My Brinkmann Mods

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by jeffed76, May 9, 2013.

  1. jeffed76

    jeffed76 Meat Mopper

    Just started smoking and have been scouring the site for good mods.  My Brinkmann had more leaks than the titanic and couldn't get above 230 degrees!  So far I have lowered the smoke stack, added two thermometers, and surrounded the grill with high temp foil tape.  The temp still isn't getting where I want (SUGGESTIONS WELCOME), but It's pretty even now.  Today I added some ceramic briquettes to help retain some heat (fingers crossed).  Tomorrow I'll be smoking some chicken.  We will see if that helps. Here are some mod pics:

  2. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Maybe stove gasket rope you can get from a fire place and stove shop would help to seal the lid..  You're off to a good start, lump charcoal would be a good addition because it burns hotter than regular charcoal.  Unfortunately it won't be very efficient for longer cooks but you'll get some great tasting foods out of it. 

    Sometimes smokers and grills you start out with you won't end up using later because you'll learn and upgrade little by little but they'll still be useful... i still use my charcoal gas combo especially for searing. 
  3. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Jeff, also adding a convection plate/baffle  will help even the heat out across the grill. 
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  4. jeffed76

    jeffed76 Meat Mopper

    So that's where I get that!!!  I was at Home Depot and asked for it and they knew what it was but were going to have to special order it.  Looks like I'll be visiting the fireplace shop this weekend :).  THANKS!
  5. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    your best bet will be a charcoal basket.. do a search for it.. you'll find many...
  6. jeffed76

    jeffed76 Meat Mopper

    Just got the stuff for it @ Home Depot today. Can't wait to get started!
  7. goinforbroke

    goinforbroke Smoke Blower

    yeah, make a charcoal basket out of expanded steel, maybe 9" x 9" x 2" height so it rides near the same height as the grate that comes with it. or whatever width the grate is in the firebox.  

    The other thing you might want to try, is to remove the top half and re-install using a 36" long stainless piano hinge (available from home depot), so that the top and bottom meet flush across the back of the cook chamber.  Bringing these together will create an "overbite" along the front and sides, but I think what you'll find is that it seals the silly thing up really good, not to mention making it much more wind resistant.  

    I did both of these on mine and it works much better now.   When I want to crank the temps up, I'll also layer a couple old beach towels across the cook chamber.  It can hit 400 with a hearty stick fire if I want to... which is great for finishing up chicken.

    btw, I like.. for the most part.. that it's NOT even from left to right.  Lets me slow some things down or speed 'em up depending on the situation, but that's just me.  
  8. jeffed76

    jeffed76 Meat Mopper

    Thanks for all the help guys!!!!  I just finished up my charcoal basket and have it filled up and smoking right now.  Here are a few pics of the build:

    That's my little helper in the first pic.  If you noticed, it only has the legs... bought one screw to short LOL.  I'll fix it later. 

  9. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      I think you will find that the charcoal basket will really help to control temps. Let us know how it works for you.

  10. jeffed76

    jeffed76 Meat Mopper

    Some how I ended up messing it up.  I tried the Minion method with a circle of charcoal around the outside of the basket and poured the hot coals in the center.  It really never got going.  Next time I'll put the new coal at the bottom with some wood and poor the hot coals on top.
  11. goinforbroke

    goinforbroke Smoke Blower

    Keep experimenting and you'll get familiar with what level of fire/heat it takes to get/keep it going.  I usually start with small load of lump charcoal from the chimney starter, and casually transition to a small wood fire.  This will give that thin-blue-smoke that everyone talks about.  Other times I'll use just charcoal with wood chunks, but it takes a pretty sizeable base of red coals to keep that smoker solid in the 200's.  Burning small splits of wood is high maintanence, but I think you'll find that the Brinkmann starts getting down to serious business with a small, tight fire.  You'll really get to play with the dampers here too. 
  12. goinforbroke

    goinforbroke Smoke Blower

    top tight against the bottom using hinge.. still need to add a couple more bolts in the middle.  $8 mod.

    The overlap keeps heat/smoke in.. wind out.  overlapping about 1.5" at the front.

    typical size of wood I use for a stick fire.  pieces of seasoned orange tree here, I also split up oak to roughly the same width/length.  Additions on 30 minute time frames.  Pretty high maintanence but I'm a 'higher temp' 8-hour pork kind of guy, so it evens out in the end.

    some 3 hour chicken from the BBQ Files..  That's the direct flow stick fire.

    Last edited: May 11, 2013
    jeffed76 likes this.

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