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If you have a char broil grill, you can turn it into an offset smoker by attaching a char grill side fire box. If you are new to offset smokers, it is important to take the time to learn more about how best to use it this is the only way to ensure you make the most of your char broil side fire box.
How offset smokers work
Offset smokers are made of large chambers in the shape of a metal box or an oil drum. This is the place where the food to be smoked is placed. The cooking fire is started in another small chamber located on the side of the main chamber. Sometimes, this box can be located on the rear of the main cooking chamber in your offset smoker.
Heat or smoke from the firebox accesses the main cooking chamber to give your food the smoky flavor as it cooks. Offset smokers come with vents that allow temperature control with a chimney that can easily open and close.
General rules of using a fire box to smoke your food
Generally, the smoking time for foods when using a fire box is one hour for every pound of food. When slow cooking in low temperatures, the meat retains its moisture, which makes it cook faster and better. You can wrap your food in a foil when using the fore box. This reduces the browning and locks in moisture. It is possible to baste your food when smoking. However, minimize the number of times you have to open the chamber as this increased your smoking time.
If your smoke is white, it shows that the fire is perfect. If your smoke is black, you will need to add a bit of wood or charcoal to reignite your fire. Black smoke is an indication that your fire is dying off. It is important to know how best to control your smoke to avoid over smoking the food. Too much smoke flavor makes your food bitter and black.
You can place a drip pan underneath your meat. On this pan, you can put a blend of wine and water, water and apple juice, water and beer, or your favorite marinade. This liquid adds extra flavor to your grilling meat. Ensure you check the level of your flavoring liquid every 4 hours and add accordingly.
Before placing your meat on the grill, it is advisable to marinate it overnight. Allow it to stand at room temperature before you smoke it and after you smoke it. Use a probe thermometer to ensure your food is cooked. Insert it in the thickest part of the meat without reaching the bone and allow it to stand for five minutes. The ideal internal temperature for bird meat should be 170°-180°F when well-cooked while that of pork and beef should be 140°F for rare, 160°F for medium, and 170°F for well done.
It is important to consider the weather outside when you want to smoke your food. The outside temperature affects the temperature inside your smoker. Ensure you have enough charcoal or wood to meet the right temperature, especially in windy, wet, and cold seasons.
Step by step guide on how to use chat griller side fore box
Attach the fire box
If you own a char grill that does not come with a fire box, you can easily mount one. All char broil grills come with a provision for mounting a side fore box.
Seasoning your grill
Before you start smoking, you need to season your side fire box and grill. Wipe the grill with warm water and allow it to completely dry. Coat the grill with oil using a spray bottle and vegetable oil. Once coated, open the vents and light a fire inside the fire box. Allow it to burn for half an hour and eventually go off. This shows that your grill is now ready to smoke.
Lighting a chimney charcoal
Fill the charcoal chimney and start a fire. Allow the briquettes to burn until they glow and turn to ash. This takes about fifteen minutes.
Dump the coal in the fore box
Once the coals are ready, pour them in the fire box. Ensure you halfway open the vent of the right side and the chimney vent on the left side. At this point, you can add your wood chips or chunks if you need to use some for flavoring.
Bring the smoker grill to the right temperature
The best smoking temperature for your char broil grill is between 225 and 275 degrees Fahrenheit. The lid to the barrel and side fire box should remain closed when preheating the grill.
Place your food
Once the grill is ready, you can add the food you want to grill. Ensure you adjust the vent accordingly to ensure you maintain the best smoking temperature. You can use a pit thermometer to ensure you maintain the perfect smoking temperature. This also ensures you can assess the temperature without needing to be beside the grill at all times.
Add fuel when needed
The best way to ensure your fore box maintains the right temperature is by ensuring coal or firewood is burning at all times. Instead of adding coal to the fire box directly, start a new chimney, and only add burning coal to the fire box.
Remember to rotate your food
The best way to ensure your food cooks and smokes evenly is to rotate it occasionally. You can do this once every 2 to 3 hours. The foods closest to the smoker should be moved fat away with each rotation. This allows even exposure to the smoke and even cooking. You can rotate big pieces of meat in a circular method for even smoking.
Keeping your food moist
A common worry for most grilling masters is the possibility of food drying as it smokes. To prevent this, you can place a pan with water under the food. This acts as a drip plate and ensures there is enough moisture circulation in the smoking chamber. You can also mist your ready food using apple juice, wine, or beer for an hour or so.
Following this guide, you will be able to make the best tasting smoked foods using the char broil side fire box.