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Somewhat of a new smoker here.

kiingspade

Newbie
21
10
Joined Jan 14, 2014
Hello everyone,

The name is Chris. I am 28 (as of today) and I am from Fredericksburg, VA. I have been smoking for about two years. Bought my first smoker at Wal*Mart for about 60 bucks. It wasn't much and for what I was doing it was pretty good. I am about to upgrade to the Brinkmann 57 in Vertical Trailmaster Smoker. Saw someone post a thread here about what he did to make it a pretty nice machine. I know what you are thinking, noobie with a big box store smoker and spending only a couple hundred bucks. I will say that I have read reviews and know of the small issues it brings, like the door. I decided on it because it is in my price range and I hear after the upgrades it can work pretty well.

Here are a few pics of the smokes I have done with the crappo smoker



I know these may not be the most "professional" BBQ out there and am sure I would be smoked under the table with majority of those that do it fulltime. However, I am learning and for the wife and I, it works pretty well. I am upgrading to the Trailmaster due to the HUGE temp problems this one above has. Any tips or anything is always appreciated.
 

gary s

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
25,834
4,342
Joined Jan 6, 2011
[h1]
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]
 

gary s

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
25,834
4,342
Joined Jan 6, 2011
Doesn't matter if you spend $60.00 or $6,000.00  It's all about the person doing the cooking, lookng at your pictures I would say you have it down,

Good job !!!

Gary
 

kiingspade

Newbie
21
10
Joined Jan 14, 2014
 
Doesn't matter if you spend $60.00 or $6,000.00  It's all about the person doing the cooking, lookng at your pictures I would say you have it down,

Good job !!!

Gary
Appreciate it. I figure if I can bring out meat out of the cheapo starter smoker like that when I get the Trailmaster and do a little upgrading I will be able to produce a better quality. Still learning different techniques and different rubs. Been browsing this forum and it keeps making me want to get the new smoker ASAP and start modding and start the smoking
 

matt22556

Fire Starter
63
11
Joined Sep 8, 2012
First, I'm just down the road from you off 610 in Stafford, we should hook up. Second the Trailmaster is a fuel hog, and not near as reliable as your el cheapo. Ever thought of a weber wsm? Same style your used to, and hella better. Your Q looks awesome btw! I have about the same amount of experience as you, so don't think that I believe I'm some master of the smoke, but one of my best friends has that same smoker and man it has a massive learning curve. Lots of mods needed. I just bought a wsm 22.5 for $315 new, and the guy I bought it from has another one and can get the 18.5 wsm for $200 out the door (just a thought).
 

gary s

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
25,834
4,342
Joined Jan 6, 2011
I started on, and still have an ECB that I use on occasion. The big advantage to a larger smoker is the amount of meat you can cook at one time. The el-cheap-o types are usually made of very thin material which requires a lot more attention, but it is still about the person cooking. I have been to BBQ cook-offs and seen people with high dollar custom pits turn out some so - so Q and  people with El-Cheap-O's turn out some really really good Q. 

Gary
 

ppaws501

Newbie
2
10
Joined Jan 15, 2014
The Trailmaster Vertical is terrific with a couple of easy tweaks.  Yes, you need to use some high temp. silicon gasket around the door.  You also want to replace the temperature probe--it is way off.  Tel-tru makes pretty good ones and aren't too expensive.  It'll take a couple of cooks to get fire management figured out, but you'll get the hang of it pretty easy.  Can't beat it for under $300! It'll use a little more fuel than a thicker metal, better insulated pro model, but not too bad.  The vertical design is more efficient than a horizontal.  This helps to make up for the thinner steel construction.
 

kiingspade

Newbie
21
10
Joined Jan 14, 2014
First, I'm just down the road from you off 610 in Stafford, we should hook up. Second the Trailmaster is a fuel hog, and not near as reliable as your el cheapo. Ever thought of a weber wsm? Same style your used to, and hella better. Your Q looks awesome btw! I have about the same amount of experience as you, so don't think that I believe I'm some master of the smoke, but one of my best friends has that same smoker and man it has a massive learning curve. Lots of mods needed. I just bought a wsm 22.5 for $315 new, and the guy I bought it from has another one and can get the 18.5 wsm for $200 out the door (just a thought).
I thought about the webby but I think I am trying to get away from the bullet style. The other issue is I think they are a bit smaller than what I need. I have heard the Trailmaster is quite large. I know the tweaks are needed and the fuel hog is a bit of an issue, but I think with the proper tweaks and mods I won't have too much of an issue. I also think if necessary I will add some fire bricks or something to help maintain some heat if i notice after tweaks it is still sucking up too much fuel and not maintaing temps. We should def get together in the future and do a smoke together.
 

kiingspade

Newbie
21
10
Joined Jan 14, 2014
 

The Trailmaster Vertical is terrific with a couple of easy tweaks.  Yes, you need to use some high temp. silicon gasket around the door.  You also want to replace the temperature probe--it is way off.  Tel-tru makes pretty good ones and aren't too expensive.  It'll take a couple of cooks to get fire management figured out, but you'll get the hang of it pretty easy.  Can't beat it for under $300! It'll use a little more fuel than a thicker metal, better insulated pro model, but not too bad.  The vertical design is more efficient than a horizontal.  This helps to make up for the thinner steel construction.
Will Tel-tru fit in the trailmaster?The one smoker I have atm was a MAJOR FUEL HOG - it had so many leaks and was such a pain I was never able to maintain a steady temp it frustrated me but i knew what I had it worked, but always seemed to cause issues. So a little extra fuel is ok for a better quality smoker. Do you think if i used some insulation on the outside it would be a good idea? Any pros cons for insulating a smoker on the outside?
 

ppaws501

Newbie
2
10
Joined Jan 15, 2014
The Tel Tru I got fit my smoker but they might come in different sizes.  As far as fire management I burn one log and mix in lump charcoal as needed and usually have to check it about every 45 minutes or so.  For the leaky door I just used High Temp. caulk.  I loaded it up where the gaps were and put some wax paper in between the door and caulk.
 

kiingspade

Newbie
21
10
Joined Jan 14, 2014
 
The Tel Tru I got fit my smoker but they might come in different sizes.  As far as fire management I burn one log and mix in lump charcoal as needed and usually have to check it about every 45 minutes or so.  For the leaky door I just used High Temp. caulk.  I loaded it up where the gaps were and put some wax paper in between the door and caulk.
Thanks for the response.
 

WaterinHoleBrew

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
9,525
2,456
Joined Jun 18, 2013
Welcome, you won't regret joining this forum. Nice pics, great job Thumbs Up. WHB
 

kiingspade

Newbie
21
10
Joined Jan 14, 2014
Welcome, you won't regret joining this forum. Nice pics, great job
. WHB
Thank you. I am feeling better about my technique with the positive reviews here about my pics from my smokes. Kind of giving me validation that I am doing quite well and will only get better with the help of the more seasoned and wiser smokers.
 

bdskelly

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,696
1,611
Joined Feb 3, 2013
Welcome to the forums! We are happy that you joined the group. You'll find plenty of information here with over 1 million posts! Make the search bar at the top of the page your new friend.  Or, simply post your question in the area that applies. You'll get plenty of helpful advice. 

Also consider enrolling in Jeff's 5 day E course. It gives you lots of great information to start you off on the right foot! Best of all is that it's free!

Again, WELCOME 

Brian
 

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