? about smokers? - BBQ Central

Go Back   BBQ Central > General > BBQ Pit Mods
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-18-2007, 08:34 AM   #1
Official BBQ Central Mark
 
Larry Wolfe's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bealeton, Virginia
Posts: 14,969
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake
Looking for to buy a small smoker with offset fire box, narrowed it down to the Chargriller and the Charbroil Silver. Wondering what some opinions and modifications are for both. The way things are going the one I'm building won't make it until next spring, would like to get something for this summer.
Hi Jake! There are alot of people here that used to use the Chargrillers with great success and I'm sure they will chime in real soon to give you some good advice. I'm not trying to sway what you have in mind but is there any specific reason you want an offset vs. a charcoal smoker like a Weber Smokey Mountain or a Primo Grill Smoker?? Offsets are great and will make fantastic BBQ, but there's alot of work involved in keeping them running right. You DO have to babysit them quit a bit in order to keep your temps right and you DO have to add fuel in some cases, quite often. With the WSM or the Primo, you will get equally good or better tasting BBQ than you're gonna get with the offsets, WITHOUT the Babysitting factor. Just trying to let you know the pros and cons of the cookers.

BTW we are having a BBQ Sauce Contest here on the board where the Grand Prize will be a Primo Grill/Smoker.

HERE's the details if you are interested in entering your own sauce!
__________________

__________________
Larry Wolfe
Visit the Wolfe Pit
Wolfe Rub Recipes
Larry Wolfe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 08:45 AM   #2
Official BBQ Central Mark
 
Cliff H.'s Avatar


 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Jonesboro, Arkansas
Posts: 6,143
Here are some of the mods that I did to my chargriller IF you decide to go that way.

My honest opinion is that the chargriller w/o the fire box is a good investment for grilling but the WSM Larry mentioned is by far a better smoker for about the same money if you consider the griller, firebox and cost of materials to make modifications.


http://www.bbq-4-u.com/viewtopic.php?t=5179

http://www.bbq-4-u.com/viewtopic.php?t=5316
__________________

__________________
" Never let a day go by "
Cliff H. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 09:14 AM   #3
Official BBQ Central Mark
 
Larry Wolfe's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bealeton, Virginia
Posts: 14,969
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake
Thanks for the reply, I have a 7 in 1 smoker from Cabelas thats I use to make small things, works great. I have built and used 55 gal drums until last winter when the bottom fell out of my last one so I decided to build one out of pipe and plate, a very time consuming process. I didn't get it finished as planned with work, remodeling the house and a new baby due in Sept., hopefully this winter I can finish it. I have never used an offset before, but for me BBQing is not just the eating but all the work that goes into it, I enjoy spending the time and labor it takes to do a 12 hour butt. Cooking on a barrel is no easy task to get a good BBQ, it took a long time for me to learn to turn out a good BBQ to be proud of. So I guess for me thats BBQ, the hours without sleep, dealing with whatever mother nature throws at you and the time spent tending a piece of meat to make a BBQ to be proud of, watching the people who eat it smack their lips close their eyes and marvel at what it took so long to produce.
I used to love that part too, but kids and chores around the house get in the way for me when you cook as much as I do. So I need something easy!!
__________________
Larry Wolfe
Visit the Wolfe Pit
Wolfe Rub Recipes
Larry Wolfe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 09:16 AM   #4
Smoker
 
boar_d_laze's Avatar


 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 334
The WSM is the easiest smoker to learn. It's one of the most efficient of all smokers. It's extremely well built. It requires practically no tending. They're very portable. They make excellent small grills. People who move up to big deal smokers usually keep their WSMs. It's a bit of a pain to clean up. It's really too small to do a good job with ribs. Other than that, it's easily big enough to feed 12. Like any cooker with a small firebox, it's very sensitive to bad wood; and it's quite possible to oversmoke with it.

The performace characteristics of ceramics like the Primo, the Big Green Egg or the Kamado are similar to the WSM. The major distinctions are: They are way too heavy to be considered portable. They rank among the best grills -- at any price. They last damn near forever. They are relatively insensitive to cold weather. You can buy your way around some of the WSM's size limitations, but it WILL cost you. The Kamado, if you can afford it, is yard art -- a real wife pleaser. The Primo and BGE not so much.

