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New Smoker

Discussion in 'Indiana Big Lake Fishing' started by goggleye57, May 1, 2007.

  1. My wife bought me a new smoker for my birthday on Saturday. It was on clearance at Menards and can't be returned. Its a Brinkmann charcoal fired vertical smoker - a metal box on legs. I tried to cook some pork barbeque on it and had trouble getting it up to temperature with a pan full of charcoal burning. Anyone else had one of this - I didn't pick it out - but want to make the most of it? :rolleyes: My wife was trying :)
  2. your wife bought you a smoker huh?? kudos to you sir :)
    two things I would try, the first sounds a bit silly but it is the easiest.

    find a large cardboard box and slide it over the top of the smoker to shield it from the wind


    cut a piece of the charcoal pan out and replace it with wire mesh of some sort. this will hold the charcoal and allow better airflow through the coals.

    One of my buddies had a similar situation and once he cut a hole in the charcoal pan it worked a ton better for him.

    good luck

  3. Don't fill the pan completely....I have probably the exact same model. It's a small brinkman upright.

    I only fill the lower pan about half full, make sure the upper pan is filled with water.

    I drilled an additional hole in the top of mine for a "meat thermometer" so I can get an actual reading, not a "hot, ideal, cold" reading like the stad gauge that came with the unit.

    You might also want to invest in a small charcoal starter ($7-15). that way when the temperature starts to drop in the smoker, you can start some coals on the side, then add them in to the unit. You can always throw coals into the unit right from the bag, but I've found they smoke terribly and affect the flavor of the meat, that's why I burn mine in a starter until hot, then add to the smoker.

    They're a little tempermental, but once you figure them out, they are WONDERFUL. In the summer, I usually have it fired up every weekend. Pork tenderloin, venison steaks, jerky, chicken, fish,'s all good!
  4. good call stallion
    those charcoal starters are absolutely priceless!!!
  5. Indeed Jonesy...worth their weight in gold.

    Remember Goggleye...slower is better in smoking. Anywhere from 180-225 is ideal.

    Usually, a typical 4-5 lb pork tenderloin for me starts at around 250 degrees which is fine...sears the outside, and I can let that smoke for about 4 hours without doing anything to it. Once it gets to 180 I start another batch of coals on the that point it's all about regulating temperature until the meat hits the desired internal temperature.

    Another side note... for roasts/steaks/other bigger pieces of meat, pull the meat 3-5 degrees prior to the ideal temperature. Wrap it in foil and throw it in a cooler for about 10-20 minutes. This lets the meat rest, but will finish cooking, and you are left with the best, juiciest meat you've ever laid your lips on!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2007
  6. Great advice - I will try it out next weekend- thanks for the time :)
  7. No problem...good luck and happy smoking! ;)
  8. Goggle, I took out my charcoal pan and bought an electric heating element the single burner type I use a metal bowl filled with my favorite wood chips mmmm, I never have a problem brining it up to temp, and I can keep it smoking all night long without the hassle of refilling the charcoal... Worked so well I went out and got a Brinkman electric, and use them side by side... When the coho are in, a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do...

  9. I have an electric hot plate - I might try that too! :)