New Char-Broil Smoker user

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by bobsled, May 31, 2013.

  1. So I have a new CB smoke like this one LINKY.  Lurking around here I see the OEM water/chip tray is not ideal.  What can be done to improve the smoker's internal temperature?  I would really like to replace the OEM tray with a grate or wire rack and use lava rocks and either cast iron box or foil pouch in the orginal location but what to do about a water tray??

    I already picked up a Maverick et732 and plan to a needle valve for it as well as seal up the door as needed.

    I plan to give it it's first "curing" burn this weekend.

    Any suggestions are appriciated.

    Robert
     
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Robert, morning.....  Water trays are usually used when a manufacturer can't get a low enough heat in their smokers...  A water tray will keep the temp around 220-225 in the smoker.....   If you are looking to add a little moisture to your smoker, a small container will add the humidity, and still allow you to get a higher temp....   I use pea gravel in my water pan, in my MES 30, for a thermal mass....  It helps reduce temp swings and helps reduce the hot spots in the smoker... 

    forluvofsmoke, just did some testing ....  I tried his "new" method and had very good results.....  

    Wet-to-Dry No-Foil Smoke Chamber Method for Smoking Meats


    Your smokers burner....  (16,500 BTU burner with variable temperature control)   The needle valve will help very much in controlling temps... Good luck in you smoking and mods....and welcome to the forum....  Pea gravel in my water pan below, with water in it.....

    Dave

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Thanks for the reply Dave.

    I was concerned that the OEM tray was going to basically block off any heat from entering the cooking chamber since that thing is so hugh and left no space to the sides.  It literaly sealed off the flame from the cooking compartment.  I'm new, but have read the debates about water pans adding moisture vs. steady heat distribution.  My solution to heat distribution was to replace the OEM water tray with a metal grate (right over the burner) and place lava rocks on top of that.  The grate is narrower on the sides leaving about 2" on either side unlike the OEM tray.  My thinking is once the rocks heat up they will gently release the heat up to the meats.  As far as moisture, haven't figured out if I completely need that part (newbie remember). Worst case scenerio, is I add a water pan in the cooking chamber which would require me to open the cooking chamber door defeating the two door design to refill as needed.  This is where I need the experts.

    I did do some work on it this weekend but didn't get to fire it up yet.  I'll see if I post some pictures.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  4. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome and have a ball exploring...
     
  5. Yup. I'll try out a few things.Thanks!!
     
  6. Fired up the smoker today just to test it and prime it.  Not happy with the results.  Replaced the OEM chip/water tray with lava rocks on a steel grate and place the BBQ probe inside.  After spraying the interior with PAM and turned it on.  Opened tank valve all the way open and the smoker's control knob to "low" and still my Maverick 732 said internal temp. was 430F!!!.  I had no way to lower the flame.  I have a needle valve I bought have yet to install it.  Hope that solves in.  Still looking for a female 5/16" x 1/4" NIP brass brab adapter.  I'll have to go back and re-read the needle vavle threads on here.  Still hoping to post pix.
     
  7. Fired up the smoker today just to test it and prime it.  Not happy with the results.  Replaced the OEM chip/water tray with lava rocks on a steel grate and place the BBQ probe inside.  After spraying the interior with PAM and turned it on.  Opened tank valve all the way open and the smoker's control knob to "low" and still my Maverick 732 said internal temp. was 430F!!!.  I had no way to lower the flame.  I have a needle valve I bought have yet to install it.  Hope that solves in.  Still looking for a female 5/16" x 1/4" NIP brass brab adapter.  I'll have to go back and re-read the needle vavle threads on here.  Still hoping to post pix.
     
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Robert, morning....... Sorry to hear of your issues....   Hope the mods work well for you......   

    Dave
     
  9. gunho

    gunho Newbie

    I have the same unit.Had the same problem as well.Disgaurded the water pan that came with it...like you said it was to big and the heat was trapped below the meat chamber.Saw on another post about the lava rock.Put a grate above the burner and made a box out of 3x1/4 flat bar to go around the sides to hold the lava rock in place.I left enough room in front to place a small bread pan to put my chips in.I put another grate in the bottom of the meat chamber so I could put one of those aluminum pans for water.I have no problem holding 225 after it heats up with the burnner at low.As for opening the door to replace the water I find it no problem because the water last a lot longer,6hrs plus.Hope this helps.

    Rick
     
  10. ps0303

    ps0303 Meat Mopper

    What about a vent on the top?  Lots of times you can lower temps by leaving it wide open.
     
  11. Thanks Rick.  That's exactly what I did.  Home depot has some steel grates that work perfectly for that use.  I added two as well, just like you.  Here are some pictures finally.

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    http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w143/Playr_album/BBQ4_zps3da594de.jpg





     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  12. Ummmm, need to figure out how to post pictures.
     
  13. That still burns a lot of gas and not the most percise way to control temps.  As you can see, I have added a needle valve for that.
     
  14. lamrith

    lamrith Newbie

    Was your smoker running low with the stock water pan installed and holding the heat under it?  Or was it just super heating the plate and boiling off the water?

    I just ran mine 1st time, stock config, and it was scorching hot, $250-270 min temp. :-/  Made it work, but now to research these lava rocks and needle valves.

    Bobsled, your set-up looks good, hope you don't mind if I copy the grating!  Where did you pick-up the base grate inside the smoker?

    PS - bobsled I like your other hobby too...
     
  15. brewerdave

    brewerdave Fire Starter

    I know this is an old thread, but is anyone still working with this smoker? I just bought a used one off craigslist
     
  16. I just got one of these for Xmas, I was new to smoking, since getting it I have done 4 smokes. I use the provided tray but I put the wood in the center circle and put a tin foil tray on the bottom rack for water. My problem was the unit ran hot this helped a bit. Also the lowest setting for the gas is under high there are a few dashes that is where I set mine and I can hold steady at 225 to 230 consistently. I love my smoker but also don't know any better, I just I have made some amazing food on this thing. I hope this helps as I haven't seen a ton of the char broil gas smokers on these forums.
     
  17. brewerdave

    brewerdave Fire Starter

    Excellent to know there is another using this smoker. I've made a couple of modifications so far. I've drilled holes along the wood chip holder, and have filled the water holder area with play sand. I have a stainless steel water bowl (dog dish) and will be making a couple of other tweaks before the next smoke test
     

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