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Fast and Cheap CG SFB mod **with PICS**

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Post Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:59 pm

Posts: 47
Location: Omaha, NE
I have a question about the straps for the mod. I could only find zinc coated aluminum straps. Would this work? I would love to find some stainless steel straps, but spent a long time in Lowes and couldn't find any.
In Heaven there is no beer, that's why we drink it here. Go Hawks!

Post Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:52 pm
Romad rare
rare

Posts: 36
Location: Irmo, SC
I added my new SFB the other day. Looks like the new ones don't come with the bolts for the cooking grates. Mine has a piece of 90 degree metal tack welded on the sides to hold the cooking grates. I took an old sunbeam mini grill I found and dismantled it. Bent the legs and inserted into the SFB. These hold the cooking grate and fire grate that came out of the sunbeam just above the ash pan on the SFB.

I'll probably be drilling some holes and adding some bolts to do the basket mod.

Post Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:39 pm
Old Smoker well done
well done

Posts: 1247
Romad,
Is it a CharGriller? I've read about them being somewhat different,but all the SFB's seem the same.
22.5 WSM - Chargriller - Traeger Texas
I cook to eat not to compete

Post Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:58 pm
Romad rare
rare

Posts: 36
Location: Irmo, SC
Yes it's a CG. Picked it up from Lowe's last week. The parts list and instructions showed the bolts and bolt holes for the cooking grates. I was a little p'd when I couldn't find them. Then I looked in the box again and saw the welded in shelf.

Post Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:06 am
phyx well done
well done

Posts: 462
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
jonny ballgame wrote:
I have a question about the straps for the mod. I could only find zinc coated aluminum straps. Would this work? I would love to find some stainless steel straps, but spent a long time in Lowes and couldn't find any.


I would say no. I wouldn't use it.

Try going to Home Depot. I bought mine there, and it was dirt cheap. It's found in the plumbing section of all places....

BTW, mine are NOT stainless steel--just plain ol' steel. And since it's 10 feet of strap per box, it's affordable even if it rusts out on you. :)

Post Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:55 pm

Posts: 456
Location: Waldorf, Maryland
jonny ballgame wrote:
I have a question about the straps for the mod. I could only find zinc coated aluminum straps. Would this work? I would love to find some stainless steel straps, but spent a long time in Lowes and couldn't find any.


I went to a local machine shop and they had several thicknesses of 304 stainless steel that they sold by the square foot. I had them cut me two straps to my specifications and the total came to $10.11. Since it was that cheap, how could I go wrong with stainless steel. Here is a thread where I documented my whole SFB mode including pics.

http://www.barbecuebible.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=13954&highlight=toxic+fumes
Jenn-Air gas
Weber One Touch Gold
Char-Griller SP w/ SFB
Char-Broil gas
Aussie style charcoal
BBQ Grillware SS portable

Post Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:34 pm

Posts: 47
Location: Omaha, NE
Thanks for the tips about the strapping. I will be returning the Zinc plated stuff I bought.

I will check out some of the machine shops in the area to see if I can get a cheap mod like Raiders did.

By the way, I love this forum. Everyone is willing to help out and I feel like I have gained a ton of knowledge by reading tips and tricks from the BBQ vets on this board. Thanks again to all who helped.

Have a great and safe 4th.

Ballgame
In Heaven there is no beer, that's why we drink it here. Go Hawks!

Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:07 am
phyx well done
well done

Posts: 462
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Raiders has a great mod too.

That's what I love about this place...everyone has such great ideas to use and build from.

Happy Q'ing!

Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:19 pm
Trollby well done
well done

Posts: 1304
Location: MadCity, WI

I could not find stainless/steel here so I got some copper strap (non-coated) seems to be fine.

Getting my basket from Lowe's today (UPS says out for delivery).

Looking forward to trying a nice long smoke.

One question........

So since my previous smoking was indirect in cooking chamber not SFB:

add 1 to 1.5 chimney of hot coals
lump wood for smoke
more unlit coal over that with more wood on top?

that way will start the coal as it goes?

In my weber I always opened and added coals to the pile every hour or so, in propane add more wood chips every hour or so since small box didn't last smoking more than 45min to an hour.

Thanks

--- Edit ---

I mean hot coals on top, since under would start all fast.

just shake every so often. (hour or so)

Thinking like weber, lol.

Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:00 pm
phyx well done
well done

Posts: 462
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Here's what I do....

I fill the basket almost to the top with unlit coals and 1 or 2 fist sized (or slightly smaller) chunks of wood. I then fire up like 1/2 a Weber chimney and dump that on top of the unlit coals. Next I add the meat to the CG when it reaches 275 - 300 degrees. When I open the lid to add the meat, I get a good 50 degree drop, which is perfect for smoking. ;)

I add wood when it needs it, and give the basket a shake when I think about it, or if I notice the temp going down.

