Here goes nothing (apart from quite a lot of most and pride)

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by somersinbloom, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Hi, I'm Rob from Worcester, England (I live 1/4 mile from the original lea&perrins sauce stinks)!
    After years of "burnt on the outside and health risk on the inside" meat on direct-heat BBQ grills - which is the only type of barbecuing we Brits understand, it was refreshing to learn about Texas style smoked brisket, ribs and pulled pork. I'm desperate to try out my new smoker with some whisky keg, oak chips that I bought and some seasoned applewood I cut last year. However I've had some setbacks: a) it's been raining and blowing a gale here since Xmas. b) the price of American smokers in this country is so much that I thought that my brinkmann gourmet would be pretty unbeatable :) ..... I've read this isn't the case. It would be great to hear from people who've had good results from one.

    Best wishes

    Ps the title was supposed to read 'money' not 'most'
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  2. Hello, Somersinbloom. Can't help you with the Brinkman, but I'm sure someone on here will. I know the Brits have that reputation for boring food but I think it must come from breakfast. Ugh. But there's nothing better than a pie and a pint in the pub. Also remember having some great smoked ham, I think the menu called it Gammon, in Bradford, 4 or 5 years ago. Couldn't name the restaurant now to save my life. Anyway, welcome to the forum
  3. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      Hi Rob and welcome. Not sure which brinkman you have.(a pic would be helpful). However, most any smoker will work well once you learn it's intricacies ! Just have to smoke more meat to learn it [​IMG]  !Keep us updated.

    somersinbloom likes this.
  4. Brinkmann 852-7080-6 Gourmet Charcoal Smoker and Grill, Green

    This is the bad boy... I've seen some modifications people have done, but drilling holes in my new baby would be like... er..Drilling holes in my new baby!
  5.   Hello Rob, and welcome to the forum. You can produce some very good food with your ECB (El cheapo Brinkman) and many of us started on one, myself included. Using it a couple of times will show you why some modifications are needed.

     Without some modification of the charcoal pan the fire will choke itself with ashes on longer cooks. Do some searching and you will find more information than you can imagine on the Brinkman. These units are a good place start smoking.

     My avatar is a picture of meat on my Brinkman.

    somersinbloom likes this.
  6. Thanks guys, glad to hear I haven't wasted my money.
    I've got an old metal draining rack I'm fashioning into a raised charcoal grate. Just waiting for the weather to pick up....and waiting....England! :(
  7. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's probably the one modification that will net the most positive result. Not sure what kinds of charcoal to which you have access in the UK, but a good, all natural lump or briquette will produce more heat and less ash then the more common (cheaper) brands of briquettes. Play around with your cooker and learn its personality and you'll soon be able to capitalize on its strengths and minimize its weaknesses. I started off with a second hand Brinkmann and while it was frustrating, it produced some pretty good food.
    somersinbloom likes this.
  8. [​IMG]Hello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything.   



  9. Hello Rob and Welcome to our addiction.  A word of warning: There is no 12 step program for this one!  Many good folk here with a load of experience that they are more than willing to share.  If you have specific questions just start a thread and someone with experience will be along soon to offer advice.  All info you can provide us with such as smoker type, location and so on will help us answer any questions you may have.  Spend some time doing some research on the forums, tons of advice and recipes already available there.  We look forward to your contributions.  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

