Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Brinkmann 810-7080-4 Gourmet Electric Smoker and Grill, Red
Color Name: RedStyle Name: Electric without CoverChange
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273 of 281 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2006
Color Name: RedStyle Name: Electric with Cover
I have owned this smoker for 5 years now and have a few insights for those looking to purchase this smoker.

I have smoked 7 turkeys, alot of pork, and some beef all with really great results.

I love that its electric. Regulating temp with charcoal smokers can be tedious. You barely have to do anything to it except add water and chips. It will maintain the ideal temperature of 220 degrees fairly well, But there are a few issues with this smoker:

1. Materials and construction- metal is thin and the lid fits loosely. The lid is suppose to fit loosely! There is no vent so it helps with the smoke. But because the metal is thin, on cold and/or windy days, it can be difficult for it to maintain it's temp on long smokes. Often runs 200-210 degrees. This will increase your cooking time! On hot days it will run at 230- 240 degrees. Although I can't reccomend this modification to help with heat loss, I have actually heard of people fitting a electric water heating blanket to the outside of the smoker to help with this.

2. I wish the heating element was adjustable to help regulate the temp.

3. The door is small which makes it hard to add chips or water. Although you can take the unit off its base to add chips, this is akward and a bit dangerous since you may spill the water. It is nice to remove the base to help clean the unit though.

4. I installed an after market temp. gauge in the lid. (A must)

Overall a good entry level smoker that is super easy to use. Got mine at W-mart for $75. Anyhow, it's a great value for under a $100. Now after 5 years, it is about done and I need a new smoker. I will try to upgrade although after looking around at all the electric smokers, I might just buy another one of these. I love the "bullet" design of the vertical smokers.

The stainless steel version of this model looks nice and is obviously made of better material, but the main section is attacted to the base. I do like being able to remove the base. Plus the element is still not adjustable. The only other choice is a stainless steel meco smoker which has a better door design and a adjustable heating element, but is double the price. So I will either get this model again and do some modifications (temp gauge and maybe an adjustable element) or get the meco. Hope this review helps.
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94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2008
Color Name: RedStyle Name: Electric with Cover
***Update: I will leave the text below as originally written: so the entire paint on the inside pealed off in one giant sheet during a cold day/smoking session. The replacement seems again to be fine. ***

I've had mine for a year, and love it. It was cheap, easy and gets used all the time. It's pretty foolproof. Didn't have any of the paint problems that someone complained of. The smoker gets certainly hot enough (unsure why folks complain that this is a problem, unless they have a defective unit), as you don't want to cook the meat quickly, or the smoke won't penetrate. For the price definitely get it. Make sure to get the cover if it isn't in the box (some come with some don't) if you live anywhere there is rain, as rain + smoke/ash lead to rapid corrosion. Make sure this thing is WELL vented, as it produces unbelievable amounts of smoke if used correctly. For a big smoke, as someone noted you have to add more wood (depends on the chunk size). They note in the manual that you should not have the chunks touch the heater, so take care in placing the chunks.

Lightweight, make sure to get cover for it.
very inexpensive
super simple (put in wet wood, put in liquid, put in meat, plug in, repeat)
produces gobs of smoke (make sure no air intakes for your house are nearby, you only do that once!)
nice big fluid bowl
2 racks, each capable of holding a big turkey (I've done 2x19lbs)
Electric works when it's cold and it doesn't run out in the middle of a big cooking session, unlike propane (pure wood smokers have this advantage if you have a big wood pile)
Easy cleaning
Nice side door for adding the odd chunk of wood

Ash builds up quickly on the lava rocks, which after a long while will start to float (I've taken to periodically rinsing the rocks in a colander)
There is no smokestack, so smoke comes out on all sides of the top (just be aware)
This is more a mild hard smoke (moderate heat, mostly smoke), particularly if it's cold out (this can be a plus with fish - it produces awe inspiring smoked salmon)
Times in manual virtually useless (so spend a few bucks a get a remote grilling thermometer, problem solved)

My local oil/ice company here in Boston sells smoking woods (I get 50lbs bags of hickory and mesquite at home depot and cherry and apple at the ice place, all 4 last one season). Take a few chunks and soak them for an hour or 2 (if you need faster smoking, start with one simply rinsed one which will start smoking in minutes)

