Rated 4.1 out of 5 by 138
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by RustyBones Great little smoker
Bought this item without checking any reviews & when I did look, I found a world of data on mods & tips. A tip on seasoning the smoker, use shortening & coat everything but the charcoal bowl then fire it up for two hours. Touch up occasionally to keep it shining.
1-Drilled holes in the charcoal bowl for air flow
2-Mounted the legs on the outside
3-Drilled hole & mounted a real thermostat
4-Stacked patio stones underneath for charcoal bowl
Cooked several times with no problems until the smoke residue collected on the lid.
5-Cut vent in top of lid then mounted smokestack from previous smoker, sealed with Permatex 81160
6-Added fiberglass rope & gasket sealer to close off default smoke vent
Now it cooks turkeys non-stop for five hours with only $60 out of pocket.
January 12, 2015
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by bobincinti 1st smoker, needs modification
I have wanted to try my hand at smoking meats because I love pulled pork and pork ribs. I received this as a gift for Father's Day (2013) and here is my review after the 1st use.
From a quality perspective, it is what I expected for a $50 smoker. The temp gauge is not the best so I purchased a digital model that can monitor the temp of the smoker and meat. Getting the meat to the right temp is the key to success with this grill.
I had problems with the fire for the 14+ hours I ran the smoker. The ash has no place to fall, so it chokes the fire and you are constantly stoking the fire every few hours. When the fire was out, I had unburned charcoal and wood at the bottom of the fire box.
To fix the problem, I have purchased a Weber smokey joe 10.5 inch charcoal grate ($7) for the fire box to allow the ash to fall through. This will give me about 2 inches of clearance from the bottom of the fire bowl and as the coals turn to ash, they will fall through. This will allow the fire to smolder and not choke itself out and keep a more consistent temp.
For my first use, these were the types of problems I expected because it was a learning experience. But despite the problems I had with the fire, the food it produced was fantastic and over 30 people loved it. So for a beginner, this is a great smoker.
June 25, 2013
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Steve Great overall smoker, Perfect for the beginner!!
I originally bought the Brinkmann box smoker that went on clearance 1 1/2 ago. After opening it up to build it while i was on a camping trip there was no hardware packet. I brought back to the nearest Home Depot to me and they gladly switched it out for me no questions asked. After i got settled in back on the camp site I started on my first real smoking adventure. After about 4 hours the smoked chicken was done. IT was DELICIOUS, perfectly cooked, juicy on the inside crisp on the outside. Beautiful smoke ring as well. I love this smoker the only bad thing about it is 1.) the temp gauge is cheap and hard to read( I bought a new one for under 10 bucks to replace it) . I have smoke d everything from pork butts to chicken wings and have loved every meal. I have also used it as a charcoal grill while on picnics and it is absolutely great. Would Definitively buy it again if this one every breaks down. When you buy this unit make sure to pick up a cover, temp gauge that give actual temps and lava rocks for the bottom ( helps to hold heat for perfect smoking)
May 10, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Willyhoeshow I'm on my second one
I bought one three years ago and have used it no less than once per week. I've done ribs, chicken, turkey, pork, burgers dogs and a lot more. I gave my first one away when we had to move and have been kicking myself since. the temp gauge isn't the best, but a replacement is less than $10. I am going to go pick up another one of these because I miss my old one. This thing has TONS of room for cooking too.
November 16, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by xanman528 Great starter smoker!
I have been a gas grill guy all my life but after my Wife and son got me this smoker a few months ago I am now hooked on smoked meats! Its very easy to to use and does a great job! I've cooked beef ribs and baking hens so far and I must say its been some of the best I've had! I am going to smoker a turkey this year for Thanksgiving on it! I would highly recommend this smoker to anyone wanting to get started in the smoking game!
June 8, 2013
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by DougM Franken Smoker
I had wanted to experiment with smoking for some time, so this inexpensive smoker seemed perfect. I had read all of the advice about instilling the legs on the outside, drilling holes in the bottom of the charcoal pan and putting the pan on bricks.
I tried a slightly more difficult approach, but the results are great. I modified my smoker so that I too can lift the entire smoker off the charcoal pan but I did it slightly differently.
After installing the legs on the outside, this leaves the charcoal pan on the ground unless you put it on bricks or something else. I did not love the idea of bricks as I was certain the wife would object. So back at home depot, I bought (4) 5”x1/4” hex bolts, 8 nuts and 8 washers. Then I drilled 4 ½” holes around the perimeter of the pan and used the hex bolts as legs. This gave it the perfect height and the “legs” look like they came from the factory that way (In hindsight, I should have used carriage bolts). I also drilled the holes in the first bend of the pan so that the legs would angle out slightly, giving me more stability.
This sounds far more complicated than it is. The other nice think about the way mine turned out is that the charcoal pan still fits in the top of the smoker if you want to use it as a grill rather than a smoker.
Then I drilled a few holes to improve airflow as others had suggested. Since this would let ash fall through and pile up on the patio, I bought a cheap 12” frying pan that sits under the smoker when it is in use. This catches the ashes and makes cleanup a snap. When I am not using the smoker, the fry pan fits inside so I do not look quite as dorky as I actually am.
June 13, 2012
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by ACinPGH ECB!
Do yourself a favor and run an internet search for ECB of "El Cheapo Brinkmann." You'll get the mods that people use to successfully convert this into a much better smoker for not a lot of $. For instance, I drilled vent holes in the ash pan and added a charcoal holder to get better heat. I also installed the legs facing out and use bricks to support the fire/ash pan. This means that I can lift off the entire smoker to dump and refill the coals. I also drilled the lid and added an inexpensive thermometer that gives me temp reads instead of the "low, ideal, high" designations on the smoked (which are not calibrated anyway). You can also seal the lid with stove rope and drill and vent the top, but I have not yet gotten there. The food that this makes is amazing, but it is time consuming (as it should be!).
April 14, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by ERT60 Great Smoker
For the price, you will not find a better smoker! They will last forever if you keep them out of the weather and clean them up. The coal pan used to come with a hole in them but now they don't because people were setting their wooden decks on fire. I personally drill holes in my coal pans so the coals burn better and put the smoker in a sheetmetal pan if I use it on my deck. It smokes meat excellent.I move the coal pan up high to grill steaks. I put the coal pan in the middle to grill chicken and other meats.It is large enough to easily smoke a 12lb turkey or other big cuts of meat. I have smoked a 25lb ham in mine. If you put 10lbs of coal and soak your wood chips it will put out more than enough smoke and last for hours.
Dollar for dollar this is the best smoker/grill you can buy. Great grill great price.
December 28, 2009