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203 reviews | 3.8 out of 5
Easy to put together and works great! The smaller size saves on charcoal (don't need anywhere near a 5 pound bag) and the metal is much thicker than tin foil as stated in an earlier review. I have had this smoker/BBQ for two years and use it on average 2 to 3 times a week. Just needed a little BBQ paint to touch up some rust, to be expected since it's stored outside all year in Michigan. My wife and I decided we wouldn't need a larger BBQ and have saved a ton by not needing tons of charcoal to heat up some of those "MEGA BBQ's" that we have seen.
Overall this grill performed as intended. It keeps temperature well and has the necessary intake and outtake dampers to control to desired temp. A little smoke does travel outside through the main barrel opening. The product was made of quality craftsmanship for the price but needed a little plier tweaking on the barrel lid to provide a flush fit. I believe this could be additionally remedied by adding a strip of high heat, flame retardant seal along the barrel opening to conserve heat inside. I almost flipped when I initially saw this smoker at the wal-mart store because it resembled a large barrel smoker that I've seen at state fairs. Its size makes it perfect for use on an apartment patio or travelling (weighs just under 50 lbs). If you are serious about bbq but lack the space or want your meat for a small family get together, this product is perfect for you. I can't wait to get started this summer!
I have smoked with it twice now and grilled once.... it is a great buy. The smoking surface is bigger then my "Cajun Cooker" was and it works great. I found it easier to re-load with charcoal and hickory at the half way point, too.... I wish it had hooks to hang grilling tools on, but it is good!
This smoker is smaller than I thought it would be, but It works for me and my wife and the small company that we have over. Smoked a brisket the first time. Turned out great. Used a combination of charcoal and Mesquite chucks. It maintained 200 to 250 degress for a 10 hour smoke. With a small fire box you do have to keep a watch on it and add accordingly.
I bought it in May 09, It works really well you can adjust the air intake wich is the secret for charcoal gilling. I been using it even with snow on the ground. The only shortfall that I see is the ash pan however all you have to do is clean it everytime you use it and you be ok. If you like to BBQ all year long this is the grill for you.
I have seen a lot of negative reviews for this grill both here and other websites that claim you need to modify it in order for it to work. What I haven't seen is what setup people are using and how they are measuring ambient temperatures. The key to making this grill work "as is" without any modification is the type of fuel. I used hardwood lump coal (available at any Home Depot or Lowes etc.) which burns hotter than regular charcoal. With the vent on the fire box and chimney open about 1/4 I was able to maintain a temperature of anywhere from 235-250 deg using the firebox alone during the seasoning process. I used the I-grill ambient temperature probe to measure the temps over a two hour period. It did require that I adjust the vent on the firebox slightly from time to time as I burned through the fuel and had to add more but it was still very easy and the temps did not swing to far one way or the other. I'm sure that the more expensive models maintain the temp with less intervention because they are made out of thicker metal and employ newer techniques such as reverse flow and the Minion technique for burning of the fuel. If you are just starting out or only looking to entertain a few people this is a great little smoker for the weekend warrior. The key is lump charcoal and digital monitoring of the ambient temps so you can stay on top of the fluctuations.
We've smoked ribs and a whole pork loin so far and using charcoal and wood chips it works great. Easy to use, easy to clean and works well.
If ya line both the firebox and under the grill grate with aluminum foil it cleans up in minutes.
NOTE: HOLD THE TEMP AT 250 AND FOOD TAKES ABOUT 1 HOUR PER LB. TO COOK TO 160 DEG
My husband and I live in the city, and have been wanting to try a charcoal grill for some time. This grill was easy to assemble, fun to use, and comparable quality to our friends larger charcoal grills.
My husband and I were going to buy the bigger smoker/grill but since there's only the two of us we decided to get this one. It's perfect! We grilled on the 4th of July and ended up making tons of food so we wouldn't have to cook all week. He smoked ribs and we grilled chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs and some veggies and everything tasted so great! This weekend we're going to do steaks and more ribs. I see us using this grill a lot! It is a great size and the thermometer on the top is pretty accurate so don't worry about it getting too hot or not hot enough. The damper on top works great for adjusting the temp, too. We used the Bradley Apple Bisquettes that came with it and they made it taste so much better. He slow cooked the ribs and replaced the bisquettes about every 30 minutes for a great smoke flavor. Not overpowering at all! We're very happy with this little smoker/grill and hope it lasts for a real long time!
