Brinkmann Smoke N Grill - Just aint hot!

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by metsker, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. metsker

    metsker Newbie

    Got this horizontal grill and tried it for the first time on Friday. We never did get a decent amount of heat. We used a meat thermometer and the grill thermometer as a gauge. Never could get the ribs above 126 degrees and the chicken, well, that was downright scary. The temp on the grill never even made it to 200 - Highest I think was about 175, for a short time.

    We used Cowboy Lump Charcoal, tried keeping vents open to blast air and make high heat. We did NOT open the meat side of the grill, but did open the fuel side to keep dumping on the fuel. We left it a few hours without opening and saw no improvement in the temp.

    One issue I see with this grill (which we bought pre-assembled from Lowes) is about 1" gap between the main lid and the grill, right next to the firebox. I'm guessing it is losing a lot of heat there and we need to drill new holes and remount the lid. I'm not sure if this is a big enough issue to cause us to lose so many degrees, though...

    I suspect there are other threads here addressing this particular grill, but there doesn't appear to be a search function. Any help is greatly appreciated!!! We spent 8 hours on this project and still ended up throwing the stuff in the oven. The end results were fantastic, though!

  2. lucc

    lucc Smoke Blower

    When you heated up the smoker did it make it to temp? I have the Cook N Carry, and let it heat up to 250 before puttting on ribs.
    Does it have a water pan?
  3. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    I thought the Brinkman Smoke and Grill was a vertical water smoker? You said Horizontal. If it is vertical, take a look at these mods. And if I'm wrong, sit tight, someone who knows you cooker should see your post.

    Good luck either way.
  4. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    Yeah, here we go, it's a bullet water smoker (vertical) we all lovingly refer to them as ECB.

    The link for the mods I gave you should help you quite a bit. On a personal note, I would wait before doing the lid vent. I don't think it's required. If I were you, I'd do the other mods, then try it a few times. You can still put the lid vent on later if you want.
  5. metsker

    metsker Newbie

    Nope, it's this one (who knew?)

    Anyway, I am using a Accu-rite meat temp w probe. It does not have a water pan, but I put a pan of water into the grill.

    I saw on Jeff's page he suggests fire brick in the firebox, but there isn't a lot of space in there to begin with...
  6. lucc

    lucc Smoke Blower

  7. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    Whatever the specific item, it's clear he's using a horizontal with offset firebox.
    To metsker: Does the assembly of your unit require knocking out some large chunks of metal? Or do you have a LARGE opening between your firebox and smoke chamber?

    I ask this because at my local Lowes they sell similar items (CharGriller) pre-assembled. Yet if you look at the few pre-assembled units, they didn't knock out the knockouts!! And there's no way you'd get sufficient heat transfer without knocking them out.
  8. metsker

    metsker Newbie

    It does indeed have the knock-out out between firebox and grill!

    You are right - it does look like the Pitmaster. Guess Amazon and HD have their labeling wrong, or Brinkmann uses that name for multiple models.

    Now, about that heat issue...
  9. lucc

    lucc Smoke Blower

    Take it apart and put it back together again using instructions. Don't see how the lid could be off an entire inch on a new smoker, it's either a defect or put together wrong.
  10. metsker

    metsker Newbie

    Interestingly, this is what Brinkmann says in their customer service website:

    Why does the lid to my smoker fit loosely?

    The Brinkmann Smoker is designed with a 1/2" gap to facilitate airflow during the smoking process.

    (It probably is more like an inch than an 1/2". )
  11. metsker

    metsker Newbie

  12. olewarthog

    olewarthog Meat Mopper

    I cooked on one of those Brinkmans for about 10 years. (they used to be called Smoke n' Pit). I never had much problem getting temps up. A couple of things come to mind.

    Have you checked your therms to be sure they are accurate?

    Second, how did you build your fire? How high off the bottom of the fire box?

