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Made and tested a charcoal basket for my LSG 20x42

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  • Alphonse
    Club Member
    • Oct 2019
    • 265
    • LA (Lower Alabama - gulf coast)

    Made and tested a charcoal basket for my LSG 20x42

    I bought the fire management basket with my LSG 20x42. It works really well to concentrate the coal bed and make poking sticks more of a pleasure. It is a “must have” accessory in my opinion.

    Of course, this LSG is an offset with its primary mission of being a stick burner. That is what I wanted and that’s the reason I bought it. I knew that a stick burner needs lot of fire tending to run it. Flip side, this pit can also be loaded with lump or a high-quality natural briquette and run without so much fire tending.

    The LSG can be configured with a fan port as an option when you order it. I did so with the intention of running it on lump charcoal and a PID controller and fan. I use a FireBoard coupled to a Pit Bull fan. I opted not to buy their charcoal basket thinking that I would build my own. Yes, you could use their fire management basket but it is not large enough and is really intended for splits.
    I built my new charcoal basket with that in mind.

    Here’s the basket and a purposeful trial run with B&B briquettes.

    Photos and some results:

    The basket I built:

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    Sized to hold a nominal 20lb bag of charcoal:


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    My basket, FireBoard and Pit Bull


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    My charcoal basket and the LSG “Fire Management Basket” for splits; side by side -


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    Basket in the pit ready to add ½ chimney to start


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    Chimney lit, added and off to the races

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    Coals at about an hour into test

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    Yes, I put something on the grill as a bonus from the test. Point here however is take notice the placement of the two ambient probes on top grate and one in the center of the lower grate.


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    The Data Log of the cook, surprising how tight this thing runs! Naturally you see when I opened the pit!


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    Observations/Summary:
    1. The pit runs really well on good charcoal. The door is tight enough and seals adequately so that the fan has complete control authority. The FireBoard and Pit Bull combination runs the pit flat line on the set point.
    2. I stepped the set point up by 25 degrees twice toward the end of the test to check response time and I was astounded at its quick system response.
    3. I tracked the temperatures on both ends of the pit on the upper grate and they were practically the same. The upper grate was 25 to 30 degrees hotter than the bottom. This was as claimed by LSG.
    4. After 5 ½ hours it was still going strong. I ran out of time and had to quit. I suspect you could run an 8 or 9 hour cook for a brisket with good lump or B&B briquettes without adding additional fuel.
    5. B&B briquettes are my “go to” for charcoal briquettes. They come in an 8 kg (17.6 lb) bag for $10 out the door at my local Academy. They perform like lump, are consistent in shape, and have few fines/chips in the bag. There is no saw dust or accelerants in the briquettes that you have to burn off before you use them. This means you can fill a basket like this and simply torch it off on one side with a partial chimney and start cooking. The fire will traverse the bed at a controlled rate using a PID and fan. It burns like lump as I expected with a clean smoke.
    6. The LSG’s firebox is tight and lets the fan have full control authority. Set up in this manner, it tracks the set point like a Yoder S series pellet grill. It performed better than I expected.
    7. The FireBoard combined with Guru’s larger Pit Bull fan is a winning combination. The fan chooches along with no problem. It is very nice feature that FireBoard allows you to use other’s fan and probes. Their cloud-based data logging and record keeping is top of the heap. Being able to see performance over time, keep notes, and retrieve it later is something I wouldn’t do without.
    8. While I would not buy the LSG to only run it off a PID and fan, this is a nice advantage that the pit offers. Next test, I will run on pecan or hickory splits for two hours reaping the rewards of the smoke profile to the meat and then dump a bag of B&B on top and run on automatic through to the finish.
    Sorry for the long post!
    Attached Files
  • Jerod Broussard
    Moderator
    • Jun 2014
    • 9789
    • East Texas
    • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
      Weber One Touch Premium Copper 22" Kettle (gift)
      Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
      Weber One Touch Premium Black 26" Kettle (gift)
      Slow 'n Sear XL for 26" Kettle (gift)
      Weber Smokey Joe Gold
      Weber Rapid Fire Chimney
      Vortex
      Maverick ET-732 White
      Maverick ET-732 Copper
      2- Auber SYL-1615 fan systems(Awesome!!!!!!!!)
      Thermoworks Thermapen w/ Back light (gift)
      Thermoworks Timestick
      Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
      B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
      B & B Pellets

    #2
    Nice!! I've got a bag of B & B by the patio door. Probably smoke my pastrami with it in the 22 kettle in a few days.

