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My Brinkmann Gourmet Smoker Modifications
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day_trippr
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Joined: 08 May 2009
Posts: 3206
Location: Stow, MA

PostPosted: Fri May 15 09 6:42 am    Post subject: My Brinkmann Gourmet Smoker Modifications Reply with quote

Greetings from New England!

First, I just want to thank the operators and participants of this fabulous site for providing a wonderful asset for those of us who are just getting started with smoking. I spent many days gleaning as much information as I could find regarding modifications to Brinkmann vertical smokers in preparation for hacking my own smoker, and without the collective wisdom of the group I doubt the result would have proven so successful.

So a big Thank You to all!

Second, I noted in a few discussions that folks were asking for photos of the modifications performed by posters, with "the more pictures the better". As I had already written up the saga of my "FrankenBrinkmann" to share with my sons, I wanted to share the resulting "tutorial" for others who might follow.

As I don't want to burden this site with the 6 Megabytes of pictures embedded in the write-up, I'll just provide a link to the web page here.

http://home.comcast.net/~day_trippr/smoker_mods.htm

Feel free to post any comments/criticisms/observations here.

Again, thanks, folks, for the wealth of information here! I'm looking forward to trying out some of the recipes next. Very Happy

Cheers!
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Johnny V
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Joined: 24 Aug 2008
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Location: St.Louis Mo.

PostPosted: Fri May 15 09 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats NICE!! Did you keep track of how much it cost? I bet WAY under a WSM! Nice work with skills and a shop like that I will be looking forward to your next build! Very Happy
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day_trippr
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Joined: 08 May 2009
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Location: Stow, MA

PostPosted: Fri May 15 09 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! It was actually a fun project - I don't usually get to do stuff in my shop that leads to tasty food Very Happy

Here's a list of the add-on costs:

- Weber 307440 charcoal grate: $9
- 1/8" x 2" x 6' aluminum bar: $14 (for legs and base handles)
- 20ga x 8" x 2' aluminum sheet: $10 (for dampers)
- stainless steel hardware: $12
- candy thermometer: $6
- brass 3/8" x 1" feedthru w/nuts: $2 (for thermometer)
- 1/2" x 7' fiberglass rope w/cement: $12

So, the rolled-up cost was $65. The smoker sells for $50 locally, so if I had bought it, I'd have a $115 smoker sitting on my deck - one-third of the price of the 18" Weber Smokey Mountain smoker Wink

fwiw, I could have reduced most of the SS hardware cost. About the only hardware items that ever get hot enough to out-gas are the parts that hold the charcoal grate. The hardware that mount the legs, dampers and base handles could have been the standard bright-plated screws/nuts/washers that cost next to nothing.

While it doesn't have the nice porcelain coating of the WSM, this beast has a functional advantage over the Weber: the air intakes are on the flat bottom, whereas the WSM has intakes on its deep bowl bottom, which exposes them to any wind. My older son has noticed his WSM gets finicky in a breeze, something I didn't notice at all in spite of this last weekend being quite windy up on my deck.

Cheers!
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Chug0lug
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Joined: 17 Jul 2008
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Location: Northern VA

PostPosted: Fri May 15 09 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great looking mods and very detailed with the pics. I'm working on a few mods to my Brinkmann, though I have the red elec version and am converting to be able to use charcoal while still being able to switch back to elec if I ever have the need. I do like the idea of raising the lower rack, so I look forward to seeing how that works out.
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John Furdyn
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Joined: 07 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Fri May 15 09 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

day trippr

That's about as good a job as I have seen on modifing the Gourmet Brinkman smoker.

Great job,pics and the ribs look great also.

Happy Smoking !!!

John
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Tony
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Joined: 06 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Fri May 15 09 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should be a Sticky!


What do 'Ya say, Soeezy? Cool Wink

Best Regards, Tony Very Happy
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BBQMAN
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Joined: 13 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri May 15 09 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnny V wrote:
Thats NICE!! Did you keep track of how much it cost? I bet WAY under a WSM! Nice work with skills and a shop like that I will be looking forward to your next build! Very Happy


Great job on the mods, but I doubt it was cheaper than a WSM with the labor included.

