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Q: Hi…I have a Brinkman vertical HD smoker. How can I add a propane or electric burner?
A: I have included a link to an electric element sold for other brinkmanns but I bet if you are a little creative you can make it work in the vertical HD.. you may even be able to find a cheaper electric element at Wal-mart of perhaps home depot.
You could probably use stainless steel 1/4 inch x 3 inch bolts or something similar with a lockwasher and nut on the inside as a ledge for the unit to rest on and then a cutout in the back for the cord.
The element should be at least 1500 watts(1800 would be better) and should use a cord that is no longer than 5 feet otherwise it will diminish the wattage and require longer cook times.
You may even look into installing a rheostat inline to the element so you can control the temperature.. I am not an electrician but I would venture to say that it would not be that difficult. I think it simply limits the voltage or adds some resistance to decrease wattage.
Another idea is that you may be able to install the electric element onto the charcoal pan assuming it uses the standard round Brinkmann charcoal pan.
You would also have to fix it so that the wood chunks or chip box could be over the element so as to produce enough heat to make them smoke.
You could just as easily convert it to propane however it would also be an act of unorthodox thinking and figuring out how to mount it in the given amount of space and to run the gas line under or through the back of the smoker to the propane tank.
Let me know if you have further questions..