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Newb: Electric Brinkman smoker report

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
A few weeks ago, I picked up an electric Brinkman from the local Lowe's. Given that it's not exactly grill season here in CT, pickins were slim to say the least. I managed to get the last one they had in a somewhat beatup box. My quick inspection in the middle of the store showed it had everything and wasn't damaged...score!

Last weekend, I smoked a precooked ham. It actually came up to temp faster than I thought. I was worried about drying it out, so I pulled the plug...then plugged it in for another hour before we ate. It came out pretty good, but I felt it could have been smokier. I was also using homemade chips (dried applewood) and I have a feeling I cut them too small. (1/2" chips roughly)

Yesterday, we did a 4.5lb chicken. It was brought up to room temp, we put some lemon slices and and fresh herbs under the skin and rubbed the outside with Kosher salt. This time, I created chunks that were about 3-4" long and about 1/2-3/4" thick. Also we tossed some lemon and herbs in the water pan. The ol' remote thermometer came in real handy on this smoke.

Of course, I decided to do this on one of the coldest days we've had since last winter. Highs yesterday were in the 20's. I did the smoke on our covered porch, so that kep the wind away as it's only open on two sides and has a roof.

The book that came with the Brinkman said it would take 4-5 hours. That was actually pretty accurate. By last last hour hour and a half, I noticed the temp was rising, but not nearly as fast as it was earlier. We were able to get the bird up to 176 (just shy of the recomended 180) and then tossed it in the oven for about 5-7 minutes just to be safe.

Given the ouside temps, I thought that was a pretty decent time frame for smoking. (Any thoughts?)

The chicken was unreal. The applewood gave it a wonderful smokey flavor. I usually like some type of homemade gravy on chicken or turkey, but I was just as happy to eat this stuff "dry". The skin had almost a bacon like taste to it.

All in all, what a fun toy. I know it's not a traditional/pursuits type smoker, but for ease of use and end result, I'm very very happy with it. biggrin.gif
post #2 of 16
Hey Glenn Wecome to SMF! Stop by the Roll Call forum and introduce yerself. There's a small amount of decorum here ya'see :{)

And the 180° thing has been changed to 165 recently. But... I still go to 175-ish and tent it. Matter of fact, we brought this year's bird at my ma's to 168,and I STILL seen stuff near the big bones i din't want to.

And just wait... you'll need BOTH hands to pat yer back after a short while here!
post #3 of 16
Congrats on the new smoker Glenn. I'm sure you'll be putting out a lot more good food with it soon. I usually use cherry on the hams I smoke. It gives a good color and nice flavor too.

Stop by Roll Call and introduce yourself so everyone can give you a big Hello!

Thanks for sharing.. Looking forward to more posts from you!
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
No kidding? That's good to know about the 165. I did feel that some of the breast meat was a tad dry. I think I'll try the 175 and then tent it. How long do you usually tent it for?

What temp do you usually let them ham get up to? I was shooting for about 140.

Thanks for the welcomes!
post #5 of 16
Insert yout digital thermom into the deep breast just off the wishbone and watch for 170 and small change. 10-15 min maybe. And try brining that boid...really improves the moistness and you can cook it to 190, i swear. Well, not here, it's a family joint heh!
post #6 of 16
Pre-cooked to 140ish - Uncooked to 160ish
post #7 of 16
Glenn.........maybe next time, you mite want to brine your bird.........many of us do......really helps with the moisture of the bird

and welcome.........see you at roll call
post #8 of 16
welcome to the SMF !! you came to the right place for smokin'... i feel like i got a new family started here... lots of friendly folks with great smokin' tips.....
post #9 of 16


Glenn welcome to smf, keep comin round for tons of great smokin info.
post #10 of 16
On to a pork shoulder!
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! Brining will be in order for the next bird; we just ran out of time Sunday. Between getting the Christmas tree, running errands, returing my buddy's leaf blower...where did the day go?

Do any of you have any tips about keeping the heat up during a cold weather smoke? Through some googling, I've read that some have used foil lined hot water heater blankets. The only ones I've found locally are plastic...and something tells me that woulnd't be a good idea. icon_lol.gif

I've kicked around building some type of wood surround, but I'm not sure how much that would help since it's not so much the wind, but the outside temp that's the issue.
post #12 of 16
I have used beach towels before. Just keep it away from the pan with the element in it. I have also moved it inside my garage as a wind block.
post #13 of 16
Glenn........i have had NO problems with the cold......i smoke all winter long here in iowa......and trust me it gets COLD here..............

normally, probs with not keeping the heat, in MY experience, is the wind...i build a wind break and go on smoking

fiber glass bats, someone on here has used.......just keep em wrapped above the fire element as aj mentioned.......stick burners, someone threw a moving blanket over the smoking chamber part of it........

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Interesting! So I guess a wooden barrier is in order. Time to break out the compressor, nail gun and associated saws. wink.gif
post #15 of 16
Glenn -

I don't have an electric but I smoke all winter - wind break is the key!
post #16 of 16
I've done the moving blanket before as well.
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