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My Brinkmann Gourmet Smoker Modifications
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Proetus
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Joined: 05 Jul 2010
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Location: Ware,MA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30 10 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the test smoke went ok i guess. I couldnt get it stable over 218. It shot up to 260 while heating up but then setting around 220ish. The fiberglass rope around the lid was a complete failure. Came off as soon as i put the lid inside the bottom. Maybe i didn't use enough goop. It was really dry and flaky. Wondering if the rain had anything to do with it today. It seemed to leak around the door with the tape on it. Not sure if it did this previously i don't recall. It also didn't seem to matter where i placed the intake dampers in regards to temperature. I did add more briquettes at one point and the temp seemed to go up and stay stable. I will be using RO lump for a 4.5lb pork this weekend im hoping thats a touch more hot and i can hold around 230ish. We shall see. Pics incoming as the smoke starts tmw night (early sat am) 1230-1am.

Thanks for all of the leg work Tripper!
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day_trippr
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31 10 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I wish your maiden cook had gone a bit better, but at least you were staying pretty much in the ball park Very Happy

After looking at your pics again, I guess the conclusion I would come to is that the rope on the intakes actually makes them less effective than just having the dampers lay flat on the bottom of the cooker body (and, by extension, the same would be true with the exhaust damper - but that really isn't very important - it should be wide open during the cook if the cooker is tight, anyway).

These little uprights are all about tightness and intake control, so the first thing I would do is remove the gaskets from the intake dampers and reseat them to lay as flat as possible over the holes in the bottom. I'd would also apply the same introspection wrt the door gasket: once I "adjusted" the fit of the stock door I've never had any detectable leakage around it.

As for the lid seal, that glossy green paint is about the slipperiest stuff I've ever worked with. If you don't rough the heck out of it, furnace cement hold the gasket for long. If you did all that and it still failed to stick, perhaps the tube of cement was past its prime.

High temperature silicone cement, otoh, might hold even to the paint in its glossy state. I don't know, haven't needed to try that yet - but others have used the HT silicone successfully, I just didn't think to ask if they roughed up the paint first...

Cheers!
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Proetus
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Location: Ware,MA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31 10 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I came to pretty much the same conclusion that you did with the bottom intakes. I think the gasket is more of a hindrance then a help. They will be coming off. I think the same goes for the door. I will watch it over the next couple smokes and see what it does. I did the wire wheel scuffing before using the Furnace cement so i'm not sure why it failed horribly. Past its prime like you said? I wonder about that as i was just setting up the smoker for my first butt starting tonight at midnight and the cement was flaking off like it was burnt paint. Scrubbed it a bit to get it as clean as i could for now. It does make a good seal without being attached, so i'll go with it tonight and make repairs at a later date. perhaps with some high temp silicone. I'll post back once i have tinkered a bit hopefully with some success!
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pyper
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Joined: 17 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03 10 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow.

day_trippr, I have a couple questions.

1) The center hole on the bottom remains open, correct?

2) It sounds like only two of the three bottom vents would be necessary. Is that correct?

It's off to the store to find a thermometer, some SS bolts, and some fiberglass rope! I've used my Brinkman Gourmet "stock" twice, and it worked well enough, but I think it will be even better with a few mods.
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day_trippr
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03 10 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pyper wrote:
Wow.

day_trippr, I have a couple questions.

1) The center hole on the bottom remains open, correct?

2) It sounds like only two of the three bottom vents would be necessary. Is that correct?

It's off to the store to find a thermometer, some SS bolts, and some fiberglass rope! I've used my Brinkman Gourmet "stock" twice, and it worked well enough, but I think it will be even better with a few mods.


Hello, pyper, and welcome to the 'Ring!

The center hole in the bottom body pan needs to be sealed up for the intake dampers to have any effectiveness. Roughly in the middle of my write-up you'll find this picture:

where I pop-riveted a scrap of aluminum sheet over the hole.

As for the number of intake dampers, two - using the same 1" diameter holes - would probably work just fine...

Cheers!
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pyper
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06 10 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks!

I missed that picture.

I picked up my bolts and my aluminum stock yesterday. Still trying to find a thermometer locally. Worst case I'll use an old candy thermometer.

I'll take some pictures and write it up. It won't be as fancy as yours, but hopefully it will look professional and be easy to use.
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jbs



Joined: 31 Mar 2010
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Location: Oswego, IL

PostPosted: Sat Aug 07 10 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pyper, they sell replacement thermometers for grills at Home Depot and Lowes if that would work for ya. That is what I used in my smoker but I have not fired it up yet.
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day_trippr
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07 10 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbs wrote:
Pyper, they sell replacement thermometers for grills at Home Depot and Lowes if that would work for ya. That is what I used in my smoker but I have not fired it up yet.


Yup. And you can find the El Cheapo Thermometer (appropriate for use with an El Cheapo Brinkmann Wink) I used at Wal-Mart - I think it was maybe $8...

Cheers!
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pyper
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08 10 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found a $9 Bayou Classic thermometer at Ace hardware, but right out of the package boiling water is reading 170F. Grrr. Maybe I'll check Walmart today. Target didn't have anything that would work.

