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Torn between two grills… need advice.

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Post Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:12 pm
Smokin J rare
rare

Posts: 12
Location: Knoxville TN
Hey guys..just bought a new CG Pro Deluxe with the smoker box. Just started the seasoning process as we speak. I would like to get some input on a few things if someone could help.
Coated the entire interior, grates, top and bottom barrels, charcoal tray and grate with veg oil lightly applying with a cheap new paintbrush... Fired up about 1 1/2 chimneys of charcoal, dumped them into the charcoal tray, then followed Z's advice and added about 4 chunks of hickory chunks to further season the interior.
Problem is the temp has been running in the 350-375 range for the past hour when I started. I've got the top stack vent wide open and I closed the lower vent to about 20% open within the first 15 min in an attempt to cool off the fire to no avail..still running about 350. The manual says to run the fire at about 200-250 during the curing process which I find almost impossible to do when burning in the main chamber. (I didn't attach the smoker box yet, I wanted to do the seasoning process first).
My questions are:

Did I use too much charcoal?

Why did closing the lower vent seem to not have an effect of the temp of the fire?

How should the stack vent be set in relation to the lower vent? My previous smoker was a Brinkman similar to the Weber Smoky Mountain and didn't have a top vent.


Thanks to everyone that can offer some help..hope I can return the favor sometime

Update next day: Seems that some areas didnt get cured, the underside of the charcaol ash pan and the bottom interior of the grill itself. It still looks like bare metal with a coat of fresh oil. Should I hit it again with another seasoning session? Also I just noticed that the 4 cooking grates don't exactly sit perfectly level with each other as if they are warped slightly. Is this normal for cast iron grates? Thanks again guys for any helpful advice.

Post Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:15 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Welcome to the board Smokin J! :D

Congrats on the new CG. If you have the SFB then I would go ahead and attach it for the seasoning process.

Since you originally had your fire inside the main chamber you could have used less charcoal. That much lit fuel will cause higher temperatures and if your unit is not air-tight then you'll have a tough time bringing the temperature down.

The reason some areas may not have seasoned properly may have been their proximity to the fire. Excessive heat can burn off seasoning instead of building it up. So whenever you grill steaks, burgers, etc... you'll want to check the main chamber to see if it needs to be reseasoned, especially the cast iron grates.

You'll want to season a couple at least of times. Seasoning needs to be done in thin, multiple layers as opposed to all at once. Layering will build up a non-stick protective coating over the metal whereas all-at-once will make a sticky mess at best.
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Post Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:12 pm
Smokin J rare
rare

Posts: 12
Location: Knoxville TN
Hey Bob-Bqn thanks for the info and the quick reply..much appreciated.

Got off work early today, am working on attaching the SFB now. I'll recoat with veg oil and fire it up for a few hrs to continue the seasoning process. Should I run some more smoke wood through it again?

Also is it best to run the chimney vent wide open and strictly use the lower damper for temp control?

Thanks again for the welcome and info....

Plan on doing a boston butt for Labor Day!!

Post Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:34 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
I don't believe wood to be mandatory when seasoning but if it were mine I would use wood.

Keeping the chimney exhaust open allows the smoke to exit the smoker before becoming stale and bitter. It also allows fresh air to enter via the intake on the side firebox. It is best to use the intake damper to control temperature and airflow as much as possible. If extreme measures need to be taken to bring temperatures down them close the exhaust stack as much as needed, but not more than the intake damper.

Temperature control is easier to maintain with a unit that is air tight. However, if your cooker has air leaks either in the firebox or main chamber you can simply compensation with the damper. If you find temperatures rising and remaining higher than desired then you'll need to use less lit fuel. It is possibe to remove lit fuel with a small shovel or tongs and place in another cooker (if available) or a metal container.

Have fun! :D
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Post Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:15 pm
Smokin J rare
rare

Posts: 12
Location: Knoxville TN
Thanks again Bob-Bqn...doing some country ribs up now for tonite.
mainly for practice getting used to how the new smoker behaves. Wanna be ready by Labor Day

Post Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:28 pm
Smokin J rare
rare

Posts: 12
Location: Knoxville TN
Got the fire goin' for the country ribs a couple hours ago.

Need a little advice with temp control though..

Here's exactly what I did:

Fired up one full chimney of Kingsford briquettes, let it get good n hot, dumped into the firebox.
Added 3 chunks of hickory on top of it then another chimney of unlit briquettes.
Closed the firebox door, lower damper was wide open.
Temp climbed up to almost 350 in the main cooking chamber. I had no choice but to open the firebox door, let the fire tame down for a while, then closed the firebox door, set the vent at about 25% open, then about 10 min later finally put the meat on when the temp stabilized around 240.

The question is: Should I just start with one lit chimney and smoke wood then add a few briquettes as needed to maintain temp?
Or, do the same as a did except cut the vent back to around 25% right away when I dump the coals in?
I was planning on about a 3-4 hour cooking session.
Any hints or tips would be much appreciated. Thanks to everyone again for all the helpful advice.

Post Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:10 pm
Smokin J rare
rare

Posts: 12
Location: Knoxville TN
Gmc, that's a great suggestion. I actually thought of that idea after the fact but was not sure how much difference it would make. Just the simple law of physics, so it does make sense. Was a little breezy out yesterday, so probably aggervated the situation as well. When you say your CB is sealed, did you do some kind of mod to make it totally airtight? My sfb door sits pretty tight, but it's definately not airtight.

Could also use some suggs on cleaning out the grill after cooking. Almost seems I could blast it out with a water hose and let it dry out in the sun. I don't see an easy way to get all the residual ash, food drippings, and grease out of the charcoal tray and bottom of the grill.

