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My Brinkmann Gourmet Smoker Modifications
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fxpose
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Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 76
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Fri Jul 01 11 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyhow, I decided to make use of the existing vent hole at the bottom of the outer base pan by using a piece of scrap aluminum stock and drilling additional vent holes.
I'm hoping to use this intake as the only vent control. I will temporarily seal off the side vent hole which I've been using up til now.
The charcoal/ash pan will get additional vent holes as well, as the electric model only came with one 2" diameter hole at the side.



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fxpose
Newbie


Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 76
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03 11 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That vent control opening on my previous post was not large enough so I cut out a larger 3" diameter hole. This should do the trick. That's a big enough hole for plenty of air to go through.

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day_trippr
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Joined: 08 May 2009
Posts: 3206
Location: Stow, MA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04 11 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That 3" diameter intake gives you a bit over 7 square inches and will definitely do the trick wrt getting air into the cooker, fxpose. With my three intake dampers sporting four 1"D holes I also have 7 square inches of intake, which has proven to be more than enough for my wee cooker.

fwiw, the charcoal model fire pan has the 8 "tented" slots on the bottom radiating from the center, plus eight evenly spaced holes around the middle of the side wall, of around 5/8"D as I recall. As the added grate sits below the side holes I think nearly all of the air getting to my charcoal is coming up through the slots, so putting holes in the bottom might be the best approach. The down-side of that is the possibility of dropping live coals, so I'd put the holes a few inches from the middle so they'd at least drop into the bottom body pan instead of through your center intake hole...

Cheers!
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breugel



Joined: 05 Jul 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06 11 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New guy here. I like some of these mods. I have the electric Brinkman and because I do electronic work and am a scrounger I had the parts to build a temperature controller for it. It works great. I normally set it between 220 and 240 and forget it. my only problem is smoke leaks at the lid but i see now how to fix it. Before I would just stick wet paper towels in the gaps but this is much better.



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fxpose
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Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 76
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06 11 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome breugel! Nice cook there.
One reason why I converted my electric to charcoal was because the heating element was getting weak. I'm glad I made this mod. Smile)
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breugel



Joined: 05 Jul 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06 11 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fxpose wrote:
Welcome breugel! Nice cook there.
One reason why I converted my electric to charcoal was because the heating element was getting weak. I'm glad I made this mod. Smile)


As ling as I cam maintain the temp I and looking for I am happy. I lucked up also about a week later I saw one on the the side of the road and snagged the water pan and heater out of it. my wife does not like a smoke flavor so sometimes I just cook a shoulder with no smoke so we don't heat the kitchen up.
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MacEggs
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 1740
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06 11 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the ring breugel!
With the proper mods, the Gourmet Brinkmann POS is not a bad unit!
Keep posting. I built a UDS, so my modded ECB might get jealous. Shocked Crying or Very sad Wink
However, I will never throw it to the curb. Cool
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chesterfielder



Joined: 24 Sep 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10 11 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used Ultra-Copper RTV silicone on a flat basalt fiber wrap that's rated up to 1,500°



http://www.techflex.com/prod_VWN.asp




You can't see it from the outside



I got lucky with the wrap width and the gap coverage



During the test burn, it leaked in a couple of spots, but only for a short while.
You can see the spots above the handle.



I'll know more on the next burn, but for now, I think it turned out great.
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fxpose
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Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 76
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11 11 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chesterfilder..... I like where you mounted your thermometer as I am still deciding where to mount mine. Although I have several therms with varying stem lengths I'll probably end up using one with a short stem, mounted on the lid. I realize the difference in temp readings from grate level but temp readings can always be compensated once you get to know your thermometer well.

How long is the stem on your therm?
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fxpose
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Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 76
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11 11 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

day_trippr wrote:
That 3" diameter intake gives you a bit over 7 square inches and will definitely do the trick wrt getting air into the cooker, fxpose. With my three intake dampers sporting four 1"D holes I also have 7 square inches of intake, which has proven to be more than enough for my wee cooker.


That single 3" hole worked quite well during the week, giving me great latitude in controlling temps, even allowing me to go above 375°F for crispy chicken wings.
Now I can permanently seal off the 2" diameter hole on the side of the outer base pan using sheet metal and some rivets.
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chesterfielder



Joined: 24 Sep 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11 11 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fxpose wrote:
chesterfilder..... I like where you mounted your thermometer as I am still deciding where to mount mine. Although I have several therms with varying stem lengths I'll probably end up using one with a short stem, mounted on the lid. I realize the difference in temp readings from grate level but temp readings can always be compensated once you get to know your thermometer well.

