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Modifying and tuning my Char-griller

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Post Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:16 pm
goldenbear medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 52
Location: Southern California
Hey Z, I have a question for you.

I am currently using the small grate on the ash pan to put my charcoal on. I read that you put charcoal on your top grate?

I have a few questions regarding this.

1. I want to use this as a small grill if I'm just cooking for myself and the wife. Would it be safe to put food on this grate after I use it for putting charcoal on it for most of the time I use the smoker?

2. When you put charcoal on the top grate, do the ash fall to the bottom, therefore allowing you to remove the ash without disrupting the heat? Putting the charcoal on the bottom grate makes it difficult to remove the ash unless I am done cooking.

Thanks for all your help Z! You've been a great resource for us new to smoking and to the Chargriller.

Post Fri Jun 25, 2004 7:16 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3054
Location: Atlanta-GA
Goldenbear,
You’re welcome, always glad to help a fellow BBQer (is that a word?). :)

The answer to your first question is definitely NO. Once you use that grate for charcoal, it’s going to rust, warp and be real ugly. If you want to cook in the firebox, I would get a cast iron generic small grate that could fit in there. Unfortunately, the grates that come with the firebox are cheaply made and not very good for grilling. But I always use the main chamber for grilling, even if I’m only grilling 2 steaks. All you need is one chimney full of coals. You would dump the coals on one side of the charcoal tray and grill over that pile. Since the charcoal tray is adjustable, you can move it up closer the food, and you won’t have to heat the whole grill up.

The answer question#2 is definitely Yes.
See the picture below. The use of the upper grate will give you plenty of clearance to remove ashes. The brick trick also works very well. So if you want to save your upper grate for cooking (not a good idea), you could try that. I hope this answers your questions. Please let me know if you have any others questions.
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Post Fri Jun 25, 2004 8:27 pm
Rifter well done
well done

Posts: 340
Location: Idaho, Boise

Hey, I just wanted to post a thank you to everyone that has been talking on here. I finally got my Chargriller in yesterday, and put it together and seasoned it today. Thanks for the tips, hints, and other information people have been posting in these forums. It has been a huge help. Now, we are off to grill something tonight. :-)
Kevin 'Rifter' Rank
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Post Fri Jun 25, 2004 8:35 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3054
Location: Atlanta-GA
Rifter,
Congrats on your new grill/smoker. You’ve made a good choice. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed with this unit. Please let me know if I could help you in getting accustomed to it.
Happy grilling. :)
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Post Sat Jun 26, 2004 12:40 pm
Grillzilla rare
rare

Posts: 37
Location: Virgina
Welcome to the Char-griller family SRH. I do my beer can chickens in the main part of the grill and use it as an indirect cooker. I cook 2 chickens at a time and they are done in an hour cooking at about 325. Using the side box and lump I can easily maintain 225. I usually start with two chimneys (mine is a small one). I add some oak or what ever to help build a coal base. Once I stabilize at about 225 for 15 min or so I toss on a handfull of lump and put the food on. I usually add lump about every 20-30 min in small handfulls. It tends to catch pretty fast so the temp maintains and I don't have to keep lighting chimneys.
"The more you learn to grill the less I have to cook" My Wife

Post Sat Jun 26, 2004 8:33 pm
Guest

Thanks Z for the info AGAIN. I know a friend who has the horizontal offset smoker from BBQ galores and his side firebox has a cast iron grill. I wonder if those would fit in the chargriller sidebox so that if I get one from there, I have that to cook on and use the ones that came with the chargriller to put coals on. Just a thought. Maybe I'll go check it out.

I just got a deep fryer thermometer (altho it's a 12 inch one)! I'm eager to try smoking and using the thermometer to check the temperature.

Post Sat Jun 26, 2004 8:39 pm
goldenbear medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 52
Location: Southern California
That guest reply was me. Not sure why I wasn't logged in.

Post Sat Jun 26, 2004 9:37 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3054
Location: Atlanta-GA
You’re Welcome goldenbear.
Let me know how you like the set up when you try it.
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Post Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:34 am
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3054
Location: Atlanta-GA
Here is a better picture of using the firebox-cooking grate for coals.
Note in the picture that the ash drawer is open, yet it has no effect on the coals position.
Just be careful not to pile the coals to high or close to the lid, this will cause the paint to flake. You can always spray it with grill paint if this every happened, and it will happen after frequent use.
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Post Sun Jun 27, 2004 3:14 pm
goldenbear medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 52
Location: Southern California
Z,

I like your pics. Helps to visualize what you are saying. BTW, I wanted to wrap the ash tray with foil but my tray seems to stick (not slide well) when the firebox gets hot. Anyone else have this problem? This is preventing me from wrapping foil on the ash tray.

I wanted to cue today but wife says she wants to eat out instead. Gonna have to wait till next week to fire it up again. :(

Post Sun Jun 27, 2004 7:48 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3054
Location: Atlanta-GA
I had that problem with foil when I first got the grill. I made it too wide and it kept on getting stuck along the rails. If you make the foil just a little smaller, it will work just fine.
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Post Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:58 am
SRH_21 medium
medium

Posts: 104
Location: Attleboro, MA
Thank you Grillzilla,

I am going to try the beer can chicken over the 4th of July weekend. I am going to try lining the fire box with brick then give it another try. Everyone has given some great tips, I just can't wait to give them a try.


Scott

Post Tue Aug 31, 2004 2:50 pm
fquan

Hi everyone,

Have any of you tried using a charcoal box in the offset firebox? I was reading about it somewhere else and assumed the same can be done with a Char Grill.

Thanks

Post Tue Aug 31, 2004 3:44 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Welcome to the board fquan! :D You'll find a lot of happy CharGriller's here. Hang around and join the maddness.
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Post Tue Aug 31, 2004 6:37 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3054
Location: Atlanta-GA
fquan,
Welcome to the board. I hope you’d register and join us. There’re many Char-Griller fans on this board. I’d imagine a charcoal box will work very well on the Char-Griller, but it will have to be custom made. Most of us around here place the charcoal on the upper grate (the side firebox cooking grate), and that usually takes care of any problems. It will also allow you to remove the ash drawer for cleaning without bothering the coals. The only problem with this method is paint flaking off of the lid. If you built your fire too high and it gets close to the lid, the paint will flake off. This can be easily fixed by using a grill spray paint.
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