Skilled craftsman like day_trppr make more than $2.00 an hour! Razz
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Toga
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PostPosted: Sat May 16 09 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent mods!!! That thing should chug along like a champ!

I think this should be a sticky too. If my memory is correct I found this site by virtue of looking for mods for my brinkman.
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day_trippr
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PostPosted: Sat May 16 09 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Great job on the mods, but I doubt it was cheaper than a WSM with the labor included."

"Skilled craftsman like day_trppr make more than $2.00 an hour!"

Of course, you're correct. The mods took the better part of one weekend, so figure roughly 16 hours total, including drawing time. Deducting $115 (local price for the smoker if I had bought it, plus add-on components cost) from the going price of the 18" WSM would leave around $185, which would make my hourly rate around $11.50 - better than $2, but still pretty close to poverty level pay, I reckon Sad

On the other hand...hours spent in my shop are like vacation time to me. I've built custom cabinets, vanities, desks and random furniture pieces that I couldn't justify actually paying for, yet if I factor in the time spent building and finishing same, would far outweigh the price of the mass-produced alternatives available at retail. Heck, the last piece I built I spent almost two weeks in the finishing phase alone, and I could have bought a reasonable facsimile for around $350.

http://home.comcast.net/~day_trippr/junkdrawer/btable/butler_table_sm_12.JPG

Finally, if one carries the labor cost thing very far, we'd all be eating ribs at the local Applebees, instead of spending 5 or 6 hours tending the smoker Wink

Thanks for the feedback, folks. I appreciate it, and I hope some Brinkmann owner finds this helpful at some time in the future...

Cheers
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J0K3R-X
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Joined: 02 Aug 2008
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Location: New Port Richey, FL

PostPosted: Sat May 16 09 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

day_trippr, You got madd crazy skills bro!!! That is Outstanding Work! You need your own half hour show "Pimp My Brinkmann".. You can show up at my house and drive off with my rusted out old POS Brinkmann then show up a few days later to and unvail my new pimped out smoker. I want a beer cooler, a bottle opener and maybe a hot lookin woman air brushed on the side with some flames and a CD/MP3 player, a rear view mirror, a popup LCD TV, computer controlled temp and air induction system just incase I gotta go and get more beer or offload some fluid, a couple of the Girls Next Door from Hugh Hefner's place bendin over to check and see if the ribs are gettin done and huh wah ..? Sorry I just woke up to reality and theres that rusty old POS Brinkmann and my wife standin there givin me a funny look like she is gonna woop me with a broom handle, oh well, we can dream... Seriously Awesome Mod!!!
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BBQMAN
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PostPosted: Sat May 16 09 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey don't get me wrong- as a fab guy I'd have to say you did a great job with the mods.

And the results (those ribs) looked good too.

Too bad they don't all come out of the box that nice.................
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day_trippr
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PostPosted: Sat May 16 09 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BBQMAN wrote:
Hey don't get me wrong- as a fab guy I'd have to say you did a great job with the mods.

And the results (those ribs) looked good too.

Too bad they don't all come out of the box that nice.................


Aw, heck, I didn't take anything negative from your post - your point was definitely valid at its core, I was just playing it to an on-topic conclusion Smile

Now, the "Pimp My Brinkmann" business - love the post, got a good laugh out of the accompanying hallucinations, wonder if HGTV has a half-hour slot open in the fall lineup? Laughing My younger son actually suggested a side business selling upgraded Brinkmanns, but there we'd have a real, honest to goodness problem with labor costs. The classic "losing money on every sale but hoping to make up for it in volume" scenario! Wink


Anyway...Being a hardware guy, all the "software" on this site is pretty daunting. I've been wading through the recipes section all evening and I gotta say you folks have assembled such a huge selection of rubs and sauces and stuff to use them on I'm nearly paralyzed! Shocked

I suspect I'll need Mondays through Fridays to pick something to cook for the weekends from now 'til the snow flies!

