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Scottish Newbie


Joined Apr 21, 2007
I worked in Houston some years ago and loved the way meat was cooked (smoked) at BBQs I attended, smokers are now available in Britain, probably have been for some time but the 'traditional' BBQ grill is what is in most shops.

Anyway, I have bought a Brinkman Vertical Smoker and having found this forum thought it would be a good idea to join.

Just trying the smoker out for the first time right now and I don't know how to get the temperature up to an acceptable level, it is currently showing as 150degF, from what I have read it should be 175-220, or possibly more. I am using charcoal briquets, and have added some dry hickory to try to increase the heat but it made little difference. Should l be using wood alone, lumpwood charcoal or a mixure of both ?

Any advise would be appreciated.



Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Nov 25, 2006
Welcome to SMF SprintRacer. Glad to have you aboard. When you get the time would you please put a push pin in our map.. we don't get too many people from Scotland...


How many coals do you have going? You may not have a large enough bed to maintain your heat level. Make sure your vent is open and you have good air flow through the coal bed to get the heat up. Use the coals for heat and the wood for smoke.

If you still have problems, check back and keep asking until you get a good answer.

Keep Smokin


Thread starter
Joined Apr 21, 2007
Wow, prompt reply !

The fire tray only has a single vent in the centre, primarily to allow ash to escape I think. It may be worthwhile drilling a few more holes to allow better airflow.

I may try adding some more charcoal as well, I have had a whole chicken (4lb) a pork loin (3/4lb) and four chicken fillets (6oz) in the smoker for around 3hrs now and the fillets are almost cooked (I took one out to check it a short time ago) I have almost certainly been looking in the smoker too often and letting the heat out.

I will learn though.



Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jan 25, 2007
Welcome to the SMF SprintRacer. Great folks here with a ton of smoking knowledge, so jump right in with any and all questions and comments. Take some time and do some reading through the forum, like I said...tons of info and great recipes.

Sounds like a brillant meal you have cooking, and yes keep the door closed....we have a saying " You ain't cooking if your looking" .

When you get a chance, click on the below link.....we have quite a few members with a proud scottish heritage!!! Glad you found us!!



Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Joined Feb 24, 2007
Hi Murray!
Drag racer here (we don't like to turn). There is info here on drilling 1/4" holes in a circle pattern in the bottom of the smoker. I also installed a cheap but accurate thermometer in the hood, just at the meat level, to keep and eye on temp without having to remove the hood. If your Brinkman has its own "Low Ideal High" thermometer, they are quite INaccurate.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jul 16, 2006
Welcome to SMF! Glad you found us. Keep asking those questions, the friendly folk here will make answer.

Take care, have fun, and do good!




Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jul 17, 2005
Welcoome, Scottish Smoker!

The tips already presented should help you out tremendously. If not, come back and we'll try something else.

I am of Clan Montgomery, directly descended from William and Mary of Fordyce Village, Bamffshire County. And one generation removed from Scotland's soil.

Scotland Forever!



Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Feb 22, 2007
welcome to SMF...as you can tell already, lots of friendly helpful people

larry maddock

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 27, 2005
hello hello,
im glad to meet you...

i use a digital pocket pen style instant read thermometer...
its switchable to read C or F temps

they cost around $10 U S

this works great for me....



Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Feb 7, 2007
Welcome to the forum SprintRacer. I look forward to you sharing your smoking adventures with us. Also, don't hestitate to ask questions since this forum has so many friendly folks eager to help.


Legendary Pitmaster
Joined Nov 18, 2006
Welcome Murry -

Glad you found us! Brinkman doesn't seem to like to put air holes in for some reason. Just make sure whatever holes you put in today you can close them off tomorrow when it get to be wintery cold.


Smoking Guru
Staff member
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
OTBS Admin
Group Lead
Joined Jul 7, 2005
Welcome to SMF Murray! One of the reasons Brinkmann is cheap on ventilation holes in the fire pan is the issue of liability, it seems that they don't want to face a lawsuit if any hot embers drop thourgh and catches someones wood deck on fire. Do a Forum search on the "Minion Method" for lighting your charcoal.


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