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CG Mod Loew's Basket with Pics

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Post Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:10 pm
Meat Popsicle medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 66
Location: San Jose, CA
(This is the first of four posts detailing the mods that I have made to my CharGriller Smoker Pro.)

This mod suspends a Vegetable Shaker Basket with the ends trimmed off with Stainless threaded rod. Ends were trimmed with a Dremel cutting wheel.

The bottom of the basket is replaced with the SFB grill cut to fit. This permits the ash to fall through better than the 1/2x1/2 grid of the basket, avoiding the 4 hour choke that can occur when ash accumulates in the basket preventing good air flow. The original bottom was removed with dykes.

This mod also adds an air block around the edges of the basket to force air through the charcoal rather than around it. Air that goes around cools the cooking chamber, rather than heating it. The rim was cut with a Roto-Zip equipped with metal cutting blade. Needs serious eye protection.

Basket in use:
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Top view of the basket with threaded rods installed and bottom replaced with SFB Grill.
The basket has had the ends trimmed off (handle mount included).
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Bottom view of the basket with threaded rods installed and bottom replaced with SFB Grill.
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Edge view of the basket showing placement of rod and remainder of original basket bottom folded around the new bottom to hold it in place.
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Bottom corner view of the basket showing hardware and secured bottom.
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One of two identical rim parts used to force air through the charcoal.
Made in two parts because:
1. Could not readily find a larger sheet of 24 Ga. steel to work with, and
2. One piece with not fit through SFB door. Two overlapping pieces do.

Cut freehand with Roto-zip with metal cutting blade.

Image

Crude drawing showing the layout of the two rim components on a single 12"x24" sheet of 24 Ga. steel.
Corners were trimmed to avoid interference. (not shown in drawing)
Image
Building my carbon footprint one chimney-full at a time.

Post Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:28 am
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5839
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Great looking mod, MP! I especially liked the use of threaded rod here, as I've got several short lengths in the workshop and this mod will help use them up. I also see that you used high-heat silicone to form a gasket for the SFB, and I'm looking forward to seeing more specifics in one of your other three posts on the topic. Nice job! :D
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:40 pm
Meat Popsicle medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 66
Location: San Jose, CA
CanadaBBQGuy wrote:
... I also see that you used high-heat silicone to form a gasket for the SFB, and I'm looking forward to seeing more specifics in one of your other three posts on the topic. ...


I neglected to mention the gasket on the SFB door. That was a pretty standard, clean the door edge and lay a bead of silicone all around it, PAM spray the SFB where the door will contact it, then close door. Wait. Open and hope none comes off on the SFB. Trim any excess sticking out around the door.

I did the same thing around the ash drawer edge, as well.

I probably should have used a bit larger bead of silicone than I did.

Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate all the helpful posts I have read on this site.
Building my carbon footprint one chimney-full at a time.

Post Sun May 17, 2009 7:17 pm
Low-N-Slow rare
rare

Posts: 23
Location: Sherwood Park, AB
is this the sort of thing I'd need to do? I have my CG Outlaw with SFB but can't seem to get it over 200 degrees. (yes, the football is out)

I added a basket and its level with the "football" cutout, but still nothing hot enough in the main chamber. Tonite, I did 17 pounds of ribs and had to move them over to one side and "smoke roast" them just to get them done (ie. move the fire into the main chamber, off to one side.)

After moving the fire into the main chamber, the stock thermometer read 300 at that point and my grill level one went up to 225 on the far side. I'm getting really frustrated - I am thinking the Weber Smoky Mountain would have been a better choice at this point. Although everyone here seems to love their Char-Grillers, maybe I should have just steered clear of the Outlaw? Just seems ridiculous that I can't get it hot enough to work properly.

I've tried the chimney at full open, full closed and every step in between - nothing is getting this thing hot enough.

I don't have anything to cut or weld sheet metal like in this cutout - I could talk to a metal shop I guess, it just seems that the thing should at least work "adequately" out of the box. So far, it seems to be a great grill, but as a smoker, I'm having all sorts of problems.

Any suggestions???

Post Mon May 18, 2009 10:49 am
olewarthog well done
well done

Posts: 372
Location: South GA

I'm still a CG newbie, but I have been using these type smokers for quite a few years. The ash drawer is one of features of the CG that I really like over my previous smoker. It's not only useful for dumping ash during the cook or at cleanup. On days when you are having trouble getting temps up. Keep the chimney vent wide open & pull the ash drawer open an inch or two. This will pull more air & really heat up your fire. Watch your temps close, because once the temps start rising, they will rise quickly with the drawer open.
CG Super Pro w/SFB
Char Broil 3 burner gasser
ECB

Post Mon May 18, 2009 10:56 am
Kenny 13 well done
well done

Posts: 4051
Location: Belle Chasse, LA
Yeah, I really like the ash drawer as a feature too. However, there is one change I'd like to see CG make to the design. I saw another brand offset at Academy awhile back (sorry I don't remember which brand) and it had an ash drawer too, but it was built onto the bottom of the SFB. This way, you could remove it to dump the ash at any time without disturbing the burning coals and wood. If I ever build an offset, that's how I would do it.
Large Big Green Egg

What's On The Grill?

Post Mon May 18, 2009 11:11 am
Grill-Miester medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 224
Location: Texas
Kenny 13 wrote:
Yeah, I really like the ash drawer as a feature too. However, there is one change I'd like to see CG make to the design. I saw another brand offset at Academy awhile back (sorry I don't remember which brand) and it had an ash drawer too, but it was built onto the bottom of the SFB. This way, you could remove it to dump the ash at any time without disturbing the burning coals and wood. If I ever build an offset, that's how I would do it.


