thanks guys.  JckDanls, those pics are very helpful.  I had seen the exhaust extension in the past, now that you posted it.  Any idea the size?  The grill is not with me at the moment.

    tc fish bum, You are exactly right; good friends and a cold beer are what it's about this weekend.  My MES quit on my last get together and I finished a butt (about 5+ hours from memory) using my qas grill with the the guts pulled out and using charcoal and foil packs. Temp control was difficult as it had no baffles at all!  Everyone loved it, so they were either too drunk to care, starving or it was still pretty good.  I am going with the last one :)


  6. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    pretty sure it was 3" .. in the dryer vent section at Lowes or Homedepot .... I know newer models have a flared out lip on the stack.. you might have to bend that flare in fore the vent to fit on ....
  7. munsonbw

    munsonbw Newbie

    Sorry, forgot to ask in my last post, what are you guys using for smoke?  Just the charcoal?  Hunks of wood with the charcoal?  Foil packs of chips?  Other?

  8. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    small chunks mixed in with the charcoal...
  9. munsonbw

    munsonbw Newbie

    Sorry, was so focused on how i will make that charcoal basket I missed your answer right in front of me.  No more posting without coffee...
  10. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    No problem ... I can get a good 7-8 hrs (K'ford Blue) out of a full basket ... I fill 3/4's of the basket with unlit charcoal (wood chunks mixed in)... leave a little hole at one end and light 6-10 briquettes in your charcoal chimney (only about half lit, not scorching hot) and dump them in it .... leave vents (both) wide open until it gets to 200` (I use a maverick 732) or so and close intake down to a little less than half and go from there... as far as stopping air leaks (good luck).... I do the foil around the door seal gimmick (along with bending the flimsy sides so the gap between the lid and bottom is tighter) ... I also line the whole bottom half with foil trying to seal holes and such.... cut out only half of the intake vent... (it's gotta help ?? right ??).. I usually end up closing intake all the way AND closing the exhaust down to about 1/8-1/4" open to keep it down around 225`....

    WOW.. that's a mouthful... those are some of the things I do with my griller... give some a try if you like and let me know how they work...

    PS. If you haven't made it (basket) yet... change the length of it to 16"... that way it will sit down in a little further and the grate will fit back back over top of it (for searing purposes and storage)....

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