I made a template for the vents. If you download the pdf and print it with the "scaling" options unchecked it will locate 1" the holes. Four of these almost fit on a small sheet of aluminum from Home Depot -- I used it anyway and the 4th one isn't perfectly round. Still works fine though and no one will see it on the bottom. After I bought the $7 aluminum sheet I saw that I could have bought and aluminum cake pan at Goodwill for $2. Rolling Eyes

pdf file for template:
http://www.mediafire.com/?q073fuoo6w12cl9
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day_trippr
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08 10 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm...Maybe I didn't make the links to the various templates I included in my write-up evident enough? This is the one for the dampers:
http://home.comcast.net/~day_trippr/junkdrawer/smoker/damper_3.pdf

Carving up an inexpensive aluminum cake pan idea is a good idea - sturdier material than the thin aluminum sheeting I used, and for sure cheaper than the confiscatory pricing for AL sheet at HD and Lowes.

Cheers!
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Proetus
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14 10 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So i pulled the flat gasket off the intake dampers last night in hopes of better performance today with my chuck roast. Now the problem seems to have flipped on me! Filled the bowl with RO lump, lit off about 1/3 of a chimney starter. Spread it out on top of the bowl, filled pan with boiling water and let it sit for about 30 mins. Its sitting at 275-280 with 1 vent 1/4 open. Put the meat in hoping it would drop the temp a bit closer to 250, no such luck.

At the moment i have all bottom vents closed and the top vent 3/4 open. Looks like its coming down, slowly. Probably because its snuffing the fire, which isn't good either! Maybe i put to much in the chimney to start with? That's all i can think of at the moment, unless its got a good size leak somewhere that i am not noticing.

And the smoke goes on...
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Proetus
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14 10 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 1/2 hours later it seems to have settled down at 240-245. I'll take it.
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Proetus
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15 10 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New discovery! Smoking A Chuck Roast as found at the link for some French Dip sandwiches. When i added the foil pan with Au Jus temps took a nose dive from the previously mentioned stable temps of 240-245. I am assuming this is due to the pan with Au Jus in it acting as second baffle/heat damper. Had to open up the intakes a good bit to keep the heat where it needs to be to raise the temp of the meat. Looks good now though. We shall see next week when its time for the monthly ribs and chicken.
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day_trippr
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16 10 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Proetus wrote:
New discovery! Smoking A Chuck Roast as found at the link for some French Dip sandwiches. When i added the foil pan with Au Jus temps took a nose dive from the previously mentioned stable temps of 240-245. I am assuming this is due to the pan with Au Jus in it acting as second baffle/heat damper. Had to open up the intakes a good bit to keep the heat where it needs to be to raise the temp of the meat. Looks good now though. We shall see next week when its time for the monthly ribs and chicken.


Saw the chucky sandwich thread - the results looked super! I love pulled chuck! Very Happy

I think you're getting close to where you want to be. Do you still have the rope around the door? If so, I'd try removing it, put the door hinge flappy thing back inside the smoker body, and spend some time getting the door to fit nice and tight on its own (it can be done, just takes patience - a two beer job Wink ) and see where that takes you...

Cheers!
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Proetus
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16 10 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep i believe that is next Day_trippr. I did notice a bit of smoke seeping out of there, so off with the flat gasket. The lid is actually doing pretty good without the rope being secured. I just place the lid on carefully and then tuck the rope in and it works great. I still might stick it on there with some high temp silicone though.
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jbs



Joined: 31 Mar 2010
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Location: Oswego, IL

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17 10 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I finally used my Brinkman Saturday and it went 10 hours before I added any more charcoal. I think I could have made it without adding any but it was my first smoke and I got nervous, lol. My pork shoulders turned out great and had plenty of coals left to throw on some moink balls and ABTs. I just wanted to say thanks to day_trippr for the great write up on the mods.
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Proetus
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17 10 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad your butt came out good! I agree Day Trippr did a great job documenting and sharing his findings with the community. He is fairly close to me, i might have to go steal some of his ribs off his smoker one these days!
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Proetus
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23 10 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pulled off the flat rope on the door, moved the door back on the inside where it belongs. Seemed to work a bit better this time. Need a little adjustment on the door but other then that i should be ok. Held temps pretty good last weekend with the chicken and the ribs.
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woody350ep
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02 10 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just so you know, I bought a ECB because of the mods on your page that I saw. I plan on attempting them this weekend, and we will see how it all works out. I look forward to doing some smoking for sure. Thanks for the great tutorial on it!!!
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day_trippr
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02 10 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

woody350ep wrote:
Just so you know, I bought a ECB because of the mods on your page that I saw. I plan on attempting them this weekend, and we will see how it all works out. I look forward to doing some smoking for sure. Thanks for the great tutorial on it!!!


Yikes! Too much pressure! Laughing

Thank you very much for the kind notion, and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that you'll be as pleased with your wee bullet as I have been with mine. And if you (or anyone) have any questions that I didn't address in my write-up, please feel free to ask here or via PM. I'm usually pretty good about keeping up with my inbox...

Cheers!
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