Brinkmann Trailmaster Limited Edition

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by realtorterry, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. My new BTLE on her maiden voyage. Seasoned last week and now starting simple with ribs for a BBQ today. I did all the mods as you all have described except the convection pan. For some unknown reason I'm getting accurate temps rolling at 250 on both sides of the grill. I brought the chimney down to grate level, use a charcoal basket, toggle clamps and RTV sealant. I did however put in ten fireplace bricks in the bottom. They must be retaining all the heat throughout but at this time I'm not going with the expensive $$$ plate. I'm loving this grill so fa. Any ideas where I can get some type of metal name plate made up so I can attach it to my new smoker. I'm naming her today. LOL
    Last edited: May 27, 2013
  2. Daisy dog, old brinkmann and new BTLE!!!
  3. Memorial day my wife and I decided to hang home and do some chores and start re-finishing an old hutch/cabinet. So I thought it would be a great day to cook some Spicy St. Louis Style Ribs on the Brinkmann Trailmaster LE.  I actually planned to do this days in advance, I had the ribs marinating in the Ludwig Rib Rub since Saturday.

    Around 11:00am I started some coals in my chimney  and then laid them over some coals and Mesquite wood chunks in the Trailmaster’s char-coal basket. This was the first time using the basket, I’ll talk more about that in my Brinkmann Trailmaster Char-coal Basket thread, but it worked really well. Got the fire going and got the smoker up to around 200*.

    When the Brinkmann hit 200* I put the ribs on, closer to the exhaust side. (I had about a 3* difference between firebox and exhaust side.) I was planning on a 3-2-1 smoke routine wrapping with apple juice and some Ludwig Spicy BBQ sauce.  After about an hour I noticed that temps were spiking, my mouse trap design in my coal basket wasn’t working and all the coals were starting to light. So I pulled the basket out and removed about 1/3 of the coals and put it back in. temps decreased to right around 220* and remained there throughout the majority of the cook.

    After about 3 hours I wrapped the St. Louis Style Ribs as planned with apple juice and some Ludwig Spicy BBQ sauce and back on to the smoker they went. At the same time I put 3 crocks of black beans and onions on the smoker as well as some fingerling potatoes.

    After 2 more hours I pulled the ribs, un-wrapped and placed back on the smoker. I moved the potatoes to the firebox grill grate to get them cooking well. After un-wrapping and moving the potatoes I lost a lot of heat and the fire wasn’t picking up enough to get it back up to temp quickly at all. It hoovered right around 180* for about 30mins and hit 205* at around 45 minutes. I had added some coals, some wood, shook the old ash out, and emptied the ash tray. I’m not sure if that helped or hindered the situation, but none the less, my 3-2-1 turned out more of a 3-2-2.

    I did take pictures of it off the grill and cut up to show how nice the smoke ring was and how tender they were, but sadly when I was carrying the camera and other stuff back inside I must have switched modes on my camera with out noticing and those photos are pretty much black.

    grrrr!!!  Oh well next time right :)
    nvv522 likes this.
  4. Looks awesome!! All of it...
  5. piaconis

    piaconis Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Nice job on the weekend Q, all!
  6. Very nice. What wood did you use? How did your temps hold from side to side?
  7. Does the basket have a bottom on it or is it open
  8. Thanks! I used a combination of lump hardwood charcoal, briquettes and hickory chunks. I can't be sure about the temp on the firebox side as I only used a single probe near the chimney that I ran through one of the bolt holes for the handle. I've read the posts about how inaccurate the factory gauge is, but mine seemed to stay within a few degrees of the probe.
  9. The best cover is a garage or shed!  I keep my cheap barrel grill on the deck, but my Bandera smoker has a reserved place in my garage between smokes.  I've had it about 10 years and still going strong!  You might have better luck on barrel grills with a cover, but in the past... on flat top grills, I've found the covers just keep the grill wet longer and accelerates the rusting.  I had that problem even with the more expensive covers.
  10. based on his first post the basket looks like it has no bottom.

    Personally I would want a bottom so I can remove the basket and coals altogether.
  11. texaninmd

    texaninmd Newbie

    Fired up the smoker after all the mods and it seems to be running smooth at 225 with vent on the side and the stack fully open. It only lasted about 2 hours at that temp because I was just seasoning the smoker and didn't use the minion method. I may need to build a bigger charcoal box, it's 11x12x4, in order for it to stay at temp for longer. How do I raise the temp from 225 since I've already got the stack and vent fully open? Maybe open the ash tray slightly? Any suggestions on higher temps and keeping temp longer would be great.
  12. Higher temps usually means burning more fuel. I have a 12x11x6 charcoal basket with a maze design (which doesn't work as expected) and with the basket 1/2 full and some chunks on the top I was hitting 350*. I had to pull the basket and remove about 1/3 of the coals which allowed it to stabilize at 225*. As for longevity, the hotter you get the quicker it's gonna go thru fuel. I usually am adding some fuel or wood every few hours.
  13. piaconis

    piaconis Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Try sliding the ash tray forward a quarter inch or so. Sometimes, it just needs a little more air to get the fire to spread a bit in the box. I do that with mine when I'm first warming it up.
  14. texaninmd

    texaninmd Newbie

    I bought a few bags of kingsford, but I've seen a lot of people using lump charcoal. Is that for a reason or just a preference? If lump is better, what does anyone recommend? Cowboy?
  15. Cowboy is awful. Mostly junk, not much chunk.
  16. texaninmd

    texaninmd Newbie

    Wolfnutz, do you have any suggestions? I think all I've seen at lowes is cowboy.
  17. Wish I did, Tex, but I haven't used much or shopped around for it.  The other guys can probably better answer that one.
  18. smokin nw

    smokin nw Smoke Blower

    I have used Royal Oak lump and Kingsford.

    For me the lump burned longer, just did not stack in the basket very well, so it seamed like I was filling it more.

    Kingsford burned hotter but makes a lot more ash, emptying tray more often.

    So try both to see what works best for you.

    You can get both just about anywhere.
  19. I've used Cowboy and the Sam's Club lump but was very different in size consistency, and as a result I had a hard time filling the basket efficiently. The last two times I have used Kingsford original. The consistent size was a breath of fresh air. With the mods I made I was able to keep a stable temp of 275 for four hours. My basket is 10 inches square with 6 inch walls, and I only had to empty the ash tray every couple of hours.

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