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Brinkmann Trailmaster Limited Edition - Page 12

post #221 of 1000

I agree.  I have installed one at each end, and they are about 5 deg F of from each other, and about 50-75 lower than the factory thermo at the top.  Great upgrade. 


I still have issues with my temp control, but now I have the issue of my Temps being too low.....not too high like before.  I use the minion method and depending on how much and / or dryness of my wood, etc it is hard to keep the unit at or anywhere above 250.  If I put a ton of dry wood and chips in there, once they all finally catch on fire, then it shoots up over 300-350!!!   not good.


I guess this is still at the trial and error stage for me....I am only at the 7th time I have used it.

post #222 of 1000
Thanks for the tips guys. I found a pack of ten of the desires grommets nearly the size I want for about $6 from Zoro tools, and then a google search took me to the Mavrick website. Silicon grommets, rates for 500 degrees, designed for the et732 for $6. The order has been placed. I'll post pics of the mods when weather, work, and school conspire to let me finish them all. I've got a custom aluminum exhaust extender built, nearly there.
post #223 of 1000
post #224 of 1000

I saw one of these at the local BJ's and have been thinking about it ever since. I've been looking for a horizontal offset for a while. But having learned the hard way many times before that you get what you pay for I'm a bit skeptical of spending $300 on a smoker this sized and by such a large (cheap grill brand name). Granted I have a brinkmann bullet smoker that while not being the best has lasted me quite some time and performs great.


How much in total have some of you spent on mods? and what are the most worthwhile?

I have a coal basket I think I can retro fit into this, but I am also thinking the tuning plates and the 90* exhaust extensions are a must as well. i would seal it while I put it together. Is the 500* sufficient?


How well does it hold up over the years? I'm not terribly worried about rust, more about sagging, warping, fatigued parts etc etc.


My birthday is coming up this week and this would make a great gift to myself :)

post #225 of 1000

I would spend and extra $100 or so and get a Oklahoma Joe Longhorn from Lowes.


I bought one in January and could not be happier.


Its heavier duty than the Brinkman.


Just for example, look at how the legs are attached to each.


On the Brinkman, there is a sqaure flange on the upper part of the leg and 4 little bolts that hold it to the body. Looks real flimsy to me.


On the OK Joe, there are 1/4" pipe sockets welded to the body, and the legs are inserted into them and held in place by set bolts.


Just one example.


Another quick thing to check is what both units weigh.

post #226 of 1000

Just started reading about the Brinkmann Trailmaster.  How does it last?  How many years?  It looks great.  A bit more than I wanted to spend, but if its worth it, I am will to try.  Let me know if it is a good buy. 

post #227 of 1000
I think a lot of this has to do with personal preference. For example, my dad has a UDS but I prefer horizontal smokers because I have easy access to both all of the food and the fire. I have not found a horizontal smoker for the same price as the TMLE that is its equal in terms of metal thickness and construction. Obviously the more money you spend the more options you have, but that's my opinion. I have not had mine for more than a year but it weathered a Chicago winter with nothing to protect it but the cover and it was/is in good shape.

As for cost of mods, I spent about $5 on high temp silicon and the same on some high temp paint. $20 for the expanded metal for the coal basket(and that is a high cost). You can get a dryer hose for an extension for around $5, but I opted to use a piece of aluminum to form a custom extension that takes up much less space.$11 for the aluminum and bolts to mount it. The only other thing (and from what I have read this is true for all 'cheap' smokers) are some new thermometers, and that can vary in price from $20 to $70 depending on the type and quantity of thermos being used. I hope to have pics of my extension mod up middle if next week.

I hope that helps.
post #228 of 1000

Thanks.  If nothing else, it has been a lot of fun looking at all the options and of course dreaming of some of the BIG DADDY's.  hahaha.

post #229 of 1000

I bought the TMLE just this last March, and for the money and a little work , its just fine. Its no Yoder or Horizon thats for sure.

I started with a Master Forge propane and used that for about a year and a half, it just did not have room in it.

Always had to cut the ribs in half to fit.

So I looked at a few in my price range. $ 299. for the TMLE and $ 450. or more for the Okie Joe.

