If you are a newcomer in the field of barbecue, the following in-depth review is crafted to inform you of the features, pros, and cons of the Brinkmann Smoke’N Grill. This is a user-friendly charcoal smoker that makes smoking easier for beginners.
The skeleton that hosts the cooking surface is vertically tiered, providing enough space for the smoke to spread over food.
Its structure is built in a fairly weak design. This explains why it has a heat retention problem but for beginners who are seeking to get acquainted with the basics of barbecuing, the smoker offers a good starting point.
The main question remains: since the equipment sells itself as a grill and a prime smoker, does it match the buyer’s or user’s expectations? The description provided in the following context offers enough details on the smoker’s features to answer this question.
The Smoker’s Features
Design- Vertically Stacked
After unwrapping your smoker, you’ll notice it has an unusual but unique design. Its appearance looks like a cross between charcoal pit and kamado grill, sending you that hybrid vibe.
The smoker has a close resemblance to the Kamado grills, manufactured by Akorn or Kamado Joe. Its height and stacked design are responsible for that.
The similarities don’t go beyond that, however, it also has some features that make it look like vertical smokers from a traditional setting. We have come across such designs from manufacturers like Masterbuilt and Pit Boss.
The Brinkmann Smoke’N Grill has a vertical tiered design with different parts such as the coal section, a pan that can be filled with water, two cooking grates, and a lid. These sections are stationed one after the other, from the bottom to the top.
The smoker is fitted with a water pan that sits on the foot of the smoker chamber.
Usually, most horizontal charcoal smokers are fitted with a purposeless aluminum pan, but not this one. Its manufacturer designed a tray that serves two important purposes. The first one is to shield the grates from too much direct heat and the second one is to create steam after water is added to it.
The vertical design of the Brinkmann Smoke’N Grill smoker would release a lot of heat to the cooking areas if this initiative was not devised.
The bottom-most part of this smoker has a section that’s built to accommodate charcoal deposits. It is a few inches below the water pan.
This design offers enough room for a smoker box, where you can place the wood chips, to enhance the flavor and aroma of the smoking food.
Due to the smoker’s compact size and the close arrangement of the grills, accessing the charcoal can be an issue.
It’s challenging to access the coal at the far end to the back if you are reaching for them through the side door. Once you manage to do it, you’ll end up disrupting the arrangement in the chamber. This also means that the chamber’s door has to be opened for a longer period than recommended.
The process can be disruptive to the burning of charcoal as well as causing a hard time getting the added bunch of coal to start burning.
This is common, given the position of the charcoal chamber’s door. The holding capacity of this area makes it more challenging.
As mentioned earlier, the shape of Brinkmann Smoke’N Grill is relatively comparable to the Kamado grill. The latter is famous for its high temperatures owing to its solid build. Another factor that makes the grill’s temperature high is the air retention technology used in its manufacturing.
In terms of quality, the Brinkmann smoker ranks lower than the Kamado grills. This smoker is made using cold-rolled, heavy-gauge steel which is considered more lightweight in comparison to other smoker types.
On the bright side, Brinkmann Smoke’N Grill is more resistant to warping, as opposed to other smokers designed vertically.
Its lightweight design does not mean that the smoker is poor in heat retention. It can, however, not be compared to other smokers that have a double insulation system. This is common in cookers that are ceramic and egg-shaped. With the Brinkmann smoker, our team recorded high temperatures that are much lower in comparison to the ceramic cookers as well as temperature inconsistency.
The smoker comes with a thermometer probe placed on the top-most rack to record the real-time cooking temperature.
Despite this, the pitmasters’ rule of the thumb maintains that probe thermometers attached to smokers by the manufacturer may not be accurate. This means that you have to get a separate thermometer if you want more trustworthy results. It saves you the frustration of getting poor and inaccurate readings, which may alter your cooking process. Digital thermometers provide a better solution to this issue.
If you are smoking light meats such as fish, the probe thermometer’s fluctuate readings may not make a big difference and your process will remain safe from alteration. With heavier and tougher chunks of meat such as beef, it is advisable to use a gadget that’s more trustworthy to avoid disappointments and false temperature reports. Most types of meat require preciseness, especially when measuring their internal temperatures.
It’s clear that this smoker is compact, with limited cooking space. Despite the size, the two-tier cooking surfaces enable you to smoke more food as there are two grates.
It may not be the best equipment for big gatherings and high volumes of meat, but it rises to the occasion during small family gatherings and parties.
The smoker poses a challenge when the meat in question is a large size brisket or whole poultry. If you are unable to fit the entire meat chunk in the cooking space, you can opt to chop them into smaller pieces and smoke them in turns. It may take longer to complete the process as compared to a scenario where you are using a bigger smoker, but it is a considerable alternative when you have limited options.
Do We Recommend the Brinkmann Smoke’N Grill?
Yes! The smoker is up to the task. If you are a beginner who’s trying to get their footing in the BBQ and food smoking field, this is the equipment that’s aligned with your needs.
It is easy to use and offers you a chance to experiment with light foods as well as small volumes of heavyweight meals such as brisket.
The smoker has a few downsides, among them, the inability to carry out slow and low cooking without minor issues. Another con is low heat retention and limited cooking space. Once you find your way around this, you’ll be glad you purchased the Brinkmann Smoke’N Grill.