Brinkmann 810-5503-S Square Vertical Smoker

Average User Rating:
3.25/5,
By:
Brinkmann
  • Add great smoke flavor to your meat with this affordable, heavy-duty steel charcoal smoker. Able to hold up to 50 lbs. Of meat, this smoker has a space-saving vertical design with two locking front doors for easy access to food, water and charcoal pans. With four adjustable air vents to control heat and smoke, plus a professional temperature gauge. The smoker has sturdy chrome wire handles that stays cool to the touch, porcelain-coated water and charcoal pans that slide out for easy clean-up. Finished in a durable black textured paint that will last for years.Over 354 square inches of cooking areaHeavy-duty gauge steel constructionLocking front doors for easy access to food, water and charcoal pansPorcelain coated cooking gratesMFG Brand Name : BrinkmannMFG Model # : 810-5503-SMFG Part # : 810-5503-SAssembled Depth (in.) : 19.3 inAssembled Height (in.) : 39.4 inAssembled Width (in.) : 19.9 inCooking Area (sq. in.) : 354 in²Energy Star Compliant : NoGrill Type : CharcoalGrill/Smoker Fuel Type : CharcoalHeat Thermometer : YesIgnition Type : ManualItem Weight : 39.6 lbPrimary Cooking Area : 354 in²Warming Rack : NoWarranty (Parts) : One Year Limited Warranty

Recent User Reviews

  1. silverlion
    3/5,
    "Good after a few mods"
    Value:
    5/5,
    Quality:
    3/5,
    Ease of Use:
    3/5,
    Heat Control:
    1/5,
    Purchase Date:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Purchase Price:
    54.00
    Pros - Cheap as dirt, works for my needs
    Cons - Needed work before remotely resembling a smoker
    Out of the box, I felt I got a really good deal on a file cabinet with some racks, bowls and vents. I tried it a couple of times and was ready to return it until I stumbled across these forums. After some screws, a stainless basket, some felt for the doors, and a good thermometer, I have a smoker that works great for what I need. I put about $25 extra into this thing with about another $25 to double wall it, and still get a better deal with this than I would blowing a grand on a smoker. For me, smoking meat and q-ing is what I do to relax on the weekends. I don't mind turning a vent here and there and it doesn't bother me to add coal and wood every few hours. I feel I got a great deal.  
  2. dingod
    1/5,
    "Great storage cabinet / horible smoker"
    Value:
    1/5,
    Quality:
    1/5,
    Ease of Use:
    1/5,
    Heat Control:
    1/5,
    Purchase Date:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Purchase Price:
    45.00
    Pros - easy access doors, looks nice
    Cons - hard to maintain heat, doors do not seal, small charcoal pan, inaccurate temp gauge
    After cooking with a Brinkmann cylindrical smoker for 7 years, I was ready for an upgrade. The paint was peeling on my old smoker and I had my eye on this one for a while. The double doors and slide out shelves looked much more convenient than stacked grill design of my cylindrical smoker. When Walmart cleared the grill area for the season I bought this one on sale. I should have read reviews first as many people have had the same problems I experienced.

    First, the charcoal pan is very small. I was suspicious when I opened the smoker and even thought that I may have received two water pans by mistake. When I transferred a chimney full of red hot coals to the pan, I could not get the temperature up to 200 degrees on a 55 degree day. No problem, I thought. I just replaced the pan with the larger charcoal pan from my old smoker, which slid nicely in, and added another batch of hot coals. When the temperature still did not reach 200, I played with the vents for a while. Then I thought that maybe the temperature gauge was inaccurate. So I brought out a thermometer from the kitchen and found that indeed the temp gauge was reading about 30 degrees low.

    The new thermometer was reading at 200 so I added my meat. After this, the temp fell to 180 and did not reach any higher despite adding multiple batches of red hot charcoal. As a result, I had to throw out my poultry, which I suspected had been at an unsafely low temp for too long, and finished my pork in the oven.

    Brinkmann will tell you that you have to set the vent correctly and shelter the smoker from the wind. This is an outdoor product an one should not have to worry about using it outdoors except on the most windy and cold of days. In my 7 years experience smoking with Brinkmann's entry smoker, I have never had such problems. Yes, I have had to monitor temperature and add more coals. But this smoker cannot maintain heat for any length of time.

