New Brinkmann Trailmaster Vertical Smoker

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by waywardswede, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Test fired the smoker this afternoon using a couple of chimneys loaded with Kingsford charcoal. While the chimneys heated up, I coated the CC with veggie oil.  Once the chimneys were going well, I dumped them onto the lower grate, closed the lid and opened both the firebox draft and the CC chimney wide.

    It took about 30 minutes for the factory thermometer (the only one I have right now) to get to 200 degrees.  The picture below shows the escaping smoke.

    Closer view of escaping smoke

    The only smoke (other than what I believe to be burn-off on the outside of the firebox) is coming from the chimney and the upper section of the CC door.

    I guess I will use the gasket kit to seal the CC door.

    After another 30 minutes, the thermometer was holding steady at 250.  Very little smoke showing.  So I got out the bag of apple wood chips I had and made a foil pack with about 3 handfuls.  Put the foil pack on the upper grate section closest to the pass-thru with a few knife holes poked in it.  I added a handful of chips to the farthest end of the pile of charcoal (closest to the draft door) and closed the lid.  15 minutes later, I have 300 degrees and TBS!!

    I have plenty of Kingsford to keep it going.  So far, so good.

    - Dave
  2. mrshep70

    mrshep70 Fire Starter

    Looking good. I know you probably already know this, but you will definitely want a different thermometer. My built in thermo was always 15-25 degrees off. I love my Maverick ET-732. Worth every penny. It keeps track of my pit temp and my food temp. You can set a low temp and a high temp warning for the pit and a done temp for the food. Also, depending on how much you want to spend, I highly recommend the Pitmaster IQ 110 or 120 pit monitor. I have the 120 because I wanted to take advantage of the available programming, but I'm sure the 110 does the job at a lower price.

    Give us some Q-view when you get some smokin done. We are always looking for inspiration and food.

    Mr. Shep
  3. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    That's a beautiful piece of smoking equipment.  Good luck with it.  Can't wait to see pic's from your first real smoke.

    Good luck and have fun.
  4. Mr Shep, you are correct. I am going to need a better thermometer.

    This one apparently reads LOW.  I overcooked the pork (it was better in the thicker sections) and the chicken, although the chicken seemed to fair better.  Maybe because I marinated the chicken for 45 minutes or so before putting it in the smoker.  Oh well... lesson one out of the way.

    I have looked at the reviews on this site for meat thermometers.  Most of you REALLY like the Maverick ET 732.  Reasonable price with remote readout.  I also want one of those digital (almost) instant-read pocket thermometers.

    So I will order a Maverick from Amazon today.  I'll install it and we'll do this again.
  5. I have the Maverick ET732 and love it and I got  this one
  6. I received my new Maverick ET732 yesterday in the mail.  Armed with this, I will fire up the smoker again this weekend... either baby backs or the country style ribs again.  I will marinate the meat this time and use a rub, too.  The only wood chips I have are apple.  They ought to be fine.

    I plan to get a fast-read digital thermometer, too.  I am thinking one of the Thermoworks Thermopops (TX-3100-xx).  They do have a sale on the Thermapens right now... expires Sept 1st.  But even that is more than I think I need to spend on this.  The Thermopop should work just fine.
  7. yraen

    yraen Fire Starter

    Just wanted to drop in and say thanks for the tip.

    It was a slow day at work the other day and I started searching around the web.  I had 4 smokers: 1 large stick burner, 1 large and 1 medium propane and 1 small electric.  The stick burner is horizontal offset, heavily modified.  The propane are vertical, slightly modified.  The electric purchased for when I just wanted to cook a small portion instead of for the week/month/season. [​IMG]

    I started looking at vertical smokers as I like the design, they come closest to a rotisserie without having a rotisserie as you can get.  I wanted to get away from gas though.  Wood chips or pellets are nice, but not my cup of tea.  I wanted to get back to a stick burner.  I saw several that I really liked but they came with sticker shock.  I've nothing against expensive ones, I paid a small fortune many years ago for my large smoker, but I like my money in my wallet anymore.  I stumbled across this thread and started reading.

    From the beginning I liked the look and layout.  I liked that the OP of the thread thought ahead and looked at what was needed to make this smoker reach the next level.  After reading I don't remember how many pages, doing other searches on this smoker and finding out the price I decided to pick this one up and make it smoker #5.

    Now, due to requirements beyond my control, my work computer is stuck with IE 8 and having a 37" monitor at home, I cannot surf the internet on a phone.  This meant that while all the other places online clearly showed they were out of stock, Tractor Supply was stuck on Alabama, but they did have a chance to have some stock.  The closest TS to me was about 20 minutes out of my way home, but I swung by there anyway thinking I could get them to order me one.  They didn't have one in stock, I didn't expect them to, but they did look up stock elsewhere and found some in Purcell (about 1 hour the opposite direction).  Needless to say, a little over 2 hours later I'm pulling up at the house with a smoker.  That I got it at clearance price is a bonus.  (For anyone else interested in OK, they had 1 left there as of Sept 2)

    I know the horror stories about dented smokers and what, but the box on this one looks pristine.  I couldn't see anywhere it looked to have been dropped or dinged.  It's currently in the garage awaiting the gasket kit to come in.

