Question about side fire box smokers - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > General > BBQ & Grilling > Question about side fire box smokers

Introducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed LineFLASH SALE! Open thread to reveil the Newest Sale @ ROCKRIFS: Wrangler RGB Multicolor Fog Light LEDs: Awesome Effect

Reply
Unread 04-09-2015, 08:44 PM   #1
Trons
Registered User
2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Bowling Green KY
Posts: 804
Question about side fire box smokers

Okay, So I have a chargriller with the side fire box. I bought my first one about 9 years ago because it reminded me of what my step father grilled/smoked on when I was a kid. I had memories of standing next to him as he explained various cooking concepts. The Chargriller seemed the best made, without getting into spending more than $400. The first one worked so well, but, after 8 years of heavy use, I finally decided to get another.

I got the upgraded model, that is bigger because I regularly cook for 12+ people and trying to fit that many pork chops without putting them right over the heat on the smaller one was a challenge. It's a little harder to control the temperature when I'm smoking, but it's not too bad and I did invest in a welders blanket for windy days.

When I started getting more serious about smoking, about 2 years ago, I did some research and found that, contrary to the wonderful food my step father produced, and I seem to produce, this type of smoker is looked down upon without some modifications. One specific modification that is recommended, repeatedly, for this particular model kind of confuses me.

It is recommend to use dryer duct and run it from the chimney at the top, along the lid, to grate level. Supposedly, this is to prevent the smoke from escaping until it gets to grate level, allowing you to keep the chimney open and still have plenty of smoke at the food level. This is what gets me.

I remember what my step father taught me (he was a fan of cooking shows, so I'm assuming that's where he learned it) and from what my personal experience shows, the chimney cap (for lack of a better term) should be open when getting your heat started, along with the vent on the opposite side of the grill. This allows for maximum air flow across your coals, allowing them to heat up fast. Once you have them going, you close the top of the chimney, and control the heat with the side vent (which is on the fire side of the grill).

If, (I've never had to do this personally) he would say, you ever need to cool the smoker down, you can open the chimney, which allows the heat to escape more efficiently, allowing you to bring your temp to where you need it. I have memories of him doing this, especially after adding fresh coals to the side box. If the temp spiked, he'd shut the side vent down, open the top chimney, allow it to cool off a bit, then close the chimney and start regulating heat with the side vent again.

I haven't done this particular mod, because of my empirical evidence. Even when I have the chimney open, I still have smoke escaping from the sides, and when I close it, there's even more smoke coming out the sides. I haven't found a good article to explain why this is such a "needed" mod on this type of smoker.

Is there anybody who might be able to explain something, or point out what I'm missing. I think I do pretty good with my current set up and even my friend, who's been smoking for 100 years (he has an electric R2D2 type smoker) is impressed, although he did confide in me that he wasn't sure I'd be able to produce anything close to what he does because of my set up. I've been thinking about ramping up my cooking and trying to take it to the next (more better) level. Any help is greatly appreciated.

BTW, I'll be smoking a Butt (they are on sale around here for a price I haven't seen in a couple years, so I'm excited about this summer). I'll probably post pics in Chris' thread.

__________________
'03 TJ Rubicon
'91 Cherokee Laredo, Stock
'98 XJ burned :(
Trons is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-10-2015, 07:25 AM   #2
wilson1010
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Cincinnati Ohio
Posts: 1,956
Although we have very talented cooks here, The Smoke Ring Forum is really the place for expertise on this subject.

http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/
__________________
03 Rubicon; 99 xj with too much stuff to list; Unimog 406
wilson1010 is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-10-2015, 08:52 PM   #3
Trons
Registered User
2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Bowling Green KY
Posts: 804
I'll have to check that one out. most of the smoking forums I've come across are a lot like Pirate and I'm not willing to put myself through that.
__________________
'03 TJ Rubicon
'91 Cherokee Laredo, Stock
'98 XJ burned :(
Trons is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-10-2015, 10:23 PM   #4
phitmein
Web Wheeler
 
phitmein's Avatar
1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 2,511
Trons, I spent an hour or so last night trying to come up with good answers for you .

Google chargrill and mods or modify like I did last night and you will see a lot on it from folks like thesmoke king, bbqbreathern etc.

Does you cooker leak at the seam because the than be modified very easily .

