Saturday, April 22, 2006

Brinkmann Water Smoker Mods

Q: I have a brinkmann vertical smoker cant seem to get temp up past 150 deg. but water boils in the pan. is this the proper way or am I doing something wrong....thanks for any help.

A: This is a fairly common problem with the Brinkmann smoker.. the water pan is usually right over the fire so it is plenty hot enough to make it boil however there is more distance from the fire to the smoking rack and you have to get it hot enough to make it 225 degrees at the meat level.

To do this you will need to make sure you have plenty of draft which may require a few minor modifications to your smoker. I simply cut a circle out of a double layer of chicken wire that I had and placed it in the bottom of my charcoal pan to allow more air to get up under the coals and make them burn a little hotter.

I also drilled a few 1/4 inch holes in the bottom sides of the charcoal pan for increased airflow.

For better drafting, I drilled 5 or 6 3/8 inch holes in the lid of the smoker and made a little flat metal cover attached at one corner with a single screw to allow me to slide it completely over the holes or to slide it open a little and allow the holes to be uncovered at varying amounts.

In addition to these basic modifications to your smoker, you need to make sure you are using lump charcoal for best results since it burns much hotter and cleaner than the briquettes.

Fill the charcoal pan up and get it going real good and if that does not produce 225 degrees at meat level after 30 minutes or so, you will then need to make some hot coals in a charcoal chimney or separate metal container and add them to the charcoal pan on an as needed basis to compensate.

Now.. that is what I did to keep it simple but.. if you want to step out on a limb and get real technical you can do that by following the tutorial over at

If you have additional tips on Brinkmann smoker mods please fill free to send them to me using the form at the bottom of each page at the website or click on"comments" below and add them to this post.

Visit for hundreds of great tutorials and guides on smoking meat.

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