Rated 3.2 out of 5 by 62
Rated 4 out of 5 by ugadawgs98 Nice budget smoker
Overall I am very please with this split door smoker. I have used it for about a dozen long smokes, mostly Boston Butts, that have turned out some excellent pulled pork. I replaced a Brinkman Smoke n' Pit bullet smoker with this and found it is defiantly much easier to use due to the doors.
My main complaint with the smoker is the charcoal pan. It is the same design Brinkman has used for ages on all their smokers and it still has the same problems which they will not correct....no vent and no grate on the charcoal pan. The charcoal ends up smothering itself in ash as the top coals burn out. The bottom coals get no oxygen and there is no grate to allow the ash to fall so it smothers. You must constantly open to door and shake the pan to keep it burning which lowers the heat and increases the cook time. If you do nothing to the pan you will battle to keep the temp at 200 degrees. That really takes the fun out of smoking.
I solved the problem by replacing the charcoal pan with a stainless steel Charmglow grilling wok from Home Depot. It fits the rails perfectly and solves the problem. The smoker would get 5 stars if Brinkman would fix the design.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Slaps Fantastic Product
This was so easy to assemble (I purchased online not at a store)!!! Has 2 racks you can adjust easily and easy to clean IF you follow the directions on how to season it. I am recommending it to everyone I know that uses a smoker for anything.
Rated 4 out of 5 by dhdallas Great value
Easy to assemble. I did swap out the stock charcoal pan for one with air holes and added a quality temperature gauge as the one that came with the unit arrived broken. After seasoning the unit as directed, I fired it up and smoked a beef roast, pork ribs and some sausage. It maintained an even temperature throughout with only minor adjustments to the air vents. The dual doors make it super easy to add charcoal and wood and to apply a mop to your meat. Overall this is a great entry level smoker at a great price.
Rated 5 out of 5 by frozenbean Smoking Greeeeaaaat ! ! ! !
After reading many of the reviews posted here I realized most buyers intended to purchase a grill and DON'T KNOW the differrence between a grill and a smoker. Smokers cook at low temperatures for extended periods.
I bought this smoker at my local Wally World and love it!. Just smoked 2 medium chikens for 6 hrs at a average 150-160 degree temperature. In the last hour I increased the bricket-charcoals and wood to reach the reccomended 180 temp for well cooked poultry.
THIS SMOKER PERFORMED FLAWLESSLY THE WHOLE TIME. I did follow the reccomendation made of drilling holes in the bottom of the charcoal pan and worked great, THANK YOU FOR THE HEADS UP!.
LOVE THE DUAL DOORS, THIS MAKES IT EXTREMLEY EASY TO LOAD AND UNLOAD FULE/CHIPS ETC. Also the sliding grates work great. Having always used a dome style smoker I do feel like I did an awesome upgrade.
I also think that compared to more expensive smokers it was a wise move. I will use this smoker for years to come. LOOKING FORWARD TO THANKSGIVING DAY FOR A SMOKED HAM AND THE TRADITIONAL BIRD ! !
IF YOU ARE UNDECIDED WHAT TO GET, STOP AND GET THIS BEFORE THEY ARE GONE.
Rated 4 out of 5 by FatFatMike Excellent!!!..... After 2 EASY changes.
To try to save people the frustration I experienced, I wanted to post a review of this product and make a couple of suggestions. Like others, before using the smoker for the first time, I modified the charcoal pan by drilling holes in it, and I also made a wire grate to place inside the pan to put the charcoal on top of. Using this method, the smoker would still only get up to 190 degrees and I was having to constantly feed it charcoal so here are a lot simpler suggestions...
Use a GRILLING WOK instead of the original charcoal pan. I found a Kingsford grilling wok that is the same size (11") as the original charcoal pan and fits perfectly. In addition to allowing the charcoal to breath better, you also will not have to feed it as much charcoal. The GRILLING WOK also has many more holes, which allows the ash to fall through better, so as to not smother the charcoal. I actually have to keep the 4 vents closed for the first 2 hours to keep it at the ideal slow cooking temp of 220 degrees. This brings me to my next suggestion; use LUMP CHARCOAL instead of briquettes. In addition to burning hotter, there is less ash as it burns so it will not smother the charcoal. Also, the thermometer on the front of the smoker is incorrect. I used 3 different thermometers to measure the temp the first time I used it and all 3 read 40 degrees warmer than the one that is built in on the front of the smoker. Therefore my final suggestion would be to use a STEMMED THERMOMETER and place it inside one of the top vents with the top of it hanging out of the smoker to measure the temperature.