    The way mine old one was designed, the fire grates were only a couple of inches off the bottom of the fire box. The ash from the charcoal prevented good air flow. I would build my fire at cooking grate level in the fire box. You will get better results & longer burn times if you use some kind of basket for your charcoal. One bit of warning if you raise your fire up to that level. You will have a very hot spot right at the SFB opening. You will need some kind of baffle or water pan to deflect some of that heat. Scan thru the forum & you will find several threads on mods for horizontal offsets. What works on CG (Char-griller), etc will work on your Brinkman.
  13. metsker

    metsker Newbie

    I just assumed the thermostat on the grill is not accurate - sitting in the hot sun and all. I did not test the new one.

    The charcoal is just sitting on the bottom on the grate provided, I guess maybe an inch or so off of the bottom. I see what you are saying - we seemed to need to chase the charcoal away from the air vents fairly regularly. I'll try your suggestion and poke around for other modifications.

    Thanks for your reply - I really appreciate it.
  14. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    Well I'll be. I thought that model was called the Smoke N pit. How many companies name two totally different models the same????

    Well, hope you get some good input.
  15. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    HEY! Wait a minute!!! That seller at Amazon has an SNP pictured, but his ad is for a Smoke N Grill bullet smoker! Metsker, FYI I really think you have a Brinkman SNP.....
  16. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Look at the charcoal basket mod for one thing. Did you have the bottom intakes open enough to get good air into the fire? Did you have the exhaust stack wide open? Is the knockout between the fire box and the smoke chamber actually knocked out? Did you use lump or regular briquettes? Do a boil and ice test on that thermo.
  17. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'd go with everything Piney said and can you take any pics ot the smoker? it might help us with your issue.
  18. memphisbud

    memphisbud Smoke Blower

    I just got one of these not long ago when I decided to go back to a horizontal (cut my teeth on a MUCH earlier model of this one way back when). It is a smoke n pitt, although the guage of the metal is less than the earlier models.

    My first smoke on it was 3 racks loinbacks, a chuckie and a boston butt, and it went really well....held temp, and didn't go through a lot of fuel. It produced a good product.....When I seasoned it, it went up to close to 400 degrees before I stepped it back to "poach".

    I put mine together myself, so maybe the associate who put it together messed up? Mine went together just fine, with no gap between the firebox and the barrel. Just a thought.[​IMG]
  19. pyre

    pyre Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Looks like the same one I'm using. These things are nearly useless right out of the box. It takes a little bit of backyard engineering to get them cooking decently.

    Roll up a piece of aluminum flashing and stuff it in the inside of the smoke exhaust inside your smoker. Lower the "extension" to as close to the cooking grate as you can. This makes the smoke and heat build up inside of the cooking chamber until it reaches the bottom of the flashing extension and can escape.

    Take one of the charcoal grills and wack 3-4 grate bars off it with a grinder. Flip it sideways and put it back into the fire box. It should sit 2-3 inches higher than it was before.

    If you can and are able, a baffle helps a lot. This is a little smoke directing piece of metal that fits over the knockout between the smoking chamber and the cooking chamber. The idea is to direct the heat down and farther into the cooking chamber before it is allowed to rise.

    Tuning plates work good in conjuction with the baffle.

    As for your gap, I don't know. Mine is warped a little from the heat but not so much as to cause a problem. I'd suggest using some of that temp resistant edging stuff to line the openeings to form a seal. Remounting might not fix the problem and could leave you worse off than you were.

    I find that with mine, preheating is the only way to go. Once I can get the whole thing good and hot, it is much easier to maintain temp than it is if I stick meat in a cool smoker. I build my initial fire right next to inside wall of the fire chamber. The heat spreads through the metal to heat up the whole smoker a lot faster. I move the coals away from the metal side before I put meat on to eliminate the hot spot.

    With all my mods to this little smoker, I'm still lucky to get a 30 degree difference from end to end. It sucks, but you can work with it. I rotate stuff in the smoker every few hours. Not ideal, but manageable.
  20. Read the "sticky" at the top of this page titled "Char-griller Smoke and Pro with firebox mods". There's lots of ideas there and they make a huge difference. I suggest doing at least some kind of firebox mod and add baffles under the cooking grate to even out the heat.

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