Brinkmann Smoker Review and Guide: Is It Really Worth The Investment?

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Charcoal smokers are some of the most basic types of smokers you can find. Are you looking for a high-quality charcoal smoker? Today, we will look at the Brinkmann Smoker, which is a smoker and grill combo.

This guide will focus mostly on the Brinkmann Smoke-N-Grill Charcoal Smoker, one of the most popular devices of its type in the United States. We will show you its core features, main functions and also mention some alternatives in case you are interested in more options.

For those of you who want to be able to grill and smoke food simultaneously, a smoker grill combo may be a great option. Feel free to check our best smoker grill combo guide.

First, let us have a look at its main specifications:

Type of Smoker Charcoal
Dimensions 28.25 x 33 x 28.85 inches
Weight 50 Pounds
Power Source Charcoal
Cooking Area 390 inches
Price Click here for the latest price

Core Features of the Brinkmann Smoker

Brinkmann Smoker

The Brinkmann smoker is a reliable device that offers great flexibility for cooking. Let’s take a closer look at its performance and the features included:

Construction and Design

The Brinkmann smoker is designed as a grill and smoker combo. The body is a long black cylinder made of metal. It has three sets of hooks to place the charcoal pan, water pan, and cooking grates. It also includes aluminum legs that allow the smoker to stay in place.

The Brinkmann smoker can also function as a grill, so you get two devices in one. If you want to use it as a grill, remove the lid and water pan and cook your food using one cooking grate and the charcoal pan. To use it as a smoker, you add the water pan and put the lid on it.

The Brinkmann smoker is a compact device with dimensions of 28.25 x 33 x 28.85 inches and a weight of 50 pounds. This device is easy to store and transport.

It has a vertical build with the water pan, grates, and lid stacked on top of each other. The grill chamber is made out of heavy-gauge, cold-rolled steel, making it lighter than other smokers.

The smoker has two chrome-plated cooking grates where you can place your meat. This gives you a total cooking area of over 390 square inches, which is enough even for larger meals such as a brisket or a whole chicken.

The Brinkmann smoker includes a porcelain-coated steel water pan that fits into the bottom of the smoker chamber. Just fill it with water before smoking the food, and the food will remain moist and delicious. The water pan will catch any juices produced and add flavor to the steam.

There is a deposit for coals at the very bottom of the cooking chamber, which is right below the water pan. There is enough space to add wood chips, which let you add flavor and aromas to your food. The smoker features a front-hinged chrome door that can add extra charcoal or water during the cooking process.

This unit also includes a thermometer probe located on top of the lid, which gives you an idea of the heat level inside the smoker. There are three levels displayed on the probe: warm, ideal, and hot.

The Brinkmann smoker comes with wood handles to each side to carry and transport the smoker. A wood handle is attached to the top of the lid as well. This convenient feature lets you manipulate the device without directly touching hot surfaces.

All in all, this is a very versatile and high-quality device and could be very useful for you if you are planning to make a BBQ at home.

Smoked fish can be a delicious meal to prepare. If you want information on preparing smoked halibut, feel free to check our smoked halibut guide.

Functions and Controls

This smoker’s design is very basic, which makes it quite easy to assemble and use. First, start by assembling and curing the smoker according to the instructions on the manual. To operate the Brinkmann smoker, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the lid, cooking grates, and water pan from the smoker and set them aside.
  2. Place a drip pan under the base pan to catch any drippings or ashes.
  3. Open the smoker’s door and make sure the charcoal pan is placed securely on the bottom of the smoker.
  4. Carefully place eight to ten pounds of hot coals in the charcoal pan.
  5. Saturate the charcoal with lighting fluid and wait a couple of minutes for the fluid to soak in.
  6. Carefully light the charcoal and allow it to burn for approximately 20 minutes before closing the door and placing the lid on the smoker. This allows the charcoal lighting fluid to burn off.
  7. Place the water pan on the lower support brackets. Carefully fill the water pan with water or marinade to one inch below the rim. Do not overfill.
  8. Place a cooking grate on the lower support brackets, which are directly on top of the water pan.
  9. Place the food on the cooking grate in a single layer. Leave some space between each space to allow smoke and moist heat to circulate evenly.
  10. If needed, place the second cooking grate on the upper support brackets and place the food in the grate.
  11. Place the lid on the smoker and allow food to cook.
  12. After 2-3 hours of cooking, check water and charcoal levels. Add water or charcoal if necessary.
  13. Remove the food from the smoker and let it cool.


meat smoker

Staying safe while using the smoker is relatively easy. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind while using this unit:

Always use this smoker on a hard, level surface such as concrete and ground. Do not place it on a wooden surface that could burn. Keep the smoker away from roof overhang or any combustible material.

This smoker is for outdoor use only. Do not use it in a closed space such as your garage. Do not store or use the smoker near gasoline or other flammable liquids. Ensure to maintain a distance of at least 10 feet between this smoker and combustible material (bushes, fences, etc.) while in use.

Always use the water pan when smoking. Do not allow the liquid in the water pan to evaporate completely. Check the level every 2 or 3 hours and add water if necessary. Maintain water in the pan even after use while the smoker is still hot, or the water could completely evaporate, and the grease in the pan may catch fire.

Do not use gasoline, alcohol, or kerosene for lighting charcoal. Using any of these products can cause an explosion and lead to injury. If you decide to use charcoal lighting fluid, only use lighting fluid approved for lighting charcoal. Never add charcoal lighting fluid to hot coals.

