First, a little background on this otherwise mundane little cooker.
In the spring of 2003 while carousing around at Wal-Mart for items to pick up for our new house, my wife points out a Brinkmann Smoke-N-Pit Deluxe on sale for $180 and suggests I pick it up. Prior to that I had only grilled on charcoal grills and could do some mean stuff on our Weber Smokey Joe and 18" Kettle. I checked the other smokers they had and was pleased to see that not only was it the best value it seemed, but was far and away the biggest smoker in the store! (OK, are you done laughing now?)
With that my BBQ adventures began, which to me meant brisket. Within a year I was searching the libraries and internet for ideas for other stuff to cook in it and I found some online forums. They helped me a lot. Eventually I was pointed to this forum by some people who felt I was probably well suited to this place, and I have been hanging out since.
I stopped using this smoker probably 3 to 4 years ago when I got my first WSM. I only started this thing up once since getting my WSM's. Really, she's not is such bad shape for 7 years old, and being neglected for 3 or 4 of those years.
Here she is. As you can tell some leaves are falling, seeing as it is fall and all. I actually do sweep the stuff off of the table from time to time when it builds up, but luckily for this "neglected series" it had piled up again...
The firebox is the most rusted of course since it was never able to hold any sort of seasoning due to the heat. It could use a brush and some paint. I actually picked some paint up over the summer to paint it but have not got around to it yet.
It seems I left the air intake open. I hope nothing crawled inside.
Here's a close-up of the paint on the cooking chamber and the table. Not in that bad of shape really if you ask me, all things considered.
Let's take a peek inside the firebox now. Looks like there's some fuel ready to go! LEt's light this baby up! Wait a minute...looks like some rusty creosote has fallen off in here too. Not to mention, I left the ash in there. That's not too good. I always laid foil down in the bottom of my firebox to easily remove the ashes when I was done, but that foil is probably disintegrated. I'll find out later when I get around to cleaning this baby!
Here's a close-up of the inside of the firebox. No critters were visible. Then again, it doesn't look like the most comfy of living quarters either.
Now let's pop open that cooker, shall we? Thank goodness! There's not an old forgotten brisket on the grates! As you can see, I also foil lined in the cooker for easy clean up too. I wonder how hard it will be to get that foil off?
Here's a shot of one of the grates looking toward the firebox. You can see the stainless steel paper plate holder I used as a baffle. It kept flames from leaping into the cooker, and evened the temps out quite a bit. Without some sort of baffle on these units the temp swing from side to side is huge, and a big chunk of the forward grate is unusable unless you want it to catch on fire.
Here's a shot of the other grate looking towards the exhaust. Seems a leaf is stuck in the exhaust there.
The grates were pretty funky looking. I took a close-up of one of the more gnarly looking areas for your viewing pleasure. Just imagine a tenderloin smoking away on that!