Smoked Salmon:
Get big salmon fillets at costco. Rinse the fish to get anything off, and to make spices stick. Look for bones at this point. I then rinse the top of the fish in lemon joice. Pack in Pepper, Dill, Lemon Zest and about 1/4" of kosher salt mixed with brown sugar (really). Seal it up in the fridge overnight. About 1-2 hours start soaking the apple or hickory chunks. Rinse the fish REALLY well to get off the salt or it will be WAY to salty. Reapply a small amount of brown sugar, dill, zest and pepper (there is NO need for salt again - trust me), With a remote thermometer in the thick part of the fish, put a bottle of beer in the liquid bowl, slap it on the top rack with some 1/2 lemons (smoked lemon rocks). Somewhere in the 130 range the fish is done (remember it is salt cured, so it can take a lower temp) but feel free to adjust to taste. Most folks say this beats store bought smoked salmon hands down, and family demands it at almost all events.

Tequilla-Lime Smoked Chicken Tacos:
Get boneless breasts although a full chicken works. Rinse, place in big ziploc with tequila, lime juice, lime wedges, a kosher salt (this is brining) and pepper, chili pepper overnight in fridge. This is slightly ceviche'd at this point. Don't rinse off chicken. Put wet mesquite chunks in the smoker, add beer to the bowl (a corona or other mexican beer to be authentic) then place chicken on racks (I end up filling up most of both racks). Somewhere between 1-2 hours, check the meat temp (unlike the fish, make it 170+, this is chicken!). Let it rest for a few minutes, then shred to make tacos. It can be easy to over dry the meat, so watch closely. Remember it will be pink on the outer meat, this is the "smoke line" assuming it's white-cooked at the center
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2006
Color Name: RedStyle Name: Electric without Cover
I chose this smoker mainly because I found it on sale at one of the home improvement warehouses for only $69.00!. I chose electric because I like the idea that the temp remains constant. The downside is that the temp is not adjustable. On a cool day the temp seems to hover at 225 F which is nice for longer smokes. The documentation says it should be smoking between 250F - 275F. I don't think it can get that high because of some minor issues in its shape.

The smoker has no intentional venting. However, the drum of my unit is not perfectly round; it is oblong. This causes two gaps about 12" in length and about 1/4" wide at its widest point. At first I was concerned with this, but after tasting a brisket and 2 chickens I have smoked, I like the results.

I have yet to try the unit on a hot day so it will be interesting to see what the temperature rises to. I also wish the unit was built with a thermometer to read the temp.

If you can find one of these for cheap, grab it. This is a great intro unit to smoking. I hope I get 3-5 years out of it and then I will upgrade to an insulated unit (if I am still smoking.

BTW, this can double as a small grill.

UPDATE: Okay, 6 years later I am on my second Brinkmann. About 2 years ago the heating coil broke and I had to replace the whole smoker. I actually go a deal at one of the home improvement store by taking their floor model that was missing the water basin. Got the replacement unit for $49. I have been smoking now for 6 years and I love it. Here is what I have found out about this unit over the last 6 years:

1. Temperature remains pretty constant. The key is the water basin. On a long smoke, when I do a 10- 14 lb brisket. I usually have to refill the water basin. This can be tricky because the basin sits under your meats. Try to position your meats so that there is room to add water, or use a funnel and open the side door. Always add hot water when you fill the basin. Adding cold water causes the temp to drop in the unit (the basin is absorbing the heat)

2. There is not enough room to do ribs laying flat unless you cut off the tip.

3. I have trouble getting briskets up to the optimal temp 185-190 unless I wrap it and put it in the oven at the end.

I still think this is a great entry level smoker and while I am now looking to move up to something else (probably a green egg), I love this little guy. The consistency in temp and the inexpensive price make this a great smoker to learn the basics on.
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73 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2006
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: Charcoal with Cover
I have used mine a couple of times now and have to say that the smoky flavor and easy use are the main selling points on this product. The cleaning is not too bad, just a little bit of elbow grease to get some of the smoke and grime off the water pan and grates.

For my birthday, my brother was kind enough to order a smoker off my Amazon wishlist. I finally got a nice day and good piece of meat to try it out. I have to say I was totally impressed. I was impressed that I didn't burn off my eyebrows (even though it was close). I was impressed that the simplistic heat guage's ideal, really meant ideal. I was shocked by the quality of meat to come forth. Overall it rocked. So, picked up a pork tenderloin that I did a dry rub of

* Sea salt

* lemon pepper

* cayenne pepper

* garlic powder

on to the roughly 1.25 lbs of pork. I filled the water pan with a bunch of water, 4 cloves of garlic and a dash of port. I used some mesquite chips (thoroughly soaked) as my smoking agent and let it cook for 2 hours. The piece of meat came of with the most amazing flavor that I could imagine.

