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Charcoal Basket in SFB

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Post Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:10 pm
cbbutler medium
medium

Posts: 179
Location: Minnetrista, MN
I bought the basket mentioned in a different thread from lowes for my new CG. My question is should it sit on the "cooking" rack in the SFB or the lower Charcoal rack?

If I put in on the higher rack, it is right next to the opening...I don't know if this affects the heat getting into the main chamber. If I put it on the lower rack, emptying the ashes is a chore.

Probably an pretty obvious choice but I don't know that I chose the right one.

Thanks
Texan living in Minnesota

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Post Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:21 pm
Triple Threat well done
well done

Posts: 1384
Location: Chicago
Sounds like you haven't done the mod that calls for moving the rack for the fuel to sit on. This modification accomplishes both; it lowers your fuel away from the door, and it allows you to remove your ashes w/o bothering the fire.

Head to the hardware store and get some of this strap steel with the holes in it. Mine was 4' and cost about $7 at Lowes or Menards. Cut with a hacksaw. Bend down with your hand until the hole lines up with the existing holes and use the bolts to secure.

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there are other ways to do it using, this took about 5 minutes.
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Post Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:34 pm
cbbutler medium
medium

Posts: 179
Location: Minnetrista, MN
Looks easy enough. How far off the bottom should I go? Just enough so that the top of charcoal basket is about even with the bottom of the opening leading to the chamber?
Texan living in Minnesota

Image

Post Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:41 pm
Triple Threat well done
well done

Posts: 1384
Location: Chicago
well, I dont use a charcoal basket so I dont know how tall they are. But I think you'd be fine at any height - the hot air will definitely find it's way from the sfb to the main chamber once the airflow starts flowing.

But you can see in the picture that I bent those steel straps as far down as possible without it hitting the sliding ash drawer. If you see that black flange in the back right of the sfb (it keeps the drawer in place), I went just above that. So it's as low as it can possibly get - if you're thinking it's too low for the hot air to get to the main chamber - it's not. But you could definitely go an inch or two higher.

Let me know if you have any other questions on how to do it, it was really simple. Feel free to PM me too.
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Post Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:25 pm
HoosierTrooper medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 299
Location: Jeffersonville,In.
I've got 2 of the baskets. I just set them side by side on the cooking grate that slides into the sfb.
If there's no such thing as a stupid question, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask?

Post Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:37 pm
BOBBY"Q" ER medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 89
Location: Londonderry, NH
Yes, I don't understand the need to raise the level of the baskets. On mine the upper rack is above the slide track for the drawer so emptying the ashes is any problem that i can see, I don't get it?
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Post Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:47 pm
Triple Threat well done
well done

Posts: 1384
Location: Chicago
BOBBY"Q" ER wrote:
Yes, I don't understand the need to raise the level of the baskets. On mine the upper rack is above the slide track for the drawer so emptying the ashes is any problem that i can see, I don't get it?


I think with using the upper rack to burn your fuel on, some people dont like having the fire that high up and that close to the sfb door. It'll surely peel the paint a lot faster.

Having the fuel burn at a lower height gives you more room for the fire.
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Post Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:03 am
jazzspot well done
well done

Posts: 877
Location: South Jersey

Triple Threat wrote:
I think with using the upper rack to burn your fuel on, some people dont like having the fire that high up and that close to the sfb door. It'll surely peel the paint a lot faster.


You are so correct Triple Threat.

My SFB's paint is gone near the top of the lid. :shock: A little touch-up of high temp paint is needed for sure. But the basket works great and the que is delish. So sacrificing the purdy looks of the SFB for great que and ease of longer smokes and good temp control is well worth it.
On the schedule for next week after Father's Day, is some sanding of the crappy areas of chipped paint and rust on the underside of the main cooking chamber area and sfb, and the application of some paint.
But on second thought... I may wait until after Labor Day!! 8)
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Post Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:06 am
BOBBY"Q" ER medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 89
Location: Londonderry, NH
Still a lil' confused, looking at the picture above, two things make me go hmmmm. 1 : It only lowers the charcoal two inches, that makes a big difference in heat ?
2: If your just getting ash under the coal tray, then what is the grill there for ?

I've tried burning the coals on the lower rack, and resting the upper rack on top of the coals while putting chunks of wood on the top rack. Which actually worked pretty good for short burns, ie: 3 to 4 hours.
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Post Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:24 am
phyx well done
well done

Posts: 462
Location: Sudbury, Ontario
BOBBY"Q" ER wrote:
Still a lil' confused, looking at the picture above, two things make me go hmmmm. 1 : It only lowers the charcoal two inches, that makes a big difference in heat ?


Not so much a difference in heat getting to your cooking chamber, but heat on the top of the SFB causing the paint to peel. When your coals are 1-2 inches from the metal, the paint WILL bubble and peel; 3-4 inches, not quite as hot up there.

2: If your just getting ash under the coal tray, then what is the grill there for ?


The charcoal grate as is, sits IN the coal tray. When you need to remove ash, you pretty much have to remove the coals too--which takes the heat out of your cooker. Using a basket keeps the coals together, concentrating the heat, AND allows the coal tray to be removed for ash disposal while leaving the coals in the SFB keeping the heat going to the main chamber. The straps that are pictured (some use angle iron, some use threaded rod, etc.) are there to allow the charcoal basket a place to sit while the ashes are being dumped. You could cook with two smaller baskets (like I've been doing, but got a new basket I'm going to try this weekend) that sit on the cooking (upper) grate of the SFB, and it works just fine. The reason you'd put them on the upper grate is the same--to allow ash removal without disturbing the hot coals.

I've tried burning the coals on the lower rack, and resting the upper rack on top of the coals while putting chunks of wood on the top rack. Which actually worked pretty good for short burns, ie: 3 to 4 hours.


This will definitely work, as it was designed for this purpose, but again, if you need to dump the ash, your coals will be difficult to keep in the SFB, or if you manage to keep the charcoal grate in there after removing the tray, you'll have a heck of time putting the tray back in place with the crazy hot charcoal grate in the way. It's much easier to get a basket and elevate it above the sliding coal tray.

Hope this helps a bit...:)

Post Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:02 am
Triple Threat well done
well done

Posts: 1384
Location: Chicago
BOBBY"Q" ER wrote:
2: If your just getting ash under the coal tray, then what is the grill there for ?


That grate in the picture that is sitting in the ash tray really doesn't need to be there. I left it in there to act as a filter for catching small pieces of charcoal before falling to the ash tray. My charcoal baskets sit right on those straps and it allows me to remove the ash tray while the fire sits undisturbed.

But to answer your other questions - yes, the 2 or 3 inches make a big difference in getting that fire down away from your door and keeping the paint from peeling as much.

It's a good modification, you should consider it.
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Post Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:30 am
BOBBY"Q" ER medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 89
Location: Londonderry, NH
LOL , If you could only see my SFB door. It looks likes a 1950 Ford thats been sitting in the junk yard. I'll paint it up some day and try this mod. Then again if i leave it like it is, i could convince my wife i need a new and better model, hhhhhhmmmmmm!
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