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First fire in smoker

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone.  I just finished mods to my Brinkmann Gourmet charcoal smoker.  This afternoon I attempted to season it and get a little idea of how these things work.

 

The mods that I made were:

Make top vent (three holes with sheet metal cover)

Fiberglas rope attached with high temp silicone around lid

Three vents on the bottom with sheet metal covers

"real" thermometer

Raised the charcoal with two grates 1" above the bottom

(May open up those slotted vents some more too)

 

So, I lit a chimney of hard lump charcoal but I don't think it let it get hot enough because the smoker went up to 225F and I closed down the draft.  Then it dropped dramatically and I lifted the body off and the charcoal was barely burning.  How do you know if the charcoal is ready to put in the fire pan?

 

Also I used double nuts on the vent things and as soon as I turn the cover they get loose.  How do you guys keep it tight?  I'm getting way too much air even when it's closed.

 

Do you have to get it up to a higher temperature to season it?  It didn't go over 290 and I had varying temperatures for about  5-6 hours.

 

When you're done and want to put it away, how do to stop the burn?  Do you just let it run its course or is there a way to stop it?  I'm frugal and don't want to burn charcoal that isn't earning it's keep : )

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharryn View Post

Hi everyone.  I just finished mods to my Brinkmann Gourmet charcoal smoker.  This afternoon I attempted to season it and get a little idea of how these things work.

 

The mods that I made were:

Make top vent (three holes with sheet metal cover)

Fiberglas rope attached with high temp silicone around lid

Three vents on the bottom with sheet metal covers

"real" thermometer

Raised the charcoal with two grates 1" above the bottom

(May open up those slotted vents some more too)

 

So, I lit a chimney of hard lump charcoal but I don't think it let it get hot enough because the smoker went up to 225F and I closed down the draft.  Then it dropped dramatically and I lifted the body off and the charcoal was barely burning.  How do you know if the charcoal is ready to put in the fire pan?

 

The fuel should be ashen/grey, or glowing red-hot in low light conditions.

 

Also I used double nuts on the vent things and as soon as I turn the cover they get loose.  How do you guys keep it tight?  I'm getting way too much air even when it's closed.

 

With double-nuts on a fastener, you can tighten the two nuts against each other after you get the amount of tightness you want on the parts.

 

Do you have to get it up to a higher temperature to season it?  It didn't go over 290 and I had varying temperatures for about  5-6 hours.

 

290* should do for a while, but you may want to use up your fuel from a smoke later on to get temps up to around 350* if you can. The hotter the better to some extent, but you want to season it above the temp you expect to cook at so nothing off-gases while cooking (paint, etc).

 

When you're done and want to put it away, how do to stop the burn?  Do you just let it run its course or is there a way to stop it?  I'm frugal and don't want to burn charcoal that isn't earning it's keep : )

 

If your fire controls (intake vents) and the rest of the assembly is air-tight enough, you can choke the fire off by closing the intakes on bottom/sides. With some rigs it may take 20-30 minutes to kill the fire. If you have heat resistant gloves and a tight charcoal grill, you can move the fire to it and sniff it out there instead.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

Hope this helps you get started. I have a Gourmet myself...heavily modified as well, but somewhat different than your mods. Also have a second barrel and 2 extra grates for a stacker mod.

 

 

Eric

post #3 of 4

Im glad I read this post today! 

 

Im new to smoking and my husband just modded our Gourmet up and we are ready to season it tonight in prep for our first smoke tomorrow.  I was wondering what temp I had to get it up to.

 

How long do you suggest seasoning it at 300?
 

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by hungryinChicago View Post

Im glad I read this post today! 

 

Im new to smoking and my husband just modded our Gourmet up and we are ready to season it tonight in prep for our first smoke tomorrow.  I was wondering what temp I had to get it up to.

 

How long do you suggest seasoning it at 300?
 

 

At least 45 minutes, after slowly bringing temps up from around 225* or so. 2-3 hours total seasoning time should be sufficient to bring all components of the smoker up to stable temperatures, and the higher temp you finish the seasoning at, over and above what you expect to hot-smoke at, should allow any off-gassing to subside within 30-45 minutes, in my experience.

 

Be sure to start another thread with any smoking related questions you may have...sometimes finding info for your specific situation may not be easy, so if you can't find what you need, ask away.

 

Happy smoking!

 

 

Eric

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