Small offsets are cranky. They require tending, and until you learn their ways, they require nearly constant tending. Most of them are poorly constructed. They have a rather steep learning curve, requiring four or five cooks just to be confident of your fire building technique. Without charcoal baskets they go through fuel quickly -- 30# to smoke a brisket. They're also sensitive to bad wood, and can overmoke. Although you can grill in them, they are not good grills -- their small diameters put the charcoal too close to the food, and the top too close to your hands. Most require a few modifications (4 hours, $40) to run decently. Add another couple of hours and $20 to get them running well. In fact, a Bar B Chef, Hondo or Silver can be tuned to run as well as a Klose. The LOOK like barbecues. You get a lot of grate space for your buck. They're large enough to handle ribs. Properly modded and tuned they can turn out product equal to anything. They're easy to clean.

Of the small, inexpensive offsets, the Bar B Chef sold by Barbeques Galore is the best by far. The first four hours of major mods are already done. The tolerances are better. It's built of 12 ga steel. Next the Hondo Pro. Then the Hondo, NBBD (do they still make them?) Silver Smoker and SNPP in a dead heat. After them the Char-Grillers. I put the Char-Grillers so far down the line because they were already drafty before Char-Griller put the ash drawer in. However, they can be tweaked to work as well as any other 16 ga. smoker.

I owned an unholy combination of a Hondo and NBBD for 15 years. I ran a WSM at work for a few years. And I've been around a few Silvers and Smokin' Pits. I"m not pushing the Bar B Chef to validate my own purchase decision. I'd done a lot to inform myself, before I bought it. But the truth is, I hadn't decided which smoker to buy before I dumb-lucked into it. I'd bought an "as is" Bar B Chef Texas Charcoal Grill that could not be made to work, and the Offset ended up as part of a very complicated deal negotiated to get a Texas that did work, but still preserve the discount.

Ceramics excel as do it alls. So does the WSM. If you can live within its size limitations, it's the smartest purchase. But, let's face it, it doesn't look like a 'q. If you must jump into that little patch of hell known as small offsets, the Bar B Chef is the most rewarding.

Good luck,
Rich
__________________
What were we talking about?

Klose Steak Grill with Swing Set
Backwoods Fatboy with DigiQ II
Other Stuff
boar_d_laze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 10:00 AM   #5
Smoker
 
boar_d_laze's Avatar


 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 334
Sounds like you're set on an offset. Good for you.

Rich
__________________
What were we talking about?

Klose Steak Grill with Swing Set
Backwoods Fatboy with DigiQ II
Other Stuff
boar_d_laze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 11:46 AM   #6
God O'Que
 
Unity's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Virginia near Washington DC
Posts: 2,694
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze
The WSM is the easiest smoker to learn. . . .
This post raises the bar for informative.

--John
__________________
Weber Smokey Mountain -- "Want authentic smokehouse flavor?"
22.5 Inch One-Touch -- "The legendary Weber kettle"
18.5 Inch Original (R.I.P.; garage mishap) -- 10 books S&H Green Stamps, 1968
Weber Performer -- Craigslist 2007
Unity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 12:30 PM   #7
Moderator
 
wittdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: West Seneca NY
Posts: 9,860
Like Unity said..lots of good info....
Jake as an owner of a small offset and a WSM...among other things...and the father of two small children the advice I would give to you is..Go with the WSM until you can finish your offset..Like you I prefer to cook on my offset..I like to be part of the cooking process and make the necessary adjustments..and the ability to easily move stuff on and off the pit and mop and whatever else comes to mind..But you will find once the little one arrives (congrats on the that BTW) that sometimes as much as you would like tending a pit for a long period of time all the time you want good Q it might be impossible..it is nice to be able to fire up the WSM..and know that the temps will stay steady with out much tending (I used that technique it's know as the Pen technique...{Fire up the smoker and go to sleep}...I fired up the WSM at 1:30 knowing that by 5 when my wife came home from work the temps would be steady..and the ribs would need a coat of sauce and a little more time and dinner would be ready for her)...I would have prefered to do them on my offset...but...the WSM did it's job and I got some sleep and she got her ribs...IMHO the WSM is the best bang for your buck and will work just fine in cold weather I have pics to prove it ...if money isn't an issue then I think I would go with the Kamido/BGE/Primo...It's nice to have different cookers for differnt circumstances...Good Luck and enjoy your pit...
__________________
Save the gas for the criminals Q with wood...

I get more sauced then my Ribs

My Bark is as good as my Bite!