Necessary summer equipment.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2008
Color Name: GreenStyle Name: Charcoal with Cover
Having created a Thanksgiving tradition spanning about four Brinkman smokers as well as many ribs, sausages,chickens and salmon this model was my first (and last) upgrade from the cheaper Brinkman models. It is not necessarily the best. I intend to re-purchase the first one I bought= the cheapest Brinkman for the following reasons:
1) Food not cook any faster or better.
2) They all wear out if left in the elements. This one with the 'detachable bottom' rusted out within a few years making it just like the open bottom entry level model. With the exception of expensive ceramic 'green egg' or stainless steel models like grills they are all doomed to a reletively short life unless you 'garage' the unit during wet weather. Water + ash = Carbolic acid = rust. The same goes for the enameled charcoal grate and pan.
3)The little thermometer on the lid on both models is nearly useless over time.

The first Turkey I roasted looked like the Maltese Falcon; Black but still sort of moist meat with great smokey flavor. My wife thought I was nuts when I bought it that first Thanksgiving many years ago. Her scepticism seemed justified. My subsequent damage control and stubborness revealed that the large hickory chunks were not soaked in water long enough and their flames fried the water in the water pan increasing the heat to the bird. The other lesson learned was that a cooking a Turkey in cool SF Bay area (5-7 Hours/165 F w/meat thermometer) required the periodic addition of hot coals to keep the heat long enough to bring the bird up to a safe temperature. Adding more coals creates more ash which insulates the other coals. It was a vicious cycle. I went overboard on adding raw charcoal which created uneven heat. The next year I did it right.I elevated the charcoal grate from the ash pan with 4 ceramic briquettes to allow the ash to fall below the coals into a waiting pie pan to catch the ashes. The new deluxe model has the detachable bottom which does this.
I now start fire with 2 chimney starters of hot coals, a full water pan with old stale beer and hot water. I keep another chimney load nearby for later use. I toss in about 4- 2" soaked Hickory chunks and let the thing smoke up with lid on and heat the water/beer in the pan. Meantime I prep the Turkey. I use a throwaway stuffing of apple, onion and orange chunks reserved from the 1-1/2 day apple brining.
I rub Sage ,salt and butter on the bird and put 4 strips of bacon on top for tenderizing the skin/breasts and to enhance the gravy. I truss the legs with cotton twine and put it on a small grate in a disposable aluminum pan. To the grill- which is out of any drafts as wind is the enemy to even cooking. In a hour or so I add more reserved hickory chunks, hot coals with tongs thru the door and cheap beer to the water pan and repeat the addition periodically. Eventually you will balance the fire, smoke and water. I only remove the lid torward the end of the cook cycle to check the temp and move the bacon to the rear of the bird exposing the breast for final browning. Sorry for the long sermon but it is much easier to do than it takes to explain it. Although I use it to smoke other foods, a 15-16# Turkey seems to be my ultimate smoker success when not grilling on my Weber. This is my tradition;It evolved over the years and my family and friends love the result.I hope you can discover yours.
UPDATE 11/4/08:
Just bought a Brinkmann 810-5301 the cheapeast model= It is JUNK from China. Ignore most of my previous review. I am happily returning it and will rely on my old model another year.The charcoal pan and water pan are a thinner 1/2 # lighter gauge metal with poorly painted (toxic?)finishes unlike the 852-7080 type model that I currently own which is about 4 years old. The new char pan (unlike previous models) does not have a hole in the bottom which would make it impossible to let any cooling ash out of the pan and get air circulation necessary for even burning coals and sufficient heat. The char/water pans on my old models had a fairly stable baked enamel finish and sturdy weight steel. Also, as I recall the old models were partially/fully assembled. This entry level model had a plastic bag full of parts and curiously included a single lump of worm eaten wood for smoking. Not sure if all Brinkmann have similarly deteriorated in quality. I am seriously but reluctantly considering the overpriced Weber smoker which except for it's cost is highly reviewed by Amazon users. I would read the reviews of the most recent purchasers on this model as they may have a similar experience in the disapointing quality of this old brand of smokers.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2005
Color Name: RedStyle Name: Electric with Cover
I picked up this smoker at Lowes for a lot less than Amazon. I also bought an inexpensive cover with elastic that works just fine. Overall this is a good smoker. Assembly took a while since the handles didn't match up with the holes on the smoker body and lid so I had to hammer at the handles a bit to get them to fit. Otherwise assembly was easy.