    Comment

    • Henrik
      Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
      • Jul 2014
      • 4339
      • Stockholm, Sweden

      #3
      Nice post! Thanks for all the details! Well built charcoal basket too.

      Comment

      • Dewesq55
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 1962
        • The Poconos, NEPA
        • Smoker:
          Landmann Smoke Master Series Heavy Duty Barrel Smoker (COS) - With mods including 2 level rack system with pull-out grates
          Masterbuilt 40.2" 1200W Electric Smoker
          Masterbuilt ThermoTemp XL 40" Vertical Propane Smoker

          Gas Grill:
          BBQPro (cheap big box store model) Stainless steel 4 burnerswith aftermarket rotisserie.

          Charcoal Grill:
          Weber Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill 14"

          Thermometer:​​​​​​
          Fireboard 2 with Drive cable and 20 CFM fan and Competition Probe Package
          Fireboard 1st Generation
          ThermoWorks Mini Instant Read
          Lavaworks Thermowand Instant Read
          2 Maverick 733
          ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S Industrial Infrared Thermometer
          ThermoWorks ThermaPen Mk4 x 2
          Govee Bluetooth Thermometer with 6 probes

          Miscellaneous:
          Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator - 1st generation
          Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator - wifi/bluetooth connected

          Favorite Beer:
          Anything to the dark side and malty rather than hoppy. Currently liking Yuengling Porter and Newcastle Brown Ale. In a bar or pub I will often default to Guiness

          Favorite Spirit:
          Bourbon - Eagle Rare for "every day"; Angel's Envy for special occasions, Basil Hayden's, Larceny

          Favorite Wine:
          Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Super Tuscan Sangiovese (Including Chianti Classico Riserva) Brunello di Montalcino

          Favorite Meat(s):
          Pork - especially the darker meat. I love spare ribs and anything made from shoulder/butt meat
          Chicken - Mainly the dark meat and wings
          Beef Ribeye steak

          Favorite Cuisine to Cook:
          Can't list just one: Indian, Chinese, Thai, West Indian/Carribean, Hispanic/Latin American, Ethiopian, Italian, BBQ

          Favorite Cuisine to Eat:
          Indian, followed closely by BBQ.

          Disqus ID:
          David E. Waterbury

        #4
        What Henrik said! Very nice post with lots of good info. Beautiful basket, as well.

        Comment

        • JakeT
          Club Member
          • Mar 2018
          • 469
          • Vacaville, CA
          • Lonestar Grillz 24x48
            Forno Bravo Casa 110
            Sunterra 60" Argentine Grill w/ Rear Brasero
            KBQ C-60
            Weber Kettle 22"
            Fire Magin a660i

            A-MAZE-N-TUBE 6", 10", maze
            BBQ Dragon
            BBQ Dragon Chimney
            iGrill
            Fireboard
            Bernzomatic w/ Mapp Gas

          #5
          Really good post, thanks for the info! Looks like a good option to use on my LSG one day as well!

          Comment

          • barelfly
            Club Member
            • Dec 2017
            • 1155
            • New Mexico

            #6
            This is a great post! Love the detail and step by step info you provide. LSG LSG LSG!!!!

            You are getting that LSG dialed in quickly. Cant wait to see the next cook!

            Comment

            • Alphonse
              Club Member
              • Oct 2019
              • 265
              • LA (Lower Alabama - gulf coast)

              #7
              The next evening after charcoal basket test, I retrieved the charcoal remnants and discovered I had a chimney full to run again. I fired up the LSG on the remnants and here's the story:


              Fired up the remnants and using the LSG fire management basket:

              Click image for larger version  Name:	Fired up and ready.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.31 MB ID:	818437

              My boss made two of these:

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              Here's one underway, cooked in the top of the firebox on the LSG:

              Click image for larger version  Name:	Underway.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.43 MB ID:	818438

              Finished and ready for the plate:

              Click image for larger version  Name:	finished large.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.43 MB ID:	818439

              Comment


              • Ahumadora
                Ahumadora commented
                Editing a comment
                Love that V shaped basket.

              • Alphonse
                Alphonse commented
                Editing a comment
                Ahumadora, me too! It is well thought out, robust and it works. For burning splits, it concentrates the coal bed and makes adding splits a breeze.

                It is just a bit too small for a long charcoal run and the briquettes can fall out the back through the hole for the gas assist lighter and also out the front. I intend to tack a piece of expanded metal over the back hole since I don't use gas assist.

