Brinkmann vertical charcoal smoker to gas conversion

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Original poster
Aug 28, 2006
Hi all,
been reading a lot lately regarding the GOSM and other smokers.
Since I figured I wouldn't be smoking all that often and to "get my feet wet" I decided to spend the least possible to experiment.
Well it paid off. As I type this I can't stop smelling the thick aroma of hickory and smoked meat.
I just pulled my first piece of brisket (King Soopers didn't have any whole) and a good chunk of pork loin. Very impressed!!!

Anyway, in order to save a few bucks, I decided to try and convert a cheaper charcoal smoker to see if I would actually use a smoker.
I purchased the Walmart Brinkmann vertical smoker (18x18x36) for $60. (see pic below)
I felt this was a good test unit since it had 4 vents (2 on each side)
porcelain grates, longer legs and was larger than the small $100 GOSM sold at Walmart.
(Couldn't find the larger GOSM, and now I am glad I didn't)
I have a wood deck, so I just put a piece of drywall directly under the smoker to prevent hotspots and to catch any possible drips.

I already own two turkey fryer stands so I dismantled one and used the cast burner in the smoker. The flame adjuster knob is next to the regulator so its convienient to access.

The conversion took less than an hour. Drilled a hole in the back of the smoker for the brass connector piece that screws into the cast burner, then drilled two opposing holes (1/4") so that I could use the shutter valve (this really works). When open, it maintain a blue flame vs a weaker orange flame.
I also drilled a small hole in the bottom so the it could be fastened solid.
(the cast burner has a 3-4" bolt that mounts in the turkey fryer frame)

The conversion was quite simple and has proven to be worth the time and effort. It maintains temperature very well.
I burned it in for about an hour empty. The built in gauge was only off by 10-15 degrees when checked against an internal gauge.

The charcoal bowl is huge - about 15" in diameter and 6" deep.
This now makes for a massive wood pan since converted to gas.
It sits about 2" above the burner and can hold lots of wood.
Above the charcoal bowl is a slightly larger bowl for water. (see pic below) I must say I am quite impressed with how it turned out.

BTW, smoke is NOT an issue! I think I put too much Hickory because smoke was bellowing out between the door and slipping through the closed vents. It looked like something was on fire there was so much smoke!
I now only need to start with a good chunk or two and once that smokes out I add more.

I first tried 1/2 a fillet of Salmon and two pieces of Tilapia. (not ideal BBQ but I enjoy fish)
I was impressed with the flavor, but I had filled the pan 1/2 way with Hickory chunks and the smoke flavor was very strong.
I then tried a piece of brisket (2 lb - a flat maybe?) and a good chunk of pork loin (4 lb).
I started smoking around 10PM, then sometime after midnight I wrapped both in foil and pulled them out just after 4AM. (its my day off so who cares)
I was very impressed with the flavor and juiciness. The brisket had tons of juice and flavor - I am definitely going to play with this some more.

Here's a pic of the Brinkmann:

Here is a pic of the back - the brass jet screws directly into the burner,
then the hose coupling screws onto it.
Notice I reversed the shutter valve so it lays flat against the grill.
Also note the two 1/4" holes that allow the burner to breath.
Without those holes, you get a weak orange flame rather than the stronger blue flame.
Actually the shutter valve is NOT needed, because I will never rotate it to close the two holes.
I just left it to use as a washer.

Here is a pic of a similar cast burner.
This end buts against the back wall and you can see the air inlets and why you need to drill the
two holes so it can breath. Also in the pic is the brass jet attached to the hose coupling.
Just screw it into the cast burner and the other end into your propane source.
Under the burner notice the bolt.
I drilled a hole in the bottom of the smoker, pushed it through and secured it.
I added a washer and additional nut for a spacer since the burner sets about 1" above the bottom.
(see pic below) Solid as a rock!
It almost seems this smoker was meant to be modified for gas!

Here is the charcoal pan - (now the woodbox) and water pan.
The smoker is in use again already!
Notice how neatly the burner fits directly under the woodbox (charcoal pan)

Here is a pic from the underside.
You can see the bolt is secured with washer and a nut.

Heres dinner!
Mesquite smoked split chicken breasts with a spicy cajun rub......

You can see additional pics here>>>

Hope this is helpful - I am very satisfied with my franken-smoker!!!!
You did such a good job on that, that it doesn't even look like a mod. :D Good to see that the hose is completely outside so there's no chance of it melting and causing problems.

Chicken looks fantastic! 8)
Hi Gunhound,
I have that exact smoker and am really impressed with your propane conversion. I also have a turkey fryer that we don't use anymore. So I am considering do the conversion to my Brinkmann. Just want to make sure all is well with yours? Do you get a gas taste in your meat? Of course I guess it wouldn't be anything to put it back to plain ole charcoal and wood again.
Any updates or modifications you have would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again, Steve
No gas flavor detected. I brought some of the chicken to work for others to try, and they really enjoyed it. When we heated in the microwave, the smell of smoked meat was quite evident in the office. It smelled as though we had cooked it in there. I am very happy with the conversion and glad to have saved a few bucks as well. No problems so far, and it cooks very consistently. Only thing I did for the chicken was to mist it twice with aple juice, and then a mist of 50/50 bourban and water.
I have a Brinkman Offset coal/wood smoker, and would like to convert it to propane. Any ideas as to get some parts ?
Wow!!!!!!! Congrats. I have tried similar experiments but
couldn't get the high pressure turkeyfryer burner to hold a flame low enough. Did you have any such problems?
I just bought a Brinkmann 805-2101-S Pitmaster Deluxe Smoke 'N Pit. I want to convert it to a gas grill and gas smoker.So that I can use it for for slow cooking or quick BBQ.Has anyone converted one of these? any ideas?

I converted my old charcoal GOSM to propane also, but just used a single burner propane setup fed thru a side vent. I use an old fying pan on the burner, minus the handle and set my wood down on that. Works well and no complaints about gas flavor.
Great job, almost looks like it came from factory that way.
Thanks for the pics. I have been considering doing the exact same thing. It is starting to get old having to clean up my smoker, dismantle it, and take it back to the midwest to smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving. Might just buy one at the Walmart back there, do a mod and leave it there.
Thanks again
Hey it looks like you did an excellant job on the transformation.
Hello, hey that looks pretty impressive thanks for the instructions i can now convert my charcoal brinkman how do you regulate the temperature is it just by lowering or increasing gas flow? regards Kiwi Cooker is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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