Well lets be honest here... this thing is a durn good deal for bot even $100. The sheet metal ain't like aluminum foil as mentioned in another review, but it ain't any real heavy gauge stuff either. Should last a few years with decent care. Overall it works alright out of the box, but has a few "smoke leaks" in different places. Mainly where the upper and lower halves of the firebox are bolted together, and also the lid on the cookin chamber leaks around it's edges. I welded the firebox seam up, and as for the lid... I'll just get some hi temp seal material. The smoker does get up to a stable temperature quickly, and seems to hold it fine also. Only thing I dont like about it is there aint an ash pan or any way to clean the firebox easily. Overall a good smoker that just needs a few tweaks to become a great smoker. Tip for those who are new to smoking: that cap on top of the smokestack should be wide open at all times... unless you ain't cookin. It's a rain hat, not a damper. The box and/or manual might say it can be used as a damper but that's just not what it was ever meant to be. Control heat and smoke with the firebox damper only. You dont want to trap the smoke in the chamber or you'll get a "creosote cook"... which tastes bad. Smoke should flow freely thru it... just like you dont throttle an engine by it's exhaust, you throttle intake air...Same principle applies here.
I purchased this smoker after reading all the reviews. The people who say you cant control temperature have never used a smoker before apparently. I went to my local hardware store, picked up some flat wood stove gasket for .69 cents a foot, glued it to the inside of the smoker box lid, between the smoker box and the barrel, and around the main barrel lid. Works great now. Very little smoke or heat loss. Now for the true trial, this weekend smoking a 12 Lb brisket. Lets see how she goes.
I bought this small smoker because I have limited space. It has so far proven to be a good purchase. It took about an hour to assemble...tedious but not difficult. The quality of the materials used to make this smoker are what I would have expected for $89 bucks, but everything works and with some regular care and some small modifications I expect it to last a while. As soon as I got it together I loaded the firebox with a chimney of charcoal to break it in and see if it would get to temperature (200 to 250 degrees) and hold it. It did. In the process I managed to burn off some paint, which is to be expected...keep a can of BBQ paint handy... you'll need it. When I actually cooked something it was a pork loin roast I'd had in the freezer for awhile so I decided to throw it on the smoker. I initially used charcoal with a few small hickory chunks just for smoke, but found that the charcoal alone did not maintain temperature for long enough. It actually takes both wood and charcoal to maintain acceptable temps. It also requires considerable attention. Smoking is not a set it and forget it operation. The result is pretty good smoked meat. My loin roast was moist and tender with a perfect smoke ring and great bark. While pork loin is not the ideal BBQ meat it was delicious and the little smoker did a great job.
I wanted to offset smoke. I know eventually I will either build or purchase a heavier duty one. I didn't buy this for a lifetime of use, but I also don't agree with other reviewers saying it is a paper thin piece of junk. I honestly am terrible at taking care of grills and or smokers. I have already cooked a 6 pound brisket, six pounds of chicken, a full rack of beef ribs, then again tonight another 3 pounds of chicken and a butt roast. This on top of two racks of pork ribs, (Which fit perfectly if you want an idea of the size), and I have only used it for 4 days. Yeah sure, the paint will burn off, but come on, really? You expect ANY fire driven cooker to NOT have its paint go bye bye? Way I figure it, and those who have eaten the food off it agree, it is a buy. You would spend near the same amount for dinner for three at any restaraunt.Use wood, adjust the dampers, and if you need a little extra air flow just lodge a stick under the firebox door. Offset cooking is just about experimenting and learning, and this is an awesome intro.
The directions were concise and the grill assembled very easily. I have grilled and smoked several items including pork roast, ribs, pork chops, burgers, hotdogs, kabobs, fish, and even ears of corn and pizzas! The size is small enough to not take up much room on our deck, but large enough to accommodate our family of 3 and a couple of friends with out using near as much briquettes as it larger brother grill. The only con I can see is if you have a larger group to cook for, you may need to cook several batches of food and it does not have a warming rack as its big brother. For me that is a small sacrifice for saving space and briquettes. I was able to purchase this grill and they delivered it to my door via Fed-Ex for only $0.97!
