Question on Fuel

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PackerBacker21
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Question on Fuel

Postby PackerBacker21 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:29 pm

Hello all, new to the forum.... Here's my question:

I have a CharGriller Smokin' Pro with side fire box. In order to maintain a temp around 225 degrees, I've found I need to add roughly 1/2 chimney pre-lit lump charcoal and about 3-4 wood chunks PER hour. This has worked well from a temp standpoint, but I think I'm over-smoking the meat. I've tried removing the wood after a few hours and going with only lump charcoal as the fuel, but I can't seem to maintain enough heat that way.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Question on Fuel

Postby DATsBBQ » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:37 pm

I'm glad you found us. I'm not even an armature when it comes to backyard offsets but several folks here are. I suspect they'll be showing up soon enough.
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Re: Question on Fuel

Postby PackerBacker21 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:44 pm

Excellent... thanks for the welcome. This is a great forum and I look forward to learning more about the fine art of smoking. I'm relatively new to it, but already hooked for life.
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Re: Question on Fuel

Postby Toontroller » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:57 pm

PB sounds like not enough airflow to keep a hot clean fire burning, if your getting a dense heavy smoke during your cooks then thats a pretty sure sign. Are you running intake and exhaust wide open? What diameter and length is the stack?

Edit, Ok went out and found a picture of it. At first glance it does look like;

1- The exhaust stack could use more length, find a pipe that can slide over or inside and get another foot or two.....The longer the stack the better the draw through the firebox.

2- Needs more intake capacity, try a test leaving the tray pulled out just a little to see if this helps. It may just take a little crack to make things burn a lot better.
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Re: Question on Fuel

Postby Papa Tom » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:42 pm

DATsBBQ wrote:I'm glad you found us. I'm not even an armature when it comes to backyard offsets but several folks here are. I suspect they'll be showing up soon enough.


Not sure but I think this was Freudian not a simple typo.

Noun

Singular
armature


Plural
armatures

armature (plural armatures)
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Wikipedia has an article on:
Armature

1. Armor or a suit of armor.
2. The rotating part of an electric motor or dynamo, which mostly consists of coils of wire around a metal core.
3. The moving part in an electromechanical device like a loudspeaker or a buzzer.
4. A piece of soft steel or iron that connects the poles of a magnet
5. A supporting framework in a sculpture.
6. A protective organ, structure, or covering of an animal or plant, for defense or offense, like claws, teeth, thorns, or the shell of a turtle.
tarde venientibus ossa....
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Re: Question on Fuel

Postby JamesB » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:42 pm

Agree with what Toontroller had to say... Might also want to extend the exhaust stack down into the cook chamber to trap more heat.
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Re: Question on Fuel

Postby DATsBBQ » Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:32 pm

PT, it was neither. It was spell checker in Firefox without benefit of reading glasses. :lol:
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Re: Question on Fuel

Postby nascarchuck » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:09 pm

Welcome!

I have a Super Pro w/ SFB as well. I turned the charcoal grate upside down to raise it higher so the ash wont be as much of a problem.

I also got some flexible duct and brought the the stack down to the grate.

I finally got tired of baby sitting it and worrying about holding enough heat to finish a smoke so I finally built a drum smoker. Now my worries are over!

In my opinion, Chargriller is an excellent grill, not bad for a short smoke but I dont like it for anything over about 4-5 hours.
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http://cookinwithchuck.blogspot.com - Updated 01/10/10

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Re: Question on Fuel

Postby OSD » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:13 pm

Raise the charcoal grate for better air flow and build a charcoal basket from expanded metal.
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Re: Question on Fuel

Postby Pony Express » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:20 pm

Packer,
I have a newbraunfels hondo smoker which looks similar to your char griller.
I had the same problem with heavy bitter smoke.
Problem solved by leaving smoke stack wide open, smaller fire and regulate only at the intake.
and don't try to use to much wood at 1 time.
Charmglo gasser,
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OSD
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Re: Question on Fuel

Postby OSD » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:26 pm

Here's a link to some of the mods you can do to help your smoker work better.......

http://www.bbqinstitute.com/SmokerModifications.pdf
Jim
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Re: Question on Fuel

Postby BluDawg » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:43 pm

Packer I have the same pit that you have and I have solved All the problems I can hold 225º on one load of lump with a few fist sized chunks of wood.That temp is measured at the center of the pit on the cooking grate with a 5º differential end to end and front to back. If you follow my instructions in this post I will have you smoking in tall cotton in no time.

1) Build a coal basket that will raise your fire to the center of the intake mine is 13"x14"x3" and supported by 3 pieces of angle iron that are 13" long. his will put the bottom of the fire at the center of the air intake and allow you to empty ashes without disturbing the fire.
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2) I know that this is not a real good pic of the coal basket but I get 4.5-5 hrs on that load of coal. Notice on the left side of the photo the opening to the cook chamber; running through the center of the opening is the edge of the cast iron grate from the fire box and upside down on top of that is the coal pan from the cooking chamber. Place 1 cast iron grate from the firebox at each end of the cooking chamber and turn the big coal pan upside down on top of them and slide it as close to the firebox as it will go. This accomplishes two things. First ,it acts as a baffle to eliminate the hot spot next to the fire. Second, it gives a more even heat across the cooking surface.

3) Char Griller puts an awful lot of needless holes in the cook chamber plug them with nuts and bolts with fender washers. make a gasket to seal the top snugly against the bottom, this can be made with hd aluminum foil.

4) Get yourself a good themo at the bare minimum at a pair of oven thermos(about $3.00 ea. at H.E.B) that you can put on the cooking surface, the one in the lid is junk mine is off 110º.
All these mods can be done for less tan $20.00 in materials.This will lower your fuel costs and by the sounds of it you should get your 20 back in fuel savings after three cooks. I run my exhaust w/o and the air intake about 1/3 open depending on the wind and I start with a full load unlit lump and start with the minion method.
One final note if you live in a colder climate you can put 2-3" of sand in the bottom of the cooking chamber to help retain heat in cold weather the sand will heat up and reflect the heat back to the cooking surface.
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Re: Question on Fuel

Postby JamesB » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:41 pm

Good info BluDawg! I tell ya, it's been so long since I've cooked on those types of smaller cookers, I've forgotten most of the stuff I used to do to make 'em work! :shock:
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Re: Question on Fuel

Postby BluDawg » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:30 pm

James I'll tell ya CG is a good pit for a little money and it don't take much to get them working right.I just wish that the factory in "China" would put a little more thought into the design of the fire box and a baffle and tuning plate system, but they are more interested in manufacturing a one size fits all type of product. Hopefully by next spring Ill have a new pit. I got a real hankerin for a Lang 60". Then I'll probably give the CG to my soon to be SIL ; If I decide to like him :dangry: :finger: :dangry: He don't impress me much. Sorry off topic!
Never met a cow I didn't like with a little salt and pepper.
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