Brinkman temperature control

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by ryant, May 15, 2009.

  1. ryant

    ryant Newbie

    Hey fellow Qers.
    So last year I got a Brinkman vertical square dual door smoker.

    My first attempt smoking with it was a disaster. I could not get the temperature to go anywhere expect down, no matter what I did. So before this latest time I researched the heck out of this...and found the answers here. Thank you so much to everyone who posted their help to others, this is where I found the solution.

    Smoking right now and holding a steady 220-225 temp.

    So, if you have a similar smoker, here is what I found helped me. I went to home depot and bought this grilling wok:

    >I used the grilling wok instead of the charcoal pan. Opened the bottom two vents and the top two.
    >I filled the water pan with sand instead of the water, as I read here that worked for some people. This got my temperature well past 300 so I pulled the sand and went back to the water.
    > When I got to the temp I like I closed the top right and bottom right. I tweaked the top and bottom vents on the left till I got to the temp I wanted.
    (It's all about tweaking I've found)

    This is a huge difference from last time smoking. The temp outside is about the same as last time and slight to no wind both times. So for me it really came down to the grilling wok. Life saver. I had a heck of time coming to this answer. Hope it helps someone else.

  2. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Woo Hoo! Glad to hear things are heating up! Be sure to take some pics for Qview!
  3. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Any of you fellows with the Brinkmans read this
  4. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Beautiful find Rick! Hadn't seen that one before. Looks like I have more mods to do now[​IMG]
  5. scmelik

    scmelik Smoke Blower

    great if i only had the tools to do that.
  6. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    I still don't understand why everyone is in a rush to seal the Brinkman lid and put in a top vent. Having a solid lid with a gap is very much like what the offset users do by lowering the out-take of their chimneys. The Brinkman is causing the lid to fill with heat and smoke for even cooking, and forcing the smoke to exit at or below meat level. Mine's not vented, and I have no problems with creosote at all.

    Oh well, we all have our own "superstitions" when it comes to our babies.

    Anyway, OP doesn't have a Gourmet.
  7. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Just thought it was an interesting read. For myself I wouldn't buy anything I thought would need to be heavily modded.
  8. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    Yes, it was good reading. Thanks for the link.

    The gourmet only needs one mod. 3 screws and a coal grate. Most everyone uses a thermo on the grate, so replacing the thermo can be skipped.

    It's a WHOLE lot less modding than those offset guys do. [​IMG]
  9. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not on a good one [​IMG]
  10. dasmoker

    dasmoker Smoke Blower

    Well, how did your smoke turn out? Did just the wok tray solve your problems? Did your temp hold steady? This thread made me go buy the griller wok last night since we have the same smoker. It was cold and windy last night. So tonight I am going to do a dry run with no food. I guess a 2nd curing of the smoker we'll call it. Gonna see if the new wok fuel pan solves my temp issues.
  11. thank you for the tip....Just got the same smoker and I am having the same problem. I had one person tell me to drill holes in the charcoal pan. That helped a little but still can get it higher then 150-175 degrees. I will have to stop tomorrow on way home and pick up that wok. thank you again.
  12. speedway73

    speedway73 Fire Starter

    Go get the wok. When I bought this same smoker last year....I had the exact same issues. Bought the wok....problem solved. I've also went to a 70/30 mix of Kingsford Blue Bag and Cowboy Lump using a chimney starter ... + using the Minion Method. ( Yeah...I know...the haters are cringing at the thought of Cowboy Lump...but it's all I can get in the area). I can get nearly 2 hours of steady *250 and about 1.5 hours of a FULL water pan.

    It's a CAS but I've mastered it pretty well. Wife LOVES my Baby Backs using the 2-2-1 Texas Crutch.
  13. Thanks for advice. Got wok and tried it out last weekend. Worked like a charm and I could not believe how tender and juicy the ribs were that we cooked.
  14. yggdrasil

    yggdrasil Newbie

    Question for you on that - did you drill enough holes in it to make it look like the wok, or just a few holes?

    I'm having the same issues - but I want to try drilling the holes into the water pan first before I spend the money on the wok.

    I am wondering if, by the way, the fact that the pan is solid has anything to do with the charcoal taking forever to ash over when you light the charcoal while in the pan.
  15. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    >>>I still don't understand why everyone is in a rush to seal the Brinkman lid and put in a top vent.<<<

    i hear what you're saying, steve - i did drill a few holes in the top and have notices some evening out of the temps a bit and more consistency ~ at the same time, i did NOT seal the existing system on the lid.

    it seem that the two (mod and original system) work together to increase draw and this in turn promotes what i was talking about - another benefit is that the chance of creosote seems drastically reduced, probabaly due to the same factors.

    one thing i know for sure is that it certainly hasn't hurt anything to ahve the vents there.

    i don't see why one has to have one way or the toher when, in my experience, having both seems to work better than either one. if any of you are having trouble with your ECBs maintaining heat or draw, even after the pan mods, and especially if you are experiencing creosote - try drilling a few holes in the top. you can fashion a "vent cover" but i don't think it is necessary.
  16. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    At one time I was going to put a dome vent in mine. That's because I used it for grilling, and the dome fits tight enough on the coal pan, that it was snuffing out my coals. I never got around to it, and now I grill on a Weber.

    I see your point, having the stock system where smoke flows out the lid, and the dome vent at the same time. After all, you can just leave the dome vent closed if it's not needed. I think I just give more credit to the folks at Brinkman than most do, especially those who've never cooked on one. The system works, I've never had a hint of creosote on my food either. Because of that, I'd never seal the dome. It works. I see it as the same idea as lowering the stack intake on an offset. The Brinkman dome fills with heat and smoke, and surrounds the meat for even cooking. Then instead of flowing out a lowered stack, it goes out the side of the lid.

    I intend to make a damper for the intake soon (if I ever get another day off) maybe I'll consider a dome vent at that time. One more tool in the kit I suppose. If nothing else, it'll be ready to go as a grill if I ever need it as one again.
  17. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    >>>It works. I see it as the same idea as lowering the stack intake on an offset. The Brinkman dome fills with heat and smoke, and surrounds the meat for even cooking. Then instead of flowing out a lowered stack, it goes out the side of the lid.<<<

    i hadn't thought of it that way - good comparison!
  18. timleo

    timleo Smoke Blower

    I have that same smoker and had a hard time getting it up to temp when I started using it. I made a couple of mods to it that brought the performance of the unit way up.
    • I got the stainless wok to use as a charcoal pan,
    • I put a 1/2 inch thick layer of concrete board on the top, sides and back to act as insulation, and
    • I cut a 2-inch black pipe into the top to use as the smoke vent. I keep the top vents closed all the time now and just crack open one bottom vent to maintain the charcoal burn.
    Here's a photo of the modifications.

    Putting it up on the block sure made it easier to access.

    It will run 5 to 6 hours at 225 degrees with no problem. I love that smoker now. ( I hated it before I fixed it).

    Good Luck with yours!
  19. speedway73

    speedway73 Fire Starter

    I have the same smoker....How did you attach the cement board to the sides/back?
  20. timleo

    timleo Smoke Blower

    with aluminum pop-rivets. if I were to do it again I wouldn't cut out the top vents. the 2-inch vent in the top is just the right size to leave open all the time.

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