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My education begins....

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ok campers...I have recently become the owner of a new Brinkman vertical smoker:

I have already gone about drilling some 3/8" holes all over the bottom and side of the charcoal pan, making it look like a colander. I've lined the bottom with foil to catch ashes for easy removal. I am also heading to the Home Despot to pick up some lump charcoal. My first few attempts yielded low temperatures. I first tried using charwood. That was utterly useless as the heat never registered on the therm and It was consumed mostly in the chimney starter. Next I used ol' Kingsford briq's. Hotter, but I was only able to get slightly over 200, but I could only maintain about 150-175. Ive heard lump will get me hotter, any other suggestions? I suppose it doesn't help that it is February in NE, but I'm a year round griller anyway.
post #2 of 14


1st welcome to the site.
Next do not trust the thermo that comes w/ any unit unless you have tested it in boiling water. (water boils at 212deg).
some folks also place a couple of bricks wrapped in foil in the bottom of the smoker to retain heat . also you can fill water pan w/ sand and cover w/ foil to retain heat.
Keep trying and i'm sure some others w/ more time in will have more options.
post #3 of 14
post #4 of 14
I have the same smoker, and I had the same problem...until I took matters into my own hands.

I bought some 1/2" concrete board and placed a layer of concrete board on the top, sides and back. That really provided a nice layer of insulation.

Now I have to watch closely to keep the temperature low.

That single mod was worth every penny of the $5 I spent on concrete board. Look for it in the tile dept at the Home Depot.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hey, Timleo, great idea. Fireproof....gotta watch what kind of cement board you get though, as a lot of them have Styrofoam filler in them. probably not a good thing. Anyway, how did you mount it? Got a pic?
post #6 of 14
have this smoker as one of my smokers also, cant get temp up at all

do you have pics of the concrete board mod?

post #7 of 14
I did a version of the concrete board on my Masterbuilt Gas Smoker. I used the hardibacker board. Much easier to work with than the concrete board and serves the same purpose. I could have made mine much more effecient had I taken it all the way to the corners and met the sides and back with the top. I just wanted a helping hand. Hope this helps.

post #8 of 14
Congrats on the new smoker. Just follow the info here and you'll have it perking along in no time.
post #9 of 14
I found that several things will effect the temperatures in a vertical smoker. How close is the water pan to the charcoal? If you increase the distance (even just a little), the temperatures will increase. Are you smoking with water in the pan? This will lower temps. How much meat are you loading in the smoker? If you load it up it will tend to keep the temps lower. I would also recommend a remote themometer. The one on the front of my smoker was off by 40 F.
post #10 of 14
How did you guys attach the concrete board to the smoker?
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Timleo used rivets. He sent me the pics. I just used steel bolts and painted them with high temp paint. I've got the two sides mounted using 1/2" wonderboard. A 3x5 sheet is about 13 bucks. I completely ran out of time and couldn't finish before I had to fire it up today. I just laid a piece on top and leaned another against the back. Wow, what a difference. Also, went out and bought a digital remote probe. Cheapy from Walmart, but it will work for now. I am actually now having difficulty keeping the temps down! Good problem to have, easier to fix. I will post in progress and finished product pics later. THanks for the tip Tim!!!
post #12 of 14
Two words for this smoker, they will change your life:

Go buy a $10 GRILL WOK....usa for a charcoal pan and it will make your temps waay hotter than you need.
post #13 of 14
I hate to even open my mouth because I'm still a rookie smoker, and I don't know your cooker. But the comment above caught my eye. Are you saying you lined the charcoal pan with foil? If so, I assume you closed off all those holes you drilled. Or, in my cooker, my charcoal pan is vented, and sets inside an outter pan that is vented with one large hole, about 1 1/2 inches I guess. If I were to seal off that one hole, my coals would choke out. Before I did anything else, I would take a good look at the airflow situation. If you're convinced the coals really can breath okay, then I would start in with the other mods.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
ROFL, no! I lined the bottom of the smoker with foil, so when the ashes fall through the drilled holes, they land on the foil. I could see your concern, though. I should watch my pronouns...PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif
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