Finally, remember that it is a smoker and not a grill. Smokers are meant to cook at a lower temperature so of course it takes longer. As the saying goes; "Low and slow is the way to go".
Rated 4 out of 5 by thebigvalbowski Great when modified
This particular smoker does not get the best reviews on the web. The reason, I believe I have found from reading the comments, is poor air circulation. So. Did I fix this? Yes. Does it work great now? Yes. Did I go ahead and experience it as instructed? Yes. It was not cool. No heat above 190 degrees. So...
I took the advice online that I found about giving it the capability to have air circulate around the coals. I made a kind of fireplace grate that was curved in a low, squat, "s" shape. This let air go all around the coals. So. With the air vents at the bottom open about 1/3 of the way, and the exhaust vents at the top open nearly all the way, depending on the wind, everything works as I would like. The price is great, the heat issue solved, I now have a smoker that I really like. Perfect size inside for quite large food amounts. Love the venting (I am always playing around with that for fun). Got it at my local WalMart knowing that I would do the modding for the coals. Under $80 with tax. It will keep a nice even fire with a little practice that will stay between 220 and 250, depending on the amount of charcoal and or wood, and the way you set the vents. I gave it 4 stars overall only because they should know by now about the heat issue and have fixed it without having to modify it yourself. Go get one and have fun. I buy bags of dried peppers from WM in the veggie area, and use them by the handful to add a deep, spicy flavor to the meat! About 3 handfuls through the process, and some apple wood along the way... oh yeah.
Rated 3 out of 5 by PhivTooSix Cheap and Good with Modifications
This smoker is a very cheap entry level smoker. After several smokefests I have come to the conclusion that this smoker is very bad as is but can be very good with just a couple of modifications.
The two main problems I have found with this smoker are:
Small Charcoal Bowl - It's too small as many people have mentioned before making it very hard to do long smokes. I fixed this by replacing it with a large round wire mesh french fry fryer I found at a local farmer's market. It works great and can hold a large amount of coals and wood.
It's not Air tight!!!! - This is probably the biggest issue with this smoker. Air leaks through the two doors very easily making it impossible to control the temperature at certain times. This is most notable in long cooks using the Minion method as air gets in lighting all your coals resulting in a very hot smoker. I fixed this issue by buying large magnetic strips from Walmart's craft section and placing them around the edges of the doors. It makes a very efffective seal.
Side Note: The temperature gauge on my smoker consistently reads about 20 degrees cooler than it really is. I have verified this with two different guages I placed in the smoker.
Conclusion: You can have a good smoker for a very good price with just a couple of modifications. Go ahead and do the two modifications I've mentioned before and save yourself a lot of dough and a lot of headache.
Rated 5 out of 5 by CHRISLSU Great Smoker
I recommend this smoker. You must drill six to eight holes in the bottom of the charcoal pan enable to get the heat up over 200 degrees and to maintain this heat for cooking. Otherwise there is not enough heat. You truly can be a great smoke cook with this one. Buy it and find out.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Dullblade Great value -- even for a Pro!
I'd give it 10 stars if I could -- only because I built my first two smokers from scratch and understand "smoking" principles (laws actually). There were alot of great suggestions in this review section which helped me prepare for my purchase. Price was no object, but value and enjoyment were and this unit exceeded my expectations.
Briefly, some principles are: Just like buying a new car, adjustments must be made to suit you (seats, mirrors, radio, climate control, etc.) and that's what makes smoking fun over grilling -- and this unit makes it easy; Oxygen is fuel to the fire (just like propane) and should be adjusted accordingly; air leaks must be delt with for constant/consistant temperature -- if needed, go to an auto parts store and pick up high temperature caulk -- I didn't need to with my unit because of the venting adjustments I could make as-is; thermometers are guages, hence all must be calibrated -- I have three that all read differently -- and using boiling water (212 degrees) as a calibrator, you can easily figure out what a thermometer reads (actually, you should do this with ANY meat thermometer to ensure food safety); clean-up should be easy -- you shouldn't have to take a smoker to a car wash everytime you use it; access to the food and fire should be easy and safe -- this unit is great for that; read up on smoking and what to expect -- fall-off-the bone ribs aren't truly smoked ribs, and some meats will have red in them after they've reached proper temperature -- and that is OK; and finally, the end-product should be your focus -- not the appliance -- this is simply a vehicle/oven for producing consistent mouth-watering results.
