Like many others I bought a Brinkmann smoker because it’s cheap and seemed to be a good way to get into smoking. However out of the box it’s a pretty terrible smoker. First, the charcoal pan doesn’t have a bottom grate which lets ash pile up around your charcoal. Second, the gap between the lid & body is far too large which lets all the heat out. I was barely able to get the temp past 200F (unless my wood flared up).
I fixed the charcoal grate issue in the standard way by using a “Smokey Joe” mini-grill as the charcoal pan. Elevating the smoker didn’t seem to be absolutely necessary but it did move the water pan high enough so that I could easily see into the charcoal bed via the smoker’s door.
The lid gap issue I fixed by fitting a lip onto the smoker body which the lid could fit into. I made it out of a piece of HVAC duct cleat material.
A stick of this stuff cost about $2.70 at Lowe’s. Using a ring spreader I opened up the entire length of the cleat into a “Z” shape. In order for this piece to be able to bend into a circular shape I snipped slits into each side about every 5 inches.
The lid really only likes to fit into the lip in a few spots and might require a fist bump to fall in place. As you can see this isn’t the most elegant or tidy-looking solution, but it does seem to seal well enough for me to hit a good temperature for a sustained period of time.
My ideal solution would be to add a circular lip to the lid making it fit over the body much like a standard charcoal grill, but I’ll save that for another day.