Tips for smoking on a Brinkmann Southfork Smoker Grill

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by ryan in louisville, May 19, 2011.

  1. I got a Brinkmann Southfork Smoker for x-mas, with permission of SWMBO of course.  [​IMG]   I haven't smoked on it yet due to school and work demands but am hoping to change that come Memorial Day Weekend. I owned a Chargriller with SFB and was familiar with it but have never smoked on a smoker that has a vertical cooking chamber. 

    Does anyone have any tips on temp differences between the main chamber and the vertical cooking chamber?  I would like to do a nice sized smoke but not sure of this style of smoker.

    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That's a nice looking rig. Can't help you with your question, but I'm sure someone will be along shortly who can.
  3. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    I dont think I've ever seen that model. Looks nice though.

    I as well do not have the answer. However, my dad has a similar styled unit. When the Vertical tank is @ 250, the grilling barrel is usually at 400+ on the fire box side, and abotu 300+ at the left side. Hope that helps some
  4. Yes, that does help. It is more info than I had before.

    I am also in the midst of building a homebrew temp controller. The original design is over on TVWBB.  Later this summer I can do some loooooong smokes and really get to test my skills.

  5. Can anyone else help me? I do appreciate ThunderDome's answer so I have an idea of what it takes to get the vertical part to 250. 

    I still haven't cooked on it but am planning to in 2 weeks. I am planning on cooking for my in-laws annual 4th of July party. So in 2 weeks I am going to do a smaller test to learn the smoker. Thinking of doing a pork loin, brisket, and some japapeno's in the vertical part. I might even do some cheese if I can figure out if the temp will be low enough.


    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  6. Well I finally used it!!!!   [​IMG]

    I didn't think it was supposed to rain Sunday but it did. That'ds why the smoker is inside the barn.  The air temp was 70 deg or so and I had a hard time keeping the temp below 250, it wanted to stay at 275 with both vents SHUT.  I am using the factory gage for now ( I know I shouldn't be though).  Here is a TBS shot


    L to R is brisket, Boston butt, and pork loin.  The butt is in small pieces because I had to be done in about 7 hours (plus my BIL cut it up).


    I don't have any finished Q-view, there were so many people in the kitchen when the meat was pulled/sliced, I couldn't get any pics. 

    Sunday I am starting 35 lb of butt @ 11 PM, After that gets close to 190, I am putting them in the vertticle part and putting brisket, pork loins, ??? on.  Then doing ABTs, garlic,  and apples after all that.  It is going to be a long couple days.

  7. ohm

    ohm StickBurners SMF Premier Member

    Nice rig! I am day...
  8. I was wondering about that type of smoker too. How does it do if your cooking like butts in the horizontal and tryn to cook like brisket or ribs int the vert. ?
  9. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ryan,look in the WIKI for woodburning 101, and check out the Baffel and plating threads or if you can't find any,I can probably help you, and get you on all wood.

    I've seen those at Bass Pro and they are well built and will IMHO hold heat good.However some fire brick for ballast doesn't hurt either...Here's mine:


    and the plates:


    does a good job of directing the heat flow...[​IMG]

    Have fun and...
  10. Ryan,

    I just picked up one of these used and I am in the process of rebuilding it.  Have you come across any modification's that you wish you had or that you have changed yourself since you got yours?


  11. Tony,

    I made a charcoal basket for the FB. If you hunt around on here, there are many people who detail how to build one.

    I calibrated the dial thermostats. BTW, they were within 1%.

    The biggest mod I have done so far was not for smoking performance, but for ROLLING performance. The way the original smoker is built, there is a huge gap between the axle shaft and the tubing that the wheel rides on. I took the wheels off and had a friend make some Oilite bushings to pressfit into the wheel. Put the wheels back on with a fender washer and a cotter pin and it rolls much, much better.

    Fire it up and see how the heat control works. On mine, it likes to stay HOT. I have a hard time keeping it cool but with the verticle section, I can rotate meat through there to keep everything at the same pace.

    Hope this helps,

  12. Thanks for the info Ryan!  [​IMG]

    I like the idea of the bushing for the wheels!  I will have to see what I can manufacture to tighten that up a bit. 

    Can't wait to get this thing lit and run a brisket through there!

    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  13. Tony,

    Have you had a chance to try your smoker out yet?

  14. Hey Ryan,

    I haven't had a chance to fire it up yet. [​IMG]   Unfortunately, the NY weather has been keeping me limited to only a couple of hours of work at a time before I have to call it quits.  So far I have it all scraped, sanded and wire-brushed.  Just waiting for a nice day on a weekend when I can get some paint on there.  So close I can almost smell it!

    I'll post some pictures once I get it up and running!


  15. This was the old gal when I got her...sad and neglected [​IMG]

    I haven't taken any pics yet of it scraped and sanded, but it already looks 20x's better.  I'll update when I get a chance!

  16. Have you figured out what the bent wire things are on the top and bottom of the horizontal chamber?  I can't figure out what they do.

  17. Hey Ryan,

    I finally got the smoker out of the garage from this never ending winter and took a look at the bent wires you were talking about.  The top one is to hold the lid when you have it open but I am having a tough time figuring out what the bottom one is used for.  Possibly as a wood catch if you have a stack under there and are moving the smoker around?

    Well....I got the first coat of new blood on but I have to again move it back into the garage for our next snowstorm.

    I can't wait to feed the beast! 

    Have you noticed a big difference in temp between the left and right side of the horizontal chamber?  I was thinking about adding a diffuser plate or some tuning plates but haven't decided on which.



  18. Well.....I threw on 3 pork butts for its maiden voyage and this smoker held the temp just about perfect at 230 degrees. It was pretty chilly that night (20ish degrees) so I am assuming that will raise a little as it thaws out here. This thing can really throw some smoke! Everything turned out great and I can't wait to try out some other cuts of meat!

  19. Paint job and food looks mighty good.

    You were asking about temperature gradients.  I have noticed a big difference between FB end and the other.  I have plans to fab a diffuser plate but haven't gotten around to it.

    I thought I had looked at the upper bent piece and and didn't contact the lid when the lid was open.  I am not near the smoker so I can't go look but for the life of me I can't figure out the lower one id for.

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