Looking for some advice

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by caveman, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. caveman

    caveman Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hello SMF Forum. This is the first grill I ever owned:

    Now I have this:

    I have an opportunity to make a new purchase. (Thank you wifey.) I just don't know if I should get a Weber 22.5 grill, a WSM or something else. The budget is around $400, give or take a few dollars. The Char Griller is great for grilling but as you can see, I have already added a side firebox. It is a challenge to keep my temps up around the 300 degree area but I do pretty well around the 225 degree mark. I have made some temporary mods to it & I am in the process of extending those modifications to something more permanent. I can still grill on this as I have not make any permanent alterations to this model, other than the box. My thinking was to get a WSM & just use the CG as a pure griller, with the occasional spare rib smokes. So, should I get a Weber 22.5 to grill on & make the permanent changes or WSM to smoke on & keep the CG as a griller / part time smoker with challenges? What do you guys think?? Is there something else I should look at that is not gas or electic driven? (I am a charcoal man who loves using lump, charcoal & wood.) Thanks for reading.

    P.S. I don't mean to sound like I have all this money to burn, just frugal spending allowed us to be able to make a new purchase to add to the collection at this time. Oh, & BTW, that first grill bit the dust a long, long time ago. I need to take pics of what I have now that I use to aid in chimney starting.
  2. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you want the Weber, get the 26" kettle, then mod the Chargriller for smokin'
  3. jmantbbq

    jmantbbq Newbie

    I am biased for sure, but get the WSM. They are by far the easiest smoker to use. Weber kettles show up all the time on Craigslist for short money so you can add that later. Webers customer service is top notch, and they cook fantastic. For now Get the 22 inch WSM for smoking, use the Chargriller for grilling.

  4. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would choose to get the WSM and keep the CG as a part time smoker/full time grill. The WSM is such a joy to run your going to be in love with it.
  5. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd do the opposite. It's easier to smoke on the Chargriller than on the Kettle, just because the Chargriller has the offset firebox.
  6. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    26 inch Weber.... then use that char grill for all the smoking.
  7. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    That side box should be good for smoking. My UDS runs at a consistent 250*. Smoking takes time and the longer is usually better as long as you stay out of the danger zone. Kick back, open a cold one and relax. [​IMG] I'm sure someone will chime in with some mods for you.
  8. caveman

    caveman Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    That was my initial thought. I guess I just wanted someone else to confirm it.

    Now this thought seems like the best to me. However, I am really challenged with maintaining the heat from the smoke box as I am losing heat from the main chamber. My modification skills are in the "cheap" area as I don't have access to a machine shop & have to network a little to get some fabrication done for what I would like to see in my CG, which is not going well. I like your persistence though. Thank you.

    I have scoured Craigslist in my area for one & people just are not giving them up, yet. My fear is that as soon as I make a move, then one becomes available. Having said that, I do want to try the WSM & do the part time smoke thing on the CG while it still operates as a grill. (I hated that I did not think this through the first time before we added the SFB.)

    Yeah, that SFB is great. Just too much heat escaping. If I had the resources, I would build my own. I live in a townhouse with no tools like some of the midwestern, southern or northern brethern here. It kind of sucks.

    Thanks for your input guys. Anyone else want to chime it? It will be a few days before I make a purchase.
  9. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Your model of SFB is inherent with many design flaws, while some persistent owners have over come many of the flaws, most owners don't and eventually move on to another smoker that can hold temperature and not require constant tending or management.

    The WSM is one of the best designed smokers made an excellent choice for a charcoal smoker. The 22" is big enough to feed many and really doesn't use that much more fuel. As a bonus you can use the WSM as a grill too. Finally the proof is in the results, and many BBQ competitions have been won by people using the WSM, including the 2009 KCBS Team of the Year.

    So use the WSM for smoking, your Char Broil you can use as a grill or sell it, and buy the budget version of 22" Kettle, I see them all the time for $80, new!

    Buying a 26" Kettle only makes sense if you have a big family. I have owned a 22" Weber Kettle since about 1982, family of five and the 22" has always been adequate. If you get the 26" you are going to burn through a lot of briquettes, that doesn't make sense for small meals. If you get the WSM then later the kettle, and you keep your char broil grill, you will have more than enough grill space for a big party. Or even the Kettle with the 22" WSM both used as grills, so you really have it covered.
  10. badfrog

    badfrog Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    If you have tools and some fabrication skills, $400 buys a LOT of material!
  11. caveman

    caveman Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    We are a family of three, most times, five when my daughters come to town. I don't do a lot of grilling anymore since I've done my first smoke & wifey agrees with the thought of smoking vs. grilling. What you are saying makes enough sense to me. I do have issues with that SFB & it is upsetting to say the least 'cause that is a $270 investment that is not going well for the smoke side of things for me. I believe your advice is sound enough to make the journey to the WSM side but I will keep the CG for grilling & the occasional rib smoke. It does ribs good!! Thank you for your input.

    I wish I had fabrication skills. I have fabrication ideals. Does that count? LOL. Thank you for you input.

    I appreciate all the comments & looks at this post. You guys are great. I am glad I am a member. [​IMG] AK1, I think you are correct except that I am struggling with my smokes & I want to enjoy them. Someday this CG will make a wonderful smoker once I can get some tools to make the changes. [​IMG] for your aggressive advice because I agree with you & at the same time, I want to relax & smoke, smoke, smoke.
  12. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All I have now is a WSM, and the 22" Weber kettle, takes care of everything I want to do.

    I gave away my Chargriller before the winter as it took up too much space on my deck/garage, and I knew I wouldnt use it anymore.

    get the WSM you wont regret it. [​IMG]
  13. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Deltadude, where do you find them for 80?
  14. ga.rick

    ga.rick Smoke Blower

    first of all i don't think a man can have to many smokers much to my wifes disbelief. you want go wrong with the wsm and you can still grill and smoke on the cgriller . and like the other post said you can find weber kettles on craigslist and on sale much of the time!
    good smokn from ga.

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