Brinkmann Trailmaster Vertical Smoker

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by bonesgordy, May 8, 2014.

  1. I just sold my Trailmaster horizontal smoker with modifications to purchase the new Trailmaster vertical smoker. It even came with the cover and it was $30 cheaper. Out of the box it looks to be built better than the horizontal. I only had the smoker less than two months before wanting the vertical. So far I've painted the entire firebox and crossover with Rustoleum high heat grill paint and used the Rutland sealant to put the firebox together. Considering that the highest the temperature will get is when I season it, should I paint the vertical chamber or not? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Can't help you on the paint question but I'm interested in your experience with the smoker once you get it set up the way you want it. 
  3. I made a charcoal basket out of the expanded metal from home depot. I ended up making it 10x10x7 with four eye bolts so the basket wouldn't be touching the firebox. The eye bolts are also adjustable to raise or lower the basket.
  4. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Can you post a pic of your firebox?  Sounds great!

    I'm looking to add another smoker to my backyard lineup and will either build a vertical smoker or get the Trailmaster Vertical.  I have an affinity for vertical smokers for a couple reasons.  First, from a physics standpoint, hot air rises.  Horizontal smokers work great, and work best when the horizontal hot air flow is managed with tuning plates or reverse flow design. Vertical smokers require less futzing with air flow.   

    Secondly, I have fond memories of eating delicious meat prepared in a vertical smoker.  The first time I ate BBQ that truly knocked my socks off I was in my early 20's in Kingsville, TX in 1977.  There was a little hole-in-the-wall bar on the edge of town that served mesquite, slow smoked brisket on Friday night.  Out back was a big ol' vertical smoker that looked homemade, probably from an old propane tank. I didn't know any better then about methods to smoke meat but I remember how impressed I was with the taste of the meat and efficiency of the design.  Lots of good memories at that bar.

    So please keep us posted on your progress, mods, and smoking results.  I just might be duplicating them!      
  5. I've tried uploading my photos with no success. I will keep trying. Sorry
  6. sushitampa

    sushitampa Newbie

    I'm also looking forward to hearing bout your experiences and seeing pics of your new smoker! I've been eyeing the vertical trailmaster since i first saw pics of it online few months back. Trying to somehow get it as a fathers day/birthday combo type deal LOL. I just want home depot to have one in person that i can see w/ my own eyes before diving in.

    Noboundaries - i'm with you, got love for the vertical smokers all day long!
  7. I bought mine at Tractor Supply. I'm enjoying this vertical way more than the horizontal. The temps stay steady the entire cook. I'm still trying to upload pictures but no success
  8. There is another thread about this smoker that has a lot of good info on it with a bunch of mods, you should check it out and chyme in
  9. I have the same smoker myself, I just purchased it about one month ago. I use high temp calk to seal fire box, transfer case, bolt holes and inside top rim of the chamber.
    I also purchased expanded metal from HD for my charcoal box. I've only cooked on it 3 times so far due to rain and work schedule. On the 3rd cook I finally got it up to a steady temp and she burned for almost 5hrs.
    I've been using the minion method so I'm having to learn how to cook a little different than I used to. I finally figured out what works best for my smoker.
    Could be the fact that I'm new to the smoking process as I'm used to cooking using indirect heat on my regular grill. But if any other newbies are having issue with getting up to temp, add about 50 lite bricks of charcoal to the unlite coal if using the minion method. The standard rule seemed to be around 20 to 30 but I tried that several times and it never would get above 200 degrees.
    Also, on the Brinkmann-Trailmaster-Vertical-Smoker I leave the ash door wide open! Once up to temp then I start making adjustments. Only one cook since I've figured this out so I still have some learning to do.
  10. nc landshark

    nc landshark Newbie

    I bought the same Trailmaster Vertical Smoker. I love it. Did the mods with silicone and felt and no leaks! I have used it four times and I am getting used to it. It holds temps @225-230 with a little tweaking. I keep the firebox vent about half open and the stack vent about one-third open. Very small adjustments are needed to keep the temps steady. Smoking a pork butt today. Looking forward to a great result.

    Update: I've had mine a little over one year now. I wish I would have painted it. I have kept it covered ALL THE TIME but I am getting rust spots on the firebox. I seasoned the smoker according to the instructions. Maybe just cheap metal and paint. I will have to scrape these off and then use a high temp Rustoleum paint on it. Otherwise, I love this smoker. Temps stay fairly consistent throughout the cook chamber. For a fairly cheap smoker, this one rocks.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
  11. I urge you to leave the exhaust stack wide open, and control pit temps at the firebox. A closed exhaust will promote creosote buildup -- and bitter product.
  12. I have one of these vertical Trailmasters, too.  I spent a lot of time reading thru this site, especially that OTHER thread before deciding to buy one.  Best move I've made in a while.

    This whole website is FILLED with posts that are very helpful, especially when you have NO experience with smoked food except eating it!

    I did not need to paint my cooking chamber at all.  The seasoning I did according to the instructions in the thread worked perfectly.

    Interior is fine.  Exterior is fine, too.  No peeling or anything.

    My mods are: fiberglass rope sealing the two firebox halves.  Same stuff sealing the crossover between the firebox and the CC.  (firebox end only)

    That's it.  I may use the felt on the cooking chamber door, but it only leaks a little along the very top edge of the CC door.
  13. I have had one for a year and a half now, and used it stock a couple times, for tri-tip. (here in Ca., we call it that) Worked well...but the one big door was a problem. (controlling heat/smoke) So...i did some mods myself.
    Doing a wild boar, bone-in leg today...mods helping out WONDERFULLY!!!!
  14. Oh...also, i sealed the entire unit when i got it. High temp sealant on the inside seams, top and bottom. Also, lava seal, 1" wide around the doors. Really helps control air input. Hope this helps.

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