Need some help and ideas

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by tntxajun, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. tntxajun

    tntxajun Smoke Blower

    A neighbor/friend of mine picked up a bullet style elect. smoker from a garage sale this past weekend. After trying some of my pork, chicken, etc.
    He decided he wanted to join the smoking club also.

    It is in very good condition and he bought it super cheap. The problem is that it only gets to about 210 F max after about 2 hrs preheat. Ambient 75 F and no wind. This was checked with an oven and digital probe therm. There is no thermostat on the element so no way to increase nor control the temp. There is no mfg. identification on it for reference and of course no manual of any kind.

    After reading the amount of expensive mods so many in this forum have listed it makes me wonder if I should encourage him to try and modify this unit or not. My initial feeling is to convert it to charcoal or gas but I did not want my bias opinion to offset his excitement over what he has acquired.

    Has anyone a suggestion that might be an inexpensive solution to gaining more cooking temp that could pass on?

  2. mikey

    mikey Smoking Fanatic

    If you post a pic of the smoker, I'm sure someone could help you.
  3. tntxajun

    tntxajun Smoke Blower

    Wont have a chance to add a pic until tomorrow. He wont be back until late tonite. Just thought I would throw the question into the group and see if any thoughts might come up.

    It is the basic bullet style with an access door on the base, no stack vent, just circular top , water pan, and somewhat small heating element.

    Feel pretty sure thats why it was in such good shape because it never cooked well and the previous owner only used it a few times at most.
    Just by appearance it looks fabulous but the the element, in my initial opinion, give him satisfactory results especially in cooler weather with a hint of wind.

    Like I stated, I am not entrhalled with him investing alot in mods on an electric unit but I am influenced by my experience.

    I do read posts of many very pleased electric owners but I see a huge amount of mods neccessary as well.

    Thank you for your reply,, will see if I can post a pic of the critter tomorrow.

  4. mikey

    mikey Smoking Fanatic

    It could be a Brinkmann Gourmet, which I have one. There are a couple of things that can be done that don't cost a lot of money. Fill the water pan with playbox sand which will act as a heat sink. A 2nd water pan can be placed above the first and fill it with HOT tap water. This is another heat sink. Replace the lava rock (if it has it) with grill bricks which will reflect the heat upwards and the grill bricks also act as a heat sink. All of my wattburners are modded this way with xlnt results. Hope this helps.
  5. tntxajun

    tntxajun Smoke Blower

    Thank you Mikey,

    It had no lava rocks when he got it but I did mention I use them in my verticle gas unit. It really helps when I use it in the winter.

    The sand idea seems quite feasible and cheap enough, have never used
    fire brick but might consider that instead of the lava rocks for my unit also.

    I just have no experience with electric to feel confident that anything less
    than a complete heating element transplant is going to give him the satisfaction he has in his mind.

    Thank you again for your reply and excellent suggestions.

  6. mikey

    mikey Smoking Fanatic

    Your quite welcome. If the unit is a Brinkmann, it's a 1500 watt element. The Char-Broils' have 1650 watt elements w/a thermostat.

    On Edit: Covering the playbox sand with foil will keep the drippings out & extend the life of the sand.

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