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comparing smokers to buy

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Post Sun Jun 27, 2004 5:17 pm
Markle

I've been monitoring the forum for some time now and have learned a great deal from you experts in the smokin' world. I'm upgrading from a Weber kettle that's provided tons of great BBQ over the years to a smoker with a side firebox. I'm comparing the New Braunfels Bandera to the Brinkman Pitmaster (?) to a Char-Griller. I thought I had settled on the Char-Griller "Smoker Pro" (which appears to be a Super Pro with the side fire box) and when I went to Lowe's to see it live and in person, I was somewhat disappointed in only one feature: the lid hinge arrangement. Other brands use welded on iron bars in metal straps or heavy duty hinges, but the Char-Griller just has what looks like 3/8" pins that the lid swivels on, held on by cotter pins. As a result the floor model lid fit tight and securely, but opening and closing it allowed it to wobble some. I was just not satisfied that with all the other features over the other brands that the Char-Griller had this type of hinge assembly. So.... for you Char-Grillers, is this a negative thing or am I making too big a deal over the lid hinge arrangement? Other than that I was ready to plunk down my Father's Day gift money.

Mark
Deer Park

Post Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:56 pm
missing link well done
well done

Posts: 630
Location: houston

THERE ARE MANY SMOKER OUT THERE ON THE MARKET I HAVE PROABLY HAVE LOOK OR SEEN ONE ARE TWO OF THEM SOME WHERE. I LIKE THE BANDERA FOR THE VERTICAL SMOKER AND YOUR GETTING 992 SQUARE INCHES OF COOKING SPACE. AND IT BUILD A LITTE BETTER THAN THE SMOKER PRO . THERE IS SOME MOD THAT CAN BE DONE ON THIS COOKER THAT I HOPE TO BE ABLE TO DO SM\OME DAY.

HAVE FUN WITH WHAT EVERY YOU BUY AND IT WILL DO SOME DARN GOOD BBQ FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
HOPE THIS HELP,
THE MISSING LINK.
Have Fun and keep it Low and Slow.


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Post Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:30 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Mark-
Eventhough I've only had mine a short while I've had no problems with the pins on my chargriller.
I wouldn't let that worry you. Especially sinc you could always MOD it later.
See what Z thinks. He's the resident Chargriller expert, eventhough he's too modest to admit it.
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Post Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:05 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3039
Location: Atlanta-GA
I’ve had no problems with the lid or the hinges on the Char-Griller. The lid is pretty solid and does not wobble. In fact, I thought the hinges on this grill were very unique (X shaped), but I’m no hardware expert. Sometimes the floor models are not very well put together. All parts of the hinges are easily found at any hardware store incase any thing should happens (but I don’t suspect anything will). Aside from that, the unit is very versatile. You can use it as a grill or as a smoker. And it does both functions equally well. I hope you’ll find a smoker that you’d be happy with.
Good Luck!
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 7:47 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Hey Z how old is your Chargriller?
Thats the second picture of your that made me think, "does mine have that?"
They may have changed their design. The other picture was of the coal tray in the side box. Mine came with a grate that give 2" clearance from the pan, as well as the "cooking rack". I didn't see that in your pics, especially when you said you use the "cooking rack" as you coal rack.
I'm not certian of the hinge design but I'll check it soon, to confirm.
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:09 am

Posts: 20
Location: Deer Park, Texas
Ok, I'm now officially registered for this forum sight - should have done that before I posted my question about the Char-Griller hinges. I appreciate the comments thus far and the reassurance that the Char-Griller is a good smoker and all. But I keep watching for the "Z" Man to provide his comments, since he's the Char-Griller King, as it seems.

So, Z, what are your thoughts? Again, the lids on the floor models at Lowes, had a 3/8" pin about 1" long that was inserted through a hole in the lid, then a matching hole in the bottom unit and was "fastened" by a cotter pin. The lid when closed fit tightly but the opening and closing of the lid was just sloppy - not stable like a true hinge assembly would be. I didn't see any units with standard hinges - just these pin arrangements.

