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Char Griller COS mods

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  • Keiferr
    Club Member
    • Jun 2018
    • 964
    • Southeast Michigan

    Char Griller COS mods

    I recently bought a Char Griller COS. I needed some additional cooking space for an event I was grilling burgers and hot dogs for, and it was on sale for $100, so I got it knowing it wasn't high quality, but it would work. Plus it fit in the back of my mini van (Yeah, I used to be cool) if I took the top off. After reading up on some mods that others had done, I decided to try to make it better for smoking. This is the finished product from outside.
    Click image for larger version

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    As you can see I added two thermometers to monitor the heat on both ends.
    I also used a high heat felt type gasket to seal around the edges and put bolts in all the unused holes to help hold heat and smoke a little better.
    Then I got a piece of steel, cut it to fit inside the unit, and cut out some on the edges to allow heat and smoke to come up around the edges. My other cooker is a BGE, so I patterned it roughly after the plate setter in the BGE. This did a couple of things. First, when making the fire in the fire box, it distributes the heat more evenly instead of having high heat where it comes out of the fire box. Now both ends are within about 5 degrees of each other. It also allows me to build a fire inside the grill and still have indirect heat available. It has to be for shorter cooks, as I can't easily add more fuel, unless I just put it in the fire box, which is always an option. The baffle sits on bolts at each end and 2 bricks in the middle.
    Click image for larger version

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    That's pretty much the extent of the mods. It still leaks smoke a bit, but it's acceptable. I definitely have to monitor the heat and fuel more than I do on my BGE, but that's ok too. This allows me to become better familiar with offset and stick burner techniques while giving me more cooking capacity. Some day I'll get a higher quality offset, but this gives me the utility I need for now. I can use my BGE, and/or this and have plenty of capacity for most cooks I do. If I need more capacity I have access to an American Barbeque Systems Judge (pictures on another post of mine from a few weeks ago) than can handle more than I need to cook. Total cost for the mods was about $45 for the thermometers and $25 for the steel sheet, plus the $100 for the COS.
  • jecucolo
    Club Member
    • Nov 2015
    • 1273
    • Schertz Texas
    • Pit Barrel Cooker






    #2
    So how has it performed cooking?
    Joe

    Comment


    • Keiferr
      Keiferr commented
      Editing a comment
      Been too busy with other stuff to really try it. Have just done test fires without food. I was happy with those. Ribs are coming up soon tho!
  • webq57
    Club Member
    • Aug 2018
    • 14
    • St. Louis, MO

    #3
    Nice pit, like your ideas.

    Comment

    • Mr. Bones
      Charter Member
      • Sep 2016
      • 10009
      • 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
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        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
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        Tableware
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        Dinner: Guests: Washington Forge, Town and Country
        Fancy / Formal: Family silverware

      #4
      Very cool, Brother!

      I'm lookin forward to some cooks from yer Char Grill...

      Comment

      • Ricardo
        Club Member
        • Jan 2017
        • 184
        • Palm City, FL

        #5
        I bought one of these from HemoDepot. It was my first smoker, and I had little to no knowledge about smoking anything. I figured the more white smoke it put out, the better. The temperature distribution in the cooking chamber was very bad and my fixings were as equally awful.

        I think your heat management plate is a big improvement there. Hopefully it will prove to be a very nice upgrade for you.

        I just want to share one suggested improvement I read about, which makes lots of sense, and it has to do with the exhaust. The chimney is flush with the top of the cooking chamber. You may want to install an extension that will force heat and smoke to accumulate and stay in the cooking chamber for a longer period of time, instead of exiting right away.

        I did not perform any modifications to the unit, but did find some tips online. I don’t have a photo to show you what I’m talking about here, but do a quick google search and you will see how most folks install a flex pipe to extend the exhaust and force hot air and smoke to accumulate before exiting.

        That should significantly improve performance.

        Cheers,

        Ricardo

        Comment


        • Keiferr
          Keiferr commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the suggestion! I've seen that but just haven't tried it yet.

        • Henrik
          Henrik commented
          Editing a comment
          Yep, I can vouch for that one. Easy to do, and makes all the difference. A LOT of commercial smokers get the chimney size and placement wrong.
      • jecucolo
        Club Member
        • Nov 2015
        • 1273
        • Schertz Texas
        • Pit Barrel Cooker






        #6
        I’ve heard people extend the opening inside the grill using a metal flexible dryer duct.

