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Brinkmann Smoke 'n Pit

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I posted this under the roll call section, but I wanted to get as much advice as possible.

First off, do any of you recommend attempting the minion method with a Brinkmann Smoke 'n Pit? If so, how do you seal off the air? I was thinking of cramming tinfoil into every spot I could find, but it seems like that would get expensive if you did it often.

Another question, what mods do you recommend? I definitely want to install a baffle. I've already almost burned up some sausage that I cooked too close to my fire box. I'm not a welder, so I'm looking for a cheap and easy way to install a semipermanent baffle. I was thinking of using JB weld and a pie plate. Would that work, or do you recommend something different.


post #2 of 22
I have the latest SNP from Walmart. I'm not a welder either. I haven't tried it but its been recommended to me to use an oven liner as a baffle or roll up some aluminum foil and use it as a makeshift baffle. I haven't tried either method yet. What I have done to mine is I flipped the charcoal grate and have it raised just over the hole to the firebox. I just haven't had time to try the other options yet.

I've also extended my chimney to the grate, built a charcoal basket, and I installed 2 temperature gauges near grate level.
post #3 of 22
I don't think JB Weld in the cooking area would be a good idea. There are several SnP modification threads around here, but you may have to search.

I have a Brinkmann SnP too... here are some of the things I did.

Digital thermometers rule... there is no better way to tell when something is actually done. No more guess work or letting all the heat out to check temps. Get one or more of these.

I drilled (and deburred) a few holes into the side just large enough to pass the temp probes. This keeps me from pinching the leads in the door. I've added a 3rd since this photo was taken. I also added that metal shelf specifically to hold my temp probe head units. Out of the way, won't get too hot, etc.

Here you can see the 3" dryer vent tube that I've used to extend my smokestack down to the grate level. This has helped keep temps above the grate hotter and more stable. Also, if you look closely at the firebox side, I used a piece of 22 gauge sheetmetal (not galvanized, just regular carbon steel) and curved it (bent it kind of 1/2 round, or maybe 1/3 round) and placed it in the cooking side with the round up. It didn't totally block the firebox opening, but it did divert enough of the heat that I am able to smoke on that end with better results. I also use a water pan on the lower rack at the firebox end to help tame temps a little. My smoker works much better now, and I can prety much fill the top rack without worry that I will burn something. A bit of rotation might be necessary for long smokes, but only if the rack is loaded full.

I also have two temp probes (regular dial type)... one in the hole in the lid up high on the stack end, and another on the back centered and just below the grate level. Prior to the mods I mentioned above I found a 100+ degree difference between the top of the smoker and the grate, now I see only 20 degrees or so difference... what an improvement.

Oh, and if you don't already have one... get a firebox insert. It is basically a piece of heavy guage steel that you can put into your firebox that will greatly extend the life of your firebox... about $15 at sporting goods store. Hope this helps some.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, guys. It looks like you've removed the top rack from your smoker as well, or did it not come with one? Mine has an upper rack that I've found sort of annoying (beer can chickens won't fit).

I've got a digital thermometer, and I'm happy with it. I like your idea about bending the sheetmetal into a semicircle. I think that will work nicely.

What about the minion method? Every used that on your S'NP?
post #5 of 22
I am not familiar with the minion method (hence the "knows enough to be dangerous" tag).

As for the top rack, mine didn't come with one. I've noticed that some Brinkmann offset smokers open differently... for example, on mine there is a door that allows access to the front of the smoker (top hinge)... others are hinged at the back (i.e. the whole top half rotates up) and those are normally the units that have the top rack. Personally, I like the door better because there is less area that can leak, but the other style offers easier access to the pit. I have the "Pitmaster Deluxe Smoke n Pit", but I believe there are others, such as a non-Deluxe model or something, so features vary a bit. I know that one model has a sweep door at the end of the firebox, mine does not. Just a few differences I am aware of.

** EDIT ** Ok, I went and did some reading and I'm not sure how I missed the Minion method. I even read Jeff's 5-day e-course... either I missed it or just forgot. Anyhow, I've never tried it, but it sounds interesting and I may give it a try in the future.
post #6 of 22
I have a Brinkmann SNP with an upper rack. I use the minion method all the time. Its the only way to go. I usually put a half full chimney of unlit charcoal in the fire box, then dump a full chimney of lit charcoal on top of that. When it comes up to temp I add some wood chunks on the side. I have to add about 10 new pieces of charcoal every hour to maintain temp. I havent done anything to mine to seal up the leaks. It leaks everywhere but still holds temp just fine.
The best mods that I have come up with is to lower the smokestack down to grate level. I had to remove the top shelf on mine to make it work.
I even tried bending some dryer vent around it but it wouldnt work, so off it went. Another easy mod that works great is to raise the charcoal tray inside the smoke box on the left hand side all the way up, and the right side all the way down. It makes a heck of a good baffle.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. A few questions: how did you lower your smokestack if you didn't use an aluminum dryer vent?

