• Smoke Stack Modification

    Continuing with our series of modifications for the Char-Griller “Pro”, we decided to try out a mod that is meant to enhance the smoking capabilities or our grill by extending the smoke stack down to grate level for better heat distribution.

    The original smoke stack comes straight off the main cooking chamber and extends upward 8 inches. The drawback to this is that the heat from the firebox enters the main cooking chamber and by the laws of thermodynamics immediately rises, moves across the top of the chamber and exits upward out the stack. This creates uneven heat across the item being cooked as shown in the diagram below.

    The original Char-Griller smoke stack creates uneven heat distrbution

    The original Char-Griller smoke stack creates uneven heat distrbution

    By extending the smoke stack down to grate level, we are able to change the distribution of heat as well as keeping it over the item we are cooking for a longer period of time. See the diagram below.

    Results of extending the smoke stack down to grate level

    Results of extending the smoke stack down to grate level

    The items needed for this mod can be found at your local home improvement store:

    Hardware you will need

    Hardware you will need

    • (1) 30″ length of 3″ dia. flexible aluminum gas vent pipe.
    • (1) 3″ stainless steel hose clamp.
    • (1) 5/16″x 1/2″ bolt with nut and flat washer.

    The Tools you will need:

    • Drill with a 5/16″ bit.
    • Tin Snips.
    • Flat blade screwdriver.

    STEP ONE: Start by slipping the hose clamp over one end of the flexible pipe. Then slide the pipe and clamp over the protruding collar of the existing smoke stack. Secure the hose clamp using a screw driver. Bend and form the pipe into a “S” shape so that that it exits in the corner of the main cooking chamber as shown.

    placing the pipe

    Step One

    STEP TWO: Mark the pipe where it meets the bottom of the main cooking chamber lid. Take your tin snips and trim the pipe at the mark you just made so that it is flush with the bottom of lid. This will put the entrance to the smoke stack right at grate level.

    Trimming the flex pipe.

    Step Two

    STEP THREE: Drill a 5/16″ hole about 1-1/2″ inward and 3/4″ up from the corner of the main cooking chamber lid. This hole should fall in the center of the 3″ vent pipe. You will need to mark the pipe through the center of the hole you just drilled. Then drill a hole in the vent pipe at the marked location. You will then secure the pipe to the corner of the lid using the 5/16″ bolt, nut and washer.

    Step Three

    Step Three

    The total costs of the modification was less that 10 bucks and should make a considerable improvement on heat distribution. This mod will solve the problem of one side of your brisket being undercooked while the other side is just right. Check back as we plan on taking some grate level temperature readings with and without the stack extension to see the exact results of this mod.

    Finished Installation

    Finished Installation

  • Char-Griller Firebox Mods

    Char-Griller Pro with Side Fire Box

    Char-Griller Pro with Side Fire Box

    When used for smoking the stock side fire box on the Char-Griller tends to block air flow as the ashes build up in the bottom of the fire box. The addition of a charcoal basket will increase your burn time without having to remove the ashes. I’ve read about others tackling this problem by bolting straps to the firebox to elevate a basket but I came up with an easy fix of my own that requires no modifications the the original fire box and still allows you to use the fire box grates to grill on with the basket installed.

    I started with one of Char-Grillers vegetable grilling baskets that I found at my local Lowes home improvement store.

    Original Char-Griller Basket

    Original Char-Griller Basket

    Modified Basket with SS Rods

    Modified Basket with SS Rods

    Side View of Installed Basket

    Side View of Installed Basket

    Basket Installed and Ready to Smoke

    Basket Installed and Ready to Smoke

    As you can see the stock basket has wire on the top perimeter of the basket and a handle attachment devise that is riveted on. By removing these we were able to reduce the width of the basket to 14″ allowing us to easily pass the basket through the fire box door. 

    The top wires can be cut using a hacksaw or heavy duty wire cutters.  You will then need to drill out the two rivets holding the handle attachment to the basket.  With the basket cut down to size, we then took 2 lengths of 5/16″ stainless steel all thread rod 14-3/4″ long and ran them through the far most left and right basket holes.

    By using the second row of holes down, we elevated the basket to just above the original charcoal grate. This allows the side firebox door to slide in and out without hitting the basket ( see the side view). 

    With the rods centered on the basket, a 5/16″ stainless steel washer and nut was placed on all four corners of the basket where the rods pass through to secure the rods in place. 

    The rods of the basket then rest on the original grate rails and you are able to place the grates on top of the basket allowing you to use the side fire box as a grill without having to remove your charcoal basket.

    The hardware we used was stainless steel and will last more than the life of your grill. Bruce Watkins Supply in Wilmington, N.C. had all the hardware I needed in stock. They carry a large supply of stainless steel all thread and fasteners and will be glad to cut rod to any length needed and will ship to you anywhere. Just give them a call at 910-762-3131 and ask for Shifty or email them at sales@boltswashersscrews.com

  • Adding Warming Plate to Char-Griller

    Char-Grilling warming plateHaving added a side fire box to our Char-Griller Pro, when we saw that there was a warming plate accessory available, we couldn’t resist. Ordering directly from the factory was very easy and they send you e-mails advising you on the progress of your order. This item is fairly easy to install but you will need to drill three holes to install. The hole locations are already marked on your exiting fire box door. You will need a drill with a 1/4″ bit to create the mounting holes. Once installed and bolted down, the plate makes a great place for a cast iron dutch oven to use for keeping dishes warm as they come off the grill or as an additional work surface.mounting holes
    warming plate and dutch oven