New Brinkmann Trailmaster Vertical Smoker

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by waywardswede, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. kwkk

    kwkk Newbie

    FM , thanx for the guessing no sense in a return cuz you will getthe same dents....different places.
  2. mister piggy

    mister piggy Newbie

    Not in the near future, anyway. The paint inside of the CC and FB is pointless. The paint on the outside is holding up as I expected, so no worries there. I didn't apply the gaskets at first, so I was able to bake the crappy paint off after a couple of runs and had clean metal to apply to. I'd be worried sticking that high dollar material onto cheap paint that's not going to last. Maybe next year I'll repaint the outside, I figure it'll be ready for it by then.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
  3. mulletman

    mulletman Newbie

    Hey guys,

    I did my first smoke this weekend! I cured my brinkmann vertical on Monday and then did my first smoke on Saturday.

    I picked up my smoker at Home Depot and then upon reading the reviews on various sites and also this website I seen that I would most definitely need a gasket kit of some sort. So I ordered the same kits that that was recommended on this thread.

    I waited until the kit came in to put it all together. Sorry I didn't take pics, I'm in Houston..the skeeters and humidity had my patience running thin[​IMG].

    I didn't make charcoal box out of the expanded sheet metal, I just picked up an $8 square grilling wok and 4 large nuts and bolts, to raise it off the bottom and for airflow.. and it works perfect!

    I hadn't installed the toggle clamps yet, because I didn't think I'd need them and I was right. I've read some horror stories about the smoke chamber door not aligning properly, but I was fortunate enough to get one that fit perfect. But after I got it all together I did the cure. It wasn't hard at all to get it up to temperature. The gasket kit and seals that i put worked really well. It held temps like I wanted and I also played around with the vents and smokestack to see how it reacted to what I did. Here is a pic of doing the cure. I noticed that the thermometer that came with it is about 25 degrees off, depending on the temp. If its over 300 it's not accurate at all, but anything under 300 it reads about 25 degrees off. So i just stuck a long thermometer down into the smoke stack for temporary until I can get a nice one to put on the door. I put a pic of it down below.

    So after the cure was done I just wheeled it back into the garage and waited for this Saturday.

    For Saturday I had a Boston butt and a brisket to smoke, along with some bacon wrapped cream cheese stuffed jalapenos. Which I don't have a pic of. I did about 40-50 and as soon as I took them off, went over to set them down they were gone within 10mins. [​IMG]

    I woke up a 4 to fire it up and get it up to temp.

    Didn't take long at all. I thought it'd take an hr or so, but it only took about 30 mins. So once it was holding at 250, I went in and grabbed the brisket and butt. I had to cut the brisket in half to get it to fit. I thought maybe I'd squeeze it in, but it was just too large. I used Mesquite and some apple towards the end (not too familiar with what woods to use with what meats, I just remember what my grandfather used to use..any recommendations are welcome). Here is a pic about 5 hrs into the smoke. Butt is on top and two halfs of brisket are below.

    It was cooked unwrapped for about 7hrs then used the "texas crutch" wrapping them up in foil. I read about how it reduces cooking time and also tenderizes. I was worried about the meat drying out, while it wasnt wrapped in foil, but that wasnt a problem. I pulled everything off after about a total of 10 hrs cooking time. Everything had great flavor, right amount of smoke, just wasn't as tender as I wanted it. It wasn't tough by any means, just needed about another hr, maybe hr and a half and it would've been perfect. People were waiting and getting hungry, pregnant wife kept asking when it'd be ready lol. So i just took it off a bit early.[​IMG]  
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  4. Hello all, it's good to see that this thread has had some legs.  Been away from this for awhile due to personal issues, but I've been looking out my kitchen window longingly at the lonely smoker out back, just waiting to get back at it.

    Got the cover off and scrubbed down the CC on Saturday, just used a nylon bristle brush and very hot water.  Re-seasoned with cooking oil and some baking Pam, loaded up with lump charcoal, started a full chimney and had her up to 350 in no time.  Kept it there for an hour then closed the FB vents and kept it steady at 220 for about 4 more hours.

    I had some fish (one largemouth bass and a pickeral) in the freezer from last year, was going to just toss them but thought I would throw them on the smoker just for fun.  Didn't brine or rub, just thawed them out and threw them on Sunday about noon.  Got the smoker up to 220 (lower vent on FB door closed, upper vent that I installed open about 1/3), smoked to 145 internal temp.  Really mild flavor, not much fish flavor at all, really, but I used a recipe I found here ( and it turned out awesome (eating for lunch right now).  Sorry, no Qview, will get the camera out for the next one.

