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Question for goldenbear

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Post Mon Jul 19, 2004 7:28 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3045
Location: Atlanta-GA
goldenbear,
I’m surprised that you’re having problems reaching and maintaining a 225 temp on you CharGriller. How many chimneys are you starting with?
I usually start with 2 chimneys worth of coals (a mixture of briquettes and lumps). The temp climbs up very quickly to 225 and stays there for at least 2 hours. In addition, I rarely have to add more than 1 chimney worth of coals every 2 hours of cooking. And I often use the lower grate to house my coals unless I’m smoking food for over 8 hours, then I will use the upper grate.
A friend of mine had a problem with temp control on his CharGriller, when I went over his house to check it out, I found out that he did not remove the perforated metal plate that separated the 2 chamber prior to installing the side firebox. Thus he was not getting enough heat into the main chamber. I’m sure you did not do that, but I thought I’d mention it for future reference.
Try to line up the lower part of the main chamber with foil. Also leave the charcoal tray inside the main chamber during smoking. The foil and the charcoal tray will act as insulators and deflectors.
These pictures show how the temp on the led gauge and a gauge located on the opposite side of the firebox is equal and around 225 degrees. These pix were taken shortly after adding 2 chimneys worth of coals to a cold grill. The coals were placed on the lower grate in the firebox.
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Please let me know if you’re still having trouble reaching that temp
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Post Tue Jul 20, 2004 7:13 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Great advise Z, Goldenbear just make sure that when you leave the charcoal tray in the main chamber you have it at the lowest setting.
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Post Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:54 am
goldenbear medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 52
Location: Southern California
Hey Z,

Thanks for looking out for me! I did exactly what you said except the amount of charcoal. =) I usually start with one chimney worth and each hour, either I add a few handfuls of briquettes or another chimney of charcoal.

But I think I need to start off the fire with more coal. I only have one chimney so that's one of the reasons why I started off with just one. :oops: Maybe I'll go and buy another one. Then I could do 2 chimneys, then every 2 hours, add another one? So if I was cooking BCC or some baby back ribs that don't require that much time, putting coal on the bottom is okay? I remember you mentioning that if you put the coals on the top grill, the lid of the firebox could lose it's paint due to the extreme heat. So I prefer using the bottom tray but whatever is best to make good Q obviously overrides my preference. :D

I have another question about cleaning the firebox. I try to clean the firebox the same night I did the grilling to avoid any damage to my grill from the ashes of the briquettes. But I can't seem to get out all of the ash from the bottom of the firebox (after I remove the ash pan from the side). I know if I really wanted, I could vacuum it out but I think my wife would think I've gone completely NUTS over my grill. I guess I try to baby it since I've been enjoying q'ing so much. So what i've been doing lately is to get as much ash out and then using canola oil to rub it down so that i keep the grill nice and oiled. Not sure if mixing the oil with the ash does anything worse than leaving the ashes alone.
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Post Tue Jul 20, 2004 12:44 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3045
Location: Atlanta-GA
Grand,
That’s an excellent point. I forgot to mention that if you leave the charcoal tray on a high position, it would block the heat between the 2 chambers.
goldenbear,
You’re welcome. Always glad to help a fellow CharGriller. :)
As far as cleaning the firebox, I usually line it up with foil. Once I remove the foil and as much ashes as possible, I remove the charcoal drawer, keep the lid open, and sweep the ashes with a small broom. I thought of using an old vacuum as well, but my wife wouldn’t let me. I’ve had this grill for almost a year, and I still baby it. Don’t worry; you’re doing the right thing. This way your grill will last a long time. And that’s mean plenty of Q’ing. :wink:
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Post Tue Jul 20, 2004 2:37 pm
Daemien rare
rare

Posts: 38
Location: Ontario, Canada
I was doing BCC the other night and had a huge problem getting the main chamber up to 325 to 350F (Medium as suggested in HTG) using the side firebox. I ended up setting up a small pile of coals in the main chamber in conjunction with the firebox.

Anybody else having problems with these higher, indirect temps on the Chargriller??

I have found this grill is perfectly tuned for 225.. throw a match head in and it seems to hit this mark bang on.

The BCC turned out excellent BTW - had a huge downpour but once I transferred the chicken to the oven everything went smoooth!

D.

