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Torn between two grills… need advice.

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Post Tue May 25, 2004 10:14 am
BigDaddy medium
medium

Posts: 106
Location: California, Northern
I’ve decided to buy a new grill. I’m going with charcoal because I really want to learn the art of real fire cooking. I currently use an open charcoal gill (it’s a built in brick unit, that’s a part of my patio). I also have a Brinkman Electric Water Smoker… don’t use it much because I feel like I’m cheating by just plugging it in and adding a few wood chucks…

So, I’ve decided to get a new charcoal grill. I though my mind was totally made up on the Char-Griller Super Pro with side fire box. But then I watched BBQU this weekend and saw how versatile the Webber can be even for smoking.

I’d like to hear everyone’s advice on which unit would really allow me to do some real grilling and work on my skills.

Here are a couple links on the two I’m looking at:

Char-Griller Super Pro (I’ll get the side firebox if I get this one)
http://www.lowes.com/lkn?action=product ... 01646-2121

Weber
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... e&s=garden

Thanks,
JC
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Post Tue May 25, 2004 10:26 am
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5368
Location: Damascus, Maryland
We have members who have real strong feelings toward both of these choices.

The Weber is probably the best all-out "grill" there is. Easy to control and very versitile.

While the Char-Griller with the fire box seems to give you the best of both world. A really first rate charcoal grill and the advantage of being a "true" smoker.

Either way you can't go wrong.

If you go Weber get at least the Gold. The external ash catcher is a real time saver and important safety feature.
Weber Summit E-470
Weber 22" MasterTouch
New Braunfels Hondo offset
Bar-B-Chef offset
Weber Jumbo Joe
Weber Q-220

Post Tue May 25, 2004 11:06 am
smokyblues well done
well done

Posts: 496
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
Go with the Weber, you can't go wrong. They're like old CJ Jeeps, built tough, tons of add ons, and with regular care will last forever.
I am not a big fan of the cheaper made smokers. (Ones made without 1/4" steel) I don't think they hold temps to well and tend to burn out the bottoms. Its better to spend a little more money and get a smoker your grand kids can eventually use. They cost more but they are worth every penny.
Weber Performer
Weber One Touch Silver
Oklahoma Joe's 20" Barrel Smoker aka "Betty"

Keep it Smokey

Post Tue May 25, 2004 12:44 pm
Yankee Bill medium
medium

Posts: 115
Location: Norfolk, Va.
BigDaddy,

I agree with YardBurner on the Char-Griller / smoker. If you are a Weekend Warrior like a lot of us here, and don't want to shell out a few thousand buck's on a 1/4 " thick steel rig, this unit is quickly gaining a large following. I've been seriously eyeballing it myself as my next new toy :lol: .

If you haven't done so yet, you may want to read the post below by Linhardt titled " smoker / grill spec's...need advice ". BBcue-z has one of these and appear's to have mastered it quite nicely, he posted a pic on that thread where he has the whole grill LOADED w/ half chicken's, and they are all cooking uniformly ( no cool spot's on grill surface). Additionally, he states that temp control is a breeze on his unit, unlike many of the other unit's of comparable price. Best wishes, YB2
Last edited by Yankee Bill on Tue May 25, 2004 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'll eat anything that won't eat me first !!!

Post Tue May 25, 2004 1:05 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3030
Location: Atlanta-GA
Thanks YB2.
I’ve had this unit for almost a year now, and I tell you, I’m very happy with it. For $170 I got me a true 2 in 1 unit. It’s great for grilling and smoking. If you’re serious about smoking, then get this unit. It holds the temp well and it requires very little attention. If you take care of any grill or smoker, they will last a long time. It may not have a ¼ inch metal, but it’s solid and very well built.
Whatever you choose, I hope you’ll have fun barbecuing.
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Post Tue May 25, 2004 1:28 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
I don't know what your budget is, but if you want a grill and a smoker too, why not try this, (all prices are from Amazon.com and ship for free.)

Buy a Weber One Touch Platinum 22 1/2 inch ($199) OR a Weber One Touch Silver ($79) or Gold ($129) 22 1/2 inch
AND
A Weber Smokey Mountain smoker ($179)

This way for a maximum of $379 you get a great grill and the best bullet smoker around. If you need to save money, total price could be as low as $268. Then, regardless of what kind of cooking you're doing, you're using a tool designed for the purpose. Yes, you can use a grill as a smoker, but it's not ideal, and requires a lot more work than a quality smoker. In the same vein, you can grill on a smoker, but it's not ideal.
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Tue May 25, 2004 1:36 pm
Yankee Bill medium
medium

Posts: 115
Location: Norfolk, Va.
You're quite welcome Z,

I personally don't have a problem giving up some buck's for quality item's, and as you stated, if these thinner metal unit's are properly cared for they should have a fairly long service life. The average backyard cook may go thru a couple of them, possibly even several if used heavily, in the course of their lifetime, which would still be more cost effective than a pro rig. As long as they produce a good product and one isn't cooking for very large crowd's or using it commercially, I think it's still a good choice.

