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Novice in need of advise, please help!!!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello friends-  Need some help with my Brinkmann Trailmaster LE.  I have 4 smokes under my belt with this thing and I problem I am running into I can NOT keep the heat up.  Here is what I am doing.  Chimney starter full of Royal Oak burning good goes in a charcoal basket.  Heat starts to rise and I throw on a couple of 6 inch half splits of a hardwood.  I am lucky to get thing above 225 degrees with what I am doing.  Now if I take my handy propane torch and catch the logs on fire the heat sky rockets!  Do I want the logs in the side fire box to be on fire like a fireplace and then regulate the heat with the dampners?  Any help would be appreciated as I am losing hope on this new purchase.  Thanks- Snowbuck

post #2 of 7

The wood should be placed kinda off to the side so it doesn't catch fire. Can you post a pic of the charcoal pan that your using I suspect that may be where the problem lies

post #3 of 7

I have the same smoker, had it about 3 or 4 weeks now. Are you using a charcoal basket? Oh ya just saw you are.I built one and it really helps. I made it 12" x 12" x 6". I put maybe 2 full chimneys of unlit charcoal in it, I then light about 3/4 of a chimney full of charcoal and put it on top as close to the smoking chamber as possible. I can get it up to 300, I get 4 or 5 hours of burn time this way at 250 degrees. If I use sticks I use 3/4 chimney of lit charcoal and get a good bed of hot coals then put on about 2 or 3 sticks of wood. I can get it up to 350, 400 easy, at 250 degrees I add 1 piece of wood, maybe 3" around by 6" long maybe every hour or so.

  I have both dampeners wide open tell I get to the temp I want then start shutting down the intake dampener on the fire box tell it burns steady. I have it open maybe 1/8 of an inch by the time I'm done farting around with it and she burns great. I leave the chimney one wide open.

 Does your fire go out or is it just not burning hot enough?

  I did about 6 trail burns before I smoked anything on mine, just to try n get the feel for it and see what worked the best for me. In fact, today was my first smoke on it and it went great. Did 2 chickens, didn't have any logs left so just used the little fist size pieces of wood and some kingsford I had laying around and I only had to add wood for smoke twice, 3 pieces each time in 3 and a half hours, heck it held at 230 for an hour and a half after I was done with the birds.

  Sorry such a long reply but hopes it helps.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Sorry guys, I had to fall off the grid for a while and take care of some stuff.  Thanks for the replys!  Here is a picture of the charcoal box that I made the measurements are appx. 12x12x6.  The fire does not go out, I just can not for the life of me get this thing hot enough.  I will try you techniques Tallon and see if that help.  I am getting pretty disappointed with thing right now.  Thanks for the help, any other tips or suggestions are welcomed and appreciated!!  Buck




post #5 of 7
It looks like you need to get the basket raised up off the grate about 3 inches.. better air flow and ashes can drop and not suffocate the fire
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
JD- how would you recommend raising the basket off the grate and thanks for the help!
post #7 of 7

A couple of 3 hole Bricks would get the job done...JJ

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