    I see a couple of questions posted here, not sure if the posters are still looking but I'll answer anyway:

    jhmassey, I used the 4" vent on the upper part of the FB, and it works fine.  I don't even look at the thermometer that came with it, I use a Maverick 732, got it from Todd Johnson when I ordered my a-maze-n smoker, couldn't live without it.

    There were a couple of questions about the charcoal basket.  I use just lump charcoal now, seemed to get a chemical flavor from the briquettes and couldn’t get clean TBS consistently with wood.  The basket works great, and has held up surprisingly well given the temps it sees.  I did place a couple of pieces of sheet steel in the basket, thinking that the charcoal would burn in an ‘S’ pattern, but it really didn’t make any difference, I’ll probably just pull them out when I get a chance, but this is what it looks like from the top:

    Ryan asked about the hooks on the top, I actually broke one of the hooks hanging a 6lb ham on it, snapped clean off.  I tied some string between two other hooks, then hung the ham from the string to disperse the weight to finish it up.  Haven’t hung anything since, but I would make sure you have a grate set up under anything that’s hanging so it doesn’t crash all the way to the bottom, I don’t really trust them now.

    Kwkk asked about the upper vent I put in the firebox, my idea was to give better air flow through the top of the FB.  I can adjust both vents to better control temperature and smoke going into the CC.  At least I think it works better, I put it in before I fired it up so I don’t know how it works without the upper vent, but the setup seems to work really well for me.

    I’m really disappointed to hear about all of the shipping damage you have all had, looks like I got really lucky with mine.  Also, it looks like they’re having trouble with paint now, too.  The inside of my CC looks great, checked it over good before firing it back up, no chips or bubbles or paint peeling anywhere.  Seasoned up again, it looks like a well-cured cast iron pot.  If mine peeled I wouldn't paint the inside either, just leave it bare and keep it seasoned, shouldn't be a problem.

    Overall, I’m still really happy I got this unit, been working out really well, but it kind of looks like it’s a crapshoot now on what you’re going to receive if you order one.
  5. twobuckchuck

    twobuckchuck Newbie

    I just got a small packer 11.5 pounds it fits across the racks in the cryo bag so not much trimming I think.
  6. twobuckchuck

    twobuckchuck Newbie

    So far I love this thing. I've done the metal basket. flat woven gaskets,and RTV sealant and other than a couple of spots I missed with the sealant its working like a charm. I've only done 1 smoke so far (just some chicken legs and thighs) but I read something about the heat being uneven it the chamber. I'm only temping with the door thermometer and a internal oven thermometer,so haven't found where the hot spots are. A bbq team in California used this smoker and won a competition with it. They said along with the regular mods they put a baffle in to keep the temps even. Anybody heard of this? I'm toying with the idea of ditching the water pan and putting a Korean stove top BBQ plate in that frame as a baffle, and cutting a circle in an old pizza pan to cover the outer ring. Any thoughts?
  7. Hey Chuck

    Glad to hear it's working good for you.  Can't really visualize the baffle setup, and have no idea what a Korean stove top BBQ plate looks like, so don't think I can help you there.  I did temperature tests when I first set mine up, and it does seem to run a bit hotter on the top and at the edges, but there really hasn't been enough difference to matter.  I haven't had mine completely loaded up like the pictures from lionel47, but with 2 grates full I move the temperature sensor from one to the other and really can't see a difference.   
    twobuckchuck likes this.

  8. You will be supprised  how well she cooks I did the same basic mods except the latches

    cooked on it several months then bought a Lang and passed this one on to a friend he loves it
  9. Fired it up again yesterday... The learning curve is still pretty steep..

  10. stevenb

    stevenb Newbie

    I've smoked mine 3 times since I got it 3 weeks ago. The door doesn't line up to good on mine, but I've got the gasket kit so it doesn't leak any smoke.
    But I'm just having a hard time keeping good heat for long period time right now, I'm use to my propane. I built a charcoal box & it helped out, I just wish theirs was a way to dump the ash while cooking. I'm going to use more wood on my next smoke.
    I also extended the smoke stack, to much smoke in my face at start up.
  11. kwkk

    kwkk Newbie

    Swede, great info.I got lucky I ordered mine cabelas.1 small dent on the cc.doors all fit well.but I took your advice on the gaskets and rtv.did the cure yesterday morning.could not get it over 275.burned it anyway with spray pam for 3 hours.ran it without the clamp kit to check for leaks.minimal.but I think the gaskets will shrink and the steel will settle and will require clamps eventually.ran a half rack of ribs and some kielbasa later....not bad.again thanks for the pics.justin sent me the charcoal basket as well, excellent quality.going to try RO lump later this week and a brisket.all I need now is a good thermometer the maverick looks like a good starter thermo.any reason you did a second cure?
  12. Were you using the basket when you had trouble getting it over 275?  What was your heat source?  It seems the more I use mine the better it heats, I think the gaps fill in and the pieces settle together a bit over time.  If I have a full basket that's really glowing I can get mine over 300 without too much trouble, but what you really want is to be able to hold 225-250 steady.

