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GrillPro 31840 Heavy-Duty Vertical Charcoal Smoker

33% Positive Reviews


Pros: Everything there to modify, rack space

Cons: Bad engineering

This smoker really does suck... that having been said, the basics are all there for you to make it useful.  As you will find out, if you use it in it's recommended configuration, you will find it very difficult to get this baby up to 200 degrees F.  The good thing is that you can pick them up used on craigslist for a steal!

SO, you must rearrange it a bit to make it useable.  Step 1)  leave the charcoal tray where it is... on the bottom.  It will now become your ash collection tray.  Step 2)  go out and buy one of those inverse pyramid looking vegetable cooking baskets for the grill - the one with all of the holes in it, and handles on either side (for example: Weber Style 6434 Professional-Grade Vegetable Basket)  this vegetable basket will become your new charcoal holder.  The handles will allow you to slide it where the wood-chip holder previously was.  This is good, because now it is elevated  - allowing air to circulate all around.  Step 3) position your wood-chip holder above the new charcoal basket.  Step 4) position the water pan above the wood-chip holder.  Now you are almost ready for makin bacon...  Step 5) fill the wood chip holder with soaked wood chips. Step 6) fill the new charcoal basket with hot coals. Step 7)  fill the water pan with BOILING HOT WATER!!!  The water acts to keep the heat stable (as a heat sink) and keeps your food moist.  It is critical that the water be pre-boiled otherwise all of the heat will go into heating the water, rather than cooking your food.  Note:  you do not need to use water if you intend on making jerky or salmon or some other dried form of smoked food.  But the moisture will help in getting the smoke to bind to and penetrate your food item, such as a roast, shoulder, etc...
Now you have a useable smoker that will easily achieve 250 degrees F in 10 minutes with vents only half open.  I have found that the charcoal needs to be replenished about every 2 hours.  Don't worry about all of the smoke coming out the door seam, you do need some air flow to prevent creosote buildup on your food... and to make the neighbors jealous.


Pros: Easy use and setup

Cons: Lost heat and smoke

I ended up just doing my mods for this unit, I added a door seal and latchs to keep the door shut. Should help with the heat and smoke. Over all the smoker has worked ok, was never happy about the amount of smoke coming out the door. I think I lost heat too. Never the less it got the job done.


Door seal in place

wax paper to keep the door seal from sticking wile its setting up.



Pros: Cost, size

Cons: Heat loss, thermometer

Being a part time "smoker", I was looking for something that was easier to use than the standard Brinkman tube (which had finally given up on me after 10 years) when I saw this on sale at a big box store outside of Chicago.  It looked great - plenty of room, no need to pull half the thing apart when adding charcoal, easy to baste on all layers.  Since I usually smoke a large turkey and ham for Easter, this looked like it would be a hit.


I got it home, and I have to admit, it went together fairly easily without any problems/dents/missing parts.  I seasoned it with half a bag of lump charcoal, and that's when I realized that the thermometer sucked.  It sticks and likes to jump 20-40 degrees at a time (up and down).  I've learned to deal with that by getting an auxillary thermometer (what do you expect for $130).  But I also noticed that the door leaked a lot of smoke, and charcoal really didn't seem to last as long as it should.  Parts of it will be completely ashed over in certain parts of the coal tray, and other chunks have hardly burned.  Once I started using it, that's when  also realized that it took MUCH longer to get meat up to desired temperatures.


Bottom line - it does an OK job, but plan on using more charcoal, and plan on multiplying the cook time by at least 1.5 - if it's colder outside, even more and longer.


Pros: lots of room

Cons: does not hold heat needs lots of mods to work properly

all I can say is it is very similar to the brinkman that looks just like it and the same mods are required. I have been following brinkman threads to figure mine out


Pros: size

Cons: temp maintainence

I received this as a christmas present a couple years ago, and have found that it doesn't maintain it's heat very well.  Although I have not given up on it, I have heard of some options for getting it to hold heat better that I have yet to try: using wood instead of charcoal, & only opening vents partially at bottom instead of wider.


Pros: Low price, large capacity, cast iron wood chip box

Cons: Poor heat control, leaky door, cheap thermometer

I got one one of these on sale at a big box hardware store in Michigan.  The first thing I did was mount it on a 3/4" plywood platform with casters and install a side shelf.  That made it mobile and a little easier to work with.  After a couple of uses I decided that the door was too leaky so I made a gasket out of hi temp RTV and installed a latch to keep it closed tight.  After all that, it was starting to get cold outside in Michigan.  That's when I discovered how difficult it was to get the thing up to temperature and hold it there due to the heat loss through the thin metal doors.  Wrapping with blankets helped, but it was a struggle to keep the temp up, especially when using the water pan.  I had to get an electronic thermometer because the one built into the door was so inaccurate.


All that said, though, this thing has plenty of room inside and it has a huge cast iron box for wood chips.  I was able to make some delicious pulled pork, smoked chicken, and smoked sausage during the few months I had it.  I had to sell it when we moved, unexpectedly, out of state.  I never did get to use it during the summer, but I suspect it would have held the temperature just fine.


Now that I am moved, I don't think I will get another one of these, but if you're on a tight budget, it will do the trick.  Think about the propane model if you want to use it during a cold winter.

Smoker 1.JPG

GrillPro 31840 Heavy-Duty Vertical Charcoal Smoker

The GrillPro Heavy Duty Vertical Charcoal Smoker features a 24 gauge welded steel 4.4 cubic foot cook box with 3 fully adjustable chrome cooking grids. Also features 12 stainless mean hanging hooks and porcelain coated steel water bowl and drip pan. The heavy duty cast iron smoker box features adjustable side and rear air vents for precision heat control and door mounted accu-temp thermometer for perfect smoking time after time.

BindingLawn & Patio
FeatureMeasures approximately 25 by 22 by 43-1/2 inches
Height43.5 inches
Length25 inches
Width22 inches
Product GroupLawn & Patio
TitleGrillPro 31840 Heavy-Duty Vertical Charcoal Smoker
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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