    I'll document the assembly, the seasoning and the first cook as they take place and post back here.  I plan on moving my Stoker from the horizontal to the vertical.  I'll try to chart the temps on each rack on the seasoning over the entire time, and at least two racks on the first cook.

    Thanks for the tip on this smoker.  It looks to be a keeper.
  8. You are welcome, Yraen.  My purchase was from Tractor Supply, too and it was also dent-free and no missing parts... and you gotta love Clearance Prices!  The savings paid for the Maverick, the Weber digital stick thermometer AND the gasket set I bought.

    I have noticed some discoloration (white) on the lower half of the firebox, opposite the draft door, on the side facing the CC.  My guess is HEAT.  I am planning to purchase some fire brick and fit them in the firebox to protect that side of the firebox.  Any thoughts?
  9. mrshep70

    mrshep70 Fire Starter

    Campsmoke. I use almost every inch of my firebox for long cooks. I used to use bricks in my charcoal basket, but they took up to much valuable fuel space. Let us know how you make out though, because I noticed the same thing. I was just going to touch it up with high temp paint when it got too bad. I gotta admit. I love this smoker. I've done one large brisket, three racks of baby backs, and four butts and they have all come out splendidly. Got a few complaints, but for the price they are not worth mentioning. 

    Yraen. Good luck and make sure to post some Q-View when you can. This thread has been very helpful with this cooker. All of the mods are definitely worth it. Get a Pitmaster IQ 110 or 120 and you will only use this smoker. [​IMG]
  10. Since I do not have a charcoal basket, my firebox is very open.  I am going to try these fire bricks...

    They are 1.25 inches thick and 4.5 inches wide and 9 inches long.  They can be cut/trimmed with masonry tools like any other concrete, using the appropriate precautions.  A single thickness of the brick blocking the fire/heat from the firebox endwall should be enough.  I figure the thickness of the fire brick is equal to maybe one charcoal briquet, so I would lose maybe a dozen or less coals.

    I will report back after making this mod.

    - Dave
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
  11. kiingspade

    kiingspade Newbie

    I need to buy this smoker. What mods do I need?
  12. chabu

    chabu Newbie

    Just pt mine together today. Used gasket kit and the rtv to seal. I bought an et732 and have another thermo for the stack. No dings on it but the door has a slight opening at the top and left side - even with gasket. The latch on the door is a little finicky to close and I imagine when its smoking with be tougher to manage (even with welding gloves). It looks like I'll need a latch for the top, at very least. Where are they purchased?


    PS I'll post pics later - just got a little too dark.
  13. Finally having time to put mine together.  It looks like shipping left it mostly unscathed.  It's bent a bit by the upper left part of the door frame so that the door doesn't overlap the edge.  Going to try and take a mallet to it and get it back into shape.  

    While putting it together, it appears that one of the holes for the smoker box transfer isn't threaded correctly.  the screw will not go more than half way in.  Thinking about getting a slightly smaller but longer bolt to go through the hole with it's own nut.

    Now if I could just figure out where the wingnut for the thermometer is..
  14. mrshep70

    mrshep70 Fire Starter

    Check out the beginning of this thread. WaywardSwede gives some good tips. You might not need all of them, but it does make a difference.
  15. mrshep70

    mrshep70 Fire Starter

    Here is the link to a place to buy the latches.
  16. Ok.. I have a fairly large gap on one side of the the transfer box/CC joint, and it looks like the door is too tight of a curve so it doesn't match up with the curve of the opening..I'm not sure the gasket is going to be enough to fill the gaps at the top and bottom so I need to flatten out the door some.  Not sure how the stress bracket on the bottom is going to feel about that.
  17. dtj16

    dtj16 Smoke Blower

    Camp- Ace has great Rutland gasket for about $8-10, you'll need 2. I used it in my BTM Horizontal and it's air tight. The latches I was told here that Harbor Freight has them for 7 bucks each. Still have to get mine. Here's a pic of my setup now, had it a little over 2 months and love it.
  18. dtj16

    dtj16 Smoke Blower

    Here's another with the lid open so you can see the gasket.
  19. dtj16

    dtj16 Smoke Blower

    My 2 mods left are the 2 latches for the lid and a new therm.
  20. mrshep70

    mrshep70 Fire Starter

    I filled the gap around my transfer box with high temp, food safe RTV sealant that I got from I ran a bead of sealant on the inside and just smoothed it out with my finger to make it look pretty. Mine still has a little gap at the top and bottom of the door. The curve of the door doesn't quite match the curve of the CC. I have a gasket on the door, but I think I'm going to put another gasket on the CC to double up and seal it. My door is a little finicky anyway. I need to lift it up about 1/2-3/4 of an inch so it will shut tight and latch.

    There is one thing I noticed that still needs to be fixed. The bottom and top of the CC is only tack welded on. The CC leaks around both of them. I want to run a bead of sealant around the inside of them, I just need to do it. That RTV sealant has been a great help. I was worried that the heat of the FB would be too much, but it seems to be holding up. That is what I used to seal the FB halves together.

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