I took my calipers and measured the metal thickness of both, and yes the Okie Joe is a hair thicker, but that was not worth

another $ 150. or more to me. They would be as good the TMLE, just my opinion. Plus not knowing if I was going to like smoking this way, it is more challenging.

I did the mods to it, I sealed every nut and screw and mated surface. Season it and being that I live in western Washington, I just got to

use it yesterday. Did a breakfast fattie and a small brisket. As you can see they came out great and tasty. Maybe some day I could afford

a $ 800.00 or more offset, but for now the TMLE works. You be the judge.


post #230 of 1000

I have had my TMLE since March and I am still trying to figure stuff out.  I have posted and commented quite a bit on this thread and have appreciated everyone's comments and suggestions.  Just an update from me, and possibly some help for someone new who joins.  I have used my TMLE 4 times so far since i purchased it.  All mods are completed with the exception of the baffle and plates.  I couldn't wait for them, had to start smoking.  I have done 2 Boston butts for pulled pork, 2 whole chickens, 4 split chicken breasts, pork steaks, smoked sausage, 2 baby backs, and, just yesterday, a 4lb brisket.  With the exception of one of the Boston butts, everything has turned out great!  The one Boston butt did not pull apart at all.  Not sure why. Inner temp was good, flavor was good.  It was tough.  While most smokes turned out good, I struggled with keeping temps above 180-200 degrees.  I was burning a lot of lump charcoal and cooking times were a lot longer than anticipated.  So, back to yesterday's brisket.  I see that there are several people that are (or were) struggling with temp problems in this thread.  I remembered reading a post on here that someone said that the TMLE works better with wood than charcoal (at least for him it did).  Of course I remembered this AFTER I had started my lump.  I dumped my lump into the basket, closed everything up, and began to heat the chamber.  While it was heading up, I loaded the chimney up with some lump hickory and fired it up.  After it was ready, I dumped it on top of the lump.  That thing shot up to 300 plus!  However, with a little adjusting of the intake, I got her cooled down to about 220 both sides.  The great thing is that it stayed steady and I didn't have to mess with it too much.  A little adjusting every hour or so.  I found out that I can control my temps better with using wood, or maybe a mixture of wood and lump.  The brisket turned out great!  I hope this is helpful to someone...It was just my experience....yesterday anyway.  Who knows.  It may be totally different on my next smoke!!  Here is a Q-view of my brisket:




post #231 of 1000
Great looking food guys!

I was able to get my mods done and do a cook yesterday. Here are the results:

Here is the 'finished' TMLE. If it looks a little dull compared to most that is because it has received a first coat of high temp automotive paint, rated for 2,000 degrees.

On each side I have high temp silicon grommets. These came from Maverick and fit the ET732 like a glove:

A McGyvered deflection plate made from a past its prime half sheet pan:

My pride and joy on this project, the exhaust stack extension:

No, it's there, really, just look around the corner:

I found that I lost no usable cooking space with this extension, and at 2x6 inches it has the same area of air flow as the manufacturer's opening.

I also did the silicon seal and the coal basket (10 inch square base with 7 inch sides). My future brother in law used his boiler maker skills to cut the expanded metal for me, and as a thanks I made the following . . . OK, I apologize for no in-smoker Qview, I got too distracted with everything, but here are pics of the finished products:

We had stuffed mushrooms w/bacon and ABTs. They were stuffed with my homemade garlic, herb, and cheese dip. Per recommendations on these forums, I had the veg in for 2 hours. The ABTs were fine, but the mushrooms took on too much smoke. If I do the mushrooms again I'll take them out after an hour and finish them in the oven. The meat was pork chops. I brined them in a basil lime mixture. They were juicy and flavorful. The applewood goes so good with pork. As you can see from the smoke ring the exhaust extender did its job nicely. The last picture is applewood smoked Kosher salt. You know, for those days when you don't have time to smoke some food but really want some. In all, I was able to get the above veg (on stackable cooking racks), the salt, 8 chops, and 8 ears of corn on at one time. I had trouble with temp experiencing anywhere from 50 - 90 degrees difference from end to end. I was not expecting that much. But, a lot of this could be due to poor positioning of the smoke relative to the wind and a learning curve with using the Minion method for the first time. Plus, I'm about ready to give up on natural lump charcoal. I've tried two different brands now and the inconsistency in size is really frustrating in maintaining an even heat among the coals. I may try briquets next. We'll see. Ribs tomorrow for an early Mother's Day, hopefully that will go well.

