First fire in smoker

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by sharryn, May 18, 2013.

  1. Hi everyone.  I just finished mods to my Brinkmann Gourmet charcoal smoker.  This afternoon I attempted to season it and get a little idea of how these things work.

    The mods that I made were:

    Make top vent (three holes with sheet metal cover)

    Fiberglas rope attached with high temp silicone around lid

    Three vents on the bottom with sheet metal covers

    "real" thermometer

    Raised the charcoal with two grates 1" above the bottom

    (May open up those slotted vents some more too)

    So, I lit a chimney of hard lump charcoal but I don't think it let it get hot enough because the smoker went up to 225F and I closed down the draft.  Then it dropped dramatically and I lifted the body off and the charcoal was barely burning.  How do you know if the charcoal is ready to put in the fire pan?

    Also I used double nuts on the vent things and as soon as I turn the cover they get loose.  How do you guys keep it tight?  I'm getting way too much air even when it's closed.

    Do you have to get it up to a higher temperature to season it?  It didn't go over 290 and I had varying temperatures for about  5-6 hours.

    When you're done and want to put it away, how do to stop the burn?  Do you just let it run its course or is there a way to stop it?  I'm frugal and don't want to burn charcoal that isn't earning it's keep : )

    Thanks in advance!
  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hope this helps you get started. I have a Gourmet myself...heavily modified as well, but somewhat different than your mods. Also have a second barrel and 2 extra grates for a stacker mod.

  3. Im glad I read this post today! 

    Im new to smoking and my husband just modded our Gourmet up and we are ready to season it tonight in prep for our first smoke tomorrow.  I was wondering what temp I had to get it up to.

    How long do you suggest seasoning it at 300?
  4. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    At least 45 minutes, after slowly bringing temps up from around 225* or so. 2-3 hours total seasoning time should be sufficient to bring all components of the smoker up to stable temperatures, and the higher temp you finish the seasoning at, over and above what you expect to hot-smoke at, should allow any off-gassing to subside within 30-45 minutes, in my experience.

    Be sure to start another thread with any smoking related questions you may have...sometimes finding info for your specific situation may not be easy, so if you can't find what you need, ask away.

    Happy smoking!


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