    I did a second cure because I scrubbed the interior of the CC pretty hard.  There are lots of opinions on cleaning your smoker.  For my part I scrub the grates every time, I always want the food on clean grates.  But I'm going to let the interior of the CC go for a year, clean it out good in the spring every year.
  13. dwgsmoke

    dwgsmoke Newbie

    I'm new to the Forum but viewed it and other websites for a couple months before purchasing the vertical at my local Home Depot.  Ordered the gasket kit (this kit does NOT have all of the gaskets pictured earlier, so be sure to see WaywardSwede's parts list in this thread).  For now, I don't need the door latches after the Nomex.  Also, the FB lid doesn't leak much but will watch it.  Used the flat gasket for the FB and the crossover.  I also added an expanded metal fire basket- 10X12X6.  Maybe the extra FB vent allows for 300?  I cured mine 2 days ago and had no problem running at 225 for 2 hours.  Had to add a charcoal chimney to CC to hit 400 for another hour.  Very easy to maintain 225-250 consistently! 

    Yesterday, I smoked a trimmed brisket (flat) using the pan method in Jeff's book.  At 5.25 pounds I expected it to be done in 7-8 hours. I used 3/4 lump and 1/2 briquettes and occasionally added Mesquite.  I inserted remote meat thermometer at 3.5 hours and flipped the meat.  After 7 hours, CC was still running at 235-250 but the meat was only 151 (plateaued for almost 2 hours) so due to time constraints placed it on my old Brinkman Horizontal to finish.  Paid the price for doing this as the meat was tough.  Anyone have any thoughts on the meat temp plateau?
  14. kwkk

    kwkk Newbie

    Thanks again.yes I did use the basket for the cure.all I had on hand was kingsford briqs.they seemed to smother after 2 275.instructions call for 400 the last hour, only reason I mentioned the temp issue. I will need a good thermo. Any links to where you got yours.howd those grommets for the probe in the cc hold up?
  15. twobuckchuck

    twobuckchuck Newbie

    I've heard that called the stall. To get threw it just keep even temps and wait it out. For me I usually hit the 150 range then wrap in foil,butcher paper, or aluminum pan with foil over the top and put it back in the smoker. check after another 2 hours and with even temp you'll find you pushed past the stall and should be close to the magic numbers your looking for. For me its usually between 190-200 degrees when ever a fork or meat thermometer goes into the meat easy, but not mushy. That's the real trick hitting the mark and not going over. then rest rest rest about 1 1/2 hours.
  16. Hey DWG

    Yeah, you definitely hit a stall, very common when smoking larger pieces meat.  Do a search here for 'brisket stall' at the top of the page here and you'll see a ton of entries and recommendations.  You want to keep you temperature steady and just muscle through it, sometimes it takes hours.  For my part, I foil when I start getting to that range (150-160), then finish it in the oven.  I know that makes a lot of the purists cringe, but once you've got the meat wrapped in foil it doesn't really care where the heat's coming from.  As for being tough, I haven't done many briskets but it seems that some of them are just destined to be tougher that others.  Do the toothpick test once you get to 185 (toothpick should be very easy to insert into meat), could be finished anywhere from 185 - 200.  If you get to 205 or so it's going to start falling apart when you try to slice it, but should still taste good!
  17. I picked mine up from Todd at A-Maze-N products.  I also got one of his pellet smokers, which works awesome in this thing for cold smoking.  I use it for cheese, and also to give ham and Canadian bacon some extra smoke before I put heat to them.  Todd's a sponsor here, and is posting and commenting frequently, and has great customer service.  Do a google search for 'amazen pellet smoker', when you get to his site look under accessories and you'll see the ET-732 remote thermometer, looks like he has a great price on them right now.

    The grommets I put in the CC to feed the thermometer probes into are holding up really well, no melting or any deformation that makes it look like they're getting too hot.
  18. DWGSmoke, kwkk and TwoBuckChuck, you guys should head over to Roll Call and introduce yourselves, there are lots of very friendly folks here that will be glad to make your acquaintance and welcome you on board.  There is an unbelievable amount of experience here on this board, and everyone is really helpful.
  19. dwgsmoke

    dwgsmoke Newbie

    Thanks again for starting this thread and the reply.  Next time I'll grab another cold something and be patient...
  20. Hi guys, I am 90% sure I will be ordering this smoker. Id really like to check it out in person first, does anyone know of any place that has floor models of these?

    Another question I had... has anyone noticed a temperature difference from bottom racks and top racks? If so, how big of a difference?
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014

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