If you're not into an entire afternoon of outside enjoyment and the smell of smoked meat over the neighborhood, you can buy accessories for smokers that are fan-driven and adjusted by heat and meat thermometers -- remote controlled from your couch! I'd rather go to the local wings and rib joint than do that!
Specifically, with my unit: It assembled in less than an hour (including beer breaks); find something for the coals to get oxygen (read other reviews/suggestions); don't drill holes in the bottom pan -- place it under your newly fabricated/purchased fire grate for EZ clean-up; ramping down heat was easier than ramping up (350 down to 225); use water, juice, sand, peppers, whatever, in the water pan -- but use something in the water pan for consistent temperature control; use direct heat (without the pan) for grilling, or not. My unit holds 225 degrees consistently for hours.
My unit produced great results from the start -- but I made the adjustments necessary prior to firing it up. I've done catfish and trout (bacon/lemon wrapped in foil -- or not); unbelievable moist chicken (rubbed and unrubbed) crispy and not; pork shoulder (stuffed with garlic and s/p rub); mustard rubbed ribs (pork and beef); and plan on playing with it more -- peppers and veggies are next.
I hope this helps -- if you return this unit (as others have said they did), you'll be missing out on some great food and great fun.
Rated 4 out of 5 Its a SMOKER
Im not sure why this thing has so many bad reviews. Its just a firebox for smoking meats. If you just drill 8 holes about 3/8 of an inch, around the bottom of the pan and set it on a small grate or something to raise it off the bottom of the box so it can breath, this thing will do a fantastic job on any kind of meat, or veggies. Just keep in mind your smoking not grilling. It is a long slow process, also the temp gauge it not accurate. You should be judging the temp by the amount of smoke and by the meats core temp.
Rated 1 out of 5 by hammerdart dont waste your money
complete waste of money. charcoal pan is completely inadequate. drilled holes in it, still won't get above 200. charcoal runs out after an hour, just a complete waste of money.
Rated 4 out of 5 by toolpouch10 Brinkmann Smoker
easy to put together and work real good
Rated 3 out of 5 by SmokePit It did what it was made for. I think the charcoal pan needs holes in it to make it more effective. To burn better and complete and have less unburned charcoal.
Rated 4 out of 5 by paulfrancisj This works & it's cheap...
This smoker won't work proper out of the box until you do two things to it...
1. Drill holes in the coal pan.
2. Find a way to elevate the coals.
You basically need to set up your coal pan like a standard Weber Grill so that the coal gets air, otherwise it will suffocate or smother itself. I used the old grill grate from my Weber Smokey Joe, which you can buy for $8 at a hardware store.
I also recommend getting a better temperature gauge, as the one on the door was always a good 10°-20° off. My only other recommendation is to buy wood chunks instead of chips because this seemed to help the temperature stay up.
So after a little bit of work it's a good smoker for a beginner like me. It's under a hundred dollars so if I keep up with it, in a year or so I can get a better model.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Hebs Great Budget Smoker After Mods
I found several reviews for this smoker and after reading them, I expected to have to do mods. However, I did a test run with some ribs before any modifications and they turned out excellent... some of the best ribs I have ever had, and I was born/raised/live in Memphis... The gauge is obviously way off because it never got above 150, but my ribs were perfect at 6 hours meaning that temps had to be at least 200 or 225.
I have not completed all of my modifications yet, but I thought I would go ahead and post up what you should do to get this smoker working perfectly.
1) install "nomex grill gasket" - purchase and apply this to seal the gaps around the doors. The stock green egg replacement felt gasket has been suggested, but after reading several reviews, they all say that the stock green egg gasket burns up in higher temps, which would not be ideal for the fire box door. Everyone in the reviews suggested the nomex gasket instead. This can be found on amazon for around $30 with adhesive.
2) install a new gauge - the stock gauge is said (and from experience) to read at least 40 degrees lower than actual temp. Which gauge you get is personal preference, but after reading reviews, I ordered the "river country 2" gauge" for around $10 plus shipping (google it). Tru-Tel makes the best temp gauges, but they are a little more expensive ($30+). To test and calibrate the gauge, use boiling water. As soon as the water begins boiling, dip the gauge probe in the water and it should read around 212 degrees.