Thank you all for your comments on this thread. They were in valuable in making these mode. And, oh, the ET 732 is worth it.
post #232 of 1000

I agree with you on the lump charcoal, I used it when I seasoned mine and got the same burning results.

For my saturday smoke I used briquets and the ash was pretty thick after 8 hours and cause me some temp problems.

I will use the lump next time, so I will see which I stick with.

Thats a cool stack extension, you make it or find it that way ?

Happy smokin to ya.

post #233 of 1000
Thanks, I made the stack extension out of a sheet of untreated aluminum and four stainless steel bolts/washers/nuts (they were the only kind I could find without zince or temperature issues). I was able to get it from a Mendards for $10 (and it was big enough to make two extensions). Two of the bolts secure the cut flaps to the sides and the other two secure it to the wall, high temp silicone was used to seal cracks and help to secure the flaps to the walls.
post #234 of 1000

I love the stack extensions!  Very nice!  I will have to remember that if I decide to revamp mine.  Food looks great!  looks_great.png

post #235 of 1000

Very nice work!  That stack extension is awesome.


To this day I still have a 30-50 degree difference from end to end but it really doesn't bother me. I try to hit 210-220 on the left and 240-250 on the right, plenty of room in there so I just shuffle as necessary and it works great for me.  Did a 12 lb untrimmed brisket on Sunday.  The one photo is washed out so you can't see the smoke ring but wow was it good.  In the brine for 24 hours, rubbed it down that morning, 13 hours on the smoker with the last 3 wrapped in foil.





post #236 of 1000

Nice lookin' brisket there, Dabeve!  bravo.png

post #237 of 1000

I would like an opinion on emptying your ash while your smoking without getting it everywhere.

What are some of the methods used.

I always have a breeze going, but it needs to get cleaned out to keep temps up.

Thanks for any input.

Happy smokin .

post #238 of 1000

Alright guys I'm a Newb on here and rightfully so.  I just got my first smoker for my birthday this a week ago and I got the Brinkmann TMLE.  I'm excited to smoke on it for the first time on friday for my actual birthday.  I have been reading all of the forums on here and other sites every night for hours for ideas on what to do with it first.  So I had to get it early to get all of the mods on it that i have been reading about.  


Mods I have done:

    Two extra River Country Thermos on the pit door

    Minion Basket

    Sealed all Cracks on the unit

    Extended Stack to the cooking Grate

    Tuning plates and Baffle made of 16g Sheet metal

    Two Clamps to hold door tighter against the barrel

    Drilled two holes beside the door and put a High Temp grommet for the Maverick Digital Thermo i bought for it.


I have done one test run on it to season it before i completed all of the mods on it so i will be doing another test run tomorrow to see how it works with it being sealed and having the Minion Basket in there.  From what i could tell from my first burn was even with the baffle and plates not there i had a 10 degree difference across the board, hoping to drop that down to nothing.  Also it was really hard without the basket to keep the temp at a constant 220-225 so i'm hoping that the basket fixes this issue as well.  Thank god for these forums because i would be so lost without them.  I have some pictures of the smoker and on friday i will have some pictures of my first smoke.  I will be doing a 7 lb Brisket and 4 racks of ribs. So without keeping you any longer i will get to the pictures of the smoker.  Like i said again Thanks for everybody posting their tips and tricks here on the forum for all to see.











So Guys tell me what you think...

post #239 of 1000
I think it looks great, mikekemp50! Nice pics of your mods. Just don't forget Qviews of your smoke! Look forward to seeing those!
post #240 of 1000
Originally Posted by Smokin NW View Post

I would like an opinion on emptying your ash while your smoking without getting it everywhere.

What are some of the methods used.

I always have a breeze going, but it needs to get cleaned out to keep temps up.

Thanks for any input.

Happy smokin .

I'm having one of my factory guys make a deeper ash box out of stainless steel. I'll post some photos when it's done.

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