Thermostat for a Brinkmann Gourmet Electric Smoker / Lava rocks

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by utahpaul, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. utahpaul

    utahpaul Newbie

    I just bought a Brinkmann Smoker and i am using it right now, Is there a way to hook a Thermostat to it. Also my smoker came with only a three pound bag of Lava Rocks. is that all i need? and how long do they last?

  2. Morning! If you are handy, run a forum search for "PID" in the the electric smoker sub-forum and you should find sometching that works. or, if your not too handy, run a google search for "Electric smoker PID" I forget what PID stands for, but It's basically a fancy on-off switch controlled by a microprocessor and a thermocouple.

    As far as the lava rocks, my guess is they are there for a heat mass to help control/stablize the temp (someone throw something at me if Im wrong) and will not burn up. If they do burn-up, your smoker probably melted in the process. I'm willing to bet tha 3lbs will be enough, but you can always get more from a home supply store.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  3. utahpaul

    utahpaul Newbie

    Thanks Rob for the info.
  4. Not a problem brother!
  5. I have the same smoker and wasn't satisfied with the rocks included.  They are very small, and that allows my foil wrapped wood chips able to touch the burner, which could short it out.  I bought a 5 pound bag of regular lava rocks at Lowes, put in the burner, and arraigned the rocks around it so that I can lay my foil pouches on the rocks with no fear of touching the burner.  Works as well as the small ones, with a bit more piece of mind.

    Unit works well for what it is, a basic beginners model.  I added a good grill thermometer to the domed lid, and that has helped tremendously.

    Caution....when storing outdoors, if heavy winds can get at it, it WILL blow it over, as the main body of the unit just sits on the base, and not down into it.
  6. handymanstan

    handymanstan Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Good day Paul.  I have a master forge not a Brinkmann but they are close to the same. I use three bricks and the lava rocks.

    I also put sand in the water pan.  The sand and the bricks add to the thermal mass and helps hold the temps even.  Really makes a difference in recovery time.  As for a thermostat you can use a dimmer switch or a pid to control your element.

  7. I just purchased the brinkman electric smoker (first smoker) and I also though the lava rocks were a little light. I would like to add the temp guage to the unit, anything I should be aware of before I drill the hole and install it?
  8. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Auberins makes a ready to use controller (fully assembled, just plug in your Brinkmann element).  It has a display for pit temp setting and a second for your actual meat temp.  It's a little pricy, but it is ready to use instead of a DIY kit or parts. Price is $215, but you should be able to do low temp smokes with a pellet tray or tube added as well.  The Brinkmann "as is" is a always on element.

    The Brinkmann should have a 1,500 watt electric element, and this controller is rated to handle up to 1,800 watts.

    They also sell parts to build you own.  Would be less expensive, just make sure your relay can handle the wattage of the element if you build one.

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  9. Should I smoke my Turkey on the grill or in a tin foil pan???
  10. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Does the Brinkmann electric have two grates or one? I know the charcoal model does.  If it has two, I would put the turkey on the top grate and then sit a disposable pan on the lower grate to catch the drippings which can be used for gravy later.  You want to get the smoking/cooking temp to around 350 degrees.  Not sure how much temp control you will have "as is", since the brinkmann electric element is on 100% of the time normally.

    If you can, use a "natural" turkey and not an "enhanced" one.  You can then make your own brine (and search here as there are a lot of posts on brines and how to make them) which will make the turkey more flavorful and moister.   If all you can find is an "enhanced" or processed with a "XX" percent salt or brine solution, then it was brined before it was packaged.  DO NOT re-brine an enhanced bird or it will be way too salty.  The majority of chicken and turkeys you will find in your average grocery store are enhanced, but either way this will be marked on the packaging.

    You can rub, oil, or do a lot of things to flavor the turkey.  Just search some other posts and pick your method.  You have lots of options....

    As to smoke, I would think you could just make a foil pouch of wet chips with a few small holes poked in the top and sit it on the element & lava rocks.  Start another thread and let us know how it comes out (photos too!).
  11. Will do! Thank you!

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