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December 25, 1993 is a Christmas I will always remember. My now ex-husband thought he would be funny with one of his Christmas presents to me that year. He had bought me a Brinkmann Gourmet Outdoor Cooker/Smoker and as a practical joke, he bought a bag of charcoal to go along with it. He thought it would be funny for me to open that first. Well, it turned out that the joke was on him, I spent the next hour in the bedroom crying my eyes out, not wanting to open anything else that day. He assured me there were other presents there but I did not want any part of it. That is the story of how I happened to become an owner of a Brinkmann Gourmet Cooker.
The First Attempt at Cooking
Be sure to always read the owners manual before using anything new. I have decided to make that my motto in life. Just a few days after Christmas that year, I decided we would have grilled hamburgers. I put the charcoal in the Cooker and lit it and put the hamburgers on to grill and an hour later they were still raw. I kept checking them and checking them as my husband was napping on the couch, oblivious to my obvious frustration. Do you think this is why he is now my ex husband? Anyway, I decided to read the manual and figured out that in order to grill on the smoker, I had to move the base pan on top of the support clips at the top of the smoker and not down below where the smoker is. In no time at all, we were enjoying the fruits of my labor.
Do you like the taste of smoked food? The Brinkmann Outdoor Cooker/Smoker uses a water smoking process that allows smoke to penetrate meats, fish and poultry to give it a savory smoked flavor as it seals in the natural juices. It even reduces food shrinkage too. The water smoking process ensures self-basting and even cooking which eliminates the need for tending to or turning foods as they cook. You can smoke, barbecue, bake, grill or steam with this cooker. I love the taste of smoked food, I think it is delicious and enjoy it several times a year.
It would seem to me that if someone were interested in purchasing a smoker cooker, they might be interested in knowing how it works. So here goes, when you get ready to use the smoker, it needs to be placed on a hard, level surface away from your roof overhang and any combustible materials. The top portion of the smoker lifts off of the bottom 1/3 of the smoker, revealing the charcoal pan. Simply fill the pan with charcoal and sprinkle them liberally with fire starter or charcoal lighter fluid.
After about 20 minutes or once the charcoals begin to turn gray, you can add any flavor producing wood such as hickory, pecan, apple, or mesquite, just to name a few. After the charcoals are completely gray, place the smoker body back on the top the charcoal pan and remove the dome lid. Fill the water pan with the amount of water that is recommended in the cooking chart for the food your are about to smoke. Put the seasoned meat on cooking grill, place the dome lid on smoker and allow the meats to cook. There is a temperature gauge located on the dome lid that allows you to make sure there is enough heat to cook the foods inside.
Wondering how long it takes to smoke meats on the smoker? Let's say we want to smoke two chickens, both weighing two to three pounds, it will take approximately two and a half to three and a half hours. A four to five pound rump roast will take three to four hours. Many people like to smoke turkeys and a fourteen to sixteen pound turkey will take about six to eight hours, so I would start it early in the day. You probably get the idea about cooking times, so I will not list any other meats, but will say that the cookbook that came with mine is filled with ideas on how to use the smoker, you can even smoke apples on it if you want to although I never have.
My Main Use
Even though this is a smoker, the main thing I use this for is a charcoal grill to grill hamburgers. I have smoked several different things on the smoker and always been quite satisfied with the results. With the long cooking time, I tend to shy away from using it more than I would like to even though I know that the long smoking time is what leads to the great flavor. So if you are considering the purchase of this smoker, I would take that into consideration. Also, the smoker has two handles, one on each side of it, so that it can be carried easily, but it has always been awkward for me to move it. If you plan on purchasing one, take that into consideration whether or not you will be moving it around much.
I would like to say that I have always been satisfied with this product. It has held up well under various weather conditions for the last seven years now and I have cooked a lot of hamburgers on it. It has never rusted or been damaged by the elements, although the color has faded some but I think that happens with most grills anyway. If you are considereing the purchase of a smoker/grill, be sure to look at the Brinkmann, I don't think you will be disappointed.
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