3) replace the charcoal pan - the stock pan is a plain metal bowl with no holes. It doesnt hold enough charcoal, and when the charcoal burns, the ash smothers the fire. I am still researching which grill topper to get, but if you google "grill topper" you should find some that look like square baskets with holes. I am leaning towards the "kenmore oversized grill basket" from sears for $15. These toppers will hold quite a bit more charcoal and they also have holes to allow the coals to breath as well as letting the ash fall through. I will probably just set the stock charcoal bowl in the bottom, and set the new grill topper on top of it.
4) use lump charcoal - If you have done the above mods and still cant get temps (on an accurate gauge) to 225, try using lump charcoal. This is the charcoal that looks like burnt logs. It burns quite a bit hotter than briquettes.
5) wood chips - this is more of a tip rather than a mod. A cheap way to get more smoke is to soak some wood chips, wrap them loosely in foil, and toss it on the coals. Every once in a while, I simply toss soaked chips directly on the fire. They burn up pretty quickly, but it provides an intense blast of smoke for 10 minutes or so.
All-in-all, this is a great smoker for the price. The initial cost was $69 at home depot and total mods cost was around $60. For $130 total, this smoker is a phenomenal purchase.
1) purchase baby back ribs and remove the membrane on the back side of the ribs with a paper towel
2) rub the ribs with ball park (regular yellow) mustard and then rub them down with your favorite dry rub (I use a combination of rendezvous rub and a rub from a guy named "Wheeler" here in Memphis. Google "Memphis Dry Rub Recipe" to make your own. Let the ribs sit in the fridge over night (or for 8 hours) if you can (not mandatory) . I then sprinkle a little more rub on just before they go on the smoker
3) get the smoker to around 225 degrees and toss the ribs directly on the rack for 2-3 hours
4) remove the ribs and wrap them in aluminum foil and put them back in the smoker for another 2 hours
5) remove the ribs again and open the aluminum foil and fold it around the ribs to make a "boat" that the ribs sit in. Throw the ribs in the aluminum foil boats back in the smoker for another 1-2 hours. During this time, you can mop/glaze the ribs with sauce or a butter,brown sugar, and rub glaze or your favorite sauce. (I prefer leaving mine dry)
6) after a total cook time of around 6-8 hours at 225, the meat should start pulling inwards and you should start seeing the rib bone tips sticking out from the meat. This means they are done, but cut off a test rib to be sure.
7) remove the ribs and lightly dust with dry rub and/or sauce if desired
8) eat and drink beer ;)
Rated 4 out of 5 by BeauGramel Holy smoke
I have been using a dome top smoker for years,Wanted to upgrade. I like the twin door set up on this one, Makes it real easy to load fuel and add water.
I did not have the problems other said they had with keeping the temp up, It maintained 200degrees with out a hitch. Some of you need to remember, It's a smoker, not a grill. Low and slow is the way to go..
Rated 5 out of 5 by SimpleJoys4 easy assembly & use
It was very easy to assemble and to use! We are very happy with it.
Rated 1 out of 5 by brinkman Lots of smoke, no heat
Easy to assemble, decent room, but does not produce enough heat to fully cook meats. Have used this 4 times, and drilled holes in the bottom of the charcoal tray, but still does not get enough air to the charcoal to keep the coals hot.
Rated 4 out of 5 by Gaur Working very well
At first I like everyone else was having a problem with the temp. not being able to get it above 100 to 150, but after reading some reviews and making some adjustments, (purchasing a $8.50 Weber grill grate and placing it on top of the coal pan, i was able to maintain 200 degrees without any problem) Did ribs on the 4th and they came out very good. Can't wait to do a pork butt or turkey.
Rated 1 out of 5 by averagemark DON'T BUY THIS ONE
I bought this with high expectations, but was only highly disappointed instead. I tried everything drilling holes in the charcol pan, using different types of charcol, blocking the wind from the smoker, putting the smoker in the sun, and even limiting smoking to warm days and still could not get the smoker over 200 degrees. Now all the smoker is good for is spare parts for the new smoker I am going to get. DON'T BUY THIS ONE SPEND THE EXTRA MONEY ON ONE THAT ACTUALLY WORKS.
