Originally Posted by somersinbloom
Brinkmann 852-7080-6 Gourmet Charcoal Smoker and Grill, Green
This is the bad boy... I've seen some modifications people have done, but drilling holes in my new baby would be like... er..Drilling holes in my new baby!
Hello. I had a brinkmann gourmet for years and once I learned what it could and couldn't do , I turned out some pretty decent bbq.
First of all , the gourmet is not an el cheapo....that is the 60 dollar " sportsmans" model , I believe. The one you have has holes all around the charcoal pan inside. Your smoker is a step up in quality from the el cheapo. So drilling holes is not the way to go. At least not right away.
For my money , the gourmet suffers from too much airflow , not too little. My problem with it was that no matter how little lit charcoal you started with , it would all be lit in a jiffy and your temp would be soaring and then all your fuel would be used up and the temp would be falling......and to me , adding charcoal constantly was way too much work and I was very frustrated with the smoker. UNTIL......dawn broke over Marblehead and I figured out the best way to use that smoker. Which I will share.
Step 1: fill the charcoal pan chock full.
Step 2: light maybe 12 or 15 briquettes in a chimney
3: dump those on the unlit.
4: let the smoker heat up for 10 or 15 minutes
5: put the meat on and get the lid on
6. Cook away. Don't take the lid off. Just cook until the temp falls below 190 or so....( I say leave the lid on , but I just mean insofar as possible)
7: at this point , if the meat isn't done , take it in the house and finish it in the oven.
If this sounds blasphemous , I can't help it. But this is how I used that smoker for years and did not commit suicide.
Now , sometimes you will be able to cook your meat completely on the smoker....chicken , ribs small stuff......but big hunks of meat like a pork shoulder or brisket , I would always wind up finishing indoors. The meat got plenty of smoke in the 5 or 6 hours it would be in the brinkmann and once I transferred it to a 250 degree oven , the rest was so easy. It tasted great , everyone liked it and I would not be pulling my hair out.
Ok , having said all that , the brinkmann gourmet is a chicken cooking machine. If you like smoked chicken , just fill that bad boy up with charcoal , light up a bunch and let it rip. Whole chickens chicken parts , legs , wings....all day long.Chicken likes to be cooked hot and fast.anyway.
Hot dogs , burgers , just use it like a grill and still get that nice smoky taste.
Ok , I'm getting typers cramp so I'll end it here , but just realize , none of what I say is carved in stone . You have to make that smoker work for you and this is just a rough guideline from my experience...good luck , man.