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Old 04-13-2010, 09:53 PM   #1
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What have I got myself into?

I don't know why, but the other day (on a whim) I bought a Charcoal grill with a sidebox.

I already have a gas grill....a NICE gas grill, but I guess it just wasn't doing it for me anymore. I'm sick of burgers and hot dogs.....I want something that takes some time.


If cooking on this damned thing is as difficult as putting it together I'm sure I'll have committed seppuku before spring is over.


Anyways, I wanted to introduce myself....Hope I don't prove to be to much of an irritation

To spare you all the pain of answering a bunch of questions that have been repeatedly asked, I'll only ask that someone kindly point me towards some information related to using this sidebox to its fullest.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:02 PM   #2
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Re: What have I got myself into?

Welcome aboard Rack Ops. You've found the right spot to get information on grilling and smoking or anything related to BBQ. I've only been onboard since last January and everything I've learned for the most part has been from asking questions to this group of Qs. The love to help and have a lot of good suggestions so go ahead and ask away.

To start, you might want to check out the post by dollarbill headed "Where have you learned the most?" The post is still active and you may have already checked it out.

I use a WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain) and a Weber Performer for grilling. Thanks to everyone here, I've already done some brisket, pork butts, ribs, turkeys and tons of chicken. Be on the look out for posts from people like Sapo, bigwheel, vermin, tri-tip, Captain Morgan, PatioDaddio . . . we'll you get the idea.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:55 PM   #3
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Re: What have I got myself into?

Welcome to your newest addiction Rack Ops! I suggest that you learn to keep your offset firebox burning hot and clean. When I say "clean", I mean a nice blue,white smoke. There's no need to keep a solid white smoke going the whole time. I personally like smokin' between the 225*-250* range for pretty much everything. Enjoy yourself!
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Old 04-14-2010, 05:31 AM   #4
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Re: What have I got myself into?

Welcome Rack Ops! I'm not the person to ask about the new pit, but you'll find the answer here, loads of knowledgeable folks on this Forum, again WELCOME!
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Old 04-14-2010, 05:59 AM   #5
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Re: What have I got myself into?

Welcome
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:24 AM   #6
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Re: What have I got myself into?

Welcome... We love pics !
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:56 AM   #7
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Re: What have I got myself into?

Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you have yourself a Chargriller Super Pro. Those smokers will make you have a great understanding of fire control. They turn out good food. You just can't leave them alone for any length of time.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:04 AM   #8
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Re: What have I got myself into?

I got mine a couple years back for my birthday which is in the spring and thought I was in over my head with a pit like that. The day after I put it together, then eventually I found this forum. You will quickly find what you need here by just asking. Take pictures! Happy to have you here and enjoy!
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:07 PM   #9
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Re: What have I got myself into?

You've got yourself into the wonderful world of bbq!
How about a few pics of the cooker?
Plenty of info here to get you rollin' in the smoke!
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:15 PM   #10
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Re: What have I got myself into?

I cooked on one of them nonsensical contraptions for years. Trick is a charcoal base fire (3 lbs of Kingsford works ok..and a few wood chunks or small limbs to make smoke). When the temp drops add charcoal..when it quits smoking add wood. Cook with all the dampers and exhaust wide open and crack the firebox door about an inch so to make sure it gets plenty of air. Keep the dead ashes cleaned out from under the fire grate (failure to keep it clean under there will also make the temp drop.) If the heat gets away from you prop the cookchamber lid open a few inches till the heat calms down. Easy peasy. Be sure to move stuff around since the side next to the firebox cooks a bunch hotter than the far end. If you have a grease fire shut down all the vents and pray.

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Old 04-14-2010, 07:47 PM   #11
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Re: What have I got myself into?

I hope you like beer!
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:34 PM   #12
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Re: What have I got myself into?

Thanks for the warm welcome, guys.

I meant to take a couple pics of the grill, but by the time I finished with the lawn, it was too dark for any pictures. I'll try to get some up tomorrow.