Rated 1 out of 5 by thejackson4 This smoker is terrible!!! It will not get above 130 degrees no matter what you do. It makes a lot of smoke but not much heat. After 4 hours of cooking you can pull the rack out with your bare hands. I would not recommend this unit at all. I'm taking mine back for sure.
Rated 3 out of 5 by JoshFromModesto Excitement Turned To Tears.
I made sure I read all the reviews I could before I went for the buy. Well I did what people said, I made 8 holes in the pan and well.... it didn't help.... The temp will NOT get above 130 degrees.... Nothing I do will get it to 200+ I added charcol and wood chips about 3 times now and every time I come back the temp is still the same 120-130..... I am pretty disappointed and am going to be returning this smoker and just upgrading for 70 bucks more to the gas version. Problem solved.
Rated 1 out of 5 by NEGadgetFreak Waste of Money
This smoker is a waste of money!!! I fell for the price and bought this smoker and when I tried to use it today I realized how awful it is. The temperature does not go above 120 degree. I tried all kinds of stuff, trying to get the temperature to climb but failed in my attempts. Ended up throwing away my meat!
Don't buy this thing!!! Spend the extra money and go for a better quality smoker!
Rated 5 out of 5 by countrymikefl great smoker
My brother got one of these smokers and its great.He had some of the same complaints as others about needing holes in the charcoal pan for higher temps.This is a smoker not a bar-b-q or grill.Smoking should be done at no greater than 200 degrees anyway.Any temp higher than 200 and you are b-b-qing and not smoking.So it seems it was designed to keep temp at a perfect smoking temp.I received one of these fine smokers for Christmas and couldn't be happier.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Madmax5484 Cheap price better results.
After buying this smoker I purchased a few upgrades like a new thermometer, and a green egg replacement gasket to seal the doors better. The only downside was the charcoal pan did not have air holes so the coals couldn't get enough oxygen, but I also fixed that by purchasing a cheap wok grill topper, its made for vegetables but has plenty of air holes and holds up to the heat perfectly. All in all its a cheap smoker excellent for newcomers and pros alike just needs a few mods and it works fine will recommend this to anyone who asks.
Rated 4 out of 5 by bigmike19956 with a little experimenting
All of the blogs on this I have read says to drill the fire pan full of holes to help circulate air around the coal. I first tried charcoal, and pretty much had to babysit the coals for 7 hours. Then I tried lump charcoal, better than regular charcoal. After drilling the heck out of the pan, I tried using actual wood instead of charcoal. BINGO! The answer I have found is to use real wood, preferably from a fruit tree, and this cooks wonderfully. You can buy pre-packaged hardwood bundles at most home improvement stores. Fruit tree wood is usually better if you can find it. Apple wood gives even more apple flavor to the meat.
Rated 2 out of 5 by GrillinMike Product could not get hot enough
I bought this smoker thinking I would drill a few holes and the problem of not being able to heat it sufficiently would not occur. Well, I can't get the thing over 150degrees and I drilled about 9 holes in the charcoal pan. I'm going to purchase a small grill grate to put inside the charcoal pan and see if that works. If not I might just purchase a pan with prefab holes in it if I can find one. I'm open to any suggestions!
Rated 1 out of 5 by jester164 Does not get hot enough
I have read some of the other reviewer comments, 'it is a smoker, not supposed to get hot', well, if everyone is having problems getting it to 175 degrees, AND the manual itself says the best cooking temp is between 175 and 250 degrees, then those of you who say 'it is just a smoker' are wrong! It 'DOES NOT' get hot enough, unless you do what is suggested, and create holes in the charcoal pan. This is a defective product. Take a chance on another product.
Rated 1 out of 5 by tgr219 A Waste of time
I got the smoker about 1/2 assembled when I found I was missing the side handles. I called Brinkmann and was told by the "automated" answering system all customer service reps were busy, leave my phone number and they would call me back ... Over 3 hours later I took apart the smoker and put it back in the box. When the rep DID call me back, I told him I was going to return it, he was rude and hung up on me. I will never buy from nor recommend them to anyone.
Rated 1 out of 5 by sylviathomp Broken
I did have this smoker sitting outside still in box with cover, still in putting it together the handle broke (in closing and opening the door) therefore I had to take it back to the store. It's light weight making me think that other things can go wrong. I returned it and didn't buy another, not sure what I will buy at this point. They don't make sturdy things like they use to.