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Newbie from Ohio

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi, I was searching around for tips and came upon this site. I got a Brinkmann vertical smoker for Father's Day. So far, I've done a 5 pound picnic shoulder and about 10 pounds of ribs. The shoulder came out OK, but the ribs undercooked so I had to finish them in the oven. Couldn't seem to get the temp to rise above 175 for the first 5 hours and have never been able to get it above 212.
I'm thinking I'll try lump charcoal next; I've read that it burns a little hotter than briquettes.
Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 15
Welcome to the forum, lots of great info and people. Not much help on verticals, i have a horz..offset. For sure lump does burn hotter and faster but you should be able to get it up to tem...just IMHO..don't know how much fuel you used but maybe you need a bigger fire.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
I think that might be part of the problem. The smoker came with two ceramic bowls the same size--one for water and one for charcoal and wood.
They're kind of shallow and the charcoal pan sits only about two inches below the water pan. I fill it with charcoal and throw a few handfuls of wood chips on it once the charcoal gets going.
I'm also thinking of drilling some holes in the charcoal pan to see if the improved air circulation might help.
I don't peek at all. It is a cabinet smoker with two doors, so I can stir the coals without opening the door with the meat.
post #4 of 15
Welcome to SMF! I don't have a Brinkman, but there are a lot here who do. Try this link to Brinkman mods.


Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #5 of 15
I have a Brinkkman Gourmet. I have had the same problem in the past and have found that opening the door on the body slightly ( about an inch or two) will bring up the heat by 20-25 degrees. Also, lump charcoal does burn a little hotter and has better flavor than briquettes. You might also try using large chunks of wood for smoking instead of chips. The large chunks last longer and burn hotter.

There is a forum dedicated to vertical smokers. You can probably pick up some great tips in there.

Good luck in your future smoking!
post #6 of 15
Welcome. Keep trying it will come to ya.
post #7 of 15
welcome to smf, hope to share some smokes!!!! have great 4th!!!
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, that had lots of useful info. I'm going to try replacing my charcoal pan with one of those wok pans and use sand in the water pan. I think that will help.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yes, I discovered the door trick. I'm also going to try replacing my charcoal pan with a perforated grill wok.
post #10 of 15
A big welcome to SMF from about 30 miles east of cincinnati. What part of the state you hail from? Lots of good folk here that are eager to help you on your journey into the land of smoke cookin. Ask any question and someone will be along with an answer.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'm in Medina county, about 20 miles south of Cleveland.
post #12 of 15
Well normally I pick on you Ohio guys some.......Go Gators wink.gif
Just remember to keep something under the Wok setup to catch your ash. I have two verticals and I have never seen pans be that close together. Most of the time its around 8 to 10 inches. Double check for other areas to mount supports. My old brinkman smoke and grill just used screws coming in on the barrel. If not, possibly you can add some stainless of some varying length to allow you to move it. Also, don't go overboard with water, if you use it. I find alot of people fill it all the way, no matter how long their smoke is. My max is 3/4 full and usually 1/2.
Sand is good, but remember to spritz the meat on occasion to keep it moist.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I agree, those pans are close. I'm going to use the charcoal pan to catch the ashes. I picked up a wok yesterday at Home Depot and it slides perfectly in and out on the support bracket.
I'm going to hold off on using the sand for now, just decreasing the amount of water in the pan.
Today I'm going to try smoking meat loaf, which I sounds great. I figure that's a cheap way to experiment and it's pretty much impossible to screw up.
post #14 of 15
Welcome to the forum. Lump will for sure help to solve your issues. It will also cut way down on the ashes
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

That wok pan mod was great!

In fact, I can now cut way back on the amount of fuel I'm using. I put in the normal amount of charcoal and the temp rose initially up to 375 for a half hour before settling back to 275. Next time I should have no trouble maintaining 225-250 from start to finish.
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