Brinkmann Trailmaster Limited Edition

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

  1. cpfitness

    cpfitness Fire Starter

    We are under way with the first smoke! A couple of observations. The brinkman thermos I installed on the door are not accurate and I think its because the probes are too short. Anyone know anything about this? They are probably only about 2 inches long. I tested them in boiling water along with my digital thermos and they all were on target but in use they are reading really low. I went to my digitals at grate level instead and found the mods to be working well. 230 degrees on the far left side and 227 degrees dead center. The far right was about 270 so def a bit hotter but perfect for doing chicken on that side. Incidentally with my configuration, the stock thermo reading almost perfectly coincides with the firebox side reading. I have a baffle and just 2 tuning plates.


    Here are pics of the digi readings next to the brinkmann thermos.

    Left side digi 208 vs brinkmann 160

    Right side 234 vs brinkmann 205

    Stock therm reading 230 vs firebox digi 235

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  2. cpfitness

    cpfitness Fire Starter

    goofed up editing previous post
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  3. I wonder why manufacturers always place them on the top. Heat rises so your actually getting the temp that collects at the top. As long as your in the ballpark of 1" to 1 1/2" from grate level the temps should be pretty good. However, I would get some higher end thermos like Tel-Tru thermos. They are a little pricier but they are very accurate. I would also just take the top thermo off and cap it and not worry about it.

  4. cpfitness

    cpfitness Fire Starter

    its strange, I'm probably almost right at the level of the grate since I put them pretty low on the door but the temps I was measureing with my digitals were also angled so the tip of the probe was equally low.  I'm wondering if it is picking up the temperature of the outside of the door or something like that.  I wont rule out buying other thermos, but considering these handled the boiling water test with no problem, it seems like they should work and I liked the idea of the short probe not interfering with meat in the cooking chamber
  5. Picked mine up at HD a couple weeks ago for 267.00. Put it together myself with no problem, Used silicon to seal the seams. Didn't find anything bent or warped. Would have like a little wider lip for door seal but it is enough, For the door seals, I use 2 to 3 pieces of heavy wire to gap the door open and the seal can be thicker it also gives me a place to run the wires to my mavric without pinching them. I still have to trim the excess silicon from the inside and run a final bead in a few places the I can start playin with it.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  6. powerstroke84

    powerstroke84 Newbie

    Hi boardpuller,

    I recently purchase the same Brinkman Trailmaster smoker and I was wondering if you special order your convection plate or just used a instock one from Horizon? Thanks in advance on for any help.

  7. Power;
    Im making my own a different way, I have the material ordered already and hope to start playin this weekend. I intend to take probe readings from the basic unit when it's stable. Then add one mod at a time and looke for a difference,

    Be Safe
  8. raastros2

    raastros2 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    What he said
  9. astmedic

    astmedic Newbie


    Count me in this game too.

    All the build mods are done. I used the DAP fireplace mortar for the fire box rather than the RTV since people were saying that it didn't hold up to the heat. I used the RTV to seal the stack and the elbow mod.

    I'm going to build a baffle and tuning plate soon. Thinking of just putting some grommets in and running digital thermo for the smoker temp rather than analog. Just need to find some that will handle the temps.
  10. Hi All,

    i'm just new to smoking and assembled my TMLE last weekend.

    So far, no dampers, chimney extensions or extra thermos.. yet.

    (I'm also kicking myself for throwing away the old grill tray from my old griller, as it would have been a perfect heat deflector...)

    Anyhow - I wanted to understand how fussy you guys are about smoke leaks.

    On my curing run I noticed some very slight bits of smoke from some of the edges around the main chamber door.

    Is any smoke leaking out too much - so you can completely close it off if needed, or are you really talking about bigger leaks?

    Are we aiming for "air-tight"?


    Steve (in the UK)
  11. Hiya! I'm new as well :p picked up mine sunday...

    Came outta the box pretty nice one small dent and one scratch in the paint (that I may have done :I) anyway I've been emailing back and forth with Justin from bbqgaskets and he is setting me up with all that jazz.

    What I was wondering was if someone had some measurements of their baffle and tuning plates? I'm new and couldn't figure out how to search the forums sorry...

    measurements for the charcoal box would help too...

    I don't have a welder but my father works in a shop and said if I sent him some measurements he could bust em out for me.  Thanks a bunch guys!

  12. wood river bbq

    wood river bbq Smoke Blower

    I didn't own a Brinkman, which is a nice looking unit, but it has some of the same characteristics as the Char Broil Smoking Pro. It's important to seal up all the leaks as best you can but that doesn't help with a couple of problems. The first is that the chimney is on the wrong end. The heat/smoke comes out of the fire box and heads right for the chimney, bypassing the meat, because of "draft". They had to place it there or the heat/smoke would exit the fire box and go directly up and out.