Thanks again for your comments.
Brisket Man (license plate to come)
(alias Markle)

Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:32 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Welcome Brisket Man, howdy neighbor!
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 1:47 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3039
Location: Atlanta-GA
Grand Scale wrote:
Hey Z how old is your Chargriller?
Thats the second picture of your that made me think, "does mine have that?"
They may have changed their design. The other picture was of the coal tray in the side box. Mine came with a grate that give 2" clearance from the pan, as well as the "cooking rack". I didn't see that in your pics, especially when you said you use the "cooking rack" as you coal rack.
I'm not certian of the hinge design but I'll check it soon, to confirm.

Grand,
My Char-griller is almost a year old. I’m not aware of any changes in design. A friend of mine bought one this last March and it was identical to mine. As far as the firebox, yes it did come with 2 grates, one small grate for charcoal and one large for cooking. I place the large one first (the cooking grate), and then I place the smaller one on top of it to prevent the coals from falling through the great. That gives me about 6 more inches of clearance. But I can’t emphasize enough, if you built the fire too high; the lid pain will flake off.
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 1:54 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3039
Location: Atlanta-GA
Brisket Man wrote:
So, Z, what are your thoughts? Again, the lids on the floor models at Lowes, had a 3/8" pin about 1" long that was inserted through a hole in the lid, then a matching hole in the bottom unit and was "fastened" by a cotter pin. The lid when closed fit tightly but the opening and closing of the lid was just sloppy - not stable like a true hinge assembly would be. I didn't see any units with standard hinges - just these pin arrangements.


Brisketman,
I’m glad that registered and joined us. As you see in the picture above, mine came with the X-shaped hinges. I’m not aware of any changes in designs. I do have a gas grill with a lid that hooks up as you described. I’ve had that grill for 6 years, and I’ve never had any problem with lid attachment. And the lid is quite heavy. I will visit Lowe’s today and check out the new Char-Grillers. I will let you know what I find. But if you’re sold out on this grill, you can always modify the hinges later.
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:43 pm
goldenbear medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 52
Location: Southern California
I bought a Chargriller a month ago for Father's Day and my hinge is like the one Mark described. I think Z's smoker is an older design. From the looks of the picture, I like the older design. But the new design works fine. Mine doesn't wobble much at all, especially compared to the ones displayed at Lowes/Home Depot.

Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:48 pm

Posts: 7
Location: Oak Hill, VA
My Char-Griller is also fairly new (I purchased it about a month ago from Lowe's) and it has the cotter-pin type hinge. I've had no problems with it, and I've used it close to every day since I bought it.

I know, I need professional help.

Funny, we bought the same grill for my father-in-law about a year or so ago, and his has the X-type hinges. I also noticed that the air vent on the right side of the grill differs in design. Mine is a Weber-style pinwheel vent, and his is a sliding door-type that never wants to stay open. Not that it entirely matters, as this weekend the smokebox will be installed on my grill.

Goalie

Post Wed Jun 30, 2004 7:30 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Hey Goalie - Welcome to the Board!
If you think you need professional help you've come to the right place! I gaurentee there are people here who are in much more need of professional help than you!

*cough* Airfoils *cough*

I know this place is my support group.

Stick around and enjoy the insanity!
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Post Wed Jun 30, 2004 9:11 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Welcome to the board Goalie!

You've definately come to the right place for help...We'll help you out of the frying pan and into the fire :lol: . You may even be firing that thing up for breakfast before we're through :wink: .

Hang with us a while, it's fun around here! :D
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Post Wed Jun 30, 2004 10:20 am
BigDaddy medium
medium

Posts: 106
Location: California, Northern
Yeah Z...

My hinges are not like yours.

I'm getting ready to post some pics. from my vacation Grilling (when I have a chance to catch up in the office). When I do I'll post a pick of what my hinges look like.

JC
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Post Thu Jul 01, 2004 10:19 am

Posts: 7
Location: Oak Hill, VA
Wow, thank you for the warm welcome!

I've already picked up quite a bit here, and hopefully I'll be able to return the favor. In between lighting up chimneys of charcoal, that is.

Goalie

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