The food thus far has come out great. I have done salmon twice. I was smoking in 30 and 40 degree weather and the fish took the normal 2 hour smoke time. Once it was heated and smoking the temperature stayed between 200-250 degrees. I'm sure it will do turkey breasts and brisket just as well also.

I would recomend this to anyone who wants a fair priced entry level smoker.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2007
Color Name: RedStyle Name: Electric with Cover
I have owned a Brinkman smoker for 14 years...not this one, but the more simple model that costs about $85.00. I have smoked several turkeys, many chickens, salmon, pork roasts....ALL with great success. TWO things I can think of might help with your low temperature problem:

1. Did you use an extension cord with it? I once had the same problem you had when I used a long extension cord. Troubleshooting, I searched the manual that came with it and found that it says not to use long extension cords (you'll have to search your manual for the maximum optimum length). PLEASE don't give up on your smoker! I get much more tender, juicy results than I do with my flambeed grilled meats!! ha ha! The smoker is easy to use, no fuss and not too bad of a mess to clean if you line your water pan with heavy duty foil! I use Easy-Off oven cleaner on my two racks and water pan and be sure to rinse them very well. I can leave for four hours and my food will be ready when I return (just be sure your water pan always has liquid in it) When we have company, they LOVE the smoked flavor. Hope this helps. Once I eliminated the long extension cord, all was well.
2. Were you peeking at your turkey or basting it? My lid also has a small gap through which the smoke escapes, but it doesn't affect it. You cannot constantly open the lid to peek or baste as this allows the heat to escape and it will take a while for the smoker to reach the proper temperature again. NO NEED to baste with a smoker! The meat is always juicy.

I found your review because after 14 years, I'm seeing rust on my smoker, which was one of the best of our wedding gifts. I never owned a cover for it but always stored it in the garage when not in use. This last year, however, it spent much time neglected outside (I have four children now) and I wanted to research smokers to find the replacement for our trusty old one!

I would highly recommend a Brinkman electric smoker to anyone who is considering purchasing one (sorry, I've never tried another brand). It's so much easier than grilling because you never need to watch over your food to prevent charring. I guess you could say a smoker is to a grill as a crockpot is to an oven, except that unlike crockpot food, the meat will appear beautifully golden-browned with NO blackness.

I just saw this other model on Amazon that looks like mine:
Brinkmann 810-5290-4 Smoke'N Grill Electric Smoker and Grill, Black
It is shorter and so would be easier to store.

7/3/14 UPDATE

I had this other smoker for 20 years:

I now have this taller, red one. I miss the shorter black one. The water pan sits too high above the element, and since the tube/body of it it longer, the top rack sits too high over the heat, so it doesn't cook well since the temperature is not high enough.

I have smoked plenty of turkeys on my older shorter model. It never took 9 hours and was unfinished as one reviewer reported. Mine, over the holidays, took too long also. In the old one, I think they were done in about 6 hours, maybe 7. They were the BEST, juicy and delicious! The water pan sat down lower and I knew to check it after 3-4 hours to add more hot water.

With this tall red one, the water did not even reach enough of a temperature to evaporate. The pan feels cheap, like half the thickness of my old smoker. After six hours on this one, my bird looked uncooked and the water pan was still full, I regretted purchasing it, but it was a closeout for $60.00 at a hardware store.

Some reviewers slammed the shorter one saying it ruined their meat, but in 20 years, I never ruined meat. You can't let the pan run dry. You have to watch and monitor the meat, just like on a grill or using your oven. With this one, I'm afraid of getting ill from meat cooking at too low a temperature.

I'm smoking two racks of salmon now. My trustworthy Sunset cookbook says it should be done in about 1.5 hours. We'll see.

We plan to modify this tall red smoker by drilling three new screw holes for each rack about 3 to 4 inches below the existing ones in order to drop the racks nearer to the heat source.

Another dumb thing about this one is the door. You are not supposed to put the wet chips on the element, or they might catch fire instead of smoking. How are you supposed to do that through the narrow door without getting burned? I opened the door and had to toss the chips in, dropping some on the ground in the process (messy). I prefer the short black model where you briefly lift the barrel (racks, meat, and pan) from the bottom, set it aside, add the wet chips between the element bars exactly where you want then, then replace the barrel. Easy. Neat and tidy.