    The solution is to create a "reverse flow" setup, which is simple and only involves a 2 step process. The first step is to add a fire box baffle and tunning plates. That solves half the problem but you need to do one more thing to get the heat/smoke to go over the meat because once the heat/smoke reaches the end of the plates it wants to get out so it goes up the chimney. The second step is to move the chimney to the fire box end of the cook chamber. I simply purchased a extra chimney from Char Broil and installed it -- it may not be that simple with the Brinkman but instead of buying an extra chimney you could use the existing chimney and seal the original hole. The Smoking Pro looked trick with "dual exhausts". You also need to add the chimney extension to force the heat/smoke to go over the meat before going up the chimney.

    What I created was a "reverse flow" cooker. The cheapo Smoking Pro cooked some great product. Now I'm cooking on a Lang 36, which is a true "reverse flow" cooker. The Lang cooks great product but it isn't much better than my old modified Char Broil -- or a modified Brinkman. The trick to cooking good product is controlling your heat/smoke/temperature. It's a shame that a mate has to modify a cooker but if they don't the pitmaster becomes dissatisfied with the product and the unit ends up in a dumpster after a few cooks.
  13. wood river bbq

    wood river bbq Smoke Blower

    I purchased the steel for the tuning plates from ACE HARDWARE. They have various sizes and were easy to cut with metal shears. I used the wider pieces near the firebox and then went down in size. Since they were not as rigid as I wanted them to be, I bought another set and pop riveted them together. My wife would have a hemorrhage if she knew what I spent modifying my former cooker -- I cut the price of everything I purchased in 1/2. I know she knew I was full of crap but she didn't say anything. 
  14. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi What gauge metal did Ace Hardware have for the tuning plates? I've seen some sheet metal at Lowe's but it look kind of thin, to use as tuning plates.

    Thanks Dan
  15. wood river bbq

    wood river bbq Smoke Blower

    Dan: I don't know the gauge but they were thin and that's why I doubled them up. I don't have any metal cutting or welding equipment so I needed steel i could cut with shears. The tunning plates really don't have be thick steel. All they're doing is directing the flow of heat/smoke.

    Don G 
  16. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Have some thin metal tuning plates in my COS but they aren't working too good. Last time I checked temps they were off about 40* off side to side.

    Thanks Dan

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  17. wood river bbq

    wood river bbq Smoke Blower

    Dan: The plates have to extend the full length of the cook chamber and it takes some "fooling around" with the space adjustment to get them TUNED. On my former Smoking Pro the temp difference was about 10F end to end.  To complete the extension, use the thinner width (4th from the left) plates. Push the wider plates a little closer together. Once you level out your temperature, mark the location of each plate or you'll end up doing the adjustment all over again if you move the plates for any reason. Being able to maintain an even temperature is an important aspect of "Q'ing". Good luck, mate.

    Don G 
  18. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Don Will move the plates next time I fire up the smoker.

    This what I was thinking of doing using the charcoal grill grate that came with the smoker. Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil and poke some small holes by the firebox side and bigger holes as it goes along to the end. I could also use the charcoal ash pan and drill some holes.

    So far I have only use the side closer to the firebox, cause it is only for me and my wife .I was able to do 2 racks of St Louis ribs and a brisket or pork butt in that space.Dont know if I'll ever use the whole pit, but would like the option.

    Thanks Dan

    PS I was thinking about dropping the baffle a little lower. Will have to take alook at it.
  19. wood river bbq

    wood river bbq Smoke Blower

    Dan: Your idea will work -- anything you can do to prevent the heat/smoke from exiting the fire box and making a beeline for the chimney will improve your heat management and will also conserve fuel. I think a tuning PLATE WITH HOLES works better than the tuning sheets. Had I kept my Smoking Pro I was going to go with the tuning plate similar to what Horizon sells for their units but I put so much $$ into the Smoking Pro mods that it was ridiculous but I had a lot of fun messing with it. When I told my wife I was going to spend about $1400.00 to buy a Lang she about went through the roof. Fortunately, that day our house window washer saw my Smoking Pro and offered me $250 for it. I told my wife "now what am I supposed to cook on" and that greased the skids to the Lang.

    I'm a big fan of the "reverse flow" design. I sure cooked some good product on the Smoking Pro once I set it up for reverse flow and even before I relocated the chimney. It got easier to manage once I relocated the chimney. The chimney is in the wrong place on the Brinkman for reverse flow but you still can cook some great product. Also, spend $7 at Home Depot and drop the chimney down to grate level. I even use the chimney extension mod on my Lang. If the chimney extension doesn't work for you you're only out $7. Some of the pictures of Lang mods on this site are picture some listers on this site used to illustrate the points they were making.

    Don G
  20. wood river bbq

    wood river bbq Smoke Blower

    Dan: I checked out the baffle location on my former Smoking Pro (the mate that bought it lives near me) and the baffle is located where CPFITNESS located his. The tunning plates have to cover and extend the full length of the cooking chamber (maybe he just remove half of his for the picture) or you'll never get a even temperature from one side to the other. Additionally, the temperature gauges that come with these units are junk. They're bi metal and that technology was developed in the 1800's. The gauge on my Lang is pretty close up to about 250F then it goes way off. A digital in the cook chamber and in the meat is the way to go.

    Don G  

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