                LSG make a fine Charcoal basket. I knew I wanted to make my own so I didn't order it.
            • au4stree
              Former Member
              • Aug 2018
              • 552
              • Birmingham, AL

              #8
              Great post, love B&B

              Comment

              • Steve B
                Club Member
                • Jun 2016
                • 3008
                • Rockland county New York
                • Lonestar Grillz 24x36 offset smoker, grill, w/ main chamber charcoal grate and 3 tel-tru thermometers - left, right and center
                  Yoke Up custom charcoal basket and a Grill Wraps cover.

                  22.5 copper kettle w/ SnS, DnG, BBQ vortex, gasket and stainless steel hinge kit.

                  Napoleon gas grill (soon to go bye bye) rotting out.

                  1 maverick et-733 digital thermometer - black
                  1 maverick et-733 - gray
                  1 new standard grilling remote digital thermometer
                  1 thermoworks thermopen mk4 - red
                  1 thermoworks thermopop - red

                  Pre Miala flavor injector
                  taylor digital scale
                  TSM meat grinder
                  chefs choice food slicer
                  cuisinhart food processor
                  food saver vacuum sealer
                  TSM harvest food dehydrator

                #9
                Alphonse Awesome wright up.
                Soo glad you’re enjoying this beast. 👊

                And that basket. WOW. When mine burns out I’m gonna have you make me up another one.
                That is some beautiful work. 👍

                Where does that pit boss attach??
                Can you post a pic?
                Last edited by Steve B; March 21, 2020, 09:08 PM.

                Comment

                • kenrobin
                  Charter Member
                  • Jun 2015
                  • 360
                  • San Francisco Bay Area
                  • Cookers
                    - 18" Weber Smokey Mountain (2000)
                    - Weber Genesis EP-310 (2013-2015)
                    - 22.5" Weber Master Touch (2015)
                    - Traeger Pro Tailgater (2015)
                    - Mak 1 Star General w/ wi-fi (2016)

                    Thermostats
                    - ThermaQ
                    - Thermapen
                    - ChefAlarm
                    - DOT
                    - iGrill2

                  #10
                  Outstanding post! I agree with you completely about the Fireboard / Pit Bull combination. I no longer use the fan with my stick fires because it doesn't seem necessary.

                  I bought LSG's charcoal basket when I ordered my 20x42 but I have never used it. I plan to use it soon.... I'm picturing a long overnight cook (probably a brisket). I'll use for my Fireboard / Pit Bull for that one.

                  Comment


                  • Alphonse
                    Alphonse commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Kenyata, I think the LSG basket should work well. I started to buy it with my order but knew I could build my own.

                    The 25 cfm Pit Bull is a superior capacity fan as compared to the one that FireBoard sells. FireBoard doesn't care whose fan you use anyway. The fan they sell is actually an Auber Instruments fan put a FireBoard package. There's nothing wrong with it but for an offset you need a bit more capacity. I have tested both fans and the Pit Bull is a hoss compared to the other.

                  • kenrobin
                    kenrobin commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I love that Fireboard designed their adapter to work with most fans. I wish Thermoworks had did the same for the Signal.
                • Mr. Bones
                  Birthday Hat Master
                  • Sep 2016
                  • 9458
                  • Kansas Territory
                  • Grills / Smokers
                    *********************************************

                    Kingsford 24" grill (Free) 'Billy'
                    Brinkmann Smoke n Grill
                    Oklahoma Joe Highland, gaskets, LavaLock baffle / tuning plate. 'Big Joe'
                    Weber 18" Kettle ($30 CL) 'Lil' Feller'
                    Weber Smokey Joe ($25 CL) 'Lil' Brother'
                    Weber 22.5 Master Touch '93 P Code Blue($85) from fellow WKC member Bmitch 'Elwood'
                    Weber 22.5 Bar-B-Q Kettle '69-'70 "Patent Pending" Red ($80) from fellow WKC member dwnthehatch 'Maureen'
                    Weber 22.5 OTS DD Code Black ($40 CL) 'DeeDee'
                    Weber 22.5 OTS DO Code Black ($15 CL)
                    Weber 22.5 OTS E Code Black ($20 CL
                    Weber 22.5 OTS EE Code Black ($20 CL

                    Weber "C" Code 18.5" WSM '81 ($50 CL) 8-0!!!
                    Weber "H" Code 18.5" WSM '86 ($75 CL)
                    Weber " " Code 18.5" WSM

                    Weber 26.75, $199 NFM clearance !!!
                    Weber SJS AH 'Lil' Brother'
                    Weber SJS AT 'Lil' Sister'
                    Weber SJS DE Code (FREE) 'Lil' Helper'
                    Weber SJG M Code 'Lil Traveller'
                    Weber SJS AH Code 'Kermit'
                    (Lime Green)
                    Horizon 20" Classic, w/baffle/tuning plate (FREE)
                    Good One Open Range, (FREE), Monthly Prize from AR giveaway!!!!



