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Brinkmann Vertical Smoker Frustrations

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Alright, so I started out with an ECB - namely, the Brinkmann Gourmet Chacoal Smoker & Grill.

I've decided to "upgrade" to the Brinkmann Vertical Smoker, because of the vents that actually allowed you to "control" the temperature and smoke, and a real guage that actually showed the temperature - both of these things supposing to be great tools to keep the temperature where I need it to be.

First problem I had: couldn't get the temperature above 200. Got the wok from Home Depot as was suggested in another thread. I was able to get the temperature up - but now I had another problem... the heat goes below boiling after 1 1/2 hours, and the charcoal is burnt out after 2 hours. The boston butt that I tried to smoke came out bloody - needless to say, I was looking forward to better barbecue with this thing; and I was disappointed.

On the one hand, I'm glad I wasn't quick to throw out my ECB, but on the other hand, if I go back to using the ECB; then I just wasted a total of 90 bucks (smoker and wok).

Any suggestions to save this thing and make it worth the hard-earned cash spent on it?
post #2 of 9
My Brinkmann I have to add coals about every hour to an hour and a half. You might check out this site for mods. http://randyq.addr.com/ecb/ecbmods.html Sorry that you're having problems with the Brinkmann Vertical. Not sure if when you were having problems with the ecb if you posted about the troubles you were having. I would hope that you're using a probe thermo to tell when your meat is done and a seperate probe therm to monitor grate temps.
post #3 of 9
I know your pain, I had similar problems when I started with the vertical.
post #4 of 9
I agree with Timleo...with his post i also got a different charcoal basket i made one out of expanded steel....then played with the water bowl, i was amazed at how much the water bowl played in my temp control...i didnt really keep track of how long a certain amount of charcoal lasted...seems it was about every hour to hour and a half i added..Also are you still using the thermo that came mounted in the door? if so go buy a different one Wal-mart sells one for 16.00 that mounts real nice with a jam nut on the back side...the factory gauge read 150* when my other therms were saying closer to 275*

Just get good air flow to the charcoal and tweak the vents slowlywink.gif
post #5 of 9
I know you didn't ask about this, but here is a link for mods specifically for the Brinkman Gourmet:

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
When you add charcoal, you do add it straight from the bad, or do you add hot charcoals?
post #7 of 9
do a search for the "minion method"
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Tried that before in the ECB. Temperatures were too low.
post #9 of 9
I haven't had good luck with the minion method either...I have learned to form a trail of coals that lead around the perimeter of the basket and let the fire work its way around following the trail of coals. That works well for me and keeps a constant amount of coals lit most of the time.
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