PDA

View Full Version : Brinkmann Gourmet Smoker


silverbullet
03-21-2013, 12:07 PM
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...

K-JUN
03-21-2013, 12:24 PM
The Gourmet has a base at the bottom that the charcoal pan sits in.

Regular
http://i.walmartimages.com/i/p/00/03/99/53/30/0003995330018_60X60.gif

Gourmet
http://i.walmartimages.com/i/mp/MP/10/00/02/59/MP10000259126_P255045_60X60.gif

ButtBurner
03-21-2013, 12:26 PM
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

Carbon
03-21-2013, 12:30 PM
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
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/jojisan/BBQ/P1060018.jpg

aawa
03-21-2013, 12:31 PM
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)

SmokinFatties
03-21-2013, 12:32 PM
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.

Bishop916
03-21-2013, 12:38 PM
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!

Bishop916
03-21-2013, 12:39 PM
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...!

:clap:

ButtBurner
03-21-2013, 12:40 PM
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.

SmokinSlowPoke
03-21-2013, 12:51 PM
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/showthread.php?t=150746

Bishop916
03-21-2013, 12:51 PM
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.

El Ropo
03-21-2013, 01:13 PM
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. http://images.lowes.com/product/converted/728649/728649739555.jpg

willbird
03-21-2013, 01:17 PM
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.

Bill

Carbon
03-21-2013, 01:17 PM
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.

Mo-Dave
03-21-2013, 01:20 PM
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.
Dave

ButtBurner
03-21-2013, 01:20 PM
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. http://images.lowes.com/product/converted/728649/728649739555.jpg

I have 2 of these. I call them my WSM clones.

I have one at my cabin, I liked it so much I bought one for the house, to go along with my offset and soon-to-be-sold wattburner!!!

You cant beat it for $59. I paid $48 for the 2nd one, on sale.

El Ropo
03-21-2013, 01:23 PM
OK, this is funny has heck. I just checked Lowe's Canada website, and they have a picture of the same smoker, but they neglected to install the bottom section for the website pic. Also, the side door handle is different. I think you'd have to visit their store to figure out what's up.

http://hi.atgimg.com/img/x/13278/728649749424_ca.jpg

Carbon
03-21-2013, 01:25 PM
Yeah, that Lowe's knock off looks real nice. It also looks like it has a better fitting lid than the ECB.

ButtBurner
03-21-2013, 01:29 PM
OK, this is funny has heck. I just checked Lowe's Canada website, and they have a picture of the same smoker, but they neglected to install the bottom section for the website pic. Also, the side door handle is different. I think you'd have to visit their store to figure out what's up.

http://hi.atgimg.com/img/x/13278/728649749424_ca.jpg

I am an expert on these LOL

Actually, this is a cheaper version. I saw it at Lowes when I picked up my 2nd one when it was on sale. I think they are clearing them out and replacing it with this one, it does not have the middle section. So it sits a lot shorter plus the food racks are a thinner gauge

Too bad...

BB-Kuhn
03-21-2013, 02:01 PM
the bottom-less ECB is fine in one single situation:

70-80 deg
<5 mph wind
275 deg cooking temp

If any of these does not sound like your situation when starting, FAIL.

willbird
03-21-2013, 11:18 PM
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.
Dave


Yea I have one I rescued from trash pickup he could have to, but the shipping would be more than buying a new one up there :-). I have a UDS and grabbed a 30 gallon drum to make a mini UDS, so modding the ECB just never seems to happen.

Bill

rcbaughn
03-22-2013, 12:18 AM
If I was you I'd build a mini WSM but use a barrel instead of the aluminum pot so it's taller and can fit more racks. I forget the barrel size that works for the mini WSM design but I think it's 16 gallons. They are pretty easy to find, and a whole lot of guys can help ya on cooks with the mini since so many have them.

I say this because you said your willing to mod the Brinkmann and that means you are handy enough to build stuff, so that's the route I'd take. The Smokey Joe is a solid platform to start off of and isn't as big as a UDS. But if you plan on doing larger cuts or amounts maybe the UDS is the better option. A TON TON TON of people could help you with learning to cook on a UDS no doubt, more than the mini WSM probably.

I'm just not a Brinkmann fan though since my first smoker was a Brinkmann electric. Only dry tough meats ever came off if it. I might as well have just slid the meat in the oven and threw a few sticks of wood on the floor of the oven. Same principle. I guess that's not what we're talking about here, but still I don't like Brinkmann products.

gigantor
03-22-2013, 01:37 AM
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 yohttp://images.lowes.com/product/converted/728649/728649739555.jpgu 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.


This smoker has been discont'd at Lowes. They replaced it w/ a unit that is a replica of the Brinkmann Gourmet unit. I got two d/c units for 20bux each.
I modded the bottom to improve air flow. Basically ordered two Brinkmann dampers, drilled holes at the bottom for better air flow. The new "Master Forge" smoker costs $69.

creekwalker
03-22-2013, 02:30 AM
gigantor, among others, is correct about the Master Forge old and new models; the old one is 36 inches high [the Brinkman Gourmet is 35] and the new MF is 20.25 inches high (?!). The Canadian model (according to the picture posted) is the same as what is now the current model in the US (the 20.25 inch one).

rcbaughn
03-22-2013, 02:31 AM
This smoker has been discont'd at Lowes. They replaced it w/ a unit that is a replica of the Brinkmann Gourmet unit. I got two d/c units for 20bux each.
I modded the bottom to improve air flow. Basically ordered two Brinkmann dampers, drilled holes at the bottom for better air flow. The new "Master Forge" smoker costs $69.

$20?! I'd like to have that just for a cold smoking chamber if nothing else. That is an insane price. I gotta get to Lowe's tomorrow. Did you buy them recently? Or was that a while back?

creekwalker
03-22-2013, 03:01 AM
I found the old MF listed on the Lowes site for $39 about a week ago; but when I started the ordering procedure it showed not in stock in any stores in my area. Called the central warehouse and they had none in stock, but they arranged for a Lowes in SC to sell me one at the same price if I would pay half the shipping (there was no ship to store since the it didn't come from the central warehouse). There are not supposed to be any stores here in NC that have them now, but you can check the site for stores in your area.

charrederhead
03-22-2013, 09:17 AM
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.


^^^^ That would be my personal story. I bought the Gourmet many moons ago when I thought about getting into smoking. The poor build quality was disappointing. There were half-inch gaps where the lid and body met...I couldn't keep a fire going. It was nothing but a farking frustrating fiasco. Of course, I knew nothing of this place or the necessary mods, so after several failures I sold it for $7 at a yard sale and was happy to see it go!

Now I look for a cheap one on CL to buy and mod, just to get the better it. :boxing:

silverbullet
03-27-2013, 11:26 PM
Wow...this is a bunch of great comments here...Thanks to all who gave their time to help a newbie. As luck would have it i am heading to Kalispell Montana the first of May for some Grayling fishing on the fly and plan on looking around there for my new smoker.. Don't want to start any arguments and appreciate all the various comments but it will most likely be the ECB Gourmet and do the mods unless i see a WSM on sale and pull the trigger (without the misses lookin of course).. Cheers to all and thanks again..