Char Broil welcomes you to barbecuing like the pros with the Silver Smoker. This grill represents our mid size smoker bbq. Almost everything you've seen on cooking shows or tasted in your favorite barbecue restaurants around the country can be brought … see full wiki
There are two reasons to get this smoker, because you think it is great, or because you do not want to spend a lot of money for a great smoker and you have the ability to modify it.
The steel is a little on the thin side, so it does not hold the heat like the thicker models do. The firebox is not sealed up very tight, so there are plenty of air leaks. Now you need some air to get in there, but I normally run mine with the stack vent wide open and the firebox vents shut completely. Enough air leaks in to feed the fire.
Needed modifications, 1. needs a hole drilled into the cover to mount a thermometer. Every smoker needs a thermometer. How else do you know you are in the right temperature range?
2. Vent stack needs to go lower inside the main smoker chamber. I used some rolled up aluminum flashing and slid it into the stack, then pulled it down so it touched the cooking grates. Now the heat does not float over the food and escape, it moves down to the foods level for a better cook.
3. Need to seal up the door on the main food chamber to keep smoke and heat from escaping. I initially used crumbled up aluminum foil, but then switched over to a high temp gasket I glued on. Makes a big difference when the heat is not escaping too fast.
4. Need to build a fire basket. I welded one up out of scrap angle iron and steel mesh. now I can just dump charcoal or wood right into it and do not have to worry about it clogging the bottom of the fire box and choking the fire.
5. You need to fabricate an ash scraper. I made one out of a 24 inch steel rod with a 4 inch wide scraper welded to the end. I shaped the scraper to match the contour of the bottom of the firebox. Now about an hour or two into the burn I can open the door and scrape the built up ash out into a metal bucket to keep the fire breathing properly.
Now once you have made these modifications this is a pretty good entry level smoker. But even with all these modifications, it is still a stick burner and you cannot leave it unattended for too long or your temps will move out of range. I used to run mine while I did yard work. I kept walking past and adjusted the the airflow or added wood, etc.
I hardly ever use mine anymore because I built a UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker) Now it only gets used during the big parties at my house when my drum cannot handle all the food being cooked. You can see a picture of the UDS at bbq-brethren.