                    Thermometers:
                    *********************************************
                    Ol' Skool Bi-metal probe pocket thermo, that has checked / served ~ 1,000,000 meals in my possession, easily...
                    Maverick ET-732, (Black)
                    Thermopops, (Red, Yellow, Green)
                    ThermaPen Mk4 (Black), THANKS!!! to jgjeske1
                    Blue ThermaPen Mk4
                    Orange Thermapen Mk4
                    Pink Thermapen Mk4
                    ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S
                    ThermoWorks Smoke
                    ThermoWorks Open Box Smoke
                    4 Pro Series cable extensions
                    Smoke Gateway

                    Accessories:
                    *********************************************
                    2 Slow 'N Sears, Slow 'N Sear XL, Grill 'N Griddle
                    BBQ Vortex, 2 Hovergrills, Top Deck
                    Warming shelf
                    MyWeigh KD-8000Kitchen Scale
                    Backyard Grill marinade injector
                    Acoustic Guitars/Electric Guitars/Basses/1928 National Duolian/Harmonicas/Banjo Washboard, Spoons, kazoos, pocket comb with wax paper, egg shakers ;-)
                    Bear Paws
                    Meat Rakes
                    BBQ Dragon/Chimley of Insanity, Dragon Wing Shelves (x2 ea.)



                    Cookware:
                    Probably a ton of cast iron, mostly very old...still cookin'
                    G'Ma's Piqua skillet, :-)( They went out of business in 1934~)
                    '60's Revere Ware (Mom's), + others found elsewhere
                    60's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (Mom's) Daily driver
                    50's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (G'Ma's), for a backup! ;-)
                    Carpy Wally World stock pots, in approx 2 gal/3gal sizes, blue speckledty-porcelain enameled
                    Tramontina 6.5 qt Dutch Oven

                    Cutlery, etc.:
                    Shi*-ton of kitchen/chef knives, most sharper than my straight-razors are. (Better steel!) Chicago Cutlery, Old Hickory, various, including some nice German stuff ;-)
                    Dexter 12" slicing knife, 6" Sani-Safe boning knife
                    Smith's Tri-Hone Natural Arkansas Knife Sharpening System
                    Multiple steels, from all over the planet
                    Crock sticks
                    Diamond stones, various
                    Lansky Sharpening System

                    Tableware
                    Daily driver:Washington Forge Mardi Gras, Navy / Cobalt Blue
                    Dinner: Guests: Washington Forge, Town and Country
                    Fancy / Formal: Family silverware

                  #11
                  Not only a superb job, fabricatin yer basket, but a very thorough, well thought out, well documented experimental test run, as well!

                  Congrats on not only a job very well done, but fer such a helpful, useful contribution to th Hive Mind, Brother!

                  Truly, I doff my Beloved Cowboy Hat, an bow respectfully in yer direction!

                  Comment

                  • Alphonse
                    Club Member
                    • Oct 2019
                    • 265
                    • LA (Lower Alabama - gulf coast)

                    #12
                    Steve B - Thanks again for all your help last fall when I was trying to sort my LSG order out!

                    Here's the photo you requested.

                    It shows the Guru Pit Bull using a Guru 3/4" npt adapter mounted on the firebox blower port. As you know, this port is an option when you order the pit. The blower port is an elevation below the fire grate which helps distribute combustion air beneath the fire and improves the efficiency of it all. It also helps keep that port cooler since it is below the elevation of the fire.

                    The quality of the Guru Pit Bull and the adapter are both top shelf. I sure hope Guru doesn't go the route they did on their smaller blower, the Pit Viper, and morph it to a cheaper housing design. Currently the Pit Bull is still their "old school" design using a SS sheet metal housing that makes changing the fan out a breeze.


                    Click image for larger version  Name:	Blower wide view.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.76 MB ID:	818665

                    EDIT: also meant to say, notice the cooling fins on the Pit Bull blower. It helps keep the conductive heat off the blower. The other helpful thing about the location is that the radiant heat from the fire doesn't see the blower. If that blower were located at an elevation equal to the fire, it would "see" the flame and the radiant energy would likely damage the blower.
                    Last edited by Alphonse; March 22, 2020, 11:01 AM.

