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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 03-21-2013, 11:07 AM   #1
silverbullet
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Default Brinkmann Gourmet Smoker

Hi all, new guy here from Alberta Canada looking at enjoying some goooood BBQ.
I have cruised this site and found a vast amount of information..hopefully I can add to that as time goes on and I learn the tricks of the trade.
I have worked in Texas a fair bit and come to find that up here for the most part we don't spend enough time to BBQ properly.
I am aiming to fix that around my place.
Up until now I have experimented with small stuff (fish and pepperoni) in my Little Chief electric and briskets and ribs on my Weber gas grill with a small smoke box laying on the flavour bars and using one burner to keep her at the 225 mark..neither work well and are hard to get to smoke properly and hold heat.
I am looking at the Brinkmann Smokin Grill Charcoal smoker for my first kick at charcoal smokin (planning on doing the mods) and find that there is also a "Gourmet" version.
Could anyone explain to me the difference as I can't seem to find any info on the internet. One is about $50 and the other is about $80
Thanks for reading this drawn out note and look forward to any help.
Cheers and heres to goooood bbq...
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Unread 03-21-2013, 11:24 AM   #2
K-JUN
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The Gourmet has a base at the bottom that the charcoal pan sits in.

Regular


Gourmet
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Unread 03-21-2013, 11:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbullet View Post
Hi all, new guy here from Alberta Canada looking at enjoying some goooood BBQ.
I have cruised this site and found a vast amount of information..hopefully I can add to that as time goes on and I learn the tricks of the trade.
I have worked in Texas a fair bit and come to find that up here for the most part we don't spend enough time to BBQ properly.
I am aiming to fix that around my place.
Up until now I have experimented with small stuff (fish and pepperoni) in my Little Chief electric and briskets and ribs on my Weber gas grill with a small smoke box laying on the flavour bars and using one burner to keep her at the 225 mark..neither work well and are hard to get to smoke properly and hold heat.
I am looking at the Brinkmann Smokin Grill Charcoal smoker for my first kick at charcoal smokin (planning on doing the mods) and find that there is also a "Gourmet" version.
Could anyone explain to me the difference as I can't seem to find any info on the internet. One is about $50 and the other is about $80
Thanks for reading this drawn out note and look forward to any help.
Cheers and heres to goooood bbq...
you want the gourmet version

the bottom is sealed on it, the other one has no bottom and is impossible to control airflow with
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Unread 03-21-2013, 11:30 AM   #4
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The Gourmet will end up a better/efficient smoker after the mods. I believe the main difference is in the charcoal pan. Also, it's a lot easier to mod the Gourmet.
I installed a sliding vent control at the bottom of the base of my Gourmet. Along with other minor mods it turned into a great smoker.

Sliding vent control
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Unread 03-21-2013, 11:31 AM   #5
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If you are wanting to give charcoal smoking a try and don't want to dump a lot of money into it, have you thought about building yourself a Mini-WSM? It can be built on the cheap and its efficiency, ease of use, and portability are awesome for being such a budget friendly build. Also it takes very minimal tools to build it (you basically just need a drill with different size bits)
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Unread 03-21-2013, 11:32 AM   #6
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Those things in my opinion are the reason many people try their hand at smoking and quit. Those things being cheap smokers one can get readily that dont work well and dont turn out good BBQ without lots of mods and blood, sweat, and tears. I started with one of those and nearly quit. My advice do research spend more money and get a better smoker. Or better yet if you want cheap build a good UDS for about the same money as the Brinkman ECB.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 11:38 AM   #7
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Brinkmann charcoal smokers are best described as perfect entry level smokers which introduce versatile functionalities all in one single charcoal-grill-smoker combined slow cooker. As above, the two are pretty similar in both construction and smoking features. The Gourmet charcoal line is a little better in quality with some minor improvements, but it comes at a higher price. The Smoke'n Grill can be made useful and reliable by doing some 'mods' to the original construction. Also, you want to be sure to use the 'minion' method to have a long slow smoke session, (Google that one) which will ensure a more consistent, lower temperature. I have used mine with great success - even rescuing Thanksgiving turkey dinner after an oven failure.