But then again, I never knock the man who just enjoy's having big toy's either :lol: YB2
I'll eat anything that won't eat me first !!!

Post Tue May 25, 2004 2:23 pm
smokyblues well done
well done

Posts: 496
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
Well made smokers should be made out of 1/4" steel and you don't have to shell out a few grand for them. I bought a 20" diameter x 40" horizontal cooking chamber and a 22" offset firebox for $380. They also had a 16" diameter model available for cheaper than that. I got it at an Academy Sports store in Edmond, Oklahoma. If you can't find one at a local store talk to local welders and tell them the specs on what you want and see what they will charge.
Weber Performer
Weber One Touch Silver
Oklahoma Joe's 20" Barrel Smoker aka "Betty"

Keep it Smokey

Post Tue May 25, 2004 3:15 pm
Yankee Bill medium
medium

Posts: 115
Location: Norfolk, Va.
smokeyblues,

That is a great price for a 1/4" steel smoker, I wasn't aware you could get one nearly that inexpensivly. We don't have any academy store's on my area, do you know the brand name of your smoker, or is it their own line of smoker? Thank's for the insite. Best wishes, YB2
I'll eat anything that won't eat me first !!!

Post Tue May 25, 2004 3:54 pm
BigDaddy medium
medium

Posts: 106
Location: California, Northern
BBcue-Z,

You’ve got me leaning to that Char-Griller. I stopped by Lowes on my way to grab lunch and really gave it another look over. I like it even more after seeing your pics. Do you ever take the warming rack out to cook things like Bear Can Chicken? I also saw the Brinkman Pitmaster there… the one draw back to that one is... it doesn’t have cast iron grates… I really like cast iron. I even went out of my way to find some old ones out of a Char-Broiler (you know the old style box ones from the 70’s), and had them fitted into my brick built-in.

When you smoke with the Char-Griller, do you use Natural Wood or Lump charcoal?

Thanks,
JC
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Post Tue May 25, 2004 4:01 pm
smokyblues well done
well done

Posts: 496
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
Yankee,
Check out www.academy.com go to the grill section under seasonal items. You can find the smoker I bought under that. It says New Braunfels but on the actual smoker it says Oklahoma Joes, NB bought them out. You could also ask any industrial pipe company if they have any 4 to 5' scraps of 16-20" pipe and hire a welder to create the smoker you want out of it.
Weber Performer
Weber One Touch Silver
Oklahoma Joe's 20" Barrel Smoker aka "Betty"

Keep it Smokey

Post Tue May 25, 2004 6:04 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3030
Location: Atlanta-GA
JC,
I also looked at the Brinkman when I was shopping for one, but I did not get it for same reason you mentioned and because the Char-griller can be easily converted to a grill. Check out this link for comparison of the two: http://www.chargriller.com/chart.html
As far as the warming rack, it’s very easily removed and replaced. I’ve cooked 4 beer can chicken on it and I did not have to remove the rack. The rack serves as a warming rack when you use the unit as a grill, but when you use it as a smoker; it becomes an extra cooking surface (the main chamber becomes like an oven).I mainly use lump charcoal and wood chunks for fuel. Let me know if you pick one up, I’ll give you few hints on curing it. Also I would let Lowe’s people assemble it; it’s worth the extra $10.
Good Luck.
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Post Wed May 26, 2004 1:09 am
BigDaddy medium
medium

Posts: 106
Location: California, Northern
BBcue-Z,

OK, I’ve decided on the Char-Griller (and side fire box). I’m going to pick it up this Thursday or Friday. I would love to get your advice on the proper way to season and anything I might need to do to get off to a good start.

Thanks,
JC
Image

Post Wed May 26, 2004 6:26 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Ok Z I'm going to ask for those pointers too. Yours truely add a char-griller super pro with side box to his collection. Yes Grand Scale has charcoal now! I've been thinking about taking the leap and between using it this weekend at the chili cookoff and your pictures of a grill full of chickens and my wife (bless her, she's a great woman) green lighting it sealed the deal. I have a new toy, I put it together last night and will be firing her up this evening to "burn out the gook". And yes I bought two chimney starters, a cover, a bag of hardwood lump and two bags of wood to go with it!
So post your pointers, I'm all ears.
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Post Wed May 26, 2004 6:53 am
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3030
Location: Atlanta-GA
Congratulation Grand, and welcome to the world of charcoal. I’m on my way to work this morning, but I will post the pointers by lunchtime. You’re going to have a lot of fun with this unit. My wife said that I look like a kid that just got his first toy every time I fire it up.
JC you’re next.
Happy Grilling :D
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