Pros: Versatile, works as a dry smoker, large grill and small grill
Cons: Bulky, might present storage issues
I have a pretty versatile collection of outdoor cooking set-ups, but one thing that I've lacked is a dry smoker. I've always liked my water smoker, but learning how to dry smoke meats just seemed like the right thing to do, so after a little shopping around, I settled on the Brinkmann Smoke 'n Pit Pitmaster Deluxe 805-1201-S All-in-One Grill/Smoker, for the reasons I'm about to share with you.
The Brinkmann Smoke 'n Pit Pitmaster Deluxe 805-1201-S All-in-One Grill/Smoker is what I call a barrel-style cookerit looks like a barrel (or actually two of them) that has been turned on its side and split in half. Hinges are attached to one side and a handle to the other, and you have the barrel-style cooker.
The Pitmaster Deluxe is based on a two chamber design, which enables it to be used as either a small or large grill, or a dry smoker. If you want to smoke meats, you build your charcoal or wood chip fire in the smaller chamber, or firebox, and place your meats in the larger food chamber, which allows your food to cook slowly with indirect heat. Because of its design, the smoke travels from the firebox up through the larger food chamber and out of the smokestack, imparting a good smoky flavor to whatever meat you happen to be cooking.
If you wish to grill for a large group of people, simply start your charcoal fire in the large chamber and cook your food directly over the fire. The grilling area of the large chamber is expansive and should enable you to grill steaks, hamburgers, chops or fish for twenty or more people. For smaller and more intimate get-togethers, simply build your fire in the smaller chamber and use it to grill your meats. The grills in both chambers are easily removable, and I clean mine with a wire brush and a little soap and water.
The booklet that accompanies the Pitmaster Deluxe says that you can smoke up to 110 pounds of meat in the large chamberI havent weighed the food that Ive smoked, but three or four pork shoulders wouldnt be a problem. You could also smoke that many turkeys, or as many as fifteen or twenty chickens if thats your fancy. The large food chamber could accommodate a lot of ribs, because you could actually stand them up instead of laying them flat on the cooking surface.
When smoking meats, you have to remember that with this cooker fresh charcoal should be added every four hours or so, which means that you need to give this cooker a little more attention than a water smoker, which needs fresh charcoal every six hours. Adding charcoal is very easyall you have to do is raise the lid on the firebox and drop it in there.
The Pitmaster Deluxe has wheels on the side which has the large food chamber, so all you have to do is lift it by the firebox end slightly and roll it out for use or in for easy storage. This cooker is a bit bulky, so storage might be an issue if your quarters are already pretty cramped. I bought a cover for mine, so I just leave it on the deck and cover it after use and its ready for the next time.
Another feature that I like is the workstation on the front of the large food chamber. Theres enough room there for all your seasonings, marinades and tools, and you can keep everything that you might need handy should you need it.
Im really satisfied with my Pitmaster Deluxe. Ive used it to smoke meats and grill for large groups and its performed just like I hoped it would. The indirect method of smoking meats provides slow cooking which makes your meats tender and juicy, and the design of the Pitmaster Deluxe allows the smoke to fully permeate and flavor your meats.
I paid $175.00 for my Pitmaster Deluxe and I think thats a fair price, considering the cooking versatility that it offers.
Thanks for reading.