I know just what you are talking about. I think it's this one:

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It has an ash pan under the SFB and the best part is that it pulls out from the front of the SFB instead of the side like the CG's. This is the same price as the CG Duo with SFB.

Another change I would make to the Duo is the grease catchers shout be removable from the front and not from the rear. You can remove them from the front, but you have to slide 'em rearward first. Not very user friendly.
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CG Duo 5050 w/SFB

Post Mon May 18, 2009 11:24 am
jazzspot well done
well done

Posts: 877
Location: South Jersey

olewarthog wrote:
Keep the chimney vent wide open & pull the ash drawer open an inch or two.

My advise is to always keep the chimney vent wide open.

Kenny 13 wrote:
Yeah, I really like the ash drawer as a feature too. However, there is one change I'd like to see CG make to the design. I saw another brand offset at Academy awhile back (sorry I don't remember which brand) and it had an ash drawer too, but it was built onto the bottom of the SFB. This way, you could remove it to dump the ash at any time without disturbing the burning coals and wood. If I ever build an offset, that's how I would do it.

Kenny, that type of OEM design is a very good one.
Since CG doesn't have that kind of SFB charcoal drawer design, here is my simple charcoal basket mod I made so that I never had an issue with removing the ash drawer while my basket was still in the SFB and burning charcoal. And there are many others as well.

Angle iron in the SFB for support of the basket. No drilling required and the charcoal drawer can be removed without needing to remove or mess with the charcoal basket:

Image

Charcoal basket seated on the lips of the angle iron in the SFB:


Image
ImageImage

Post Mon May 18, 2009 11:44 am
Kenny 13 well done
well done

Posts: 4051
Location: Belle Chasse, LA
Grill-miester, that's one of the smokers I saw at Academy. There was also another where the ash drawer pulled out to the side, a very small unit. I prefer the one that pulls out to the front too.

Jazzspot, I have my SFB set up similarly so I can pull my ash drawer out and the charcoal basket still sits in there.
Large Big Green Egg

What's On The Grill?

Post Mon May 18, 2009 11:13 pm
Low-N-Slow rare
rare

Posts: 23
Location: Sherwood Park, AB
that's great - never thought to try opening the charcoal drawer, just played with the vents. I'll give that a try next time.

Anyone have another place I could look for a basket? I don't have a Lowe's in this area (western Canada) and the US Lowes site won't ship across the border. I ended up buying a veggie barbeque wok and am able to get a chimney and a half of coals in there. Maybe that's part of the problem - bigger basket would accomodate more charcoal.... :idea:

I'm kind of stumped - no Lowes and there's nothing resembling this at Home Depot, Rona, Canadian Tire, or Walmart.... I have a big party coming over next weekend and will be doing a picnic roast. I think that's 18 pounds of pork, so its going to be an overnighter for cooking. I'd rather see if I can set up something with the minion method and get "some" sleep that night. Bigger basket would definitely help!

This is what I ended up using, but its just not big enough.
http://reviews.canadiantire.ca/9045/085 ... eviews.htm

Post Mon May 18, 2009 11:47 pm
jazzspot well done
well done

Posts: 877
Location: South Jersey

Low-N-Slow wrote:
I think that's 18 pounds of pork, so its going to be an overnighter for cooking. I'd rather see if I can set up something with the minion method and get "some" sleep that night. Bigger basket would definitely help!

Googled this company in Edmundton that makes expanded metal. Give them a call to see if you can purchase a sheet of 3/4" spaced expanded metal 24"x24" or larger.

Continental Wire Cloth - Expanded Metal - 14505 122 Avenue NW Edmonton, AB T5L 2W4, Canada - email - contwire@telusplanet.net - Tel (780) 448-9591

Then make yourself a decent sized charcoal basket for your CG's SFB like I did --

Image
ImageImage

Post Tue May 19, 2009 12:11 am
Low-N-Slow rare
rare

Posts: 23
Location: Sherwood Park, AB
thanks jazzspot!

one question - re: the "bolts" on the diagram. Is that where the existing SFB bolts go thru, or am I adding something there? Just wondering how that would attach. (and what the shop would need to "do" to make something for the bolts on the diagram)

Thanks for your help!!!!!
:D

Post Tue May 19, 2009 12:36 am
Low-N-Slow rare
rare

Posts: 23
Location: Sherwood Park, AB
sorry Jazzspot - I see the bolts are to hold the sides together after it gets folded up - my bad.

thanks again for your help!

Post Tue May 19, 2009 7:19 am
jazzspot well done
well done

Posts: 877
Location: South Jersey

Low-N-Slow wrote:
sorry Jazzspot - I see the bolts are to hold the sides together after it gets folded up - my bad
thanks again for your help!

Instead of bolts, you can use flexible steel wire as well to keep it together. Don't use any wire that is coated with or containing zinc.
ImageImage

Post Tue May 19, 2009 9:09 am
Grill-Miester medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 224
Location: Texas
Kenny 13 wrote:
Grill-miester, that's one of the smokers I saw at Academy. There was also another where the ash drawer pulled out to the side, a very small unit. I prefer the one that pulls out to the front too.

Jazzspot, I have my SFB set up similarly so I can pull my ash drawer out and the charcoal basket still sits in there.


Why not just order the basket online and have it shipped to you?

Image

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=p ... 51-4984108
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CG Duo 5050 w/SFB

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