    somersinbloom likes this.
  10. smokeymagoo

    smokeymagoo Smoke Blower

    Hello from Florida,   I also use to have the same smoker. It was great, it won't be to long before it goes from being your baby to being you project. WARNING::: Mods can become addictive. Have fun and can't wait to see some food.
    somersinbloom likes this.
  11. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Hello. I had a brinkmann gourmet for years and once I learned what it could and couldn't do , I turned out some pretty decent bbq.
    First of all , the gourmet is not an el cheapo....that is the 60 dollar " sportsmans" model , I believe. The one you have has holes all around the charcoal pan inside. Your smoker is a step up in quality from the el cheapo. So drilling holes is not the way to go. At least not right away.
    For my money , the gourmet suffers from too much airflow , not too little. My problem with it was that no matter how little lit charcoal you started with , it would all be lit in a jiffy and your temp would be soaring and then all your fuel would be used up and the temp would be falling......and to me , adding charcoal constantly was way too much work and I was very frustrated with the smoker. UNTIL......dawn broke over Marblehead and I figured out the best way to use that smoker. Which I will share.
    Step 1: fill the charcoal pan chock full.
    Step 2: light maybe 12 or 15 briquettes in a chimney
    3: dump those on the unlit.
    4: let the smoker heat up for 10 or 15 minutes
    5: put the meat on and get the lid on
    6. Cook away. Don't take the lid off. Just cook until the temp falls below 190 or so....( I say leave the lid on , but I just mean insofar as possible)
    7: at this point , if the meat isn't done , take it in the house and finish it in the oven.

    If this sounds blasphemous , I can't help it. But this is how I used that smoker for years and did not commit suicide.
    Now , sometimes you will be able to cook your meat completely on the smoker....chicken , ribs small stuff......but big hunks of meat like a pork shoulder or brisket , I would always wind up finishing indoors. The meat got plenty of smoke in the 5 or 6 hours it would be in the brinkmann and once I transferred it to a 250 degree oven , the rest was so easy. It tasted great , everyone liked it and I would not be pulling my hair out.

    Ok , having said all that , the brinkmann gourmet is a chicken cooking machine. If you like smoked chicken , just fill that bad boy up with charcoal , light up a bunch and let it rip. Whole chickens chicken parts , legs , wings....all day long.Chicken likes to be cooked hot and fast.anyway.
    Hot dogs , burgers , just use it like a grill and still get that nice smoky taste.

    Ok , I'm getting typers cramp so I'll end it here , but just realize , none of what I say is carved in stone . You have to make that smoker work for you and this is just a rough guideline from my experience...good luck , man.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
    somersinbloom likes this.
  12. Just like the one I used years ago, and still have today only with mod's. 

    Like I have said a bunch of times, I turned out some mighty fine BBQ on mine, It's not the smoker but the person doing the smoking. With that said, it is more challenging especially in cold windy weather since the ECB's are thin steel and limited on how much you can cook. That is why most of us have moved on to different types and sizes. But to get into smoking for not much money, you can't beat an ECB. Lightweight, easy to throw in the back of the truck if your going camping, to the lake, park or to a friends. Also it sure doesn't hurt to learn on one of these with the challenges it presents from time to time. Really make you a better smoker in the long run.  My 2 cents worth !!!!

    somersinbloom likes this.
  13. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Somersinbloom, welcome to the forum especially the UK Forum.

    Plenty of advice on here as you have already found out. Ask a question and you'll get at least 10 different answers!

    Smokin Monkey
    somersinbloom likes this.
  14. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I started out with a brinkman smoke n grill. I struggled for two years with charcoal and did all the modifications and did turn out some respectable Q. Then I got A propane burner to sit under there with A needle valve to control it. All I had to do was switch the legs to the outside of the unit using the same mounting holes. I then got A coffee can for wood chunks and covered it up with foil with some holes poked for oxygen flow. I could smoke at 225 degrees for 12 hours or more with only changing coffee cans a few times. So little or no tending. Then I found out about the UDS and as soon as I built one I have never looked back. I even gave my old ECB away to friends. Well, that is my story and I am sticking to it. 
    somersinbloom likes this.
  15. java

    java Smoking Fanatic

    Welcome Somersinbloom.  there is no limit to what you will learn on this site.

    I think alot of us started out on a smoker just like you have.(in fact I still use mine more than I like to admit)

    I like to think of it as "paying your dues"

    Hope your weather turns for the better so you can get started

    somersinbloom likes this.
  16. Weather still bad and due to get worse this week
    Still the swans seem to like it!
  17. 2 baby backs and and spatchcock. We're set. Slight problem: ITS STILL PISSING IT DOWN :(
  18. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Set up a brolly over that bee- atch!


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