I arrived at 6:30 am (my job gives me all kinds of freedom to do these kinds of things) and meandered around the garden center until I found their stash of grills and smokers. Looking around I didn't see anything from Brinkmann that wasn't bullet shaped or the lightweight side box. I then proceeded to find an associate who could help and George said that the department manager should be in if I cared to wait until 7 when she would be in. No problem.
7 am came and went without a sound or a department manager. I found another associate, Linda, a 15 year employee, if she had seen Sheila, the department manager. Her response, "I don't know," and she turns away from me and goes back into her little world. Okay...found George again who actually went and looked for Sheila. He couldn't find her so he went to the manager of the day (MoD) who said sharply, "No, none of them are on clearance." My take on that was, "Leave me alone!"
I left that store and went on to work and called the GP store manager and explained how things went (sour associates, managers unwilling to help in any way when one of the people who pays him is waiting, and George (the only courteous one who was also the only one to apologize). "Thanks, I'll take care of it." Sure, buddy. How about I take care of it and just not shop there anymore?
Later I called the Medford store and spoke to very nice and helpful gent named Bill. Bill told me they had a small Brinkmann for $20, a side box Brinkmann for $35, an electric smoker for $70 and a Char Broil vertical gasser for $100 but no dual door Brinkmann. The electric for $70 caught my attention and I asked if he could confirm the manufacturer and he came back and said it was a Royal Oak.
I have read a few things about the RO smoker and the positives were 75% and 25% for negatives and those were mostly concerning the distance between the smoker box and the coil. Other than those few complaints the folks didn't have any real big issues. I like the fact that it does have a thermostat to control the heat unlike the Brinkmann I had considered for $90 at Lowe's. With that, I headed down to that store and walked out with my new electric RO smoker.
Getting it home I first went through the manual which was pretty straight forward and proceeded to assemble it. I unwrapped everything and laid it out and all I had to do was attach the handles (two sides and one door), the four legs, the thermometer and the mini vent tube in the rear. Everything else was already assembled and ready to go. Before the thermometer went in to the door face I fired up the oven in the house to 200 and put it in the oven. It was only 10 degrees off but that may have been during the cycle of the oven to maintain. I will, of course use my small oven thermometer in the smoker to verify its accuracy.
So far, if I have to complain about anything it will be the small magnets used to hold the door shut and the fact that I have to open the door to add water and wood. I think I can solve those issues by adapting a couple of ideas found on the MES. Specifically the latch used (I’ll use two, one high and one low) and the tube they use to add wood to the burner box. I may also later add some oven door insulation to further seal the door on this unit. We’ll see. For now, I’m off to the grocery store to get some spray on oil to season and for the grates later when I stick some ribs in there for the boys here at the church. Later we’ll do a butt for potluck here tomorrow. So, for those of you who live near the Gold Hill area; stop by Lampman Rd Baptist Church tomorrow for some good preaching and some good food!
My apologies for using the camera in my phone.
Interior prior to seasoning.
Large thermometer for us blind old farts.
Foiled the tray at the bottom to ease cleanup later.
Later I may have to hang the chip box to get it close to the coil.