Hi Dutch -
I just used my low key rub of garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and cajun spice. With a bit of butter this makes a great mixture for injecting into the meat before cooking. Sometimes I'll add a bit of soy sauce to that but it usually goes in and on everything. I also added basil and oregano to the water pan it really gets the Italian smells in there. Yeppers I'm Italian!
The Brinkman All in One is a better smoker than a charcol grill. If you want to grill burgers or anything fast you need to use the gas or electric option or you'll be sending your guests home hungry.
As a smoker - I did have to drill 5 little holes all around the top and 12 around the sides to control the heat as there is no air flow adjustment. I'll have to cut one in.
There is no door to put the charcol or wood chunks in so you have to lift the whole thing up off the fire box to get it in. That got really old after about five hours.
This thing is supposed to be able to cook 50 lbs. of food at once. I don't know - it'd be so packed in there, there would be no air flow.
It does make a great turkey fryer, steamer or beer brewing station and the stand is built better than most.
Over all I'd say:
It will work fine as a smoker, better when I modify it a bit
Lousy as a standard family charcol grill
Okay as a gas grill
I didn't buy the electric option but I think it'll bake like an oven
Okay as a smoker grill - I always grill with wood chips so that's a plus
Great as a turkey fryer/steamer
If your looking to grill burgers this is not your grill. If you want a multi tasking unit that smokes and a turkey fryer it's not a bad deal. It does not come with the pot or strainers.
I do think that having to take the top off to add fuel is dangerous.
If you grill or smoke on a wood deck or something other than concrete do not buy this unit to use charcol or wood! It is too easy to accidentally knock a hot ember out of this unit and start a fire.
Brinkman are you listening?
How's that Dutch?