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Modifying a Brinkman Smoker

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Post Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:34 pm
Dogfish raw

Posts: 1
I have a new Brinkman verticle charcoal smoker. My biggest issue is that I can't seem to get it hot enough. According to the temp gauge, it gets to about 150, or less, holds steady, then dies out.

I was thinking of making some modifications to it, namely, drilling some holes in the bottom to allow more air for the fire, or, making some type of open and close vents on the sides for the same purpose, to allow more air in to get the fire going better.

I know I need to keep the heatb low and slow, but it would not cook a 3 pound brisket after smoking for 3-4 hours. It wasn't even close to being done. It just doesn't seem to generate the heat. I had the coal pan filled, and added coal as well. The coal pan is directly below the water pan, maybe the water pan is too close??? I don't know. Maybe I need an even bigger mound of coal? Or, will some mods help this smoker to breathe better?

The Dogfish

Post Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:47 pm
Wolfpackbbq well done
well done

Posts: 2671
Location: San Ramon, CA
Welcome Dogfish!

Don't trust the stock gauge!!! It is waaaaay inaccurate. My ECB runs about 310-320 with a full load of coal. It needs to be modified to get the temps down and control air flow better. Check this link out

Post Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:16 pm
mbshop well done
well done

Posts: 863
Location: visalia ca
if you have the newer style with the big pan then
you need to get a setup that allows a space underneath for
the ash. also i would rig up a way to have adjustable vents
on the sides. i saw something somwhere. will look for it.
randys site is good for the older style such as mine.
looks cool with the weber vent on top.
spam, can't live without it.

Post Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:17 pm
mbshop well done
well done

Posts: 863
Location: visalia ca
for the newer style take a look at this;
will give you an idea of what needs done.
spam, can't live without it.

Post Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:51 am
Ian Mack well done
well done

Posts: 367
Location: Cornwall, UK

If it's the Vertical I'm thinking of (the square one, with 3 racks), then you need to get what Brinkmann call a "heat booster grate", which is just a grate that lifts the charcoal up in the bowl, allowing more air to get to it.

Post Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:15 am
TX Sandman well done
well done

Posts: 1977
Location: DFW, Texas
Welcome aboard, Dogfish!

Rob - TX Sandman

Post Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:57 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 13157
Location: Texas
Welcome to the board Dogfish! :D

The link wlfpkrcn gave is where you should start for the round smoker.

If you have the square one then you most likely need a fire grate (if it doesn't) already have one) in the charcoal pan. Charcoal sitting in the bottom of a pan will produce ash which will buildup and begin to smother the fire and there isn’t enough air flow to begin with.

The stock thermometers aren’t the best way to monitor pit temperatures. :? A remote probe thermometer through a vent (if it has one) or carefully routed under the lid (so as not to pinch) at food-grate level will give you a much better reading.

And lastly…. Don’t expect brisket to finish any time soon or try to rush it. Brisket will be done when it’s done (even the small ones :wink: ). Try to keep your pit temperature between 210° and 250.°

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