• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Getting back into the saddle!!!


Joined Dec 26, 2016
Hello everyone,

My name is James and I'm relapsing back into being obsessed with smoking everything I can possibly put into my new smoker! :D I've had small smokers before where I could do butts and some ribs, but nothing that I would consider more than amateur at best to work with. Granted the new smoker I have isn't nearly as fancy as some of what I have seen on this site, its a big deal to me and I'm sure it will lead into many more future purchases lol.

I live in southern Mid Michigan, it's cold and I'm eager to fire up this smoker but I'm going to suffer through and wait till the weather breaks so I can fully season it and do things proper. So here's what I'm using and at the bottom I'm going to list a few questions which I have and hopefully I can get some answers, thank you guys!

My birthday was the 22nd of this month (4 days ago), I was surprised by my girlfriend who purchased this Brinkman 57" tall vertical smoker with attached fire box on the side. We had a local Kmart going out of business and apparently this was a floor model which was put in the back and forgot about so they put it out for sale for a bit over 75% off retail (not sure what she paid but I was told not much at all). I'm not one big on getting things for my birthday so I was initially ticked, but now I'm good and am now consumed with making this thing the best I can to put out some good quality food.

This version of this smoker is the heavier duty model with latches on the top and bottom and thicker gauge cast for most parts. I know this isn't the best smoker in the world, but it's an upgrade from having nothing and I know with a bit of time and energy into it I can make it great.

That being said:

1) Anyone with experience with this smoker have any tips/tricks for it?

2) I plan to season this once I get my shed built where I plan on housing this, since I have no manuals with this smoker I'm relying on the basics and I plan on giving it a good clean then spraying with oil and doing a 2-3 hour season, my only questions is: High sustained heat, or step it up to a certain point then hold for xx minutes?

3) I plan on disassembling this unit and RTV'ing everything to get a good seal, anything else I should do while taking it apart?

4) My mod list isn't very big right now, what should I look to add to this smoker to make it even better? So far I have

            Stoker kit- Seems like a great investment...true? False? Any recommendations on which unit is best for this application?

            Coal basket- This seems to be a must have, how do I go about getting the perfect dimensions for my firebox?

            Seal gaskets- Would appreciate a source to seal this baby up.

5) Ok, I don't plan on doing long term smoking right away, but any good sources on how to go about maintaining a smoker for items such as brisket? I guess my biggest questions is how do you keep your smoker that hot for that long? Keep adding charcoal to the basket? Have a second basket waiting? I've always wondered this but never jumped into it.

6) Ok I'm rambling now, anything else you can offer for tips/tricks? Also where do you find out good sources for wood for smoking? Like I said, I'm new to the "real" deal smoking via charcoal and chunk wood so I have a ton of studying to do in order to relearn this craft.

Thank you all very much!

pc farmer

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Feb 17, 2013
I have that same smoker, got it a year ago.

​I use all wood, only charcoal to get it started.

I have done NO mods to it.  Maybe I should I don't know.

I have added a propane burner to the bottom of the cook chamber thou.

Welcome to the forum.


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Welcome to the forum James!

Congrats on the new smoker!


Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.