When I purchased the product, I wasn't expecting a top of the line culinary art work, and it's certainly not, however it does function better than I actually expected it to. When the grill is heated up the hinges on the smoker box lid, as well as the dampers tend to stick a bit, however it's not significant enough to render them non-functional, it just takes a little more force than when the grill is cold. One other drawback is that the damper on the smoker box has nothing to keep coals from falling out of the damper if it were to be fully opened, however it's not an issue when actually using the grill as a smoker. The side tray also has very limited space, so one tray with enough food to actually cover the grill area will need to be set on a side table, however there is enough room for a spatula, basting brush, tongs, bowl of sauce, dry seasoning, and an adult beverage, and even though it's fairly lightly constructed, it's a fairly sturdy little shelf. I did have quite a bit of the cooking grate coating chip off after the first use, however I prefer cast iron cooking grates anyhow.
I was given this product as a gift, and BOY DID I HAVE RESERVATIONS! !. Fathers day I cooked 2 Tri Tips and 8 chicken breast, no problem!. Overall this is the best bang for a low budget, of course there are features that could be approved on. I would start by putting expanded metal or a grill with the "bars" closer together in the smoke box (for the charcoal). I have an issue with the coals falling to the bottom.. causing the much needed oxygen to be stifled, and after 2.5 hours the bottom is so full of coals getting the heat over 200 F is a chore. I would also recommend a deflector in the cooking chamber, but you can put a piece of aluminum foil over the bottom of the grill closest to the smoke chamber, poking holes in it. This helps even out the heat in the cooking chamber. For those of you that are having problems with heat- try opening the vents all the way for a bit- more oxygen= more heat (if you have enough fuel). I have smoked with vertical propane and wood smokers, offset wood, and converted propane BBQ's ;) and this one is very good for the money. but by all means.. if you can afford a more expensive one go for it! with a lil patience and a few modifications this is a great product for the money!
I know the price is tempting but don’t do it. My experience started bad from the time it was delivered, the delivery company tossed it over the gate so some of the corners on the frame were bent, but the damage was only cosmetic. Yes its small and simple but two huge drawbacks. let’s start with the fire box, if you’re going to cook long term which if you smoke on a regular basis you know that’s almost always, Only way to clean the fire box is to shovel out the ashes and to make matters worse the side door with the heat does not stay open you have to chock it with a piece of wood to keep it open which is important if you want constant heat. I did a test burn and cook, after various attempts to adjust side door, I am taking this back and going for better quality and maybe even a different brand. I brought this to the attention of Char-broil and they were not too understanding of the issue.
We're very sorry to hear this. We value you as a Char-Broil customer and want you to enjoy using your smoker. Has a case been created with us? Please give us a call at 1-800-241-7548 and we will be able to best assist.
I was contemplating whether or not to get this smoker..It was my first one and did'nt want to get one that I would regret getting but ended up buying it because of the price..It was a very good deal..I have used it about 5-6 times and of course it was really difficult at first (having never smoked meat before)..But now my meats (ribs. . .beef and pork, and sausage) are coming out great..It does let smoke escape from the covers but what do you expect from a smoker; And an inexpensive one at that.. You can fit two slabs of ribs on it easily.. Wish it had a front shelf with hooks but it's not that big of a deal (that's what a table is fo)..Figuring out the whole temperature thing is still a small challenge but, that is also because I am just starting out..If you're a beginning smoker or you're only feeding a small family, go fo it and get this grill/smoker, you won't be disappointed..Happy smoking!..
I bought one in 2005 and still works great. Had to get some paint for rust naturally, it was stored outside. Other than that I have smoke ducks and brisket and roasts in this grill. My ex husband got it in the divorce so I am here to buy a new one lol. I grilled all year round with this, rain and snow I used an umbrella! Worth every penny and more.
I gave it a 4 only because it needs a better ash removal acess. Its just me and the wife now so its the right size even with a couple friends over. Went togather pretty easy and finish is very good. Heavy guage metal should last for years with just a little care. Offset fire box a real plus for slow cooking. Use it almost every day,I think this is the best grill I've owned and I've owned many.