I'd say in a long smoke (like 11-14 hours for a brisket), I go through about 3-4 baskets of fuel (usually get a good 4-5 hours per basket) and maybe 5 or so fist sized chunks of wood.

When the coals start to get low, I rake all the lit coals to one side (usually closest to the air intake) then dump more unlit lump in there. That will keep the heat. The lit coals keep getting oxygen while the unlit slowly ignite. I add a chunk of wood to the unlit coals closer to the lit coals so it catches and burns the whole time of the basket of coals.

You will have temperature drops after adding more fuel--don't panic. Just let it do its thing and you'll be back up to temp in no time.

Also...DON'T open the lid of CG unless you have no choice. Doing so releases precious heat. When you open the SFB to shake the basket, again it will drop a bit at first...no worries....just let it go.

If it drops too low, open the ash drawer to allow more air in there, maybe give your coals a stir, and make sure now ash is built up too high to choke the fire.

You should be golden if you do all that. Best of luck this weekend, and post pics of your food!!! :D

Post Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:09 pm
Trollby well done
well done

Posts: 1304
Location: MadCity, WI

phyx wrote:
Here's what I do....
**much appreciated info**


That is what I figured, except I will use less starter than I though (1/2 not 1-1.5 chimney's hot coals)

I was thinking of dumping the ash when I add the new coal, help keep the build-up down.

Longest smoke for me was 3 hours, so was worried about longer times since loading would drop temps.

Post Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:39 pm
nmr1981 raw
raw

Posts: 4
Location: nj
Love the mods can't wait to get my SFB. Just make sure no galvanized materials. Galvanzied steel is just steel with a zinc coating and zinc melts around 650-700 degrees F. You would end up getting vapors on your food and who knows what else in your body :?
Char-Griller Super-Pro w/rotisserie and SFB

Post Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:24 am
Bluetick rare
rare

Posts: 23
Location: Memphis
I experimented with a few baskets including one of those veggie grilling baskets from Lowes. With the handle snipped on that basket, it will fit on the 90 degree metal intended to hold the CG sfb grates. No metal straps are necessary; just sit the basket right where the cooking grates would go.

I have a smaller chrome basket (sans handles) that I use if I need additional heat (especially during colder weather). It will fit inside the sfb ash pan and slides right underneath the veggie basket above, creating a double decker system of coal baskets. Since the bottom of the sfb is curved, the smaller basket is elevated above the ash pan to allow for a bit of ash to drop below before choking becomes a factor. Ash from the veggie basket above hasn't caused any problems for the smaller basket below.

Using the two baskets combined, I can maintain smoking temperatures for around three hours or more, depending on wind speed and direction, ambient temperature, etc., before I need to dump ash and and add coals. In colder weather, this is better performance for me than using a single basket, which usually requires attention within about two hours.

Post Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:22 am

Posts: 120
Location: North Carolina

Bluetick, do you have any pics that you might be willing to share? I wanna see what that looks like.
CG Outlaw w/ SFB
Char Griller gas
UDS on the way

Post Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:27 pm
Bluetick rare
rare

Posts: 23
Location: Memphis
Cueing in Carolina wrote:
Bluetick, do you have any pics that you might be willing to share? I wanna see what that looks like.


My memory was a little fuzzy. I did have one pic of the inside of my sfb and after looking at it, I realized I was mistaken about placing the veggie basket on the 90 degree metal for the grates. As it turns out, I placed it right on one of the grates instead. Additionally, I slid out the ash plan, placed a smaller wire basket on it, and slid the whole thing back inside. This put the smaller basket beneath the veggie basket. As the pic indicates, I can slide the veggie basket/grate a little bit towards or away from the mc as needed as one means to adjust heat. The smaller basket can of course be placed closer too/further from the mc as needed.

Generally, my two biggest woes with the CG have been temp stability over time and getting decently high temperatures. The cooker normally seems to run in the 200 to 210 degree range for me and I have to keep a close eye on it, especially in cool or cold weather. With the double decker baskets, I was able to keep the mc closer to 225 degrees and maintain the temperature for a longer period of time. I have only tried this technique during one smoke over roughly 30 hours in cool weather (40 - 50 degrees).

Here's the pic of the veggie basket. You'll have to imagine the smaller basket beneath it - I placed it below after this pic was taken. This is probably underwhelming at this point since my feeble memory was so off track about the setup in the prior description (it's been 6 weeks or so since my last smoke!), but I suppose it beat messing with metal straps.

Image[/img]

For those of you using the metal straps, what's the advantage over sticking a basket on the grate as I have done?

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