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Brinkmann Trialmaster Limited Edition


Pros: Good deal for the price

Cons: Gaps around firebox halves and ash pan

I picked up my TMLE maybe 4 months ago to take over smoking duties previously handled by a Char-Broil American Gourmet. Being heavier gauge steel, and with more square inches of firebox and pit space, it looked like a great choice for the price that was asked. From reading reviews on here, I figured I would probably have to use high-temp sealant on at least some joints when I put it together, but being set in my ways has it's good... I put it together with NO sealant so I could see for myself if it really needed any. Lit a curing fire that same night, got it good and hot... no problem. No sealant needed. Firebox and pit doors leak a lil bit... not a concern.

Next run was with a pork shoulder. I welded up a charcoal basket, filled it with Royal Oak lump, and had the TMLE out in the breeze. Everytime a gust would come thru, it would gain 30+ degrees on the factory gauge. I'll just say right here that the factory gauge seems to read around 50 degrees higher than grate temperature as measured with a digital thermometer. So, before my next cook, I got to looking and I see that my firebox halves didn't seal none too well on the sides. I welded the firebox halves together to keep the drafts out, and tried again with more lump charcoal. Much better, but still unstable. It's the draft coming from around the ash pan that make it hard to keep a steady temp with charcoal, so...

Time for a REAL fire! Burning only oak and hickory, the last few cooks have been great! I found that when burning only wood (really what an offset is for in my opinion) I have to open the intake damper all the way and also open the ash drawer to keep a hot, clean flame with enough draft thru the pit to keep creosote from forming and keep the temperature up. The TMLE is a stick burner alright, the only time I use any charcoal at all is to get the wood fire started, and I might throw 2 or 3 briquettes in there if I need a quick heat boost to get a fresh wood split going.

Also, if you're not pre-burning your wood (I ain't, not yet anyway) just take whatever splits you'll be burning next and put them in the firebox outside of the flame. This pre-heats them and I only get a little bit of white smoke when adding them to the fire.

So, my only mods right now are welded firebox seams, also welded a few other bits here and there like the firebox door backstop (was previously bolt-on), and I dropped in place a heavy steel plate where the charcoal racks used to be that runs maybe half the length of the pit. Just space this about 1.25 inches from the firebox opening. No additional temp gauges or anything... I've learned to figure actual grate temperature based on the factory thermometer reading. My digital one burnt up when my last charcoal "fire" got to 450+ degrees!


1 pork shoulder, 1 salmon steak, 3 fatties, and some salt all came out great after the mods. Am thinking of making bacon next.

Have not tried grilling on this and don't plan on it so I can't say how it works as far as that goes. I would think it's fine though.

A great smoker for the price, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for one that is relatively easy on the wallet but still built solid.


Pros: Heavy Duty Steel, Easy Assembly

I purchased this about a month ago and really love it.  I have smoked Tri Tips, Ribs, Chicken and Salmon so far and have not had any issues.  Although I have been grilling most of my adult life, I somewhat new to smoking.


I have read some mods people have done.  With the smoke stack on the side I was able to add a piece of 90* vent pipe that extends right above the grill.  I am very happy with my purchase and look forward to many years of enjoyment.


Pros: Size, simplicity, much better than entry-level smokers

Cons: only decent build quality, fit n' finish isn't perfect

Got this as a graduation present when I (finally) finished my bachelor's degree.  It was easy to put together, the steel and durability are much better than the $179 smokers I looked at in the Wally and Home Depot, and it's a breeze to use.  The only mod I've done so far is to add two thermos at grate level.  It holds heat well, is easy to regulate using the dampers, the firebox ash drawer is awesome, and this has a nice big area for food (for the 4th of July I did 4 beer can chickens and six racks of spare ribs, you could probably get eight butts on this thing).  The only things I might nitpick are that I wish the steel was just a little thicker and that the finish was just a little tighter.  But, for the price, this smoker is bar-none the best you'll find.


