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Old 04-30-2007, 04:34 PM   #1
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New grill input

We are preparing to buy a new grill and have been looking at possibly purchasing the Char Griller Smokin' Pro Charcoal Smoker Grill. it seems reasonably priced but I am concerned about the quality of the construction. Has anybody in the forum owned or currently owns this grill or other Char Griller products?

Thanks!

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Old 04-30-2007, 06:10 PM   #2
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Mr Knox...

I have never owned this brand. So I can't really comment on it. It's basic design (off-set) is a proven design that works. At the retail price I saw I would have some question on quality unless I could "kick the tires" and look at it. In the end the purchase of a new grill lies with you, what you want to do with it, how often will you use it, what is your skill level, are there budget constraints and many more questions that only you can answer. If you would like to buy into what I call the "disposable market".(3 to 5 years + or -) then replace it, then I think this is where I would place this grill. If you want to make a sizable investment into a long term (perhaps lifetime) grill then look at Lyfe Tyme and Klose brands. These are just two in the high end market. There are other brands/types you may want to consider. The Big green Egg being one. Obviously there are price/quality points all in between. Anyway, I hope this helps you somewhat.

Enjoy!
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Old 05-01-2007, 09:01 AM   #3
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Bob,

Thanks for your input. I will look up the grills you have suggested. I am on a fairly tight budget but I also want something that lasts as we grill out almost every weekend and need a grill that has a grilling surface large enough to grill for 4-6 people. Our last grill was really small.

I want a smoker box but I believe smoking food can be done successfully with one.

Thanks again,
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Old 05-01-2007, 03:35 PM   #4
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Bob,

I looked at the grills you suggested and they are definitely the cream of the crop. I thought I had seen some nice grills cruising around Home Depot but these guys build the Cadillac's of grills. Unfortunately my budget is more in the range or the 3 to 5 year grill.

Thanks for sending me the names of these manufacturers as I have book marked the pages in case my situation changes.

Thanks Again,
Bryan
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Old 05-01-2007, 03:48 PM   #5
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Bryan...

I understand financial considerations. I don't know of any other brands in the price range that you are looking at. I am sure there are some out there.
Hey the grill you are looking at with proper care, keeping it clean etc. and protecting it from the elements as much as possible you can certainly extend it's useful lifetime. I am sure with the proper techniques it will produce some very good bbq!

Enjoy!
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Old 05-01-2007, 09:27 PM   #6
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That's what I have.

I originally bought the "Super Pro" model (without the Side Fire Box), and used that for 2 years, both grilling and smoking with the "offset" smoking method. Last week, I bought the SFB and mounted that to my grill, effectively turning it into the "Smokin' Pro".

I love it. I have 5 kids, plus my other half, to cook for. This grill offers me quite a bit of space to cook with. You can even get a rotisserie attachment, if you want. I'm contemplating doing that next year, then I can smoke a couple big turkeys at once.

The only quality issues I have are:
The fire grate and ash pan for the grill seem to rust a bit. I may have to replace that in a year or two. The grate itself doesn't hold to really high heat. When I'm burning wood, and a lot of it, the bars that support the coals/wood will warp.

There are a few small maintenance things. I've found I have to tighten many of the nuts and bolts at the start of the season. Also, since the cooking grates are cast iron, it's not a good idea to let them sit unused for any length of time outdoors. As long as you're using them weekly, no problem. But, come winter, store your grill however you normally do, but I'd bring the grates themselves indoors, preferably inside the house. I just wrap mine in brown paper bags, and store them somewhere where the kids won't get to them. This will help prevent rusting. If you smoke some meat, you'll really build up a good seasoning on the grates. I also like to move the grates around, say, take the right hand-grate out, slide everything to the right, and place the right-hand grate in the left-hand slot. I'll also swap front and back on the grates, and sometimes flip them upside-down or right-side up. As long as you brush the build-up off the grates with a brass-bristled grill brush, you'll keep the majority of the gunk off your grates.

I've found that you don't need a LOT of charcoal to cook with in this grill, considering it's size. I use charcoal starters to get my charcoal going. I used to use two charcoal starters, full. I've since found that depending on the amount of food I'm cooking, one charcoal starter, or both starters filled about 2/3 full, will work great. I drop the fire grate all the way down, to cook, and keep the lid closed. I can maintain 300 degrees F for 30 - 45 minutes easily like this. I spread the coals out to keep them evenly spaced on the fire grate, but, it's not full enough that all the coals are touching. Trust me, it will work.
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:41 AM   #7
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Allen,

I am leaning towards the Super Pro model and I really appreciate all your insight. The grill we had been using had iron grates and that is what originally attracted me to this grill, as well as the price since it fits the budget I was given. I have a place to properly store the grill and will take your advice and store the grates in the basement. I found a dealer who has a cover that I am also going to get.

Luckily my brother is upgrading his rotisserie and will be sending me his old one. I am really excited about getting a larger grill as we have been basically using a Hibachi. Since we moved we now have room for a full sized grill and there are about a million recipes I dying to try as well as smoking a chicken, brisket etc. I will post pictures when I get it together.

Thanks,
Bryan
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:44 PM   #8
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Bryan, try to find my old thread, on this board, titled "My New Grill", from about 2 years ago. I believe there are some pics on that thread of how I was doing the "offset" method of smoking. Unfortunately, I lost my copy of those pics last year, and can't access the account that I hosted them in. I'm going to try and get some pics of how I'm smoking now, the next time I smoke some meat.

One thing I noticed tonight....

