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Why do I doubt myself?

 
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loomis1228
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Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 608
Location: Lexington, KY

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17 06 7:43 pm    Post subject: Why do I doubt myself? Reply with quote

For the longest time I snooped around here and observed everyone's technique, candor and equipment preferences. Last month I finally win a bet over my wife (would one of KY's best point guards go pro this year--the answer is yes) and I rush right out to Home Depot to pick up my new smoker. Let me preface that by saying that I had been looking at Lowe's at the Chargriller Smoker Pro and had gotten a lot of great feedback about the cooker. I then go to Home Depot (after drinking a pitcher or so of Bud Light) and grab the first smoker I see--a fully assembled Charbroil barrel smoker with the offset firebox. It seems to be working good enough. I have done some ribs and a boston on it. All turned out really well. However--the thing has a hard time maintaining a constant temp and (the kicker for me) it doesn't have any way to empty the ashes except to scoop them out. The other models all have a ash collection system for easier disposal. Have I made a mistake and should I doubt myself? Alien, Roxy, Zilla, Dawg, Corndog--everyone!--please comment! Embarassed
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CHRIS 1237
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Joined: 15 Jun 2005
Posts: 229
Location: PA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17 06 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Youll be fine. I started with a charbroil and my q turned out good. And yes it is going to be harder to matain the temp. I found on mine it was easyer to maintain constant temp in the hotter range 240-265. Also found it helps to scoop out the ashes a few times during the cook also get a maverik or some thing like that it will give you a better idea of the smoker temp than the thermomter that is on the door. a few mods will help alot. Youll be fine.

Chris
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DawgPhan
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Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 3444

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18 06 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I dont have one of those smokers, but I mention that I believe that Aliens BBQ Bolo was designed to help remove ashes from those kinds of smokers through the vents. Those ashes will probably be one of your biggest problems...also have you done any mods to your smoker?

Some common mods are raising the charcoal grate in the firebox and creating some sort of baffle between the firebox and the chamber.

Digital probes will certianly give you a better idea about where you are temp wise and they can be moved about so that you can learn where your hotspots are..
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zilla
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Joined: 09 Jul 2005
Posts: 1190
Location: Universal City, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18 06 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ain't no big thing. Wink I got to clean my firebox by dragging the ash out with an ash rake. I have never used a rig like a longhorn with an ash pan but my buddy has one and it seems too small really. Just make an ash rake and buy a #3 steel wash tub ($18.00) to scrape the ash and coals into, I store mine under the firebox and empty the thing every week or so. I'm assumeing this smoker has a door on the firebox. If not you can go to HD or Lowes and but a small peice of sheet metal and make a big curved scoop.
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mding38926
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Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 2244
Location: Lake Ridge, VA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18 06 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A fireplace ash shovel with a metal wash tub is perfect for that. All in all, you will just be more interactive with your smoker and hence more involved in your que.
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Alien BBQ
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Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 5426
Location: Roswell, New Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19 06 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, donít sweat the small stuff. The project Brinkman had the same problems. I use the Alien Bolo to scoop during cooking. After the fire goes out, I hit it with a hose and tip it so everything drains out the hole. As far as you heat, turn the grate sideways and it should raise about an inch. That should help you.
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Big Brother Smoke
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Joined: 01 Apr 2006
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Location: Ventura, CA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19 06 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had a chargriller for a few years! It takes a little more tending/patience. The end product is most important! No one complains about my Q, at least to my face, lol Laughing
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mding38926
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Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 2244
Location: Lake Ridge, VA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19 06 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Brother Smoke wrote:
I have had a chargriller for a few years! It takes a little more tending/patience. The end product is most important! No one complains about my Q, at least to my face, lol Laughing


Frankly for me tending my pit is part of the experience...........not sure I would enjoy it as much if there wasn't some tending and tinkering to do.
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loomis1228
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Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 608
Location: Lexington, KY

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19 06 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree guys. Thanks for the suggestions. And everyone of you is correct--it's all about the experience. I do like tinkering and holding it's hand, so to speak. I have cranked out some good stuff so I am going to just keep at it and see how I can keep the temps up. Love the site guys. Everyone is always so helpful.
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Jesse Gabbard
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"The Bone Barrel"--Weber Smoky Mountain
Hasty Bake Surburban
Weber Performer
Weber Gas
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roxy
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Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 9328
Location: Wasaga beach, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20 06 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alien is right on about the grates, that is the biggest mod you can make with these smokers. I can now get temps up to 400 degrees, if I want.

As for the ash, you can use one of those long handled spatulas made for the gas grill. I use one for my smoker and it works just fine.

I used to have the problem of temp control with my charbroil until I started to use the minion method. Now things are nice and even for 4 or 5 hours depending on the temp I want to work with. Set it and forget it once its heated up to temp.

Keep at it and remember to keep a journal of what you are doing so you will be able to see what works and what doesnt, it helped me a lot as my memory aint what it used to be.
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