Hmm...Maybe I'll just sub-contract the choosing part to my wife Wink

Cheers!
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John Furdyn
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PostPosted: Sat May 16 09 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

day-trippr

I had a cookncajun Brinkman smoker given to me several years ago. It's very similar to your only no acess door on front. I believe it was several years old when I got it, it had already started to rust, by the time I got it.

Just as I was thinking of throwing it away because of lack of sucess smoking with it. I discovered on the internet about mods, which I did, additional intake air flow, as welll as lid vent holes, i even got the rope gasket as you only I just inserted it when I was cooking.

Doing the mods out in the garage for me was theraputic, and I got a kick out of how the mods did improve the performance of the smoker.

Just as the smoker was rusting thru on the main body, I was lucky enought o find with the help of this website a used WSM on CL for $35 dollars, which i bought.

My modified brinkman did a fine job for me, and I made some good BBQ on it.

Good Luck with your smoker you did a fine job on the mods it looks good.

John
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Sat May 16 09 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

day_trippr, I am impressed Very Happy awesome job on the mods. I like your ingenuity marking the pan and laying out the legs. A man can go a long ways with a vise, hammer and a drill. My shop is full of templates and jigs, some took longer to make than the piece they were meant for. It looks like she is doing you a fine job from the looks of those ribs, nicely done my man. Smile
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CarbedNotch
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Joined: 02 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07 10 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Super cool smoker! Love the MODS !
Nice write up
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Jarhead
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Joined: 11 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07 10 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post there, day_trippr. I have one of those but the bottom got ran over and crushed. I think I will resurrect it into something that resembles yours. The top and body are still in good shape. I won't be doing it for a while though, too cold outside and that white stuff all over the ground and more tonight.
Your build is bookmarked for future ref. Thank you again.
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Tony
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07 10 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"trippr"...

I've put together several bullet smokers with all the mods,
created some out of the ordinary cookers and converted some large kitchen appliances into "barbecue producing machines."

I guess one could say I've "been around the block" a few times.

Your mechanical skills, innovative resources and love of creating
shine in your tutorial/pictorial post.I've scanned it many times over and never tire looking at it. As a former tool and die maker,machine builder of
automated electronic manufacturing processing equipment and technical private consultant to the surgical devices industry, I salute your abilities
and willingness to share with us here your fine example of what a bullet smoker should exhibit when properly modified!

Thanks Again, "trippr" and as always,

Best Regards

Tony
Wink
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day_trippr
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07 10 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aw, shucks Embarassed Thanks, guys, for the very kind words. I had fun with that project - as my sons knew I would when they bought me that cooker. And it works so well with all the mods it'll have to rust into oblivion before it gets replaced Very Happy

Cheers - and thanks again!
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feldon30
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08 10 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

day_trippr,

Great mods!

I wanted to do the fiberglass rope on my electric and then put a vent in the top so I'd have control over how much heat is lost.

However all I have gotten are blank stares whenever I ask about fiberglass rope. I tell the people at Sears, Home Depot, Harbor Freight, etc. that I need oven door liner and they say "ok, what's the part number off your stove?"

I tell them this is a smoker and they don't make this part for it and they say "I guess you'll need to find some place that sells asbestos rope?" O.o I thought that was banned. Sad

Where does one find this magical rope?
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day_trippr
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08 10 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have found the round style fiberglass stove rope kits (they usually include a tube of furnace cement) in my local Ace Hardware and Aubuchon Hardware stores.

Ace: http://www.acehardware.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=1260920&cp=1255022

Aubuchon: http://heating-and-cooling.hardwarestore.com/98-580-stove-gaskets-and-cements.aspx

Lowes apparently carries a similar product: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productList&No=0&Ntt=stove%20gasket&Ntk=i_products&pad=true

And I've also found it in a couple of wood/pellet stove stores locally.

fwiw, Ace Hardware has "free to store shipping", and they've been quite prompt the times my family has used that service...

hth!

Cheers!
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