The instructions for the SFB mentioned that Char-Griller is not liable for rust damage to the SFB, and that the paint might peel off. Sure enough, I noticed a little paint had flaked off, and a little rust had formed. Next time I use it, I'll just get a huge fire stoked in it, and get the SFB really hot to remove the bulk of the paint. Then I'll let it cool down, and smoke some meat as usual. After it's all done and cooled down, I'll need to take a stripper wheel and take off as much paint and rust as I can. Then I'll spray-paint the sucker with some industrial-strenght high-temp paint, like we use at work.
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Old 05-08-2007, 03:14 PM   #9
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I have a Charbroil Brand offset smoker. Got a little age on it but it works great. You can get them at Wal-Mart or Lowes for about $175.00.
Here are some pics from some recent cooks.
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob
Mr Knox...

There are other brands/types you may want to consider. The Big green Egg being one. Obviously there are price/quality points all in between. Anyway, I hope this helps you somewhat.

Enjoy!
I am a HUGE believer in the Big Green Egg!!!! I can grill a seared steak, smoke a Pork Butt for pulled pork, cook a beer can chicken, bake a cherry pie or a pizza in my Egg.
I love it, love it , love it!! The versatility, flavor, and ease of use are what set the BGE appart from all others. imo.
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:51 PM   #11
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I received the Charbroil grill with the Side Smoker Box as a birthday gift from my wife. She probably was tired of hearing me talk about buying it. It seems to be built well and am initially happy with the grill. I have read other posts about the paint peeling off and will take the above advise about grinding off flaking paint and rust, when the time comes, and repainting with industrial heat paint.

I can not wait to use it. My brother has been dumping all his recipes on me and am going to be cooking a brisket or possibly a pork butt this weekend. I will take pictures and post them when I have them.
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:30 PM   #12
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All right! I can't wait to read about your forays into smoking!
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
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All right! I can't wait to read about your forays into smoking!
AMEN. I am look'n forward to hear'n and seeing some pics about your first cook.
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:58 PM   #14
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I am in love with my new grill!

OK, I finally am taking time to tell you guys about my new grill. As you know I received a Char Griller Grill with a smoker box attached AND I LOVE IT!! When I put it together I made sure to season it as directed. Other members of this discussion board told me as well and it makes a huge difference. The grates are kept clean and oiled ofter they are hot almost everytime I fire it up.

For your enjoyment I have attached some images of my favorite thing to do with my new grill; PULLED PORK.

Pictured below is the new grill and a 5 lb. or so pork butt (bone in), rubbed.



The Pork Butt took about 5 hours. I made some cole slaw while it cooked. When it registered about 160 degree, internal, I removed it and let the pork but rest.



When it could be handled I pulled the bone out and stripped it down, poured a home made tomato based BBQ sauce over it and gave it a stir. I love pulled pork and usually serve it as you see it below, with home made slaw and pickles.



I realize I have talked about the sandwich more than the grill. So I will tell you I LOVE IT. It was easy to put together, although having 2 people may make it even easier. Also I highly recommend properly seasoning the grates and maintaining them.

I do have a question for anyone who has used this grill or a simialr model. Do you place food in the side box? I realize it is called a side smoker box, but I have yet to place anything on the grates. What I have done so far is remove the grates from the smoker box and have the hot coals and soaked wood chips in there but also have hot coals and whatever I am cooking on the main grill. Does that make sense.

Anyway I am pretty excited to have this new grill and hopefully will have a lot more great food come from it. I am considering purchasing a vegetable basket or maybe grilling some fish. i know it would make my wife and Dr happy to see me eat some more fish and vegetables.
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:25 PM   #15
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Next time you do pulled pork you should try some
North Carolina vinegar based sauce.
Essentially, it is cider vinegar, white vinegar, hot pepper
flakes or sauce, garlic and perhaps a bit of pepper. No two
cooks make it the same.
Pull the pork, douse in sauce and heat in the oven for a while.
Serve on a cheap white bread bun with plenty of cole slaw
on the sandwich.

Heaven!
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:32 PM   #16
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I pretty much use white vinegar, chili flakes, black pepper - period. Then there's is the more creative one with a bit of brown sugar, ketchup (not much), a few other things and then a thicker one. GOTTA have one of those put on the meat after on the bun - YUMMMMMMY!
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:29 AM   #17
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I love both and actually prefer the vinegar based North Carolina style sauce. It just happened I had the homemade tomato based sauce on hand and my wife, born and raised in Chicago, is a bit hesitant to open up to foods of the south. Although I have seen her put vinegar on collard greens, so there is hope.

Now I am hungry and it is not even 10 am. Next time I make pulled pork, North Carolina Style, I will post some pictures. It is one of my favorite sandwiches along with a stacked Pressed Cuban sandwich, which is a bit labor intensive.

Take care,
Bryan
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:52 AM   #18
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bknox, you pulled the pork off when it registered 160 degrees? I'm surprised it pulled apart. Usually, collagen doesn't render out until 190 degrees F.

I don't use the side box for direct cooking. Although, you can use it for a small fire and grill a couple burgers or dogs.

Glad to hear you like using your grill/smoker. Keep at it!
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Old 08-23-2007, 12:23 PM   #19
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I like Alton Brown's idea for a smoker - he recently made one out of a garbage can, a burner plate, a grill grate and a wood-chip box.

This guy on this site took inspiration from that and made one himself:
http://www.cruftbox.com/cruft/docs/elecsmoker.html

It works like a champ and is very cheap to make..
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