One more tip. My chips that had soaked for 4 hours (30 minutes should be sufficient) were in flames having to toss them in. RECOMMENDATION: buy LARGE chip/chunks. They'll smoke before they ignite. I'm using a brand with tiny chips. They are not conducive to "smoking", but instead are more conducive to burning. :(

I must recommend the short, black, electric model over this one. See my link above.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2010
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: Electric with CoverVerified Purchase
I spent a lot of time looking and researching smokers and decided to go with this one. I have smoked pretty much everything so far including salmon, trout, ribs, chicken leg quarters, steak, 15 lbs of pork loin (one piece), and much more. It is very easy to assemble and clean up. You are actually able to smoke up to 50 lbs of food at once, but so far my record has been about 30 lbs. One really nice thing about this smoker is that you are able to use the broth that is produced after the smoking inside the water pan, especially if you are smoking something for a long time (4 hrs), you can use the broth as a base for soup or stew. All the deliciousness drips down into it and produces excellent flavor. You are able to put vegetables like potatoes, carrots, etc into the water pan right away so that they cook in the broth right away, but I haven't tried that yet. However, I have made delicious stews with the base broth already.

My favorite wood so far has been hickory wood chunks. They are fairly big size. I use about 4 - 5 pieces. Make sure you soak them for about 30 minutes. I stay away from wood chips, because they are too small and burn out really fast.

I usually don't write reviews, but I was recommending this to my friend, and notices that this smoker has bad reviews. Most of them are for missing parts which doesn't reflect its performance. I had to go on here and tell everyone how much I love this smoker. I have used it about 20 times or so, and even brought it to friend's houses to smoke there. You won't be disappointed.

Another great thing about it, is you don't need to watch it like traditional smokers. You just prep everything, plug it in, and forget about it for the duration of cooking time.

One word of advice: Don't cover the steel grills with foil, you want the smoke to penetrate all the food. I did this a couple of times just to save on cleaning time, and the food ends ups steamed this way. Cleaning is easy either way.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2006
Color Name: GreenStyle Name: Charcoal with Cover
I am updating my original review and upgrading this product from 2 stars to FOUR STARS. The reason for the change is that I got the right charcoal pan from the manufacturer, and now it works much better.

Below is my original review of the smoker--to summarize, it came without two of the pans it was supposed to have, and it didn't cook very well.

After posting my orignal review, I decided to drill 6 or 8 air holes in the original hole-less charcoal pan, in hopes that the coals would burn better. I wasn't too thrilled with the result.

Now, the manufacturer has sent me the missing charcoal pan and ash pan, and I have used the smoker once more--I cooked a batch of beef that turned out very moist, tender, and tasty. Having the one hole in the middle of the charcoal pan, as the pan they sent me has, seems to be the trick--the coals burned pretty well, keeping the middle rack around 250-270 degrees F with no water pan (Using the water pan seems to keep the temperature down too low). The built-in thermometer reads in error about 50 degrees too cool (I checked it against the portable oven thermometer I normally keep in the electric oven).

With the right charcoal pan, I am happy with my Brinkmann smoker! I hope the company gets these cookers out the door with the correct charcoal pan, because when it is set up correctly, it is exactly what it ought to be-- a versatile, competent, straightforward hot smoker for slow cooking practically any piece of meat to perfection.

-------------------------Original review-------------------------------------------

I bought a large Brinkman charcoal/water smoker the day before the recent holiday weekend. The instructions refer to an 'ash pan' and a 'charcoal pan' and a 'water pan'. My smoker came with what amounts to two water pans, and no charcoal or pan or ash pan.

I think the Brinkman smoker's original design (not what they're now putting in the box) was a tried-and-true design for backyard barbequeing. In fact, 15 years ago I owned a Smokey Joe charcoal/water smoker that could have been the prototype for the Brinkman (large cylindrical smoker with charcoal and water pan and two racks). I wouldn't mind owning another Smokey Joe. Like the Smokey Joe, Brinkman's original design features a couple of porcelain-coated racks sitting above a porcelain-coated pan of water. Then the water pan sits above a porcelain-coated charcoal pan that has a hole in the bottom of it. The hole is important! It lets the rising heat of the charcoal draw fresh air into the fire. The hole also let ash fall out from the charcoal pan into the ash pan, which is waiting there to catch them, just below the charcoal pan. Smokey Joe and Brinkman are nearly identical in all respects of design, or I should say that the Brinkman owner manual describes something very similar to Smokey Joe.