        Comment


        • JGo37
          JGo37 commented
          Editing a comment
          jecucolo Great reply, and Keiferr that baffle is tip top!
      • RonB
        Club Member
        • Apr 2016
        • 13509
        • Near Richmond VA
        • Weber Performer Deluxe
          SNS
          Pizza insert
          Rotisserie
          Smokenator 1000
          Cookshack Smokette Elite
          2 Thermapens
          Chefalarm
          Dot
          lots of probes.
          CyberQ

        #7
        That looks like a good job to me.

        Comment

        • Spinaker
          Moderator
          • Nov 2014
          • 10960
          • Land of Tonka
          • John "J R"
            Instagram: JRBowlsby
            Smokin' Hound Que
            Minnesota/ United States of America

            ********************************************
            Assistants
            Dexter (Beagle mix)
            Kinnick (American Foxhound)
            ************************

            Grills/Smokers/Fryers
            Big Green Egg (Large) X3
            Blackstone 36" Outdoor Griddle 4-Burner

            Karubeque C-60
            Kamado Joe Jr. (Black)
            Lodge L410 Hibachi
            Pit Barrel Cooker
            Pit Barrel Cooker 2.0
            R&V Works FF2-R-ST 4-Gallon Fryer

            Weber Spirit Gasser
            ******************.
            Thermometers
            FireBoard (Base Package)
            Thermoworks ThermaPen (Red)
            Thermoworks MK4 (Orange)
            **************

            Accessories
            Big Green Egg Plate Setter
            Benzomatic TS4000 Torch X 2
            Benzomatic TS800 High Temp Torch X 2

            Bayou Classic 44 qt Stainless Stock Pot
            Bayou Classic 35K BTU Burner

            Digi Q DX2 (Medium Pit Viper Fan)
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            Field Skillet No. 8,10,12

            Finex Cat Iron Line
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            ********************************
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            **************************

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            Cuda 7' Fillet Knife

            Dexter 12" Brisket Sword
            Global
            Shun
            Wusthof
            *******
            Next Major Purchase
            Lone Star Grillz 24 X 48 Offset

          #8
          Hahaha, your profile pic is you sitting next to an open cargo door on a C-130........I think you get a pass on the mini-van. LOL.

          Nice work on the mods! It would be cool to see a pic with it running, to see how much better the smoker seals up.

          Comment


          • Spinaker
            Spinaker commented
            Editing a comment
            That’s ever cooler! @Keifer

          • Keiferr
            Keiferr commented
            Editing a comment
            Spinaker, the first picture is actually of it working. Smoke is coming from the stack. The biggest leaks are in back. Had to double the gasket.

          • Spinaker
            Spinaker commented
            Editing a comment
            Nice! Well it looks like the mods are working! Keiferr
        • JGo37
          Club Member
          • Apr 2018
          • 1576
          • the LOU
          • Cookers:

            22" Blackstone Griddle, with stand & hood
            CharGriller Portable Firebox - so modified you'll BLOL
            Kitchenaid #810 Charcoal Grill - highly modified
            Weber BI-code Black Performer w/Igniter
            Weber DE-code Red Limited - 'Lucille'

            Accessories:

            Ancient heavy CI Propane Turkey Fryer, for lighting chimneys
            BBQ Dragon kettle shelves - 2
            Fyre Dragon Kettle Drippin' Ring, Burnin' Cone & Drippin' Pan - 2 sets
            Fyre Dragon Kettle Ribbin' Ring
            Fyre Dragon Kettle 2-Zone Smokin' Sheet
            OneGrill Rotisserie for the Kitchenaid
            Smokenator
            Smoking Tubes: 2x12" & 1x6"
            SnS
            Weber Gourmet Grill w/Griddle, Pizza Stone & Wok

            My Helpers:

            Anova 900W Sous Vide Cooker w/Radios
            Instant Pot 6Q Duo
            Nesco Tabletop Roaster
            & the PIT!

          #9
          The 'dryer ducting' mod is awesome. I'm doing one now on a rectangular cooker and will document it for a post.

          Maybe try some toggle clamps on everything to seat the lids against the gaskets, and gasket the side box as well, including where it mounts on the main if it's still removable.

          Click image for larger version

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          Comment

          • Santamarina
            Club Member
            • Aug 2018
            • 931
            • Wildomar, CA

            #10
            Did a few mods to my vertical offset smoker a handful of years ago that made it perform much better. A lavalock gasket helped a ton...no smoke leaking. I also added clamps to the door which, with the gasket, seal the door very well.

            Recently started to “store” my FiL’s (father-in-law) COS. I use it for brisket...don’t have to cut it in half first like I do on my vertical. Installed a metal heat diverter (though not notched like yours!) and always run a big water pan right in front of the firebox. I also added an extension to the chimney - inside and out - for better flow.

            Rigt out of the box COSs are pretty lousy, but with a few inexpensive mods they are pretty good!

            Comment

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