Brinkmann Gourmet Electric

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by mommameah, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. mommameah

    mommameah Newbie

    Ugh.....I am using this for the first time and am furious.  I've just wasted a $30 piece of meat because it sat in 150 degree heat for 4 hours.  There was nothing in the owners manual to indicate wind or breeze would affect the temperature so dramatically. Based on comments from an older threat I wrapped a moving blanket around it to see what it would do, and it jumped right up to 200 degrees.  but its much too late for my brisket.   I don't think I should have to wrap a blanket around it every time either.  If that was needed it should have come with it or offered as an accessory.   I hate to be a Debbie Downer but DANG!!!   I wanted that brisket today during my game. It just would have been nice to know.  

    Does anyone have suggestions on another brand or model of smoker that doesn't have this issue?
  2. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I would go with the Smokin-it.  They are all stainless steel in and out and heavily insulated around except for the bottom/floor.   The first link is to the Smokin-it posts here at SMF.  The second link covers the install of a digital controller (not needed but nice).  I included it just to show you the amount of insulation packed into a Smokin-it.  The last link is Smokin-it's Facebook page.  You can save 5% by ordering there.  I have to tell you that shipping is kind expensive, and the smokers cost more than what you will find in big box stores.  But quality and reliability cost .  Yet they are less expensive than the Cookshack smokers and utterly reliable.  Also see the group listings above for Smokin-it as well as the site itself.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  3. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Did you contact Brinkmann customer service about this? I'd start there. If they can't give you satisfaction you still might be able to return it for a refund depending on where and when you purchased it. For me, I love my MES 30 Generation 1. Have had it for two years with no problems. Here's a link:

    I've also read and experience that briskets tend to get "stuck" at around 150-160 degrees IT for a few hours and you need to wait it out. There are some very knowledgeable and experienced brisket smokers in this forum so perhaps in the Meat forum. Perhaps some of the guys might give you some advice in this thread.
  4. mommameah

    mommameah Newbie

    I am in fact trying to contact Brinkman but their CS hours aren't so convenient..  I would return it in a heartbeat, but of course we just threw the box out last  trash collection.

    I am liking the looks of the MES  Does it use water? 

    Just curious...I don't see anything about it and I'm always curious about the meat drying out.

    Thanks for the 411.
  5. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brinkmann doesn't give you an email option? I've only needed to contact Masterbuilt customer service by phone twice and both times they were great. In addition, a MB tech guy has made him available by private message to members of this forum and he's proven to be absolutely awesome.

    From my experience, which is about 2 1/2 years with my MES 30, the only way to dry out meat when smoking it is to seriously overcook it at too high a temp for too many hours, which I understand is a generalized statement. We could narrow it down when talking about specific meats and other foods. I've been told, and I share the opinion that the water pan in the MES 30 is too large for the interior of the smoker; it puts out way too much steam which tends to snuff out burning wood pellets (I use wood pellets and not wood chips). Because of this, I leave the water pan empty and just foil it over. My "Q" still comes out moist and tender because I'm cooking at low temps, rarely over 250 degrees but more typically down around 235. Some recipes call for wet rubs, bastes and mops, which help keep the meat moist. Some people inject flavored liquids or juices into the meat for extra flavor, moistness and tenderness. I recently found out that smearing mustard on ribs and other meats before applying dry rubs also adds to the moisture. It's just a matter of learning different techniques and applying the ones you like.
  6. mommameah

    mommameah Newbie

    They have an option to contact them via their web page, but it never works.  I have called and they are less than helpful with an attitude alleging that apparently my house just doesn't put out enough electricity and they will send me a new heating element.  In the meantime, it's not the heating element because as long as there is not a stitch of breeze it works fine.   And then the guy says "well what do you want me to do?"  

    Aaaand.....I'm done with Brinkmann.  It could magically smoke an entire meal for 100's  in two minutes and I want nothing to do with them.

    The whole experience has really soured my desire to even get into this.  Once that has passed I will be looking further into your suggestion

  7. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Please don't let this experience stop you from pursuing food smoking if that's something you'd really like to do at home. Great satisfaction is derived from putting great, homemade "Q" on the table to the praise of family and friends. When you get the fairly easy techniques down, you can produce ribs, briskets, etc. that rival anything offered by chain BBQ restaurants. Your brisket may not be like an Aaron Franklin brisket but it doesn't need to be since it will still taste absolutely great.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  8.  What Rick said. Sorry you wasted your money. Look around the site and you may find some others who had your same experience. You may eventually get your money's worth out of it. In the mean time you have found a home here and many will welcome you. If you have not stooped by Roll call and introduced your self do it, you will find everything from reviews to recipe's and everything in between. I especially recommend Jeff's 5 day course (Pointers from a pro)  to get you going. Welcome aboard      Jted
  9. pachicklady

    pachicklady Newbie

    I too am a new owner of a Brinkmann electric smoker and made salmon last night and thought that it took too long to smoke. In doing some additional research, I've found that additional lava rocks to cover the element will add to heat once ya "get 'ER heated up!"

    My other consideration was to see if there is a bigger aftermarket heating element to use instead of the one included. I'd return it but I bought a floor model.
  10. speedway73

    speedway73 Fire Starter

    I have the same unit and it works like a champ. It will hold a rock steady 250* grate temp all day/nite long. But only 250*. You're gonna be hard pressed to get anything higher than 275* out of it and that's on a hot summer day.

    Now...with that being's what I learned along the way.

    These things do NOT like the wind at all. It's only a 1500W burner and it needs all the help it can get. Build yourself an inexpensive wind shelter if you have the means to do so. (It greatly helps). Winter time...if you're in the northern a shelter.

    Don't bury the element in lava rock. Just don't.

    Ditch the water pan and just use a pizza pan as a deflector. Otherwise...drippings will flare up on the burner. The water pan CAN be made to work..but you need to put as hot of water in it as possible...AFTER the smoker has come up to temp.

    Put a good therm in the lid. It'll give you a good idea of your dome temps.

    Plug it directly into a socket if you can. If not... use a medium to heavy duty extension cord and keep it as short as possible.

    Don't over-crowd it with food. There needs to be air space around each piece of meat to let the heat work correctly...not much space...1/2" is plenty.

    No peeking! Every time you lift that takes several minutes to get back that heat you just lost.'s only a 1500W burner.

    I've had mine for over 5 years now and I treat it poorly...leave it out in the rain...don't cover it....bad me.'s still on the original burner.

    I've made some incredibly delicious baby backs, spares and pulled pork.....many many times. When I take my bbq into work and give it away in the's gone in less than an hour. They have no idea that it was all done on an electric Brinkmann.

    Don't give up,brotha. That little electric smoker will turn out some amazing bbq....just gotta know it's limits.

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