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mattdean1003 02-08-2013 11:15 PM

New smoker!
As much as I love my UDS, I decided it was finally time to buy a stick burner. Believe me fellow Q'ers, I've looked at DOZENS of 3 to 400 dollar stick burners....Started off with the Rio Grande Sidewinder at Academy, but then discovered the Brinkmann Trailmaster, which seems to be the staple offset smoker that kinda teeters between awesome quality and the "eh, I can spend alittle more for a better quality" one. I brought her home today. My girlfriend and I put it together, however we couldn't quite get the firebox to mount to the support bracket, and now that it's mounted, I believe we have warped the firebox as the lid closes, but still has a gap. Just as much smoke comes from it as it does the firebox, however this baby draws like a freight train. I loaded it up with the rest of my lump charcoal and some semi seasoned oak...and was thoroughly impressed. Got it up to about 450 to burn off all the impurities, and now it's time to start thinking about doing mods.

I'm not going to use it as a grill, at all, unless it's to do steaks or something on the firebox itself. I DEFINITELY need to seal the firebox door, and tomorrow after I get off work, I'll probably take the firebox off and just mount it without the bracket. Hell, it's got 8 screws holding it in place without the bracket anyways. But, aside from smoke coming out of the firebox door, which I've seen lots of smokers do, this looks to be a solid little guy. It's 1/8" steel. I plan on extending the chimney down to grate level and putting 2 more thermometers in it. I had thought about putting a cookie sheet as a heat deflector as when I have a big fire built in it, which I did earlier to do the initial burn out, flames were leaping from the firebox to the inside of the cooking chamber. I've also thought about putting around 20 pounds of lava rock into the cooking chamber itself to help even out temps.

I DO have a UDS, but it's not built as efficiently as I would like. I tend the fire so much on it that getting the stick burner will keep me entertained. I know the UDS I can walk away from for 3 or 4 hours, maybe add a chunk of wood or 2 and let her run. From about 6:15, when I built my first fire, until about 9 or so, I only added maybe 3 splits of wood to it, and it was green poplar at that...didn't know it was poplar until I looked it up, so glad I didn't smoke anything using it. I've gotta get a few cans of Pam and spray it down, inside and out, to let it season and get some soot buildup.

If anyone from the Athens, GA area wants to help me seal it up or maybe give me some pointers on what to do, I would greatly appreciate it. I can take a computer apart and put it back together blindfolded...but I'm lost when it comes to this stuff.

IamMadMan 02-09-2013 09:37 AM

Every Brinkman I have seen is known for their leakage at all doors, ports.

I bought a "Brinkman SmokIn-Pit Pro" many many years ago before I knew better, Later I did a couple mods that I found on-line for heat baffles and door seals and I have made it into my seafood smoker because of it's long length.

Can't manage a long burn at higher temperatures with it, but it works well for cold and short low temperature smoking using charcoal.

I wish you luck, let us know how remounting the firebox works for you. Keep us posted on your progress..

High temperature RTV sealant works fine and I used NOMEX gaskets around the doors.

Johnny_Crunch 02-09-2013 09:38 AM

I need pr0n!

mattdean1003 02-09-2013 09:34 PM

I ended up taking it back and getting an Old Country pit at Academy, and they gave it to me for 249.99 instead of 300 because the actual firebox door where the damper is, has a gap at the bottom and the damper isn't completely sealed. However, the firebox AND cooking chamber lids seal 100 percent closed. Smaller pit overall, but fully welded and weighs 75 pounds more than the Brinkmann. Will post pictures tomorrow. Got it, a 20lb bag of B & B hickory lump, a 40lb sack of dried oak logs, and a thermometer, for 308.75......which is less than I paid for the other one. The smoker is called a Ranch Hand.

Bludawg 02-09-2013 09:57 PM

Wise decision!

jptx 02-09-2013 10:32 PM

I second the wise decision on returning the bolt together pit! I was in Academy this morning and noticed the Old Country pits. One of the last videos Franklin produced he was smoking on a Old Country pit. They had one that was probably 1/4" steel and the cooking chamber door was almost too heavy.

IamMadMan 02-10-2013 10:47 AM

Great Choice..........

J-Rod 02-10-2013 11:30 AM

Pics or it didn't happen!

Gig'em99 02-10-2013 11:38 AM

I got an old country from academy. There were several, and I picked the one with the best welds an best seals. I love it. You have to feed it, but if you get a good coal bed, it's very manageable.

Enjoy! And post pics!

mattdean1003 02-10-2013 01:10 PM

Here are a few pics of the first break in run today. Excuse the mess in the yard, a trash bag blew open

I ended up getting it for 249 because of the large gap in the bottom left side of the firebox door, however the lids on both firebox and cook chamber seal nicely. The pinwheel damper doesn't seal all the way shut, but I can live with it. I love it so far. VERY LITTLE leakage from the firebox and chamber lids.

DubfromGA 02-10-2013 02:03 PM

Nice welded pit for $249 !

You did great.

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