I have a side firebox Brinkman that I bought at a yard sale several months ago, and have been trying to smoke things succesfully
every since. I've installed all the mods I've read about on these forums, and to say the least, I'm not satisfied. All winter long, I've had problems trying to smoke while the thing got too hot.(Winter in Florida - never tried below 50) Now today, beautiful spring weather, about 78 and brisk breeze, I embarked on my first try at buckboard bacon. Had a 5#+ boston butt that I deboned into two big, floppy pieces of meat that I had brined in a cure 1, mollasses, cajun spice and kosher salt solution for 10 days. Test fried a piece, and boy
was it salty, so soaked it in ice water with a raw potato for two hours, rinsed it off, tied it up with butchers twine, brushed with warm honey, dusted with coarse black pepper, and on the grill at 10 A.M. I can't for the life of me get the smoke chamber above 225 without building a charcoal fire I know will be way too much. Must be the wind..It's now 3 P.M., and the meat is stalled at 133 where it's been for the last hour. I've burnt over a bag of charcoal and used half a bag of hickory chunks. I've done nothing else today but tend this thing (every 15 minutes) and read the Wal-Mart jokes on the joke forum. (If you haven't been there yet, you're missing out).
So I figure this BBB has cost me about $30 ( meat + charcoal + Hickory). A guy could buy a lot of propane for that.
Been reading the posts in this forum, and I think it's time to switch over to propane. I've seen the conversion kits to convert the present smoker to propane for around $80, and have been shopping via internet for a dedicated propane smoker. Like the idea of an upright so that one could smoke a slab of bacon or hang some sausages, but hate to spend too much money on something that is either a hunk of junk, or I will outgrow almost immediately.
I'm sure some of you guys have been faced with a similiar dilemma. I'm anxious to hear what decisions you made.