Out of the box the Gourmet may have more features but it too will require some modification to be a reliable, set n' forget smoker. I guess it really comes down to how much you're looking to spend. Good luck and happy smoke'in!
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Unread 03-21-2013, 11:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinFatties View Post
Or better yet if you want cheap build a good UDS for about the same money as the Brinkman ECB.
Best advice I've heard all day...!

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Unread 03-21-2013, 11:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bishop916 View Post
Brinkmann charcoal smokers are best described as perfect entry level smokers which introduce versatile functionalities all in one single charcoal-grill-smoker combined slow cooker. As above, the two are pretty similar in both construction and smoking features. The Gourmet charcoal line is a little better in quality with some minor improvements, but it comes at a higher price. The Smoke'n Grill can be made useful and reliable by doing some 'mods' to the original construction. Also, you want to be sure to use the 'minion' method to have a long slow smoke session, (Google that one) which will ensure a more consistent, lower temperature. I have used mine with great success - even rescuing Thanksgiving turkey dinner after an oven failure.

Out of the box the Gourmet may have more features but it too will require some modification to be a reliable, set n' forget smoker. I guess it really comes down to how much you're looking to spend. Good luck and happy smoke'in!
there is a big difference in them

the cheaper one (top pic) the body is just a tube.

there is NO bottom on it. The bottom IS the charcoal pan, set on hangers. Like the water pan. Other than that its completely OPEN.

I know, I started with one.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 11:51 AM   #10
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Hi Silver, welcome to the bretheren! The ECB (El Cheapo Brinkman) can be a good smoker with some work. I got one as a gift and ended up copying some Mods that I found here.

The Gourmet is a much better deal because you will need the sealed off fuel pan to ever have a chance at controlling temps. That being said, there are still mods that need to be done before it can be an effective smoker.

Here is a link to the mods i ran on mine, it now works like a champ. Needless to say, when I decide to buy a new smoker it will either be a WSM 22" or a Komado style cooker. The ECB is a greater low cost starter/learner but there are much better products out there.

Hope it helps!

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=150746
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Unread 03-21-2013, 11:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtBurner
there is a big difference in them
I know, I've had both - my latest ECB was a freebie off Craigslist... which I use for camping etc. after some mods, using the minion method and not overloading the charcoal, I get decent temps and it serves up good slow cooked food.

The sealed bottom on the Gourmet comes with its own set of problems, i.e. lack of airflow, trouble getting hot enough, and keeping coals burning. As I've stated, mods are needed to keep either of them reliable. Really it comes down to what he wants to do, deal with a hot fire or deal with no fire.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 12:13 PM   #12
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The Gourmet can easily be modded to be just as functional as a wsm or uds. You just have to spend a couple hours and $20 or so to get it up to speed.

Think in terms of how a UDS works with airflow under and around the coals, adjustable intake system, and grate level thermometer. Not much else to it.

If you have a Lowe's up there, they have a gourmet knockoff that is less expensive than the gourmet, but has a few nicer features, like spring handle side door, locking bottom section, etc.

It also has a larger intake hole on the bottom.

$59.00 US.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 12:17 PM   #13
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I think if you can get the ECB free and mod it they are a good way to go, but I agree a UDS (55 us gallons) or mini uds (smaller drum, maybe 30 gallons) will cost about the same and do a LOT more a LOT easier.

Nothing against the mini WSM but I have zero experience with them.

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Unread 03-21-2013, 12:17 PM   #14
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Just to add to my earlier post, after the mods I made to my ECB it operates as efficiently as my UDS's, including the mini. And with the wide latitude vent control it can go low and slow for several hours or hot and fast, 400F. The bottom vent control is very responsive.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 12:20 PM   #15
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I see these on Craigslist a lot, for cheap check them out, you may see something else in the process that would do you better. If you lived closer I have one or two out back I would give you.
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