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Old 05-07-2009, 02:25 PM   #1
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Default Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

I know the Weber smokey mountain is the way to go, but does anyone own a Brinkman smoker? Looking for reviews/opinions?
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

FWIW one of my good buddies does and he loves it, I have never used it but the food he has prepared has been tasty.
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

I picked up the electric model for $70 at home depot about 2 weeks ago and so far I have only had the chance to use it once. I did like it and I figured it was a really cheap way to get into smoking and see if I like it before taking the plunge to get something bigger.
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

There is an awful lot of good Q made on Brinkmans. They need a little modification to help with the air flow and they have a lot of air leaks so temp control is a little less precise, but the can certainly do the job.
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

I too started with a Brinkmann electric. Then I learned what they mean by low and slow, wasn't sure about what the temps were then, and bought a Chargriller with side firebox. Now I'm hooked. I followed Smokin Gator's links over to BBQ Brethren for even more learning.

Back to the subject in hand, I used it but decided I wanted lower temps and more cooking space and temp control so I went with the Chargriller. Last weekend I needed to do a pork butt for my gf's graduation party and thought about getting it out just because it played nicer in the 40 degree temps I would be working in. Just my opinions. Worth absolutely nothing towards a cup of coffee or anything else of value.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

Quote:
Originally Posted by jledou View Post
I figured it was a really cheap way to get into smoking and see if I like it before taking the plunge to get something bigger.
This is why I was thinking about getting one. Not sure I want the electric model though.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

I had the std charcoal one for years. It's great if you don't want to do lots of meat. Smoked many a chicken on that sucker
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

I love my Brinkmann. I got it on sale for $140. I have used several other models and after the mods I cheaply did, I wouldn't trade it for anything (well a rotisserie trailer mounted smoker maybe)

Here is what mine looks like:



I can easily put a few racks, shoulders and a couple chickens on it at the same time.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

I have been running my top loader brinkman for about 10 years now. And it has the resin coating to prove it
It is electric so I get low temps from it. it does leak smoke from around the lid but I just wrap foil around the rim and let her rip.
I would love to have something w/ more capacity and a front loader but for smaller jobs it is great. It can handle a couple of pork shoulders no problem.
Its not always how good the smoker is but who is behind the wheel.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

i have one and i can't say anything bad about it.
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Old 05-10-2009, 01:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

I also picked up the electric Brinkman smoker at Home Depot a couple of weeks ago. It sure is an easy, fool-proof way to get into smoking. I've already smoked some spareribs and just yesterday smoked a Boston Butt for 10 hours on it. My very first Boston Butt pulled pork and it came out pretty tasty.
At least with the electric model you can pretty much turn it on and leave it unattended for many hours as the temp remains pretty constant at around 230 degrees......as long as you keep enough water in the pan which generally should last an entire smoking session.

I looked at the WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain) and they were very pricey. I would probably make my own UDS (ugly drum smoker) if I were to ever go to charcoal smoking. They're supposed to be very efficient as far as heat retention and in charcoal usage. Very little charcoal is needed to keep it fired up for several hours without any replenishment.

Last edited by fxpose; 05-10-2009 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 05-10-2009, 01:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
It is electric so I get low temps from it. it does leak smoke from around the lid but I just wrap foil around the rim and let her rip.
Mine has a 1/4" gap all the way around between the lid and the body, and my understanding is that it's there for venting smoke out as the lid itself does not have a vent.
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

Quote:
Originally Posted by fxpose View Post
Mine has a 1/4" gap all the way around between the lid and the body, and my understanding is that it's there for venting smoke out as the lid itself does not have a vent.
If you have too much smoke escaping, your temp will not stay constant and the heating element will constantly be coming on and burning up your wood chips too fast. It will also let alot of your moisture out.
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:27 PM   #14
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

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Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
If you have too much smoke escaping, your temp will not stay constant and the heating element will constantly be coming on and burning up your wood chips too fast. It will also let alot of your moisture out.
Good point about too much smoke escaping. I guess under cold, windy conditions this could be a major factor....as far as keeping the temp constant.
I plan on installing a small temp gauge on the lid.

But as far as the heating element is concerned, my unit remains 'on' as long as it's plugged in. I place a cast iron chip box with a mixture of chips and chunks over the heating element. It produces smoke for about 3 hours.
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

Quote:
Originally Posted by fxpose View Post
I place a cast iron chip box with a mixture of chips and chunks over the heating element. It produces smoke for about 3 hours.
The internal temperature of the meat at which it stops absorbing flavor from the smoke is a whole nuther can of worms... but it you put 3 hours of quality smoke on most pieces of meat that should give you what you need.
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

Quote:
Originally Posted by fxpose View Post
Good point about too much smoke escaping. I guess under cold, windy conditions this could be a major factor....as far as keeping the temp constant.
I plan on installing a small temp gauge on the lid.

But as far as the heating element is concerned, my unit remains 'on' as long as it's plugged in. I place a cast iron chip box with a mixture of chips and chunks over the heating element. It produces smoke for about 3 hours.
My thermostat has low-med-high settings. Once it hits a certain temp it will shut off until it needs to come back on again. I stopped using the Cast iron plate. It needed too high of a temp to get the chips smoldering. I, now put handfulls of the damp chips directly on the heating element. Smokes at a much lower temp. I usually run it around 195-200 deg.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:17 PM   #17
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

On that note I'm smoking some Tri-Tip this weekend on the Brinkmann. This is going to be good!
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:13 PM   #18
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

I'll be smoking tomorrow and was wondering what temps u guys use. Ive heard 150-180. Any input? I'll be using propane and mesquite.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:08 AM   #19
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
My thermostat has low-med-high settings. Once it hits a certain temp it will shut off until it needs to come back on again. I stopped using the Cast iron plate. It needed too high of a temp to get the chips smoldering. I, now put handfulls of the damp chips directly on the heating element. Smokes at a much lower temp. I usually run it around 195-200 deg.
I am guessing that the elements with a thermostat we older models? I would be interested to see if any knows where a replacement element could be found that has one.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:06 AM   #20
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Default Re: Anyone own a Brinkmann smoker

Quote:
Originally Posted by jledou View Post
I am guessing that the elements with a thermostat we older models? I would be interested to see if any knows where a replacement element could be found that has one.
My Brinkmann Gourmet smoker currently keeps a steady 230 degrees with a full water pan but I guess under cooler outdoor temps that can somewhat vary.

If you want lower temps, one easy way to achieve that is to use a long heavy duty extension cord. The heating element won't burn as hot.

The water in the pan is to keep the temps at a constant level, not to keep the meat moist.
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