    It would however make a good storage cabinet if it were not full of drippings.
  3. jason luedtka
    2/5,
    "Good to learn on"
    Value:
    3/5,
    Quality:
    2/5,
    Ease of Use:
    2/5,
    Heat Control:
    1/5,
    Purchase Date:
    May 1, 2012
    Pros - Cheap - Free
    Cons - Heat control, air leaks, coal consumption, cheap, charcoal basket
    I found this for free since the neighbor was throwing it out.  Worth every penny.  [​IMG]   

    I had been wanting to get a smoker but did not want to spend any money on one.  I wanted to try it out and to see if I actually liked smoking meat or if it was just too much work.  Well, I learned a lot in the 4 months that I used my Brinkman.  After the first couple of uses, I had to do some much needed improvements just to be able to get it up to the right temperature.  After replacing the charcoal bowl with a stainless steel veggi grill basket, I could burn up all my lump without snuffing out the coals with the ash.  Then I added some BGE felt to the doors to make it more air tight.  This only worked on the top door as the bottom doors felt burned off the first smoke.  

User Comments

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  1. jahenbo
    Thanks I may give the Minion Method next time I use my smoker. I hope to be able to make some of the mods before next time too.
  2. jdrouin
    @jahenbo -- The Minion Method, named after the man who invented it, is when you use a coffee can or other container to add hot coals in the center of an unlit coal pile. The idea is that the fire spreads evenly, over time, as the coals burn down, resulting in a long-lasting, stable fire. I'm planning to put a coffee can in the charcoal chimney, fill the can with charcoal, remove the can, place it in the smoker's coal basket, fill the basket with coals around the can and even put a few inside the can, and then light the coals in the chimney and dump them into the can when ready. Forum member @daveomak gave me these two links in an earlier post: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/minion-method-explained-with-tutorial and http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/minion-method
    @silverlion Yes, the cake pan was a good addition. It really reduced temperature spikes and allowed me to cook much longer without refilling. Be sure to let us know when you've double-walled your smoker. Would love to see the results.
  3. silverlion
    By double walling it, I am cutting sheet metal to fit inside the unit. I'll attach it to the channels that support the hangers. This should give me a 1/2" air gap between the 2 layers of sheet metal. I was telling my boss my plans today and he walked me in the back of the shop and pulled out a full sheet of sheet metal. It's a little thicker than the smoker its self. I'm debating on adding some fire proof insulation between the layers as well, but I'm not sure how far I want to take it. The mods I have done so far, with the exception to the screws around the top are ideas I got from Youtube as well as this forum.
    @jdrouin, I like the idea of the cake pan. Square as opposed to round makes sense. It should eliminate hot spots in the smoker. Thank you for the idea. I wish I could find more threads on this smoker, but they are scattered via search function. I'm glad I posted the review.
  4. jahenbo
    Hey jdrouin,
    Thanks for the info, I'm interested like you about Silverlion's double walling. I like to grill and smoke year round, I have been know to stand in the snow grilling. So I'm sure that double walling would help tremendously. You do have me wondering though, what is the minion method for starting a fire?
  5. jdrouin
    @Silverlion: what do you mean by "double walling" this smoker? I have one too and am thinking of insulating (maybe with a welding blanket) it to gain more heat retention.
    @jahenbo: I modified mine as Silverlion did. I suspect he might have seen this video, which I followed before even trying my first smoking session: .
    I didn't bother replacing the door thermometer. Instead I just use a Redi-Check dual probe that monitors the cook chamber air temp and internal meat temp directly. I got a roll of Green Egg high temp felt for $8 online, which I cut to form seals around all four edges of both doors (works great!). I replaced the original coal pan with this Mr. BBQ grill topper. However, I'm thinking of finding a similar, deeper wok topper (saw one at Ace Hardware yesterday for $16), or just drilling rows of holes into the original one, in order to fit more coals into the pan and get longer burns before needing to replace them. With the current wok topper I can go a good 2 hours or more before needing to light up more coals and add them. I also replaced the stock water pan with this 1212x3 cake pan[​IMG], which triples (at least) the volume and lasts for hours before needing to add more water.
    For what it's worth, I'm going to try the minion method for starting the fire next time, to see if that will result in longer burns.
  6. silverlion
  7. jahenbo
    I have this same smoker but really don't get results out of. As a matter of fact, I usually end up taking the coals, water pan and meat and completing them in my grill using indirect heat. Can you possibly give me information on exactly what you did to get better results out of yours. It would really be appreciated.
  8. dynodon
  9. kirka62
    Yep that's a great idea. The factory pan just doesn't get enough O2 to burn properly w/out modifying it.
  10. opher1
    I've enjoyed my Brinkman. I drilled 1 inch holes in my charcoal pan and that helped alot.