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question on brinkmann smoke and grill w/fire box

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
ok ive had extreme temp problems with this thing...(not being able to go above 225)so i got to reading the sticky thats on here about the guy exchanging the charcoal rack with the wire rack (the diamond shape one)..well when i first started using mine i took out the charcoal rack thinking that it was a food rack...but i got to thinking, could my temp problems be coming from the hot coals sitting in ash and not being able to breathe? i just got this thing about 2 months ago, and ive only been able to use this thing as a grill...
post #2 of 9
Hi Ralph,

Not quite sure about your problems.... are you using the LOWER rack to hold your charcoal? Are there 2 racks in your firebox?

If you let us know more details we might be able to help you out.

In the meantime, check out this link for SnP mods and tips-


Hope this helps!
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
actually i took out the rack and i was putting the charcoal straight on the bottom of the firebox? but i was thinking about putting the grates back in and putting the charcoal on the grates?
post #4 of 9
Hi Ralph,

Put the bottom rack back in. That one is originally designed to hold the charcoal when you smoke. It keeps the coals off of the thin-walled firebox and allows some air to get underneath them.

The top grate is marketed as the "grill" grate if you want to use the firebox as a mini-grill. Don't waste your time. Several folks put the charcoal on top of that grate for extra air and less ash choking of the charcoal on long smokes.

One of my first mods was to design a firebasket that kept the coals UP off the bottom of the firebox and still had plenty of room for wood. The link I sent you before had the pics, I think. This, or similar, is the ideal for an SnP. Until you modify your unit, use the grates and keep the ash cleaned out every couple hours to prevent choking your fire out.

You have to allow for air to get underneath your fuel in order to allow it to burn hot enought to raise your temps where you want them.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
how would one of those grill woks work if i put it ontop of the grate, and when the time came, i could shake the grate to get the exess ash and keep the fire from choking its self...and where can i get a good thermometer to replace the crappy one that comes with it
post #6 of 9
Not very well. Unfortunately, you either have to go with the charcoal on the topmost (grilling) rack or on the bottom one and kinda spoon the ashes out as you go through the door.

If you want to fix that, I can have a firebasket made and sent to you in a week. Got a welder buddy who makes them and have sent them to several folks if you want to give it a shot.

I designed this basket and trial'd it out- works perfectly. Give TasunakaWitko, Fire It Up, 3Montes a PM and ask them what they think. They all have one of my designs, they can tell you a lot better than I can, and maybe you might want to modify the design...who knows?

Be glad to help you out if you need!
post #7 of 9
Fire has to have air to breathe. If your fuel is sucking wind trying to get air, your temp will suffer for it. Ash is a big killer of air getting to your fuel. If you are using Kingsford or briquette type coal, the ash is very fine and will choke out embers lying in it.

The goal is to keep your fuel up out of the fine ash. A modded fire basket or a change in fuel can help. Try Cowboy charcoal. It is not briquettes but actual lump coal made from oak. It doesn't leave fine ash and burns hotter then kingsford.
post #8 of 9
i can vouch for the firebasket - very well-designed and put together by a welder who knows his beans...oops, i mean beads.....

anyway, everything rivet says is true ~ here are a few observations i have made:

much of this, especially the advanced stuff, i got from rivet when i got my own SnP - the "quick and dirty" fixes are ones that i stumbled upon while learning to use my unit:


i've got some "right out of the box" advicefor the SnP, and am also attaching some information in word documents that wll hopefully be helpful for "permanent" mods.

if you have one of these units, first thing is by now, you've probably found that the axle/wheel system on the SnP is not so hot. just run down and buy some large washers and 2 large bolts that will fit through the "axle holes" and two fitting lock nuts. i don't know what the "right name is, but the bolts i got were the ones that had threading only on the end portion, leaving a portion with no threading so that the wheels could turn freely. you can also, if you choose, purchase some heavier-duty lawnmower or similar wheels.

next quick fix - this is easy! get some hi-heat tape for dryer vent or wood-burning stove work; it is usually silverish in color. use this tape to block the two big holes at either end of the smoking chamber. this helps a lot with airflow and temperature retention.

next - rather than following the instructions and building your fire on the bottom grate of the fire box, move all grates up to the "top" level so that it makes a crosshatch and build your fire here. there is much, much more air below your fire to keep it from choking out now. note that this is a "quick and dirty" mod that can later be replaced by a better mod, which is a well-designed charcoal basket.

next, take your "drip tray" and set it so that it is all the way up at the "west" end closest to the fire box, and down as far as it will go at the opposite (east) end. the reason for this is to block flames and deflect the harshest heat from your firebox into your smoking chamber. it is a 'quick and dirty" substitute for a proper manifold/tuning plate, but works very well until you get or fabricate one.

to extend this idea a little and make it even more effective, set a small bread loaf pan (the disposible heavy-foil type) right up to and almost against the hole from the firebox on the drip tray, leaving just a small area for smoke and heat to pass through. you might have to lower the drip tray a level to do this, but it will be fine as long as the tray is still at a downward angle. this helps control the hot spots even more and does add a small amount of moisture to the cooking process, similar to the water pan on an ECB. finally, it helps regulate the temperature coming into the smoking chamber so that it can even out across the chamber.

next, get at least four regular masonry bricks or six 2x2x8 bricks (or a similar square-inchage of fire bricks, if you can find them at a local spa/stove store). place these 2x2 (3x3 if using the 2x2x8 bricks) starting at the "east" end of the smoking chamber (farthest away from the firebox, under the chimney end). this is a good start, but you can of course put as many bricks as you want and even go all the way across the smoking chamber if you want. this will go very far to retain heat and prevent temperature drops. it will make it so that your unit takes longer to come up to temperature, but once it does, you are in great shape.

the last of the "quick and dirty" mods" is also so easy that it is silly: get two or three HEAVY old blankets and fold them so that they sit on top of the smoking chamber only, extending to the chimney and "folding" around it. it is OK if there is some draping down over the "east" end and the front and back of the unit, but make sure nothing is hanging down at the west or firebox end. these layers of insulation help more than you can imagine no matter what climate you live in and will drastically cut down on your charcoal or wood consumption - moreover, temps should even out very closely across the chamber. it looks as redneck as it sounds, but it WORKS, and that's what matters. before long, you will get pretty good at folding the blankets so that they fit just right and will aslo be able to lift them off and put them back on easily as you add, remove or check the meat, spritz or mop etc.

the above mods work, and work well, and don't cost anything at all. having said that, they can be improved upon with some investment in materials and welding. i consider most of the Q&D mods to be simply "poor man's substitutes" for what actually needs to be done. i use them all, but i am saving up for the "permanent" versions.

i am attaching two word documents detailing the mods that RIVET and i came up with, and they work very well. the first one, titled "SnP mods," has more detail - read that one first. the "SnP welding mods" can be printed out and taken to your welder, as it condenses the information to specs and data that he will need. both documents have detailed pictures. i am also attaching the BBQFAQ in word format. this literally has more information that you will need, but it is quite possibly the best and most comprehensive document on all aspects of barbecue, including equipment, the food invovled and the methods for using everything. the first 12 pages are a little dated and irrelevant, but from there it gets very valuable very fast.




any questions, just ask.
post #9 of 9
If I were you I wouldn't put my charcoal directly on the bottom of the fire box for that you will shorten the life of it and your smoker. So get some expanded metal and make or have made a grate so you can build your fire on it and it will also let the ash fall thou it too. Then listen to all this good advice you are getting here. Yes they are that good.
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