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Old 05-13-2006, 11:39 AM   #1
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Exclamation Smoker temp help needed asap!!!

HELP!! I can't seem to keep my stupid smoker at a good temp. It started good and now I'm at the part where i just need to feed it to keep the temp.

Question: when adding more charcoal, should it already be gray? Or can I just add the charcoal from the bag?

I have the brinkmann one and smoking on both levels, pork ribs. Does anyone have the style of smoker that look like a standing bullet? How many pieces of charcoal do YOU usually use? I'm adding like 5 black ones in at a time and it doesn't seem to work. Now I'm trying to add prepared charcoal, ones that I've already warmed up using my heating element.

Is it hard to regulate my temp cuz brinkmann is such a cheap smoker?

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Old 05-13-2006, 03:36 PM   #2
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I have a Brinkman too and solved the problem of temp by covering the outside with insulation. You lose so much heat everytime you open the smoker.
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Old 05-13-2006, 08:58 PM   #3
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Htc - Please download the BBQ FAQ here:

http://www.eaglequest.com/~bbq/faq

This is probably the best online document (in several formats) for how to do real BBQ (Smoked) food.

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Old 05-13-2006, 09:34 PM   #4
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Picking up on what Swann said - DON'T go lifting the lid every few minutes! It takes about 30-minutes for the heat to build back up everytime you do. If you are smoking then you really don't need to turn the food - but if you just have to - only do it once!

If you are using the water pan ... make sure you fill it at the start, and when refilling (something you need to do every 2-3 hours), with boiling water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by htc
Question: when adding more charcoal, should it already be gray? Or can I just add the charcoal from the bag?
If you add charcoal from the bag on top of the coals you have going you will need to remove the lid and leave the door open (for air flow) until the new charcoal is started. If you use something like a chimey starter and add the already glowing coals - you can avoid that delay - but I wouldn't just do 5 at a time - add enough for a layer - 12-15. Depending on what I'm cooking - I usually start with 5-10 pounds of charcoal .... it usually lasts about 5 hours.

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Originally Posted by htc
Is it hard to regulate my temp cuz brinkmann is such a cheap smoker?
No - you're just not (a) used to it or, (b) not following the instructions. You have to remember - the ideal temp is only about 250-F.

Ambient temperature is a factor to consider - a 20-lb turkey will not heat up to the safe done temperature within 18-hours when you have 3-feet of snow on the ground and the high temp for the day is 14-F ... trust me!

I've owned a couple over the past 15 years - once you learn how to cook with it you'll love it.
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Old 05-13-2006, 10:07 PM   #5
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Just to add to the BBQ reference... If you have a Brinkman or simular smoker, there are likely modifications you can make that make BBqing a beter experience. From the FAQ I referenced above, you can modify a brinkman water smoker, learn to control temps, change the water pan into a "sand" pan that doesn't require monitoring, etc... for example, I have a remote temp probe that alarms on both low and high temps in the smoker (can sleep in the interim), use a method for fueling that allows you to sleep while the smoking is occuring cause the fuel lasts longer (usually lump if you are a BBQ purist). Anywho, I learned quite a bit about BBQing from the USENET group of alt.food.barbeque. Just don't ask them too many "grilling" questions in referrence to BBQ :-) Google searching off of that group using key words for base questions will likely answer any of your questions.

For example, a search for lump charcoal:

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.f...rt=0&scoring=d&

Regards

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Old 05-14-2006, 12:14 AM   #6
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Thank you all for your helpful information.

This was my first time trying to smoke spare ribs. For a first time, I'd say it was a decent success. It didn't have as pretty of a smoke ring as my first pork butt, but I was still happy. I'm still learning a lot about timing and regulating heat. I will check out the links you've all provided in depth.

I'm glad to hear that it's not due to my cheapie Brinkmann. I figured it's just cuz I'm a novice. Only my second time using the smoker, hope to get much more practice this summer!
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Old 05-14-2006, 03:01 PM   #7
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We smoke turkeys in ours. You can do 2 12# at one time and takes about 12-14 hrs. Delicious. Also does great salmon and jerky.
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:13 PM   #8
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Swann - As to cheapness.... the Brinkman's are not the top of the line, but they are available anywhere, do the job, and provide BBQ to anyone that want's true BBQ. Of course, BBQ requires devotion, and attention to detail. But... if you spend the time, and learn from those that have spent time there, you will eat much better then those that go to a fast food place that "call" their food BBQ. BBQ is one of those things that require time.... to be perfected.

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Old 04-06-2010, 05:15 PM   #9
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I am leaving the air vents totaly open because I am trying to get the temperature to 250 but I am not having any luck. I am wondering if the charcoal is burning to quickly and thus the reason for the heat not coming up. any thoughts?
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:22 PM   #10
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I had a Brinkman many years ago and knew right away the fire pan was way too small to last the length it took to smoke a bird. What I always did and still do is set the flavor and wrap it in foil and finish in the oven. Nothing but praise from those who eat so I won't bother to change. Three or four hours on the smoker is just fine.
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