Pros: Easy to assemble, Easy clean up, Fast cooking time
Cons: Would not recommend grilling on wooden surfaces, since charcoal pan gets very hot
We decided to try something new this Thanksgiving-smoking our own turkey. We purchased a Brinkmann Gourmet Charcoal Smoker and Grill at Lowes about a week before Thanksgiving. It took my husband about 45 minutes to assemble with the instructions from the Owner's Manual. It also came with a Smoke Cooking Recipe Guide, that includes recipes for such delicacies as Smoked Brisket, Polynesian Pot Roast, Cognac Mustard Pork Tenderloin, and Apple Pork Chops to name a few. It also provides a quick reference cooking chart for meat, game, and fish.
We consulted the reference guide for a 10 lb turkey. The guide estimated between 7-8 hours for an 8-12 lb turkey. Ours was done in about 5-6 hours.
The instructions for smoking are outlined in 12 easy steps:
1 -Remove dome lid and smoker body from base pan
2- Place 10-15 lbs of high quality charcoal in charcoal pan
3-Saturate coal with lighting fluid and wait 2-3 minutes for the fluid to soak in
4-Carefully light the charcoal and allow to burn until covered in a light ash (approximately 20 minutes) prior to closing door and placing dome lid on smoker
5-Use cooking tongs to carefully place flavoring wood on top of hot charcoal
6-Place empty water pan inside smoker body on the lower support brackets
7-Place smoker body on base pan, making sure water pan is still in place
8-Carefully, fill water pan with warm water or marinade
9-Place a cooking grill on the lower support brackets directly above the water pan
10- Place food on the cooking grill in a single layer with space between each piece. This will allow the smoke and moist heat to circulate evenly around all pieces
11-Allow food to cook. After 3-4 hours, check water level and add water if level is low
12-After cooking, allow smoker to cool completely and then follow instructions for "After-use safety and proper care and maintenance."
A meat thermometer should also be used to ensure that the food is fully cooked before removing from the smoker.
The smoker includes 2 grills which can be used for two different food items that can be cooked simultaneously.
The end result was a very flavorful turkey, that appeared seared on the outside, but sufficiently moist on the inside. There are instructions in the Owner's Manual on ways to increase the moistness and flavor of the meat you are cooking. Clean up was very simply emptying out the water pan, that collected a small amount of juice from the turkey, and emptying the charcoal from the bottom of the base pan.
The smoker comes with a one year limited warranty against defects due to workmanship or materials to the original purchase. Various accessories are available from the Brinkmann Catalog or website at www.brindmanncorp.com.
We were very pleased with the result of our first smoking experience, and plan to use this grill regularly. It also converts to a portable grill for light outdoor cooking. Happy smoking!