If you are using charcoal lighting fluid, you must allow the charcoal to burn until it is covered with a light ash (around 20 minutes) before you close the door and place the lid. This allows charcoal lighting fluid to burn off. Failure to do this could trap fumes in the smoker and may result in an explosion.

Flames could flare up when fresh air suddenly comes in contact with fire. When opening the dome lid or opening the door, keep your hands, face, and body away from the fire.

Remember that all the surfaces are hot while the smoker is in use and shortly afterward. Do not touch surfaces directly. Use heat-resistant gloves to operate the smoker and remove food. Use wood handles to manipulate the smoker.


The Brinkmann smoker is made of powder-coated steel, which makes it highly resistant to heat and rust. You can expect to get a durable device that will reliably smoke your meat for years after you get it.

Finding the right smoker can be a challenging task because of all the different options in the market. If you are interested in deep information on the subject, check our guide on how to find the best smoker.


This particular model is very affordable, making it a great option if you have a lower budget.

For the latest price, click here.

Pros of the Brinkmann Smoker

meat smoker

Let’s summarize the main assets of this charcoal smoker:

Grill and Smoker Combo

The Brinkmann Smoker can be quickly converted to a charcoal grill, which gives you a lot of versatility when preparing your meals. You can enjoy both grilled and smoked food with this device.

Compact and portable design

This smoker is not too big, which makes it easy to transport and store. It won’t take a lot of space in your balcony or garage.

Adequate cooking space

This device has an area of over 390 square inches for cooking. It has two porcelain-coated steel cooking racks you can place the meat on.

Wood Handles

The body of this smoker features wooden handles that stay cool to the touch and help you manipulate the device.


This smoker is relatively cheap, and you get two devices in one, which saves you even more money.

Cons of the Brinkmann Smoker

No separate door for charcoal

You have to open the main cooking chamber to add more charcoal or water, leading to heat loss in the smoker.

No Wheels

The smoker’s body doesn’t have wheels, so you need to lift it if you need to move it around.

Are There Any Alternatives?

If the Brinkmann smoker is not what you are looking for, here are some alternatives that you might want to consider

Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill

Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill

The Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill is a versatile device designed for both grilling and smoking. Constructed out of powder-coated cast aluminum, this device is fueled by coal, and it is very well insulated. The classic model comes with 406 square inches of grilling area and can reach temperatures from 225°F to 750°F.

Its advanced features make it very attractive for grill enthusiasts. This smoker features a multi-level system that allows you to cook different types of food at different temperatures. It also includes locking casters and wheels.

Weber Smokey Mountain Bullet Smoker

Weber Smokey Mountain Bullet Smoker

The Weber Smokey Mountain Bullet Smoker is a well-known charcoal smoker used in competitions around the country. This smoker is made of porcelain-enameled steel and measures 21 x 19 x 41 inches. It can accommodate an entire turkey and a ham at the same time.

This device comes with 2 nickel-plated cooking grates measuring 18 inches wide. It features a water pan, individual vents on the bowl and lid, a thermometer, and a heat-resistant handle made of nylon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out these common questions and answers for more information on the Brinkmann Smoker:

Question: What is the Right Temperature Level for Smoking?

Answer: The right temperature level as read on the lid’s gauge is between “ideal” and “hot.”

Question: How Much Charcoal Can I Use for the Brinkmann Smoker?

Answer: I recommend that you place around eight to ten pounds of high-quality charcoal in the charcoal pan.

Question: How Can I Light the Charcoal in This Smoker?

Answer: You can light the charcoal with the help of lighting fluid. You should only use a charcoal lighting fluid approved for lighting charcoal. Avoid using gasoline, kerosene, or alcohol for lighting charcoal.

Question: How Do I Dispose of the Charcoal After Smoking?

Answer: Once you are finished smoking, the remaining coals and ashes must be removed from the device and completely extinguished.
Place remaining coals and ashes in a non-combustible metal container or leave them in the charcoal pan and pour sufficient water on them. The extinguished coals and ashes should be stored at a safe distance from structures and combustible materials.

Question: How do You Use the Grill Function?

Answer: You can use your smoker as a grill by removing the lid, the water pan, and one of the cooking grates from the smoker. Then you can simply light the charcoal in the charcoal pan and grill the food on one cooking grate on top of it.

Question: Which Kind of Food Can I Put in the Smoker?

Answer: The smoker is usually designed for meat, but you can put other kinds of food there, such as pizza or vegetables.

Question: How Do I Clean the Brinkmann Smoker?

Answer: First, remove any remaining coals and ashes from the smoker. Then you can use a grill cleaning brush to remove any residues from the cooking grids.

You can clean the outside surfaces using a wet cloth. Do not use oven cleaner or abrasive cleaner on the outside grill surfaces. The inside of the smoker should be cleaned regularly.

Final Thoughts

The Brinkmann smoker is among the best grill and smoker combos on the market. It has a compact design with a simple build. It can be used as a smoker, and it can also be transformed into a grill by removing the lid. Due to its versatility and ease of use, this smoker and grill combo will take your BBQ game to the next level.

Hopefully, this Brinkmann Smoker review has given you all the information you need to decide if the Brinkmann smoker is the right fit for you. For guides on smoked food, feel free to take a look at our smoked cod guide and smoked chuck guide.

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