Pros: Value, easily holds temps low and slow, great quality

Cons: Difficult to achieve hot and fast temps, does not have a side door to fire box

Overall, great smoker for the money.  I picked mine up at an outlet store for $150.  So far I've added an insulating gasket to the chamber and firebox doors, and sealed every seem in the metal with high heat sealant.  Also, added a couple bricks to the cooking chamber near the fire box to stabilize temperatures.  I have never had a problem holding temp at 225 - 250 for low and slow cooks, although I do have a tough time getting it up to 325 - 350 for hot and fast cooks.  In the future I may put a baffle on the hole between the chamber and firebox to get more consistent temps from end-to-end.  This thing has put out great ribs, great brisket, great pork butt.  I love it.


Pros: Good price, for beginners. Heavier steel than I saw on other brands in the same price range

Cons: a few gaps in fire box, temp gauge not accurate

I bought this smoker back in Feb 2016. So far, I have smoked 3 briskets, a few racks of ribs, country style ribs and a pork loin. The first thing I noticed during my first cook was the temp gauge didn't seem right. I ended up borrowing my wife's oven thermometer to maintain my first cook. Since then, I have replaced the temp gauge. It is a lot more accurate now. Plus, I ended up adding a digital temp that hooks up to the grill itself inside. Other than basic adjustments, it has done very well out of the box. 


Pros: great results

Cons: some parts rust really quickly and requires replacement-mainly the firebox.

Love this grilll I'm sad to see that it's not at the stores any more, and also the firebox rusted my first season with it. It seems odd that they wouldn't make the main chamber out of the same materials because that part didn't rust.


Pros: It's easy to use.

Cons: The paint on the inside of the smoker door is blistering up.

What do I do to stop paint from blistering up. I treated it like they said in the manual and now this. Is this normal or not. If not how do I solve the problem.


Pros: affordable, easy to assemble, large cooking area

Cons: small firebox, needs mods, leaks, thermo isn't accurate



Purchased this smoker June of 2013. It was easy to put together and to do the modifications during this process.

I initially only sealed the firebox and the area between the smoker and firebox before doing my initial seasoning of the smoker. I did this so I could see the other places it would lead smoke, plus the other mods didn't require me to disassemble anything except the chimney which wasn't a problem.


I found the smoker to leak a good deal as it is mass produced as opposed to a custom smoker where you wouldn't expect to see leakage. The lid to the main cooking chamber didn't fit perfectly, it appeared slightly bent. The ash tray/box on the firebox was small and fills rather quick if you're doing a long cook.


here are the mods I did to make it operate better

  • sealed firebox and area between firebox and grill with high temp furnace blanket materal.
  • sealed every gap, screw hole and area leaking smoke during seasoning.
  • installed a 4in dryer flex tube into chimney opening and extended it to grill level
  • installed a baffle plate inside the smoker at the opening between the firebox and smoker 
  • placed 8 foil covered bricks (red bricks or any others that size)
  • installed 2 new thermos in the lid doors at opposite ends
  • raised charcoal grates by placing 3 inch hex bolts and washers on them to provide a larger space for air flow in friebox


once all these mods were completed the smoker would burn better and used less fuel, it also maintained temps better from end to end. Now the temps are within 10 degrees from the end next to the firebox and the end where the chimney is.


Pros: Can feed a small army on your backyard smoker

Cons: Don't have any

Don't have a welder at my home to seal up joints, but mine doesn't leak there, leaks a little around the doors. Got some wood stove door sealant rope and high temp silicon and solved the problem. Have used it several times and haven't had a problem with the rope falling off.


Pros: smokes alot of meat nice size

Cons: a couple of mods tuning plates and charcoal basket,caulk around firebox

No complaints on this smoker for the price. A couple of mods. smoked brisket, pork shoulder,wings,salmon doing A turkey for Thanksgiving. I am enjoying this smoker everybody loved what I smoked so far. got no complaints

Brinkmann Trialmaster Limited Edition

Brinkmann Trailmaster Limited Edition 855-6305-S

Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
Trailmaster Limited Edition855-6305-S
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