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Greetings from Chicago


Joined Dec 26, 2013
Hi! My name is Jason. I'm from the suburbs of Chicago and just got my first smoker. My wife got me a Brinkmann Gourmet Charcoal Smoker/Grill for Christmas this year. Before that, I had (still have) a Brinkmann propane grill (sold under the Charmglow name), and had dabbled in smoking with a smoker box on that.

I'm excited to start doing some real smoking with charcoal. I write a food blog in my spare time, and love to cook in the kitchen and outside for my wife and 2 year old son.

I'm very happy to have found this forum, and I plan to check in often!
Last edited:


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined May 30, 2007
Glad you joined us Jason, :welcome1: from North Dakota!

gary s

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
Joined Jan 6, 2011
Hello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything.   
[/h1][h1]  [/h1][h1]Gary[/h1]


Thread starter
Joined Dec 26, 2013
Thanks for the welcome replies, guys!

I'm planning to fire up the smoker for the first time this weekend. I'm sitting at work right now trying to find a place that sells charcoal at the end of December in Chicago. Apparently it's not "grilling season" here at the moment.

Looks like my local Home Depot has Royal Oak lump, Kingsford mesquite lump, and a few Kingsford briquette varieties.

My understanding is that lump is generally preferred since it burns longer and hotter with less ash. 

Anyone have any experience with the Brinkmann Gourmet? Since there is no adjustable damper on the air inlet, will the lump burn too hot? I may work on a mod for the airflow as I've seen this is a good idea with this smoker. Not sure I'll get to it before this weekend, though, and I'd like to give the smoker a try.

Right now I have the smoker (along with welding gloves, tongs, charcoal chimney) plus some applewood chunks and hickory chips. The last thing I need to pick up is a bag of charcoal. Leaning towards the Royal Oak lump, but open to suggestions - or anything else I may have forgotten.

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