                    Comment

                    • Steve B
                      Club Member
                      • Jun 2016
                      • 3008
                      • Rockland county New York
                      • Lonestar Grillz 24x36 offset smoker, grill, w/ main chamber charcoal grate and 3 tel-tru thermometers - left, right and center
                        Yoke Up custom charcoal basket and a Grill Wraps cover.

                        22.5 copper kettle w/ SnS, DnG, BBQ vortex, gasket and stainless steel hinge kit.

                        Napoleon gas grill (soon to go bye bye) rotting out.

                        1 maverick et-733 digital thermometer - black
                        1 maverick et-733 - gray
                        1 new standard grilling remote digital thermometer
                        1 thermoworks thermopen mk4 - red
                        1 thermoworks thermopop - red

                        Pre Miala flavor injector
                        taylor digital scale
                        TSM meat grinder
                        chefs choice food slicer
                        cuisinhart food processor
                        food saver vacuum sealer
                        TSM harvest food dehydrator

                      #13
                      Thanks Alphonse I wish they offered that option when I got mine. I’m sure that’ll keep that beast under control.
                      Interesting they placed it on that side of the fire box. 🤔

                      I seems like that would go against the air flow. But I’m sure they tested this extensively before putting it out on their rigs.

                      Oh yeah my viper has the plastic housing. Kinda cheesy.
                      Last edited by Steve B; March 22, 2020, 11:12 AM.

                      Comment

                      • Alphonse
                        Club Member
                        • Oct 2019
                        • 265
                        • LA (Lower Alabama - gulf coast)

                        #14
                        Originally posted by Steve B View Post
                        Thanks Alphonse I wish they offered that option when I got mine. I’m sure that’ll keep that beast under control.
                        Interesting they placed it on that side of the fire box. 🤔

                        I seems like that would go against the air flow. But I’m sure they tested this extensively before putting it out on their rigs.

                        Oh yeah my viper has the plastic housing. Kinda cheesy.
                        Steve, if you think about it a bit, it is intuitive. Looking at the FireBoard datalog, the blower is only running part time and not at full capacity at all. It is not "blow torching" the fire. It did run 100% at the very beginning of the run to get the fire and pit stoked up but after that it is just "chooching" along part time and part throttle. The FireBoard PID runs a blower at variable speed and part time. You see that as the green curve on the datalog. On the left you see 100% blower on and then it drops off as intermittent and at low speed. BTW, you also see that FireBoard has an "open lid detect". When I opened the pit to load the chicken, the temp dropped quickly but the fan didn't run, overtorching the coal bed! This was the dire mistake Thermoworks made when they first released their Signal system without "open lid detect".

                        So with the vent on the door closed, the blower is throttling air to keep the coals generating only enough heat to maintain the set point. The combustion air is being pushed into the plenum beneath the fire and it is distributed under the fire. Again, not blow torching but gently adding air flow. By the way, natural draft is going to pull air through the blower even though it is not running but the PID controller knows and has quickly learned that during the run and counts on it. So if the blower is not running, there's still combustion air coming in through the blower housing.

                        I am betting that LSG put the port toward the front so that it doesn't interfere with the gas assist port and burner for those that use it. A plus for that location is the blower is easy for you to mount and hook up. So yes, looks like LSG knew what they were doing, doesn't it?
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by Alphonse; March 22, 2020, 11:55 AM.

                        Comment


                        • Steve B
                          Steve B commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Damn. I need one of those ports. 😁
                          What fuel are you using?

                        • Alphonse
                          Alphonse commented
                          Editing a comment
                          This was a load of B&B briquettes. I believe a good lump will work the same.

                          You can get a bulkhead port from BBQ Guru I believe. Alternatively get someone to weld you a 3/4" npt coupling on it.

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                      Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

                      PK 360 grill
                      The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.

                      Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

                      Click here to order directly and get an exclusive AmazingRibs.com deal


                      Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

                      kareubequ bbq smoker

                      The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.

                      Click here for our review of this superb smoker


                      Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

                      masterbuilt gas smoker
                      This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175? to 350?F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

                      Click here to read our detailed review


                      Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

                      maverick PT55 thermometer
                      A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

                      Click here to read our complete review


                      Track Up To Six Temperatures At Once

                      Grilla pellet smoker
                      FireBoard Drive 2 is an updated version of a well-received product that sets the standard for performance and functionality in the wireless food thermometer/thermostatic controller class.

                      Click here for our review of this unique device


                      The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

                      NK-22-Ck Grill
                      Napoleon's NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

                      Click here for more about what makes this grill special


                      Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

                      Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill
                      Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

                      Click here to read our detailed review and to order