Why are my temps so low! Char-griller Pro w/ Sidebox

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by mintee, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. mintee

    mintee Fire Starter

    Well, the dry run so far is running pretty crappy.  Sadly the only fuel I have is Kingsford Hickory Charcoal Briquets and I don't trust them more than I could throw them (hence me using them as a dry run).  I topped off again at 175F, but I'm dry running on my screened in porch, with little to no air (wind) flow.

    So, I Macgyver'd it up and brought out a box fan and set it on low on the FSB side, about 10' away.  Temp went up to 200F, which I am happy with.  It's been about 3 hours now, and I don't see anything close to the 220F mark though.

    I'm not against modding a intake fan on the side of this rig, but really?

    Sunday I'll take some Q-View photos of what I plan is a BB, Chicken, and maybe a Brisket.
  2. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You have something weird going on there.  If you have a coal basket, at summer temps you should be fighting to keep that down to 250.  Please post more pics and give us info about your ambients.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  3. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    There is a knockout in the wall of the main chamber where the SFB attaches, did you remove it?
  4. mintee

    mintee Fire Starter

    Knockout!!!  %#$^@^!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm such an a-hole!  I just finished about 45 minutes of dremeling and rescrewed it all together.  Every time someone said something about a "foot ball size hole" I thought they meant the diameter of the hole.  

    Well, here's pics of the problem, and faux solution, but I think I might go take it apart again and just get rid of the knockouts (on both the FSB and the Cooking chamber, right?)

    Go ahead and laugh at me.  I deserve it. :(




  5. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Not gonna laugh at ya, I think this is a fairly common problem, you just had the guts to admit it. I think your problem is solved. Good Luck.[​IMG][​IMG]
    kid creole likes this.
  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Still not right.  You need to remove the firebox and knock out that entire football shaped piece.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  7. mintee

    mintee Fire Starter

    Ya, I've since taken it apart again and ran thru about 10 cut blades on my little dremel, so it's the way it supposed to be.  I got about 12 chicken quarters on there right now and it's holding steady at 225F for about an hour now.  

    I tested the vent/chimney wide open and I got up to 325F so BINGO!
  8. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds like you are on your way. 

    Next time just knock that thing out with a hammer and save your blades.  LOL

    Good luck and good smoking.
  9. kid creole

    kid creole Fire Starter

    Aww, I hope I didn't lead you down the wrong track with my dremmel comments.  I just meant that I beat the hell out of mine with a hammer and chisel to break it off.  I would have been happier if I started it off with the dremmel.  I twisted mine a little with the hammer getting it started.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  10. erodinamik

    erodinamik Smoke Blower

    I'm in no position to comment on your error.  When I first opened the box and read the instructions I was very hesitant to punch a big hole in the side of my brand new rig.  Glad you got it figured out though.  When I did mine I used a punch and a hammer and the football hole was made to be punched out like that, no dremeling required.
  11. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Smoke on!
  12. mintee

    mintee Fire Starter

    Funny, the FSB knockout knocked out very easy, but the main chamber knockout was more like a guideline than anything.  There was proof there was a few easy weld spots, but them metal was still competely a 1 piece.  I didn't wanna risk bending it up, so the dremel it was.
  13. solna905

    solna905 Newbie

    I may be wrong but I dont think that there should be a vent between firebox and smoker.  There should be a cutout where the vent is. It is kind of football shaped.  The vent is only if the grill is used without the firebox. I saw one assembled without removing the cutout but my instructions say to remove it.
  14. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When I had mine I found using the cutting blade on the dremel to cut the spot welds, then using a cold chisel and hammer worked great, but I also had cut a length of 2x4 that I used to brace the inside of the main chamber because the metal was so flimsy.

    Glad to hear you got the temps issue figured out!
  15. great thread! i have the same issue about temps on the exact same char-griller. going to be making the mods to it soon. i have the football hole between the SFB and main chamber out but i need the chimney vent, charcoal box, and extra thermometers added. will work on that and see if my temps go up

    but at the same time, they way mine is now, gets up to about 250 from time to time, doesnt always stay that high, but the food does get cooked, so its been ok, but i do leak A LOT of smoke out this thing
  16. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well, the insert doesn't need to be cut out.  As others have mentioned, it will benefit from some reinforcement before it is knocked out.  A little common sense goes a long way here.  Just banging away on that can bend things that will cause problems later.

    I was luckier than some, cause mine required no sealing around the firebox.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  17. I used some high temp RTV around where the SFB meets the cook chamber. A lot of heat can be lost there.

  18. terry colwell

    terry colwell Smoking Fanatic

    What a great theard,,, loved the photo of the inside...lol. I have the same grill and was wondering why you where having such a hard time getting the temp up. I have done NO mods to mine and at grate level with just one chimney starter full of regular charcoal my temps will be around 250 or 300 with just everything shut as normal.About the only thing that I do different is I put my charcoal on the cast iron grates instead of the down on the slide out tray (which I think is worthless other then for cleaning anyway) . If you put the charcoal right next to the FOOTBALL sized opening your temps will most likely go over 300 easly. and once you start throwing wood chuncks on it 400 is not hard to hit either, so watch it when you add wood. I have started moving the charcoal to the far side by the door , or just move the meat towards the vent either or. I will add about 12 to 15 pieaces of fuel every hour or so, and i move the old around so the ash build up drops down to the pan.. And thats about all I have done..
  19. tommy012175

    tommy012175 Newbie

    I see its been a while since anyone responded to this post but hopefully I get some help. I can not get mine up to temps at all.

    I installed duct, flipped charcoal tray over, lined in foil, raised charcoal, and installed 2 new thermometers on front.

    New thermometers on front will never go over 160. But my temp gun and digital says its over 225 most time on grate.

    Here some pics of temps after 2 hrs today.

  20. tommy012175

    tommy012175 Newbie

    Other pics

    Left side

    Right side


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