Now that I've got the beast assembled ( I don't think I mentioned that the "easy knock-out" was only dislodged after a 3 hour combined arms attack of a hammer, chisel, pliers, drill, and profanity) is there anything I need to do before I throw a rack of ribs on it?

I thought it might be a good idea to give the main chamber a good burn to burn out any packing grease that may be in it, but should I do it more than once?

Also, since the fire will be in the side box, do I need a drip/water pan? Finally....will I need one of those boxes to put wood chips in, or will those be going directly into the fire (or should I just be burning chunks)?
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:07 PM   #13
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Re: What have I got myself into?

Welcome aboard Rack Ops
Lookin' forward to your posts & pics
of your cooker & cooks!

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Old 04-14-2010, 10:37 PM   #14
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Re: What have I got myself into?

A pic or a link to your smoker will help us help you.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:47 PM   #15
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Re: What have I got myself into?

The grill is a char griller super-pro. Here's a picture of one (not mine)

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Old 04-15-2010, 10:39 AM   #16
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Re: What have I got myself into?

Thanks,

I was just making sure that my assumption was correct.

There are several threads in the pit/mod section relating to modifying a chargriller. I put up a couple myself. The chargriller is a great smoker for starting out in the world of bbq.

I have said this before and believe it to be true.

A chargriller is like learning to type on a manual typewriter. That is not a bad thing. It will work you to death but in the end you will have a great working knowledge of fire control and how to make good bbq on a cheap smoker.

You will be one of those people who can make good bbq in a 5 gallon bucket if you wanted to because you learned all about the process on a smoker that was difficult to control out of the box.

You will be able to analyze, identify and resolve issues that your friends are having with thier expensive smokers and you will be telling them things like " LEARN YOUR WAY AROUND YOUR SMOKER"

With a few modifications you can push a chargriller to performance levels that the company never would have ever dreamed would be possible.
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Old 04-15-2010, 02:51 PM   #17
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Re: What have I got myself into?

I cooked on one of those for 2 years, it was a lot of work sometimes but some of my best memories come from learning to cook on it. Just take your time, get your extra charcoal ready before you really need it and don't add too much wood at a time. After 3 or 4 cooks you'll be fine, you just have to watch it closer than bigger units. I always cooked with drip pans all the way across the pit about half full of liquid. The main thing to remember is, good friends, cold beer and never quit trying to learn more, and most importantly, you are supposed to be haviing a great time. These people on here will walk you thru you're toughest times and praise every good move you make. They are all great!!
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:23 PM   #18
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Re: What have I got myself into?

I think Sunday is going to be the day....Me and the wife are both off work and I should be caught up with my chores.

I want ribs

I've decided open my smoker up by stealing PatioDadio's Guinness-based (I love me some Guinness) BBQ sauce recipe and trying it on some spare ribs. Anyone care to suggest a nice complimentary rub?

Other questions:
Is a rib rack something I need to invest in?
I have a bag of Cowboy brand lump charcoal in my garage (it was here when I moved in last fall). Is this something I should be using, or do I need to get something else? Is one bag going to be enough?
I have a bag of Apple wood chips. Do I need to wrap them in foil or should I be throwing them directly on the fire?


I know I said I would try to not ask a bunch of noob questions, but I couldn't find that thread that Lew suggested
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Old 04-16-2010, 05:00 AM   #19
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Re: What have I got myself into?

If it was me I would get some new Kinsford hickory charcoal and no you don't need to wrap the wood. Apple is a good choice for ribs, I use it alot in my Lang with either hickory or white oak. Rib racks are a preferance, I use the but I usually cook 15 to 30 slabs at a time. Just watch them close, it will be hotter on the firebox end so you may need to move them around. Good luck!!
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:56 PM   #20
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Re: What have I got myself into?

Alright, here we go. Since the topic is now moving to the actual cooking, I'll be chronicling my first smoke on a separate thread. I promise lots of pics whether the end result is good or bad.

Thank you all for your words of wisdom so far.....but now its time for "the doing"
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