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Brinkmann Vertical Gas Smoker, 810-5530-S

Posted

Pros: Inexpensive, good to experiment and learn with

Cons: Poor design = poor results

The Brinkman gas-powered smoker was my very first.  I was new to smoking meat and I figured it was an inexpensive way to learn.  I read multiple books, I attended Richard McPeake's BBQ class and I bought a lot of supplies.  However, no matter how carefully I followed the recipe or how attentive I was to the smoker, I always got poor results.  The ribs were too dry.  The brisket never got tender enough.  etc...

 

My main gripe with this smoker was that it does a terrible job of retaining humidity - which is key to a good smoke. I used a water pan for every cook, and I even topped-off the water every few hours.  I mopped or sprayed my ribs and brisket to keep it moist.  Yet, all my cooks wound-up far too dry.  I suspect there are too many openings and gaps in the sheet metal that allow humidity to quickly seep out.  In particular, from underneath.  Lots of gaps there due to the gas burner mechanism.  It was very frustrating.

 

I will admit that using gas made it very easy to get to a target temperature.  However, if I recall correctly, I could never get the temp below 250.  Even on the lowest setting, the gas just made it too hot to achieve temps between 200-225.  I also didn't like the taste of the food using gas.  It wasn't bad (no worse than a gas grill) but doesn't come close to the flavor of using lump charcoal.  You're really missing-out on something wonderful if you're smoking meat using gas.

 

The overall quality was fair.  Stamped sheet metal. I suspect the racks were not stainless steel, but something cheaper that might rust over time. 

 

I eventually pitched this smoker.  I didn't even give it away I hated it so much.  I later purchased a ceramic "egg-type" smoker and realized what I was missing.  

 

I'd recommend you don't waste your money on this smoker.  Save-up a little more, and purchase a better entry-level smoker like the Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM).  Once you catch the BBQ bug, then you'll start saving-up for a high-end stick or ceramic smoker and you'll love the results.

Posted

Pros: i havent used it yet

Cons: havent used it yet

I recently bought this at a garage sale. this will be my first smoker. i looked up the user manual and it doesnt really specifie what pan goes first does wood chip pan go right ontop of the flame and then the water pan?

 

also whats the purpose of the water?

 

any help would be great thnks

Posted

Pros: Turn switch heating, moist heat

Cons: non insulated walls

I have two of these cookers, we do 12 slabs of baby backs at a time.

It gets a high rating from me due to its price for what you get.

Posted

Pros: Price, cooking space, rack height control, compact

Cons: Weak magnetic door latch, flimsy legs, thermometer

This is great for the guy (or gal) who loves to smoke on a regular basis but doesn't have the luxury of time to stoke the coals every 10-15 minutes. It combines the ease of cooking with propane with the flavors and fun that we all enjoy about cooking low-and-slow bar-b-que, with all the right trade-offs.

 

The benefits of this propane smoker are:

- High heat setting can get chips/wood smoking in about 2 minutes, which gives you planning control. (This also aides in crisping skin at end of poultry/chicken smoke.)

- Does an excellent job maintaining a temp over many hours. (Top-off wood and water pans right before going to bed on overnight smokes)

- Quick cooking temp recovery after door opening or water pan refill, saving you time.

- Compact unit stores easily out of the way in corner of garage, shed, or deck. Also unit is easy to move to avoid grease drip stains on your patio/deck during cooking.

- If burner unit is clean and operating properly, absolutely no impact on taste of food.

- Safer to use than charcoal in drought striken areas. (Just ask Jeff!)

- Excellent for cooking multiple different things at once (assuming similar cooking temps, like with pork butt and beef brisket. If you put the pork butt on the upper rack it will naturally baste the brisket located on the rack beneath as the fat renders during cooking. Yum!)

- Low consumption of propane. (Saves $$)

 

Points of concern with this propane smoker:

- The built-in analog thermometer is inaccurate, but consistent. Use a digital thermometer and see how far off the analog one is. That way, in the future you won't need to break out the digital everytime, because you'll know what the difference is on the analog thermometer.

- I was initially concerned during unit assembly because the metal felt a little thin/flimsy, but after two years, 25 pork butts, 6 Briskets, salmon, lake trout, lots of chicken, sausage, and three cleanings, I find it has held up better than expected and overall is acceptable. The legs could be more robust though.

- The doors are held closed mangetically. While it doesn't open during smoking/cooking, it can be a bit nagging at times

- The three stacked racks provide lots of cooking space, but each rack itself is circular in shape and limited in space. Therefore the compactness of this unit does not allow for cooking large packer briskets, whole pork shoulders, or full slabs of spare ribs. (You can still cut the meat to fit, which works fine for me. My plan was, learn with this unit, then tell the wife I need to upgrade my smoker to do bigger stuff!)

- Other reviewers mentioned the inability to maintain low heat, which is true at first, but I have a tip;

1. To begin, the dial valve is set to "off" at the 12 o'clock position.

2. To ignite, you push and turn it left to snap the spark igniter at 9 o'clock which is also "High" when burner is lit.

3. From 9 o'clock high, one can continue turning left to 6 o'clock to get the low heat setting. (6 is where people have trouble b/c it is the lowest setting on the dial and burns at around 225-250 degrees.

4. But, if I need lower temps, I simply turn the knob back towards 12 as if to shut it off, but instead stop at around 10 o'clock. Keep your eye on the burner as you do this and watch the flame shrink and grow as needed and you'll see what I mean. I've gotten it as low as 190 degrees and maintained.

 

In summary, as of summer 2011 Home Depot has begun selling a more "deluxe" version of this smoker, which my brother purchased. I would recommend going with that one. The burner controls easier, the door is better insulated with nicer handles, and is overall a bit higher quality feeling. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about what I've written above.

 

 

Posted

Pros: Lots of rack space, easy to use, makes good food

Cons: Hard to keep the temp low, thermometer on door is junk

This is my first smoker, been using it for 7 months.  Overall, it works pretty good.  Definitely have to use an external thermometer, the one on the door is way off.  Also, hard to keep the temp down low enough.  Other than that, it has been working great!

Posted

Pros: easy to use

Cons: touble getting the temp LOW (about 250 is the lowest)

I have had this smoker for a few years now. It is pretty nice. You have to add wood about every 30-40 minutes. I have not been able to get the temp bellow 250.

Posted

Pros: Inexpensive way to get into smoking

Cons: too small for whole racks of ribs, whole briskets or shoulders

Great little smoker.  I used the boo boo out of mine for several years.  On lowest gas setting would maintain 225 according to supplied gauge.  Cooked so many butts I couldn't even estimate.  Cooked 3 picnics at one time for church function and they came out perfect.  Sips propane which is another plus.  HD is the only place you can get this particular unit.  Not even on Brinkman's website last time I checked.

Posted

Pros: Inexpensive propane smoker

Cons: Flimsy, low runs at 270 degrees

I bought the Brinkmann after reading the reviews but was not fully expecting it to be as cheaply made as it was.  The electronic start barely works so I use a lighter.  It seems to do the job, so if you don't expect too much you won't be disappointed.

Brinkmann Vertical Gas Smoker, 810-5530-S
Description:

If you love smoked flavored meats and vegetables, you will want this Brinkmann vertical gas smoker for your next grilling event. Made from heavy-gauged steel, this vertical smoker features double door access to food and water pan. The 12,000 BTU's stainless steel burner provides consistent heat output. Easy integrated ignition for quick start. Heat indicator is located front door. Propane tank is not included.

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