I saw that you have already bought a welding blacket for it and that is a big step IMO .
phitmein is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-10-2015, 11:06 PM   #5
Trons
Registered User
2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Bowling Green KY
Posts: 804
I do leak at the seam around the main tub. The welding blanket is something I only use on really windy or cold days. Usually I have no problem reaching 225º on a decent day using the side vent to control temp (WFO means hotter and closed means cooler). I know a lot of serious smokers get all prima dona on this kind of smoker and this smoker specifically, which is why I came here.
__________________
'03 TJ Rubicon
'91 Cherokee Laredo, Stock
'98 XJ burned :(
Trons is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-11-2015, 12:38 AM   #6
phitmein
Web Wheeler
 
phitmein's Avatar
1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 2,511
If I remember right some folks will use JB Weld which I think may be nontoxic or fireplace sealer for the leaks .

A good high temp silicone would probably work just fine too .
phitmein is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-11-2015, 03:51 AM   #7
wilson1010
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Cincinnati Ohio
Posts: 1,956
I'd skip two part epoxy based products for the grill. You want a one part product where the VOC's are completely evaporated and leave a heat resistant cement.
__________________
03 Rubicon; 99 xj with too much stuff to list; Unimog 406
wilson1010 is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-11-2015, 05:00 AM   #8
phitmein
Web Wheeler
 
phitmein's Avatar
1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 2,511
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
I'd skip two part epoxy based products for the grill. You want a one part product where the VOC's are completely evaporated and leave a heat resistant cement.
Uh-umm, like what Mr. Wilson ?

Did you forget and leave that part out ?

I am no hater and I am quite interested here in hearing what you might like to say on the subject .

phitmein is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-11-2015, 05:58 AM   #9
wilson1010
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Cincinnati Ohio
Posts: 1,956
Quote:
Originally Posted by phitmein View Post
Uh-umm, like what Mr. Wilson ?

Did you forget and leave that part out ?

I am no hater and I am quite interested here in hearing what you might like to say on the subject .

I was going to suggest Yale muffler cement because that comes from Autozone, but could not find MSDS just to be sure. So, I suppose Hercules furnace cement.

The epoxy products are not so friendly when they decompose.

You should trust me. I actually know almost everything. Seriously.
__________________
03 Rubicon; 99 xj with too much stuff to list; Unimog 406
wilson1010 is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-11-2015, 07:47 AM   #10
Trons
Registered User
2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Bowling Green KY
Posts: 804
Maybe I'm confused. Why does leaking around the seems cause a problem that needs to be solved?
__________________
'03 TJ Rubicon
'91 Cherokee Laredo, Stock
'98 XJ burned :(
Trons is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-11-2015, 07:56 AM   #11
wilson1010
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Cincinnati Ohio
Posts: 1,956
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trons View Post
Maybe I'm confused. Why does leaking around the seems cause a problem that needs to be solved?
Someone else will have to address that. I was just responding to how to fix it, not if to fix it.
__________________
03 Rubicon; 99 xj with too much stuff to list; Unimog 406
wilson1010 is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-11-2015, 08:51 AM   #12
phitmein
Web Wheeler
 
phitmein's Avatar
1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 2,511
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trons View Post
Maybe I'm confused. Why does leaking around the seems cause a problem that needs to be solved?
Maybe minor or more heat loss and smoke flavor both ?

It all may add up in the long run ?

And just why did you buy a welding blanket once again ?

To regulate and control the temps and smoke much better ?
phitmein is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-11-2015, 09:02 AM   #13
phitmein
Web Wheeler
 
phitmein's Avatar
1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 2,511
Did I leave out getting extra smoke in you face ?
phitmein is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-11-2015, 09:37 AM   #14
wilson1010
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Cincinnati Ohio
Posts: 1,956
Mt son does side box smoking and swears by ballast. The more the better. High specific heat materials like fire brick chunks, granite, etc. Stack them in the way of the smoke. Heat spikes are unlikely with enough ballast.
__________________
03 Rubicon; 99 xj with too much stuff to list; Unimog 406
wilson1010 is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-11-2015, 04:00 PM   #15
Trons
Registered User
2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Bowling Green KY
Posts: 804
I bought a welding blanket because on colder and windy days. The bigger grill was more difficult to maintain temps because, I'm assuming, of the larger surface area. I only use it during the fall, winter and spring. My other Smoker, I never had a problem.

I've tried ballasts, in the form of fire bricks bought from a local brick place. I didn't notice a difference. I've also tried a few of the other mods, with limited success. I was curious if anybody knew the science behind it. No worries. I'll keep doing it the way I'm doing it and it's working.
__________________
'03 TJ Rubicon
'91 Cherokee Laredo, Stock
'98 XJ burned :(
Trons is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools






Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.