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Electric Brinkmann Gourmet

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well - I've had this for a few years, but really only dabbled in smoking, but actually got some decent ribs from this smoker. Since I have been reading this forum and trying to learn all I can, I now know why people don't care for these. You lose so much heat when you have to add chips, or spritz that it takes time to build it back up. I am just doing some baby backs today along with a beer can chicken (going on later). I am looking forward to my first season of smoking with a little education under my belt.

post #2 of 13
Good luck Smokes, I had an electric Brinkman that was a big disappointment years ago. I hope you have better results then I did.
It didn't like the wind or cold.
post #3 of 13
Don't give up so quickly on the Brinkmann. Just a few things that you need to do to make it workable. First, ditch the lava rock and replace it with grill bricks. Second, use playbox sand in the water pan. If you still want to use water, get a second pan, fill with HOT tap water and place it on the grill above the sand pan. The pan with sand will act as a heat sink and reduce recovery time. I lift the whole body off and set it on the floor when adding wood chunks(unsoaked), then set the whole body back on until you need addtional wood. Also, try limiting the spritzing or mopping. This will reduce your cook time. I use these methods and have absolutely no complaints with the Brinkmann. Hope this helps.
post #4 of 13
The one thing that a Brinkman Electric will teach is PATIENCE! icon_lol.gif

As long as your machine is hitting and holding 220ish with the lid on you are doing nothing wrong

A few tips that I know of are

Replace water in the pan with sand or use less water to try and raise temps

Start with hot water in the pan and allow the rig to come up to temps before adding the food to it

Use the smaller dryer chips and leave the door closed but not latched to allow flare ups that help raise the temps

Use the larger fist sized chunks to reduce the number of times that you need to add wood and open the door

Keep the lid on, no peeking and cut back on mopping until towards the end of the smoke

Check the smoker temp at the grill as close to the center as you can (I think that too close to the edge is right in the path of the thermal uprising inside of the rig)

Use a remote read thermo if you can to help reduce opening the rig. Or an oven type dial thermo setting on the grill, either that you have checked for accuracy (unfortunayly the dial read type tend to get smoked lenses)

You can do a few things to adjust the temps but remember that LOW and SLOWWWWWW is what it is all about

Read around for some mod ideas. I havent done it yet but I like Mikes idea about using bricks instead of lava rocks, I just use extra lava rocks right now but would like to try fire bricks or better yet maybe cast some refractory mix under the heat element. My biggest and favorite suggestion for a mod is to add more grates by using 2" 1/4-20 bolts for support brackets and letting the extra grills rest on them. (I am thinking or reconfiguring this concecpt to hooks or chains that hang from the rim of the rig so that I don't have to do the "Weave Obsticle course" getting the grills in and out) but that is another story)

Don't give up! But if you do, send that rig my wayicon_lol.gif

Juuuuust kidding. I can almost gaurenteeee that a few more smokes will help you learn to love that little machine you have
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips, I appreciate it.

One thing I know is that I started with cold water.

Grill bricks and sand I have never tried. So, you put the sand in the pan that came with the grill, then a drip pan filled w/ water above that? Thanks - for the next smoke I will try that.

The ribs came out just fine, but I did switch them to the grill (I have picks posted in the pork sections under "Finally Smoking in NY" or something like that if interested).

Thanks everyone!
post #6 of 13
Ok, so here is my 2 pennies on the little red bullet.
Until recently that was my only smoker and I did many, many smokes on it and tried many different things.
Yes, adding play sand in the water pan will raise the temp by a bit but you won't get the smoke penetration that water adds. I even added sand and a little water pan on the 2nd grate but it just doesn't seem to pick up the same amount of smoke as the water itself.
I kept my lava rocks and made sure to keep the element on top of the rocks and not under, that makes a HUGE difference.
Add wood chunks between the front part of the element and it will almost never burst into flames just as long as it doesn't touch the element itself.
I also wet a rag and stuffed it in the big gap I had on the smoker, the lid was dented a bit but the rag helps to hole in a lot of moisture.
Wind was a huge concern so I actually would use some wood fencing I had and do a makeshift windblock for the windy days and it worked just fine.
I actually prefered using just the water pan to the sand overall and once I had the thing all figured out I was able to hold a steady 220 with just water, but if you do need higher sand is the way to go. Also, if you use sand make sure to put a layer of foil over the top of the sand, that way you just peel the foil off and replace next time you fire it up.
post #7 of 13
This is what I use to monitor grill surface temp.

For those cold, windy days or nights the "smoking jacket" made from a water heater blanket. R 3.5 which isn't much but does the job.

These are the grill bricks in place along with some charcoal to assist with the smoke ring. This particular unit is one of my Char-Broils', same principle as the Brinkmann. The reason for the grill bricks mainly is clean up of the ash from the charcoal & wood chunks. Try using your shop-vac with the lava rock in place.

This is the foil covered sand pan.
post #8 of 13
Your real heat loss issue is the lid askew to make way for the thermo. That's not even close to being accurate as what you're measuring is the heat that is deflected by the water pan.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tip on using the thermometer. However - the lid on my brinkmann has never fit tightly - almost seemed like the barrel and lid were made to have a little space.

Anyone else have this with their brinkmanns?
post #10 of 13
that is correct. The lid will not fit perfectly. You can SEAL the lid but you still need to allow the exhaust to escape somehow. I have the same exact unit, as it was my first. I now have two more smokers(uds/drums). This smoker paved the way to good eating for me. Without this i would still be using my shiny 4 burner grill.

I have never had an issue keeping temps brinkman, and at times i had it getting too high(275°). I do live in hot as hell CA so that could be one reason why. If you have any questions let me know. Ill help where i can
post #11 of 13
The lid will never fit tightly as it wasn't designed that way. Your lid is sitting crooked on the smoker body as it's clearly shown in your pic. You can run a tape measure across in 4 equal places to make sure it's as round as round can be. If it's out of round, it can be brought back with your hands and a little squeeze. Same goes for the lid. The OD of the smoker body is 17".
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Mikey - Thanks again - I will take a look at the smoker tomorrow and see if I can get that squared away.

Kris - Thanks for the offer to help as well. I am planning on doing another smoke this weekend, and we are supposed to have some good 70-80 degree weather. I am going to get a proper thermometer, so maybe my readings were just off from the way I was doing it.

I will keep you posted. Thanks for the advice
post #13 of 13
With the remote thermometers you can close the lid easily. The remote thermometers are the units with long cables connected to the end of a probe. Get one of those and you will be glad. They are so versatile
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