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Brinkmann 810-5301-C Smoke-N-Grill Charcoal Smoker and Grill Reviews

Positive Reviews


Brinkman Smoke "N Grill - Love this cheap little smoker


Pros: Cheap, small, and did I say cheap?

Cons: Needs just a couple of mods to make it work well (Still under $100)

I got this smoker to get started smoking on the cheap.  To be honest you really need to do two things to this smoker (at a minimum) to make it a decent smoker.   1. get a grate for the charcoal and elevate it from the bottom of the charcoal pan.   I used the charcoal grate from my Weber "Smokey Joe" it fit perfectly, I added three equal sized rocks to keep it about 4 inches from the bottom of the pan and "Wow' the fire burns much better.   2. Add a thermometer to the lid, $8 at Lowes or Home Depot, the built-in temperature "Gage" is pretty useless.   That's it and I've had many successful runs of TriTip, I did do a six hour pork shoulder smoke and it was...
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Great little smoker


Pros: Easy to assemble, cooks great brisket

Cons: wind sensitive

I have been using one of these for over 25 years. It is my go to smoker for many occasions. I learned a long time ago that the wind plays into cooking with any outdoor cooker. The area of Texas where I live seems to have wind almost constantly and when it gets to about 15-20 mph it would suck the heat and smoke out the bottom of this smoker. I acquired a 55 gallon drum and cut it right at one of the rings around the side and removed the top. Now when it gets windy I just sit the drum ring around the smoker. It fits perfectly and stops any problems from the wind. I have run a constant temp of 225 for better than 10 hours.

Negative Reviews

Smokin Bark

Cheapo Entry Level Smoker


Pros: Price & Good to learn on.

Cons: Takes some work & Mods before its usable

Great entry level smoker. Takes some practice to keep the temps right. Works great after the Mods suggested on line. I like it, but will upgrade to a Weber in future.

You get what you pay for


Pros: cheap

Cons: everything else

This is a $40 smoker and it's barely worth that.  I bought this a year ago and did all the standard mods (external legs, drilled holes in coal pan, installed another thermometer which is still 50 degrees off of top grate temp), and it's still something you have to babysit.  The Weber Smokey Mountain is literally 10 times more expensive but I imagine it's because this thing is 10 times shittier.  Heat is impossible to keep consistent, and this thing is an absolute fuel hog.  be prepared to check on it every 20 min to half hour.  I'm saving up for a WSM and I can't wait.

More Reviews


Brinkman ECB Newbie


Pros: Price

Cons: Needed mods to work well

My wonderful wife bought me this smoker a few years ago. When I first opened the box, it was missing a few screws so I put it in a box. We moved cross country and I finally dug it out of storage. After a trip to the hardware store and doing the finally assembly I noticed there were no vents. I really began to wonder if it would work. After some google research and watching a couple youtube videos I found my suspicion was correct. So I did the modifications. Better Temp Gauge ($8 at HD)  Drill Holes in Fire Bowl. Turned the legs out and put fire bowl on Paver Stones ($5 HD) . For my first smoke I did Baby Back Ribs.  They turned out great.  I was able to keep the temp at...
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Good, but needs modification for best use


Pros: Cheap, works, fairly easy assembly

Cons: bad heat control.

Nice little smoker especially for the price.  It works pretty well as is, but for one big drawback.  The heat control on this thing is bad straight out of the factory.  There is not ventilation or grate for the coals so they just stew in the ash, which can snuff out the heat if you're not careful.   I added a small grate and some air holes on the side of the coal bucket, and it seems to be working much better now.

Good for a small city family


Pros: Cheap, compact size

Cons: Horrible heat control

I hav used my ECB to grill with and works great for burgers for a family of three. As a smoker I have tried a few times to smoke with it and have had alot of trouble regulating the heat on the thing. I have used a BDS and not had a problem at all. Hard to add water to when low. Good size smoker to do a whole chicken or part of a brisket

I love this smoker so far


Pros: Easy to use and good for someone with a smaller yard

Cons: Kinda hard to keep the heat from fluctuating

I bought this not too long ago once I got settled in Hawaii. So far I love it, just wish I could keep better tabs on the heat temp.

Great One to Start With


Pros: Price $38.95 (Home Depot/Walmart)

Cons: More work

This smoker is very easy to use.  I highly recommend following Jeff's modification instructions for this ECB.  I made all the suggested mods and its working great.  Its far from a set it and forget it smoker.  I have to constantly be watching the temperature and opening the door to let out heat.  I have the opposite problem than most; My smoker runs hot not cool.    Here is mine with the mods.  Coal pan with vent holes (8 in each side):   Took apart an old grate for support to raise the coals off the bottom of the pan:   Coal pan with the grate:   New thermostat:   Take a vent off an old charcoal...
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My First Smoker


Pros: inexpensive, easy to use

Cons: water pan access, charcoal pan access

Got this smoker as a gift for my first smoker. It was picked up at Wal-Mart for 26 bucks, after reading this forum and making a few Mods, ( digital thermometer, top vent, reverse the legs) it has turned out to be a reliable smoker for the past 2 1/2 years. I also picked up the adapter that transforms it into a propane smoker for those times i need to smoke but don't have the time to babysit the temp. Overall if your thinking about getting into smoking but aren't sure if you will stick with it pick up this bad boy and give it a try!!! and trust me you will get hooked!
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