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New to Smoking... Lame Turkey...

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Post Mon May 17, 2004 5:18 pm
Cowboy raw

Posts: 1
:cry: Greetings fellow carnivours...

I'm a good cook, but new to smoking meat.
I've purchase a Brinkmann Gormet Electric Smoker... $60. I'm very disapointed with the 12lb turkey I tried to cook. :oops: It was done outside but only about 150 degrees inside after almost 12 hrs in the smoker. I'm thinkin' the following might be what went wrong.

To many lava rocks.
Didn't soak the wood enough.
Put cold water in pan to many times.
The lid doesn't look all that airtight,,, 3/8" gap around it.
It was a bit windy.
:x There's no thermometer.
Buying a brinkman electric smoker was a $60 mistake.

If I'm close to the mark with any of these, please let me know.
If anyone has experiance using one of these, and can give me some tips or direct me to a good site that would be great.

Post Mon May 17, 2004 5:32 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 13157
Location: Texas
Howdy Cowboy, welcome to the board.

Sorry to hear about the turkey. Hope you were able to save it.

The lava rocks and the water pan serve to help stabilize the temperature in most smokers (although I don’t know of many that use lava rocks). However, in an electric unit you adjust the temperature with a thermostat. After you fire up the smoker you should add hot water so the water doesn’t drop the temps. But be careful as adding water can create stream which can cause nasty burns. In your case the water will help keep the meat moist.

Your lid needs to fit tight or you won’t be able to hold the heat. I’ve heard others state that they have a hard time keeping temps up in electric units like yours (you’re not alone), especially under windy conditions.

A thermometer is an absolute must. Not only do you need a quality thermometer for your smoker but you should also IMHO have a remote probe meat thermometer. If you can’t tell the temperature you’ll never get consistent results.

If this smoker isn’t living up to your expectations be sure to return it as soon as possible and pay a little more for a dependable unit. Loads of members on the boards have Weber Smoky Mountain (WSM) smokers. I have two Great Outdoors Smoky Mountain smokers.

Hope you get this resolved. Smoking is a great way of life!

Post Mon May 17, 2004 6:12 pm

Thanks for responding Bob...

I think I'm going to return the Brinkman. I'm not at all happy not knowing the temp I'm cooking at. Even in my conventional oven I tend to cook pork or poultry for hours at 225-250. I was also very bothered by the lid... I'm a novice, but it looked suspect to me.

The wife won't be happy. I suspect the smoker I need will cost more than $60, she is ready to stuff me in that Brinkmann. She and the kids waited all day for smoked turkey last night, and got hot dogs instead :roll:

Thanks again... Hope I can contribute something to the forum...

Post Tue May 18, 2004 11:45 am
MReynolds well done
well done

Posts: 394
Location: Missouri, St. Peters
I have a Brinkmann water smoker and have been pleased with it's performance so far. My unit does not have a thermometer either, so I always check the internal temperature with a probe thermometer. (I will have to look into purchasing a remote probe thermo)

I think the wind was one of your detriments. I almost always position my smoker in a corner of my deck/patio area where the effects of wind are minimal. However, there are other instances when I simply cannot help the wind conditions or the outside temp is just too cold. In those cases I've used a sonotube from the hardware store to minimize the wind effects. I've also seen smoker blankets/jackets available online to combat the cold outside temps.

You didn't mention how often you checked your bird, and/or added water to the pan. Bob was on the money with adding HOT water to the pan while smoking. Every time the lid comes off all of the heat escapes. Every time the heat escapes, you're adding cooking time. I limit the number of times and the amount of time the lid comes off the smoker. Generally, I check the meat every two hours. I've found that the pan will hold about a gallon of liquid and it usually takes a bit longer than the two hour period to burn off.
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