How long is the stem on your therm?


That's the stock thermometer on the front. It's only a few inches.



I made a pass through hole for a wireless thermometer on the side.



And a holding bracket to keep it at grate level.

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fxpose
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Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 76
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11 11 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a clean set up. Yeah, my other option is to create side access at just below grate level for either my wire probe or long stemmed thermometer. I guess anything is possible.
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MDRex



Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Baltimore, MD

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26 11 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can anyone help me determine what hardwre is safe to use on this? I know galvanized and zinc is not safe, but how do you tell if plated bolts/nuts are safe?
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day_trippr
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Joined: 08 May 2009
Posts: 3206
Location: Stow, MA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26 11 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MDRex wrote:
Can anyone help me determine what hardwre is safe to use on this? I know galvanized and zinc is not safe, but how do you tell if plated bolts/nuts are safe?


Good question - that I chose to simply avoid trying to answer. As I wrote, I used stainless hardware so I didn't have to ponder whether the plating on common hardware bits was zinc, cadmium, or something else. Yes, it drives the cost up, but the cooker was a gift so I didn't mind throwing some extra $$ at it to avoid toxic issues.

On the up side, the fact that SS hardware hasn't rusted or corroded has made it easy to remove to do routine maintenance - eg: repainting the bottom pan when it starts showing signs of rust.

Otherwise, you could use zinc plated hardware by either burning off the zinc (do this outdoors and be sure to stay up-wind) or dunking them in an acid bath. Muriatic works quickly and can be found in many hardware stores, white vinegar may even work though it will likely take a lot longer...

Cheers!

Cheers
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FrankennBrinkmann ECB
Char-Broil Commercial Gasser
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MDRex



Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Baltimore, MD

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26 11 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I do decide to burn the zinc off some hardware how do I know when it has been completly burned off? Thanks for the info so far and the great write up on modding the smoker.


I assume the plating that is the goldish coating of grade 8 hardware is yellow zinc?
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day_trippr
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Joined: 08 May 2009
Posts: 3206
Location: Stow, MA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26 11 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MDRex wrote:
If I do decide to burn the zinc off some hardware how do I know when it has been completly burned off? Thanks for the info so far and the great write up on modding the smoker.

I assume the plating that is the goldish coating of grade 8 hardware is yellow zinc?


Yup, pretty sure the yellow is zinc dichromate. That can't be good to breath Laughing

Here's a handy page for identifying coatings.

To be honest I couldn't tell you when a bolt is "done" cooking under a propane torch, and then there's the side effects of that heat possibly weakening the bolts. Might be worth asking in the General forum to get a confident answer, or just go with the white vinegar and let the hardware sit in a jar of it overnight to do the job - probably safer than any of the alternatives...

Thanks for the kind words about my humble pages. The mileage that article has gotten still amazes me - it's been linked all over god's creation and I still receive emails from people halfway around the globe. The power of the Intertoobs Very Happy

Cheers!
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Char-Broil Commercial Gasser
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MDRex



Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Baltimore, MD

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26 11 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got time, maybe I'll just go with the vinegar method.

Your article has been great. Turns out my electric Brinkman can't even hit 200F, and my ribs turn out like they are steamed or boiled. Going charcoal should really help things improve.
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breugel



Joined: 05 Jul 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27 11 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MDRex wrote:
I've got time, maybe I'll just go with the vinegar method.

Your article has been great. Turns out my electric Brinkman can't even hit 200F, and my ribs turn out like they are steamed or boiled. Going charcoal should really help things improve.


Strange.. Mine will go 300+
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MDRex



Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Baltimore, MD

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27 11 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

breugel wrote:
MDRex wrote:
I've got time, maybe I'll just go with the vinegar method.

Your article has been great. Turns out my electric Brinkman can't even hit 200F, and my ribs turn out like they are steamed or boiled. Going charcoal should really help things improve.


Strange.. Mine will go 300+


Mine would not even get to 200, and it was in the sun on a 100 degree day.
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MacEggs
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 1740
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28 11 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MDRex wrote:
Mine would not even get to 200, and it was in the sun on a 100 degree day.

Dude, you gotta do day_trippr's mods.
You will not regret it! It worked for me.
And it has churned out some fabulous barbecue! Cool Smile Wink
_________________
"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."
Pickled Eggs

The cookers (so far).
Some Weber kettles of various age, color and size
UDS & Mini UDS
Abby Normal ECB
Napoleon Propane Grill
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