Unfortunately, Brinkman did not give us a charcoal pan with a hole in it. They put a white sticker over the picture of the pan in the manual. Once they decided not to put a hole in the charcoal pan, I guess they decided we wouldn't have much use for an ash pan, either. There is no ash pan in my Brinkman Smoker box.

I faxed a request to Brinkman, asking for the missing pans, and scribbled a sympathetic note on the fax asking if they had supplier problems. They didn't respond after 4 business days (they promise a two-day response time). So, I googled 'Brinkman smoker' and read other owners' comments about the pans that are supposed to, but don't, come with the brinkman. One guy on a blog says he heard that Brinkman had liability issues with the pans because of Brinkman owners' decks catching on fire when owners wisely held their barbeques (on) wooden ground. The coals dropped out of the pan and ignited their decks!

But who knows, maybe the truth is something else, like maybe Brinkman infringed on somebody's patented design for a charcoal/water smoker. Gee, what a rip-off to still be selling the design and not even giving buyers the hardware or the means to make it work.

So anyway, I used the Brinkman Smoker for a meal during Labor Day weekend, It was pretty rough trying to get the coals to burn evenly. I started to drill a big hole or two in the pan, but then recalled the fate of my Smokey Joe--it rusted out. Drilling holes would leave the pan with no protective porcelain around the edge of the holes. Drilling would initiate the rot in the charcoal pan. So I used it as bought, with the Brinkman charcoal/water smoker burning charcoal in a pan with no fresh air inlets under the fire. The charcoal does burns (start it in a charcoal chimney) but does not burn well for long, because the ahses accumulate in the pan and tend to smother the charcoal. I found live coals in the ashes of the charcoal pan two days after I smoked the meal! I almost set my yard on fire by scattering the ash on my wild yard border.

As an owner of this ill-conceived smoker, you can look forward to pulling the hot hot charcoal pan out of the smoker every couple of hours and carefully dumping the coals and ash out, and then re-gathering the red hot coals into the pan with fresh charcoal added. Have some ice handy to sooth any burned skin you get performing this feat.

Yes, smoking food in the Brinkman, without the original pan design, is a big drag. So I called the Brinkman 1-800 number, and listened through their phone menu to where they ask you to send a fax instead of taking time with one of the busy customer service reps on the phone. As requested, I faxed my "Missing Parts" request for an ash pan and a charcoal pan. Brinkman says that will reply in email to Missing Parts faxes, within two business days. I am currently at 4 business days (and two faxes), with no sign that Brinkman intends to live up to their Customer Service promises or to make the charcoal/ash pan problem right.

I think I am probably going to shop around for a better value than the Brinkman. I will return it, used, to the people who sold it to me, since Brinkman apparently isn't even going to respond to my faxes, and I do feel entitled to more value for my money than I got with the Brinkman.

The bottom line is that the smoker heat is very hot for a while, and can be adjusted with the vents to cook in the desired heat range, but then it cools w-a-y down as the ashes and the lack of circulating fresh air eventually suffocate the charcoal. I did make smoked meat from the brinkman, but the results were very embarrassing to me as the cook. The old Smokey Joe did much much better and required only a fraction of the time and effort needed by the Brinkman for the cook to tend the fire, watch the meat, etc.

That's my $.02 worth, hope it helps someone make a good decision and get value if they buy a charcoal/water smoker. Good Luck~!
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2007
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: Charcoal with Cover
This is a good entry level smoker. The price, compared to Lowes, is about 2x more here. I got this smoker as a gift and after a few tries I'll say this - once you smoke, you'll never want to go back to grilling. Preparing the meat (see brine recipe) and controlling the temp is the key to making it great smoked food. Make sure you monitor meat temp to know when to take it off the smoker.

Some cons:
- The smoker is alittle flimsy. Mine came shipped slightly bent so the cover is sometimes not on all the way. I'm sure a more expensive smoker will be better made.
- The heat is hard to control and takes some practice. A better grill may provide more of a means to control temp more. Using charcoal, not gas, will take more practice.

I would probably spend more $ to buy the weber smoker rather than this one had I bought it but if you want an entry level smoker to try this is a good start but find a better price.
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