• Beer Can Chicken Rack Review

    Posted on February 19th, 2009 Grill Sargent No comments

    chicken-standCooking chicken vertically on a beer can is a  is great way to get a moist and flavorful bird. The steaming beer cooks from the inside out and helps keep moisture in, but one has to wonder how healthy it is to heat a ink coated aluminum can inside your chicken.  A great alternative is   Steven Raichlen’s  Beer-Can Chicken Rack . It let’s you make great beer can chicken without introducing toxins into your food.  This item comes with a wire  rack, two piece canister and a drip pan, all of which are made of stainless steel.  The canister allows you to use any liquid you want to cook your chicken. You could use beer, wine, orange juice,  soda, lemon aid our any combination of spices you might want to add.

    If you have ever tried to stand a chicken upright supported on just a can,  you’ll love how well this rack supports the bird, no more wondering if the chicken has fallen over when you close the grill lid. It also has a pan to catch dripping fat which keeps your grill clean and prevents flare ups.

    It works great, here's the proof

    It works great, here's the proof

    I give this product 4 of 5 stars. The only drawbacks I found were that the drip pan could be a little larger, I had to drain it once during cooking so it would not overflow  and at $24.99, I felt the price was on the high side. Other than that, it’s a great product that I highly recommend.

  • Char-Griller Firebox Mods

    Posted on February 13th, 2009 Grill Sargent 1 comment

    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

    Posted on February 10th, 2009 Grill Sargent No comments

    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