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Brinkmann Charcoal Smoker temp problems?????

Discussion in 'Grilling Chicken' started by grillinwoody, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. grillinwoody

    grillinwoody Newbie

    Hey all, I am brand new to this forum and "Smoking". I have played with some smoking techniques on my gas grill (with very good results) But yesterday I bought a dedicated smoker at Home Depot (Brinkmann Charcoal Smoker Heavy-Duty Charcoal/Wood Smoker & Grill) and after curing it like the directions stated I was ready to try my first meat product. I chose a 4lbs+ whole chicken. I did a nice brine soak recipe the I found online and I also prepared a nice rub for my smoking session. Here is where the problem starts. Whe I was curing the grill, I was easily able to get to 200 - 250 temp in the smoker, but the next morning when I fired up some coals and put my bird in, I could never get over 150. No matter what I did...add more coal, more wood chunks, open side vents....my temp just hoovered around 150. Finally after 5.5 hours (all my recipes called for 3.5 to 4 hours) I could not get the internal temp of my chicken to get over 142..the temp of my smoker....so I pulled it off and finished it out in the oven. Don't get me wrong 5.5 of smoke and low heat made it one of the beast chickens I have ever had, but how do I get the grill to get hotter? Is this grill broken, wrong charcoal bricks? I am at a loss, any help would rule!
  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome to the forums!

    Which smoker do you have? I went on HD's site and don't know which one you may have, as I'm trying to piece together a picture in my mind what may be causing the low temp issue. Is it the little round vertical brinkmann smoker/grill?

    It does sound like an exhaust vent issue (too low of flow), though too low of intake air could also be the cause. An empty smoker will run differently than a loaded smoker, due to the food added to tyhe smoke chamber causing changes in air flow, mostly reduced air flow.

    Also, ash build-up with charcoal is a major issue with all my charcoal fired smokers, and some mods may be in order to correct this. It will run plenty hot enough, as long as there is sufficient intake and vent draft, but as the ashes build-up on the coals over time, it becomes more difficult to keep temps hot enough. Adding hot coals helps for a bit, but the problem will persist. The coal grate needs plenty of room between the grate wirs and underneath to allow the ashes to fall out.

    Hope this helps. Come on back if you still aren't sure what the cause is, or how to correct it...I do alot of really simple low-cost/low-time mods and get very noticable results for my efforts. You just need to identify the cause before you can begin with corrective actions.

    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010
  3. grillinwoody

    grillinwoody Newbie

    Hey thanks for the info, it's the square upright model (Model # 810-5503-S) the coals do seem to be getting buried in ash pretty quickly...I might have to fabricate my own pan, thanks for the tip
  4. dk666

    dk666 Fire Starter

    I had one of those in the past you might try to but a Grill Wok Pan to use to hold your coal I did when I had it worked ok  has the holes in it to let in air and let the ash fall out the bottom I bought this one for like $5 from Menards