Brinkmann Trailmaster Limited Edition

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

  1. piaconis

    piaconis Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


    +1 what Grimm said.  Use aluminum.  There are still some galvanized ones out there, but most are aluminum anymore.
  2. Thanks Piaconis and Grimm. That's the same piece I installed on my dryer vent a few years ago. Was right under my nose (or above it) hope the wife don't miss it.

  3. Today I installed the dryer vent/stack combo, handle and cut the deflector plates. I added Rutland silicone and tightened the screws and nuts on legs. I gegan to assemble the SFB and noticed that there were three bolts per side and none on the ends. I drilled holes and added a 1/4" bolt/lock washer/nut combo to each end as well as Rutland silicone before tightening. here are a couple of pics.


  4. Let me try to post pictures again.

    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
  5. you could probably seal the door with some stove door rope
  6. Trailmaster update:

    Added thermometers to grate level of lid.

    Cut and bent expanded metal for charcoal basket, which I wanted Initial fiytting yto be 12' x 12" high.

    When i test fitted it, I found that 12" was to high, so I will cut the height and width back to 10", but leave it 12" long.


    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  7. Finished the charcoal basket...

    I used door strike plates as handles/hook loops...

    ...and replaced those horrible steel wagon wheels with something that won't scratch the crapola out of my patio.

    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  8. Looks good, where did you find the wheels?

  9. your charcoal box seems to be missing a floor? any reason for that?
  10. Harbor Freight. $5.99 each. They are 10" dia so you don't have height issues. The hub bore is 0.6" and the axle shaft is 0.47" so there's some play there, but I packed it good with axle grease and it rolls just fine. I also had to add a couple 5/8" nuts on each side as spacers as the hub is narrower than the wagon wheel's.

    It's a LOT quiter now as well!!! Rolling that thing across the patio sounded like a freight car full of nails!
  11. Didn't really see the need for it. Just easier to make the loop box.

    Seems the bottom grate is probably sufficient. Any reason why I'd need a floor on it that I'm missing?
  12. Not saying it's wrong or a problem I've just always had a floor all of mine.

    I shake the charcoal box to drop out the ash and move the coals around, without a floor I would think it could become a hassle trying to keep the coals contained when moving the basket. I've also taken out the charcoal box during cooks before to remove some coals because the temps were sky rocketing.
  13. dabeve

    dabeve Fire Starter

    I don't have a floor on mine . Never thought to put one in, I don't move the basket during a cook and the ash falls thru on it's own.  Could be handy if you wanted to remove the basket as Grimm suggests.  
    remmy700p likes this.
  14. How long did it take them to get the plate out their door. Ordered one last week. Called them twice and emailed them once. Heard nothing back from them.
  15. sorry can't remember right now exactly how long it took but I think it was that day or the next day you have to write a little bit
  16. smokinn

    smokinn Newbie

    I live in Virginia Beach and at my local BJs tonight they still have the Smoker for 279.00 and their frontier lump on sale ( which I use all the time seems great) for 16.00 for 40lbs. just figured I would pass it on. Happy smoking I have 2 butts going on in an hour for a hopeful dry weekend!

  17. I did another "dry run" burn over the weeked after implementing the mods (vent stack extension, silicone sealant, charcoal grate, and dual thermos at grate level). Ambient temps in the mid 80s and wafting breezes up to ~10mph. I started the burn with the smoker under a tree, but moved it into the sun after an hour. A couple of things:

    Observation:  It just didn't draft anywhere near as well as my first couple of runs.

    Conclusion & Steps Taken: My guess is that the vent stack extension is too long and stifles draft formation. I decided to remove the end piece to get the exit a little further away from the grate level.

    Observation:  I filled the charcoal basket (10" x 10" x 6") with good-sized pieces of Cowboy brand lump charcoal (never buying this bag of splinters and dust again...), made a little crater in the pile, started a full chimney with more lump, let it ash up, and loaded it into the firebox basket ala the 'minion method'. Stack vent and intake vents were both left all the way open for the duration.

    I just could not get grate temps above 200-205F. After a couple hours of this, I guessed that the basket was just too small for such a large chamber and, to test my theory, I removed it, letting the coals kind of fall loosely into the firebox. This started my temps to climb gradually and was able to reach ~230F at grate level (which corresponded to ~300F+ on the top gauge... what a joke that thing is!)

    Conclusion & Step Takens: You can definitely make a basket that has too small of a surface area for the internal volume of the cook chamber. It just can't keep up unless you have a HOT fuel source. Dissassembled the charcoal basket, rebent the arms out, and reassembled it. It's dimensions are now 10" deep, 11.5" long, and 6" tall. I also found that sliding the basket closer to the intake vent side allows me to add my chunk wood on the outlet side which REALLY helps with heat production.

    Observation: Compared to my first runs, very little smoke escaped from the cooking chamber.

    Conclusion & Steps Taken: That Rutland silicone sealant is the bomb. I need to add some more thickness in a few spots, but it totally sealed up the firebox joins and did a great job minimizing the loss through the cooking chamber door. My two grate thermos, which are 13.5" apart, were within 5-7 degrees of each other. Nice. I was lucky though... the fitment out of the box was pretty damn good.

    Question: Does anyone see any benefit to adding another air intake to the firebox -- maybe above the existing one -- to help with getting temps up? I'd like to be able to get grate temps up to 275-300F if I want to. After the firebox sealing, I think that my fire chamber isn't getting enough air now! Can one actually seal these things up too much? When I'd open the firebox main door, the coals would burst into flame.

    Question:  In breezy/windy conditions, do you guys point your firebox air intake vents toward the wind, away from it, oblique to it, or does it matter? I'm hoping my vent stack extension cutback will solve this, but I was actually getting smoke wafting out of the intake when the wind luffed...
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  18. If I need to get more air into the firebox I shut the intake vent and crack the ash pan on the bottom.. It works awesome for me. Might be something to play with.
    remmy700p likes this.
  19. My guess is that your fuel may be betraying you. My basket is 10x10x7 and my extension goes down the the rack. I prefer lump to briquettes, but I have had to use briquettes since I am unable to find a lump brand in my area with a consistent size. All that to say I can maintain consistent 325 degree temps. My theory is that the regular shape of the briquettes allows for more efficient heat generation with minimal air space between the coal.

    I can't speak to the wind orientation since my driveway is like a wind tunnel, but i generally have the fire box away from the wind. Here are some pics of the extension, basket, and some wings I did at 325 for two hours on Father's Day, the skin turned out perfect, thanks to the advice on these forums.

  20. Thanks Mike. I never thought of that! I'll give it a try.

    I want to get this thing dialed for the 4th of July. I have a really nice 6.5lb bone-in pork butt for the day's BBQ, bourbon baked beans, chipotle buttered corn-on-the-cob, etc I want to all do on the smoker.

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