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Ready to SCREAM

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Dang, I had great consistency and end results with my Brinkman all winter and spring. These last two smokes, it takes off like a frieght train and runs hot.

Got a picnic on there right now, and it's running almost 50* hot. I even took coals out. The only thing I can figure, is that all winter and spring it was very breezy/windy. Last two smoke, much more still. Even with a wind break, the wind must still be stealing a lot of heat when it's breezy.

Guess I'll have to break down and modify it so that I can control my intake. Has only one large, uncontrolled hole right now. Either that, or I'll sell it in the front yard and just use the Weber kettle and Smokenator.

SIGH.......... Why didn't I buy a WSM???????

post #2 of 21
Sorry to hear that. I think we all have had a few of those kinda days. That's one thing about the uds, it runs smooth no matter the weather.
post #3 of 21
Steve when the air temps get into the mid to upper 90's and the air changes it makes it much different. Good luck with figuring it out
post #4 of 21
steve - don't give up on that ECB yet - it's a good unit and a person just needs to mess around with it a bit, making small adjustemants so as to not overshoot the mark.

a few suggestions - do the intake control mod from randyq.com - it's easy and cheap and effective. use a little less charcoal and remember that if you add wood chunks, that adds heat too - take a little away at a time until you get the temp you're looking for. open the door of the ECB a bit to bring temps down and close it when you get your fire where it needs to be. if you get big temps spikes, take the lid off a few minutes. keep the water pan filled and if necessary, add cooler water rather than boiling or really hot water. the water pan is meant to help regulate temps.

those are a few ideas i can think of - i am sure some more experienced folks might also have ideas.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Ron, I know all that. I tell the other Brinkman owners the same things. I just needed to vent. Most of Randys mods don't apply to the gourmet model. If I damped the intake like he says, I could never use my unit as a grill. I have a weber kettle, but I would like to have the grill on my gourmet useable none the less.

I just found a piece of wood that was just about the right size to get under my pan and close off half the intake hole. Tempurature has fallen back to 238* and is holding. I'm not going to even try for 225* at this point. I'll take 238* I guess one of these days I'll fabricate an intake damper. I think I'll seal the big hole in the bottom, and fashion adjustable dampers 180* opposite of each other on my outer pan.

Sometimes I wish I wasn't such a cheapskate. When I'm done, it will still be way cheaper than a WSM. But I fix machines all week, and on the weekend I just want to cook meat, not modify my smoker.

Oh well.
post #6 of 21
Mod the air intake so you can close down the air flow. The coals will only burn as hot as the air flow lets them. This also keeps your chunks from catching fire. It's all about controlling how much air the coals get.

If you open doors and let more air in it can actually get your fire burning hotter by giving more air available to the burning coals. I notice in my smoker the coals will start taking off if I leave the smoke chamber door open too long.
post #7 of 21
Dont be so all fire ready to get a WSM, you still have to monitor the temps and they do fluctuate quite a bit in the wind, at least mine does.
post #8 of 21
steve- 238's a great temperature to smoke at - no worries!
post #9 of 21
I have a bullet type charcoal smoker, I bought it in december. When I started using it I had to use 1 whole chimney lit, and then I would add another chimney full of unlit in the other side of the basket. That would give me 240-250 then. A couple weeks ago I fired it up with the same load and could'nt keep it under 320 WITH the vents dern near closed.

With the summer time on us if you start with half a chimney of lit and a whole unlit, you should be close to your target.

Hope this helps.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
LOL I've never heard a WSM owner admit that his smoker was anything less than the one choosen by God almighty himself.

I'm not ready to buy a WSM. I'm going to mod the intake on this one. It's just a matter of fine tuning, and adjusting to summer temps. I'm not ready to start over with a different smoker.

Today is my first day off in 5 weeks. The pay is good, but it's left me with a short fuse today. Oh well, one thing I know is that my pulled pork will be good. The Brinkman can be a pain at times, but it's never given me less than very good results either.
post #11 of 21
Nothing wrong with 238°, or 243°. Or even 255° or 260° if your towards the end of a big brisket or shoulder.

I don't think there's a lot to be gained from smoking at 225° the entire time anyway. I think it just prolongs the process and increases the possibility of drying out the meat. Plus often times it adds to the frustration of the person trying to keep their smoker there. biggrin.gif

Just my opinion but it seems to be the consensus of a lot of long time smokers out there.

post #12 of 21
>>>I don't think there's a lot to be gained from smoking at 225° the entire time anyway. I think it just prolongs the process and increases the possibility of drying out the meat. Plus often times it adds to the frustration of the person trying to keep their smoker there. <<<

post #13 of 21
x2......... I rarely cook below 240, that's a good target temp imo.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
I was having trouble keeping it below 280*. By the time the meat was getting on 150*, I was finally getting things in hand. I was slow to react, because sometimes the Brinkman will start high, and fall to 240* and stabalize. I waited too long, expecting it to settle in. But once the meat hit 150*, I had gotten things down to 238~242. It just came off and is in the cooler. It sure smells good anyway.
post #15 of 21
I think God lit my WSM this morning. I need to learn fuel amounts / time, but the damn thing was stone cold when I was cleaning it I swear. Next thing I know its LIT!

Now I'm cruising at 225, 2 vents open at like... 2mm, doing some seasoning.

One thing I was thinking of (applies to any bullet charcoal smoker) would be to build a 3 wall wind shield with maybe a high angled roof that was open on the back wall.

That was I can control wind conditions easier, and maybe even keep some summer heat off the smoker. I just need to figure out a size to build it and what materials etc. If anybody has any good ideas / plans for somethign like that let me know.
post #16 of 21
steve - for the first time today i am learning just how valuable intake control is for maintaining temperatures, both up and down. get yourself come control on your intake and i think you will be enjoying that brinkmann!
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well, Mr. Brinkman did it again. Wasn't my best pulled Pork, but it sure was good.

Gotta hand it to the folks at Brinkman. Food comes out good no matter what.
post #18 of 21
This is why I'm not going to do anymore smoking practice until I build a UDS. Two trys on the Brinkmann and I give up. Not having any adjustment is just nuts. If you don't get the right amount of coals, your in trouble.
post #19 of 21
trig -

have you done any of the mods suggested at this link?


for about 15 bucks worth of mods and a few minutes work, you can really make the brinkmann perform. since i've done them, i've had no troubles to speak of other than those resulting from my own lack of experience - the fault sure wasn't in the unit.

build a UDS if you want, but in the meantime, there's no reason to deny yourself the experience gained by using the brinkmann and certainly no need to deny yourself the good eats that come off it.

just a suggestion.....
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
I hear ya. I smoked all through the winter and spring, when it was windy and pleasant. I thought I had it completely dialed in. I wasn't able to smoke for awhile because of work. Now the air is calm and HOT and it's like a different smoker.

If I had room for an UDS I might build one. I don't need an offset, and I'd rather not spend the money on a WSM, so I'm going to add an adjustable damper on the Brinkman.

You know, there are a lot of handy guys on the forum who can weld. I'm surprised no one has sealed off a Brinkman with his welder and turned it into a mini UDS. Sound like it should work. Not saying it would be practical, just seems like something someone would have tried by now.
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