Post Tue Jul 20, 2004 4:41 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Daemien I don't have the Chargriller but I always smoke my BCC's at 225* and haven't had a bad bird yet. Since the Chargriller easily maintains this temperature you can cook it at 225*. The trade-off would be a little longer cooking times.
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Post Tue Jul 20, 2004 6:19 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3045
Location: Atlanta-GA
Daemien,
You have to keep in mind that all the recipes in the “HTG” book were made on a grill. There is a big difference between cooking on a grill and cooking in a smoker. The best grill will have trouble maintaining a low temp, since the fire source is so close to the food. And the best smoker will also have trouble maintaining high temp, since they’re designed for slow and low cooking.
You’re absolutely correct about the CharGriller though; it is tuned to maintain perfect 225 degrees of heat. It almost requires no attention. If you want to cook at a higher temp, then you would place the coals in the main chamber as you already did. But if you want the slow and low cooking, then you would use the side firebox. As Bob said, most of us cook BCC at 225-250 degrees range. The results are always awesome, but require longer time. Since you have a CharGriller, you get to choose which method to use.
I hope this answers your question.
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Post Wed Jul 21, 2004 10:41 am
Daemien rare
rare

Posts: 38
Location: Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the tip guys!! I guess I'll stick with the 225 mark for all my firebox cooking. My main concern is that I have a real tough time telling if a chicken is done! I have a meat-in (stays in bird) thermometer, and a digital instant-read thermometer but I always end up fudging the placement. I've pulled still raw birds out of the oven more than once.. :oops:

D.

Post Wed Jul 21, 2004 10:47 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Daemien always place the thermometer in the area where the meat is the thickest ( breast or thigh) and make sure it is not touching a bone, fat, or gristle.

For more info try this GOOGLE SEARCH
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Post Tue May 31, 2005 9:55 am
hghlnder

You may want to verify your thermometer readings. I had alot of problems with mine getting it up to 225 ,but when I checked the thermometer (poped it out and checked it using the oven and checked it at various temps ) I found out the thing just froze at 178.
went over to Lowes and bought a Charbroil replacement and now no problems..

Post Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:28 pm
KABAAB raw
raw

Posts: 1
Location: Kamm's Corners, Cleveland, Ohio
Hi All:

I am new to the board and a relatively new owner of a Char Griller, but a relatively experienced Qer. I smoked on a Weber Kettle previously, and have kept it for grilling.

We have a barbecue club here in my Kamm's Corners neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio called the KABAAB's---Kamm's Area Benevolent Association for the Advancement of Barbecue.

Glad to be aboard and look forward to posting.

My peeve is that there aren't any cooking or judging classes anywhere near here. As a member of KCBS, I always look for them, but the closest are always 5-7 hours away. Help us!
King Kabaab

Post Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:48 pm
Grillslinger BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 2392
Location: Irving, TX

Welcome to the board, KABAAB! :D I hope everything is goin g well with your club!

A.

Post Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:13 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Welcome to the board KABAAB! :D

When local education is lacking you can turn to our correspondence course at BBQ-U. :wink:
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Post Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:10 pm

Posts: 4
Location: North Carolina
Hey all, just found this site and had to join!

Picked up my Char Griller back at Christmas and it's the best thing ever. Did have an issue that I wanted to see if anyone else was having.

My wife and I cook brisket about once every couple of months. I was trying to figure out why my briskets were coming out a bit dry---I mean, I did everything right and was keeping the temp at a steady 210-225 for 10 hours for an 11-12 pound slab.

Well, I decided that I would get me a new toy -- remote control themometer. Since I didn't need to worry about the meat temp for awhile, the first few hours I used it to measure the temp inside the grill. I was letting it hang off the top veggie rack---wasn't touching the meat or any part of the grill.

I was finding that the temp reading I got was almost 50 degrees warmer than what the CharGrill themometer was showing.

I decreased the temp to read on the Char Grill to 175 and kept it there for the duration of the cook---Brisket turned out perfect.

Guess I got a bad themometer?

Also, I too notice that I have trouble keeping the temperature steady in the beginning. once I can get it up to 225, it's a pretty smooth sailing but I notice that in the beginning, it usually takes me about an hour to tame the fire and toward the end of a 10 hour cook, it seems real difficult to keep a steady temperature. I'm attributing it to user error and will keep reading here on the site for some good tips.

Post Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:20 pm
MReynolds well done
well done

Posts: 394
Location: Missouri, St. Peters
Not THE Abe Froman, sausage king of Chicago?! :wink:

Rule #1 is to never go by the hood mounted thermometer. It won't give a true grate level temp. Calibrate your thermo by placing in ice water, you should read 32*, and should read 212* (adjusted for altitude) in boiling water.

I'm sure you'll find the use of the remote thermometer a real treat, and will probably achieve better grilling results.

BTW, stop by the Usernames thread (sticky at top of forum) to introduce yourself. Welcome aboard!
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