How I made my SJG hot

Alan N

New member
I was drawn to this BB after I purchased my SJG. I was somewhat frustrated with the lack of heat that the SJG produced. Honestly I did little rearch before I purchased and thought Gold has to be better than Silver... so I bought the SJG.

  • I read the various threads on charcoal postitioning and found that helped somewhat.
  • I was also drawn to the threads around modifying the SJG by putting in a vent in the bottom essentially making it a SJS.
  • I read a thread by someone who made wings of sheet metal to draw the air from the side vents down and under the charcoal. Cool idea.

I came away from the the reasearch wishing that I had bought the SJS. I am in an apartment... so I did like the way the SJG closed up, shut down in 20 minutes and is absolutely portable.

Thanks to those that posted mods. For me however, I was looking for a way to increase the performance of the SJG without doing mods.

Below is my quick, easy and deadly effective way of increasing the SJG performance. Give it a try.

Fundametally I use a tripple layer of aluminum foil to create a managed the air flow. (like the wings idea... but no skills required)

The foil is loosly put over the openvent on one side, the charcoal is stacked against the closed vent on the other.



Another view:



The foil is held in place by the grate, like so:



Here is a pic of the set up with a drip pan (after roast chicken)



I reuse the foil for 5-10 burns...it eventually starts to break down.

Temperature Contol:
As well documented to get a hot burn the coals need to be well lit. That is essential for this method.
Once lit:
With the side vent open and the lid over the coals I easily achieve 600F throttle down with the side vent.
With the side vent open and the lid opposite the coals the temp runs about 500F throttle down with the side vent.
This set up lets me run temps right down to 225 with no dificulties and manage a 10 hour burn with a Minion method.

Before discovering this set up I would throttle down with the top vent as any closure of the side would be fatal to the burn. Now I control temp with the side vent.

This simple set up has transformed the SJG for me with no physical changes to the Q. Life is good!

Enjoy.

Iver.
 

glen jones

TVWBB Pro
Brilliant Alan......are you saying you got a 10 hr burn without adding more charcoal?I see you are using lump charcoal....I think lump and Smokey Joes are made for each other.
 

Alan N

New member
Glen, Yes, I get a 10 hr burn without adding charcoal. I use the drip pan to hold the charcoal (sprinkled with smoke wood) in place un-lit against the side opposite the aluminum foil. I light 3-5 medium pieces of lump put them on one side of the pile and control temp to ~250. This gives me a full 10+ hours. I get pork butts from the butcher, and get them cut to 3" in height so that they fit inside the SJG.
 

glen jones

TVWBB Pro
Thanks Alan....I have got to try this...never to old to learn a new trick.
Now you need to make a wsm mini out of it.
 

Alan N

New member
Glen, it is in the plan... I am in HK so will try to find a proper sized steamer, I just need to spend the time crawling through the restaurant
supply stores.
 

timothy

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Me Like! But me and HD foil don't get along when it's in direct contact with coals.
I'll try this on the SJP with a disposable foil pan, trimmed to fit with a pair of heavy duty scissors and folded up the side.

Tim
 

Alan N

New member
Tim, I ensure that the coals are not on the Aluminum... I did it because I thought they would not burn if on the foil. This has worked out fine.

Alan.
 
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Alan N

New member
Paul, There are others on this forum with great experience with the SJS. I don't have one but use the following to do a slow cook on my Gold Kettle. To achieve a long slow cook start by placing unlit lump against one side (I suggest a full chimney of unlit lump). Place a drip tray in the center and put your favourite liquid in the drip tray as it will help stabilize the temperature. Light 3-5 pieces of lump in your chimney and when lit place them at one end of your unlit lump. Control airflow from the bottom (and the lid if needed ) to control temperature. You may find that for 225 the airflow is practically closed at the bottom.

If you want a smoke place chips or pieces of smoke wood throughout the unlit lump. The above technique is called the Minion method and is outlined here.
 
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Alan N

New member
I thought some temp pictures would be fun.
This pic is with the set up described at the start of the thread. There is no drip tray being used. Lump is positioned against one closed side vent the other side vent fully open. The lid is positioned with the vent over the lump. the pic was taken after about 10 minutes with the lid closed.


This pic is the same charcoal set up. For temp control the side vent has been moved from full upon to a bit less than half. The lid is positioned opposite the charcoal (over the indirect side).



This image attempts to show the side vent setting.



Now that I can count on the SJG to get HOT, and maintain a controlled hot temp life is good.

Enjoy.
 

Gerald Raucamp

TVWBB Member
Wow, awesome idea! I kinda use the same idea for the SJS, to guide the air through the coals, by covering most of the grate (like certain other mods on this board), for low'n'slow, but never thought of using the baffle/guider idea for hot'n'fast cooking.

Say, since you're from Hong Kong/Hong Kong based, have you tried to make some char siu on your kettles? If so, how'd you go about it? And pretty nice that you're allowed to use charcoal barbecue's on your balcony. Where abouts are you in the HK area? I have some family living in North Point :D

And I keep hearing stories about summertime cookouts at the beaches of Aberdeen.
 

FreddyJ

TVWBB Member
Awesome thread, thank you SO MUCH for sharing this!

Trying this now and my SJG is holding temp at 425 with side vent 1/2 cracked for 2HOURS!

 

Jon G Colorado

New member
I know this is an old post but I wanted to bring it back for people like me who have tried this with great success! I've cooked twice on my SJG and this time after cooking I left the side vent open and the top vent open and it stayed over 500 for more than two hours with plain old Kingsford briquets.

This technique works like a charm. Thanks OP.
 

Shawn Dillon

TVWBB Fan
If I close the vents on one side and bank the coals against that side, leave the other side fully open and put the lid vent right over the coals, I get pretty darn good temps out of my SJG.

That said, if I am going to grill on a SJ, it's either going to be my SJS that I added the lid bail from a gold to, or my SJP.

Someday I'll get the new Jumbo Joe and retire all the other SJs.
 

Alan N

New member
It is cool to see this post live on. I left my SJG in Hong Kong. Might be replacing it with a SJS to make a mini smoker.
Alan.
 

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