So, how does raising the charcoal tray act as a baffle? Can you show me a picture?

post #8 of 22
I dont have a picture of it. Im at work or I would snap 1 for ya. I used a flat piece of aluminum and hand rolled it into a cylinder, then stuck it in the smokestack from the bottom and shot a screw through the outside of the smokestack into the cylinder.
The charcoal tray acts as a baffle by raising the left side all the way up to block the heat from going straight to the top of your smoke box. The heat bounces off the tray and disperses evenly through the smoke box. Ill try to get a picture of it when I get home tonight.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Awesome! I did the same thing with my smokestack last night, only I didn't put a screw in there to anchor it. I took a similar sized piece of the aluminum flashing and made a makeshift baffle by crimping the top of edge of the aluminum around the little ledge that the charcoal grate hangs on in the smoke box. I think that's going to work well.
post #10 of 22
Here is a pic of my oven liner baffle in my CGSP. It works good enough for now until i can get a more permanent one built out of steel.

post #11 of 22
when I had my brinkman I made a baffle using flashing that was left over from installing my deck. I bent the metal and drilled 2 holes. where the firebox is installed to the pit there are multiple bolts to hold it in place. so i just used the top 2 bolts to hold the baffle in place. it worked great!!!!!! I bought a BBQ Guru power draft. that helped to maintain a good pit temp.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well, I smoked on Saturday. I did a corned beef brisket, a rack of ribs, and a fatty. About three hours in, I threw some chicken quarters and stuffed porkchops on for my parents.

However, the wind was gusting at upwards of 30 miles per hour for most of the day here in Georgia. I played hell keeping my temps up. Instead of 3-2-1 on the ribs, I went closer to 5-2-1/2. Everything came out excellent, but I removed the baffle after the first two hours or so. The wind wasn't blowing in my favor, and I didn't need an obstruction blocking heat from getting into my smokebox. The wind was effectively blowing heat out of the smokebox anyway. Everything else worked fine. The ribs are perhaps a little more smokey than some like them, but they are pefect "pull off the bone" ribs. The brisket was a big hit. I didn't soak it as long as most people on this site recommend--just about 4 hours Friday night. Then I pulled it out of the water, put paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, and black pepper on it. It was perfect--not too salty at all. I wrapped it up in saran wrap and slapped it back in the fridge until Saturday. All in all, it was a succesful smoke, but it took a lot of effort.

I think I'm going to buy a fiberglass rope gasket and run it along the inside ledge of my smoker and seal that baby tight once and for all.

I WILL CONQUER this smoker.

BTW, that fatty was delicious! That was my first, but it won't be my last. I'll post a few pics on here tomorrow if I can remember to upload them tonight.
post #13 of 22
so...here is a question. What is the bendable dryer tubes for? does it just allow the airflow to come in at the bottom? or suck air out from the bottom? i just don't get it.

i think i am about to order 3 of those dig thermometers like in the picture. those things look baaaaaaddddd (in a good way)! gotta look at my leaks next time i fire it up. i am really excited to try these mods. even tho i have only smoked salmon and grilled some chicken and steaks...i want my food to make people pass out with delight...not just "mmmmm" for hours. :D

edit: speaking of which (and maybe this is in the wrong forum), what is a water pan used for aside from humidifying the air so your food stays jucier? does it just go on the ash pan wherever you don't have coals? or on top of the coals? hope this isn't something I should have read somewhere else...now that i have posted it i am off to look! lol
post #14 of 22
Heat & smoke rise, so moving the smokestack to the grate makes the heat & smoke circulate through the chamber more.
post #15 of 22
and as for my water pan question? thanks. :D
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
All it does is humidify the air and possibly regulate temperature a bit by storing heat. If placed near the fire box, it might help as a baffle. It could also double as a drip pan for grease.
post #17 of 22
I happened by this thread during a search and I have a related question. I have a BSNP Pro and want to replace the current vent with another on the far side near the bottom. I have extended the factory vent to the cooking grate, but wonder if I put a vent lower in the cooking chamber if my temps on the grate be more equal? Also I might be able to build another cooking grate under my main grate for smaller items like corn or sausages.

Would a 3" vent be okay or would you use 4"? I work in the automotive field so this would not be a problem. Exhaust tubing would work great I think.
post #18 of 22
The water pan helps with temperature regulation, Since water / Steam cannot rise above 212 degrees until all the water in a container is vaporized. Much the same as a pot of boiling water will always de 212 (+or- for altitude) The result is you end up with a large resevoir of heat that will always be around 212. That plus the added benefits of adding moisture to the cooking environment. That being said I don't use one, I use the minion method with a charcoal box in my snp. Fill charcoal box with unlit dump a chimney of lit on top of it, Set air intake to about 1/4 open and I can cruise at 220-250 for about 3 or so hours before I need to reload.
post #19 of 22
I have a Brinkman SNP and I raised the grease tray on the fire box end and lowered it on the other end until I could get a baffle put in. that sort of acts as a baffle. As far as using the minion method, I couldnt help you, I burn logs in mine. I have a friend who owns a tree trimming company and he keeps me supplied with apple and pecan. I also have several hickory trees on my land. So charcoal is not used around my place unless we're charcoaling burgers
post #20 of 22
Might want to try OKUM instead of fiberglass rope. You should find it at an old hardware store or some pipe supply co. Won't burn or require replacement

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