newb needs advice with sfb

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by smokedout, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. smokedout

    smokedout Newbie

    hey all i have a chargriller pro and like usin the side fire box but can never get the temp up in the barrel. wat is the best way to accomplish gettin barrel temp up. it seems to get around 140 or so and stay there. im using lump mesquite coal. how big of pile of coals? should i use the cookin grate to buil the fire as these sit higher or use the the grate on the ashtray and build a bigger fire? any and all help is appreciated. thx. and im lookin into the mods.
  2. Make sure you are not using the temp gauge that came with the unit. I use an oven probe themomter stuck through a wine cork to get a read on what the temp is at grate level.
  3. olewarthog

    olewarthog Meat Mopper

    First, did you knock out the football shaped inserts on both the main chamber & the SFB?

    Do you have anything blocking the opening between the main chamber & SFB?

    Second, the stock thermometer on the CG is basically worthless. You need to have a way to measure temp at cooking grate level in the main chamber. A lot of people install dial type therms on the hood on either side of the handle. You can also use a digital probe type therm with the probe stuck thru a cork, potato, small block of wood, etc. You just need to keep it from touching the metal grates. A cheap oven therm that sits on the grates will work also, but you have to keep opening the lid to check temps & that lets out heat & smoke.

    How much charcoal are you using to start & how are you feeding the fire to keep it going? I find using a basket helps with temp control. I posted some pics on how I build my fire at
  4. smokedout

    smokedout Newbie

    all the inserts are removed and no obstructions. im usin enough hard lump mesquite charcoal to cover the coal grate that came with the sfb. i will put 2 thermos in the lid and try the technique of turning over the barrel tray, and i just play with the vents to control heat but i cant get over the 140 mark an the factory thermo. more coals???
  5. b8h8r

    b8h8r Smoke Blower

    More FIRE!!!! I have a different brand but basically the same setup, and I have to get a good amount of coals going.
  6. Get a real themo!!! The factory one is worth 2 squirts!
  7. smokedout

    smokedout Newbie

    im gonna do that and the smoke stack mod.
  8. smokedout

    smokedout Newbie

    so i bought a taylor digital thermo, with a probe that plugs into the display and did the vent hose extension, should i mount the probe as close to grate level or will it matter? im thinkin safety wire the probe to the vent extension close to the grate?!? is the cork and ect just for keepin it off the grate or sould i use a peice for this probe? also flipped the pan and drilled holes in it. last smoke session worked amazing.
  9. warthog

    warthog Smoking Fanatic

    Install a good thermometer at grate level. I have the same setup and no problem even going up to 300 deg using the SFB. I try and run it at 225 and it seems to hold pretty well. My only complaint it uses a lot of fuel.

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