By the way, the country ribs couldn't have turned out better! :D They were very tender, moist, and flavorful...pulled apart very easy with just a fork.. They had a very nice smoke ring as well...should have took some pics, too late now, they're all gone... all 2 lbs worth. :!:

I would like to share the recipe with everyone, but need to know what thread to post it under. I don't think I should post it here since it's getting off the subject of seasoning.

Thanks to everyone again for the helpful tips.. also just curious how do y'all make those personalized licence plate images? Is there somewhere on the web to get those?

Post Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:15 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Smokin J, since this is your thread you can steer the topic in any direction you wish or start a new one if you like. There is a "Sticky" thread for Member's Recipes too:
http://www.barbecuebible.com/board/view ... &start=105

This FAQ will help you with the license plates but if you have any questions just holler:
http://www.barbecuebible.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=5817
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Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:28 pm
Smokin J rare
rare

Posts: 12
Location: Knoxville TN
Bob-Bqn and Gmc,thanx to both of y'all again. Gmc..like the setup on your CG, looks pretty sweet. Still debating on the gasket mod... I think after a couple more sessions I'll have the temp control nailed. I will probably look into the SFB basket mod soon..will make life a lot easier for sure.

Just for your info I did the grate thermo mod as well last weekend and it works great. On my CG I was reading 250 at grate and about 195 at the factory thermo..a 55 deg difference. What I did is use the the thermo from my turkey fryer which is about 12" long (checked calibration with boiling water first, dead on at about 210 deg). Installed it through the factory hole on the left side of the grill. This places the probe almost dead center of the grill cooking area about 3/4" below the grate...couldn't worked out better. :D I also used two 12" square disposable pans filled with water and apple juice placed on the main charcoal tray side by side, which helped prevent temp fluctuations to a good degree.

Anyway for the ribs, here's what I did:

Got 2 lbs of country ribs cut at Krogers about 2" thick (I'm good friends w/ the meat dept. manager there). The ones they sell on the shelf are not thick enough in my opinion for smokin'

The night before: sprayed them a 50/50 mix of jack daniels and apple juice, rubbed them down with my rub, let them sit overnight.

The next day: Pulled them from fridge, hit them again with the rub. Let them sit out to reach room temp while I fired up the CG.

Used a mix of hickory and apple chunks. Smoked at 225-250 for 1 1/2 hours naked turning once after 45 min.

Mopped again with a little more jack and apple juice. Wrapped in foil, smoked approx another 1 1/2 hrs. maintaining between 225-250

Unwrapped from foil. Placed back on smoker naked. Cranked vents wide open, removed water pans. Temp climbed a little to about 265 deg. Hit them with Stubbs BBQ sauce during last 15 min. Pulled from smoker and let rest about 10 minutes.

I was very happy with how they turned out. It definately give me a good confidence boost with my new CG

Thanks to everyone again....

Post Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:37 pm
finsfan rare
rare

Posts: 43
Location: Miami, Fl
Quick question before I begin seasoning this thing. When is it that i can apply HD foil to reduce cleanup time. I mean do i season the grill with the HD foil off or on. Also I have the SFB and was wondering if i put the coals in the MC or SFB??? Sorry if these are repeat questions! I am only by pg 38 on this thread! :lol:
Member's Mark� 32" Gas Grill w/ Sear Burner
Weber One-Touch Silver 22.5 In. Kettle Grill
Char Griller Smokin Pro w/SFB

Post Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:39 pm
From A Buick 8 medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 88
Location: N KY
finsfan wrote:
Quick question before I begin seasoning this thing. When is it that i can apply HD foil to reduce cleanup time. I mean do i season the grill with the HD foil off or on. Also I have the SFB and was wondering if i put the coals in the MC or SFB??? Sorry if these are repeat questions! I am only by pg 38 on this thread! :lol:


Season without any foil on.
Coals go in the SFB if you are smoking low and slow.
Coals go in the MC if your are direct grilling or indirect grilling.

If you have a library in your area close check out some of Steve's books, lots of good info.
I have a CG Duo with SFB (very new to smokin).

Post Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:11 pm
mac24312 medium
medium

Posts: 177
Location: SW Virginia
Ok...another question...

I am seasoning my cast iron grates as I type... :wink: Its too windy out today to do my seasoning of my CG..will tommorow..

What is the best way to season just the CG? Should I use the SFB to do a smoke and seasoning it like that? Or put the charcoal into the CG and do it that way? I have seen SEVERAL different ways of doing it on here..lol

How many chimneys of charcoal should I use too?

TY
Christina
CG with SFB mod
Aussie Gas Grill
Very used Water Smoker

Post Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:07 pm
jazzspot well done
well done

Posts: 877
Location: South Jersey

mac24312 wrote:
Ok...another question...
What is the best way to season just the CG? Should I use the SFB to do a smoke and seasoning it like that? Or put the charcoal into the CG and do it that way? I have seen SEVERAL different ways of doing it on here..lol

How many chimneys of charcoal should I use too?

TY
Christina


I would use one chimney of charcoal along with 3-4 nice sized wood chunks all in the SFB. And I would have the intake vent of the SFB slightly open. Leave the chimney exhaust fully open. That would be my method for a first-time seasoning of a CG. You can place more charcoal in the SFB if you would like once the original charcoal has burnt down some, and add 2-3 more wood chunks to extend the seasoning. I would let it burn until the charcoal has burned totally. I did a 5-6 hour first-time seasoning session on my CG. And the main chamber had a nice black/brown mahogany color to it and the smell was nice. One other thing I did was spray the inside of the entire main chamber, the upper lid included, with Pam before I started the seasoning.
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