Slight Chargriller Mod will this work?

Discussion in 'Grilling Tips' started by flbobecu, May 24, 2010.

  1. flbobecu

    flbobecu Smoking Fanatic

    Hey guys, so I filled most of my charcoal basket the other day, while using the included "ash pan", and found I didn't get ample room for ash while using the basket.

    So I used an old grill grate from a cheapo portable grill we used to use for camping (those $10 ones) and came up with this:

    My questions/concerns are the charcoal basket possibly sits too high and the amount of air for sufficient long smokes won't be there (because it's further up away from the air inlet [is what I'm thinking]). Second, the charcoal basket sits higher - possibly "closer" to the food. If this makes sense. Possibly making the temp much higher around the food that I'd like.

    I haven't done any long smokes or anything remotely close (2hrs plus). I just smoked some more sausage today (~1hr) so I don't "really' know if what I did will really work.

    Lastly, I have been having a little trouble getting/maintaining 225*. I can get to, and hold 240 very good. However when I attempt to close off any more of the air inlet, my temps seem to drop to 200*. Not much in between 200* and 240*. (maybe a few degrees plus/minus)

    And onto what I did this evening: (I put one grate on to show distance between basket and grates)




    Comments? Ideas? I'd love to hear! :)

    EDIT: also decided since the weather was nice I tried using the "video" feature on my point and shoot.. it's 60-seconds long.

    (Link to video)
  2. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just my opinion, I think the basket looks a little close but who am I.
  3. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't think you have to worry about air flow; the entire system should draw air in & flow through without much problem. If you're using an indirect method for smoking, I would expect that your mod will work fine. It might even make temp mgmt. easier with intake vent adjustments. However, if you plan to grill right over your coals, then I think your food will be too close to the fire.

    The only way to know for sure is to experiment. Remember that different fuels will also behave differently, so don't give up if one doesn't work so well.
  4. flbobecu

    flbobecu Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks guys. 95% of my cooking is indirect - and I will be adding a SFB sometime next month. So this is only temporarily, but still, I'd like to take advantage of what I have and how I can improve my cooking.
  5. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Temps maintaining at 240F is OK, my chargriller with SFB stays around 235-250.
    Are you using briquette charcoal? If you are, switching to lump will help with the ash problem.
    If you can cut 3 or 4 inches off the support grate that will lower your basket.
    If you have the charcoal/ash grate you could put that back in and raise the basket above it with some 2 inch pieces of brick.
    In any event it looks like you will be good to go when you buy the SFB.
  6. flbobecu

    flbobecu Smoking Fanatic

    I am using Stubbs (all natural briquette) and Publix/RO lump. I vary between them. Both are very good - I buy more Stubbs, because here it's quite a bit cheaper than lump and has similar performance and many here prefer it to RO (or any lump). I buy lump when it's on sale or is buy-one-get-one.

    I began having ash issues again because the baskets' holes are not that big, so when I shake the basket to remove some ash (about once every 1.5hrs or so), it falls into the ash grate, clogging it up and restricting air flow. So I figured if I eliminated that, and just used something where the ash is pretty much free to fall (onto some foil, not pictured), it will work better, but I am too new to this and while it may make sense to me now, it may not to the seasoned Q'ers here.. :)
  7. warthog

    warthog Smoking Fanatic

    Here is what mine looks like and works great in the SFB.

    wichitasmoker and paulyd213 like this.
  8. flbobecu

    flbobecu Smoking Fanatic

    Looks good - thanks for sharing. :)
  9. olewarthog

    olewarthog Meat Mopper

    FLbobecu,  I have a CG & use the same basket you in both the SFB & the main chamber for indirect grilling.  I just drop the charcaol tray to the lowest level & sit the basket on top of it.  It won't take much charcoal to get temps in the 225-240 range with the heat in the main chamber I could see where ash might become a problem on long cooks with your setup. Lump charcoal produces a lot less ash but does burn hotter & faster. Once you get the SFB, ash wont be as much of an issue since will have the ash drawer on the SFB to get rid of excess ash.
  10. flbobecu

    flbobecu Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks. :)

    I no longer have an ash problem as the grate and basket sit high enough that it won't be a problem even after multiple smokes, but I still clean it after ever use. 

    I think I am going to try hot lump over cold Stubbs to see if I can get the best of both worlds, though Stubbs is far better than any other briquette. 
  11. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Spend the $60 bucks and get the SFB! You still need a basket or something in the SFB, otherwise you will still have the problem with ash buildup.

    I cut two pieces of grating and laid them right on top of the tabs that the ash tray slides under and it worked wonders for air flow and temp control.

    I also had to add some tuning plates to the smoker area to get rid of the big hot spot right next to the firebox, but that is pretty common with the SFB smokers from what I hear.
  12. flbobecu

    flbobecu Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the reply! :)

    Do you know where I can get the SFB for $60? Cheapest I found was in the $80's. So the basket I have no won't work in the SFB? 

    I plan on modding some cookie sheets for tuning plates. :)
  13. olewarthog

    olewarthog Meat Mopper

    That basket will work. I use the same one.  I recently saw the SFB on sale at Academy Sports for $40.  It's generally around $60 at Lowes.
  14. flbobecu

    flbobecu Smoking Fanatic

    That's a good price. Our Lowes doesn't have the SFB for sale.. unfortunately. And no Academy Sports here - I'll check online and see if they have it. 
  15. olewarthog

    olewarthog Meat Mopper

  16. roltyde

    roltyde Fire Starter

    Here in Knoxville, Lowes sells the CG SFB for $69 and Kroger sells it for $59.

    Tractor Supply sells the CG Duo with SFB included for $299!  I don't know if they sell the SFB separately. 
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  17. roltyde

    roltyde Fire Starter

    Where'd you get your basket?
  18. flbobecu

    flbobecu Smoking Fanatic

  19. smokingvic

    smokingvic Fire Starter

    Where did you get the basket and the rack under it , looks like a fine mods.
  20. smokingvic

    smokingvic Fire Starter

    Where did you get the basket and the rack under it.

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