Swine so fine it's Criminal

Never trust a skinny cook!!!!!!!!
wittdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 01:09 PM   #8
Official BBQ Central Mark
 
Bruce B's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Utica, MI
Posts: 6,758
Jake,

What's your budget for your off-set, how much you willing to spend?
__________________
Bruce
Treasurer, Great Lakes BBQAssociation
www.glbbqa.com
Rubbed, Smoked, and Sauced Competition BBQ Team-
22 1/2" WSM, 2 18 1/2" WSM's, 22 1/2" Weber Kettle
Bruce B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2007, 07:45 AM   #9
Official BBQ Central Mark
 
Cliff H.'s Avatar


 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Jonesboro, Arkansas
Posts: 6,143
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake
Cliff, I understand the Mods, would you buy another Chargriller or something different? Thanks for the post!
Sorry for replying late on this Jake.

If you really like tending the fire and standing over the pit watching the thermometers then the chargriller is ok. You cannot leave it, that is may only beef with my chargriller. I don't think I would buy another one for smoking. For grilling they are great.

Please don't compare a wsm to a brinkman. They kinda resemble each other in shape but that is all.
__________________
" Never let a day go by "
Cliff H. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2007, 07:24 PM   #10
Smoker
 
boar_d_laze's Avatar


 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 334
I understand your reluctance to get a WSM or any other non-offset. For a lot of us, a bullet just isn't a smoker. It doesn't matter what a logical choice, how good, how efficient, how practical or anything else. We want horizontal pipe in our backyard. Nothing else makes us happy.

Between the Silver Smoker and the Char-Griller, I'd take the Silver Smoker. It's better built and less drafty. Believe me, the ash drawer on the Char-Griller is not your friend. Between the Silver and the New Braunfels Hondo -- toss up. Between the Silver or Hondo and the Hondo Deluxe, get the Hondo Deluxe. Stull under 2 C (at Academy), bigger, better, and well worth the extra fifty bucks.

Even if it goes on sale, the Bar B Chef will break $200 and your budget. If you can at all afford the price difference get the Bar B Chef Offset. It is better in every way. The smoker is built from heavier gauge steel (12 ga), and built to higher tolerance than the others. The grates are better too. And as I said before, the major mods are already done. I don't know what your time is worth, but mine (especially my weekend time) is worth more than the time it would take to do the baffle.

So, is it worth the extra money? Hell yes! Well, it is if you have it.

The Bar B Chef has a lot in common with the WSM in that people who move up to bigger, "better" smokers keep their Bar B Chefs. With just a little tweaking you can get them running as tuned and tight as a Klose. No exaggeration. Even without the baffle, extended flue, and properly placed thermometer hole, the Bar B Chef would still be worth the extra dough.

One last thing, no matter which smoker you're thinking about, hold off for a couple of days until the Memorial Day sales come online.

Hope this helps,
Rich
__________________
What were we talking about?

Klose Steak Grill with Swing Set
Backwoods Fatboy with DigiQ II
Other Stuff
boar_d_laze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2007, 09:28 AM   #11
Saint O'Que
 
WalterSC's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Denmark South Carolina
Posts: 1,097
Re: ? about smokers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jake
Looking for to buy a small smoker with offset fire box, narrowed it down to the Chargriller and the Charbroil Silver. Wondering what some opinions and modifications are for both. The way things are going the one I'm building won't make it until next spring, would like to get something for this summer.

For myself I perfer the WSM and if I have to buy a smoker with a side fire box it will be a Chargriller . just discovered my 55 gallon drum smoker has 2 holes in the bottom , if I cant get my welder to help patch it , thats the way I am going to go, just my 2 cents.
__________________
Walter Brooker, Jr.
Pit Master Team Squeel Appeal
Graduate South Carolina Pit Masters School
South Carolina BBQ Association Master Judge
2- 22 1/2 '' WSMs
1 single barrel 55 gallon drum smoker
WalterSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2007, 12:34 PM   #12
Official BBQ Central Mark
 
john pen's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Western NY
Posts: 5,084
Ive also got an offset and a WSM. The stickburner comes out when i have time to play or need to do quantities. The WSM is perfect for when you've got 100 things to do and you want some good Q' ! Just my 2 cents ymmv..
__________________

__________________
"I love my country, I love my guns, I love my family, I love the way it is now. And anybody that tries to change it, has to come through me. That should be all of our attitudes.
Cause this is America and a country boy is good enough for me, son."
- Charlie Daniels
john pen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off







Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:10 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×