What you see here is a Brinkmann Smoke ‘N Pit Horizontal Charcoal Smoker and Gill, which is an offset-style smoker. It has been, to put it mildly… a disappointment.
It’s only seven years old in these photos, has been under a good cover all of those years, yet looks worse than my uncovered 20-25 year old bullet smoker – and they’ve both been outside the entire time.
The fire box was the first to go. One fire destroyed the finish almost instantly, so rust was soon to follow. The guage, which doesn’t have temperature readings on it, broke (I added the lower guage). The fire grate warped downward until it rested on the bottom of the fire box.
Worst of all, though, are the two legs that originally had rubber feet – after only 2-3 years, they were basically rusted stubs. Their feet are now either wedged up in them or have fallen out.
We do have a 4-month rainy season in Florida, but I never expected these legs to go so fast. Now we rest them on plastic squares to protect the patio, or prop them up on wood so the whole unit sits level, as intended.
So, quality-wise, there is no way I would recommend this smoker.
The one positive thing I will say is that it has room for a LOT of meat. That’s a welcome luxury, compared to bullet-style smokers.
Smoking meat on this has been a challenge. That’s partly my fault, for not knowing exactly what I was doing at first, but I’ve done some research and found that some of my problems come with the cheap offset-smoker territory. I won’t go into all of the details here, but I will summarize a few things I’ve learned on my own and discovered through research on other websites:
– It’s real easy to get soot all over your meat, so I have given up on burning fresh wood in the firebox. Commercial charcoal, or the coals from burned-down wood, work better.
– For smoke, use small wood chips
– Keep meat away from the opening between compartments, so it doesn’t burn
– Part of my research indicated that the exhaust valve on top of the smoke stack should remain wide open to prevent soot. Maybe, but I still managed to soot a lot of meat by adding too much fresh wood to the fire.
– Maintaining your desired temperature is EXTREMELY difficult in this unit. I have yet to get the hang of it.
Food I’ve Smoked With My Brinkmann Smoke ‘N Grill
- Pork Shoulders / Boston Butts, for Pulled Pork (click to read)
- Pork Ribs
- Whole Beef Briskets (click to read)
- Whole Chickens
- Whole Turkeys
Lots of room for meat
Disappointed in quality, especially legs
Can’t maintain consistent temperature
Ok, with all of this said, I do admit that I may be mostly to blame here. So leave comments below if you have advice, because I would love to master this beast and produce the fantastic smoked food I pictured when buying it. I have a feeling I’m not alone, though, based on what I’ve read on other sites.
Discovering that most of my frustrations were shared by others with these units was a little comforting. However, after spending hard-earned money on it, I would like to have some success with it before the whole thing completely dissolves away.
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