Brinkmann Smoke ‘N Grill [REVIEWED & RATED]


The Brinkmann Smoke ‘N Grill Charcoal Smoker is designed to provide an ideal entry point for those new to grilling. Find out everything you need to know with our in-depth review.

Brinkmann Smoke n Grill charcoal smoker review

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The Brinkmann Smoke N’ Grill is a respected entry-level charcoal and smoker combo that begins as an entry point for users who are new to smoking.

It is built on an offset vertical skeleton that allows the smoke to work its magic naturally through the food.

It’s a pretty flimsy build, so it has a lot of heat retention issues, but for newbies and occasional users, this is a good place to start.

So, does a smoker that bills itself as a primary smoker and grill live up to those expectations?

Brinkmann smoke box cover

Vertically Stacked Design

Straight out of the box, this thing looks a bit unusual.

It looks like a cross between a kamado grill and a charcoal pit, with its tall, stacked design reminiscent of ceramic kamado grills we’ve seen from Kamado Joe or Akorn.

Vertical stack Brinkmann smoker design

That’s where most of the similarities end, however, and beyond that it’s a lot more faithful to the traditionally upright smokers we’ve seen from other brands like Pit Boss or Masterbuilt.

It has a tired steam frame, with coals, water bowl, grill grates and lid all sitting on top of each other.

Water Bowl

The Brinkmann comes with a water pan insert that fits perfectly in the base of the smokehouse.

Water pan for Brinkmann smokers

Where traditional charcoal smokers with an offset or horizontal design come with a thin aluminum pan, Brinkmann has supplied a special pan that serves as both protection and a means of steam generation.

Due to the vertical construction of the smoker, your food would otherwise quickly be exposed to direct heat, which is why we are very pleased about Brinkmann initiative.

coal tank grill
The position of the Brinkmann charcoal and water bowl can make it difficult to reposition or raise the embers 

Coal Deposits

At the very bottom of the chamber is the shelf for the embers. This goes under the water bowl, with an inch of space between them.

This provides enough space for a smoker box, so you can add wood chips to further enhance the cooking flavors of your food.

This is where the compact size of smoker racks starts to become an issue as access to the coals can be difficult.

The side door makes it really difficult to access the coals on the other side of the chamber. While it’s certainly doable, it means major disruption to your embers, and it also means leaving the door open longer than ideal.

Anyone with experience smoking with charcoal knows the inconvenience of opening the smoker to change coals.

Unfortunately, the awkward position of the access door and limited carbon capacity create a combination that creates more problems than it solves.

Build Quality

I’ve mentioned Kamado grills before, and the comparison is fair considering more than just their shape.

Brinkmann heavy steel construction.

Kamado ceramic grills are known for producing high temperatures thanks to their solid construction and air retention.

And that’s worth noting, because the Brinkmann Smoker Grill just doesn’t come off as well here.

The cookbox is made of thick, cold-rolled steel, which is much lighter than other types of smokers. Still, it’s very healthy against the kind of warping we’ve seen with other types of upright smoking shelves.

Well, being light doesn’t necessarily mean being bad at retaining heat. However, the construction doesn’t compare to the double insulation we often see in ceramic egg cookers and with that we see much lower high temperatures and poor temperature consistency.

Brinkmann charcoal smokers on the terrace

Thermometer Sample

Brinkmann has included a thermometer probe that can be placed over the top rack to give you a room cooking temperature while cooking.

In general, I never trust the probes that manufacturers supply with their smokers or grills. They tend to be cheap and, more importantly, frustratingly bad at providing accurate readings.

Unfortunately, the sample provided here is no different. It might give you a vague idea of ​​​​where your heat levels are, but honestly I’d say you’d better skip it and invest in a digital grill surface thermometer.

If you’re smoking right on the grill, or smoking something brittle like fish, then this temperature gauge isn’t much of a problem.

However, if you’re grilling something serious like a brisket, you’ll need a much more accurate measurement.

Brinkmann smoking capacity and grill surface size

Smoking Capacity

There’s no question that this is a compact smoker, so cooking space is limited. However, the Brinkmann offers enough flexibility to smoke on two tiers, allowing you to effectively double the cooking surface by adding an extra grate(Brinkmann provides this, so kudos).

Although space is limited, there is still enough to cook for small groups or families. But if you decide to grill something special like brisket or whole chicken, you’ll have a hard time accommodating much more.

Brinkmann charcoal grill in the backyard garden

Final Verdict

The Brinkmann Smoke ‘N Grill is a combination smoker grill that knows exactly what it is.

It is an entry-level unit that visits as the perfect training bike for any beginner griller. It’s simple and easy to use, fitting all the bells and whistles that beginners might find intimidating or daunting as they learn slow and slow cooking.

Its heat storage capacity isn’t great, and some might find its small size frustrating, but there’s enough here to love casual outdoor cookers.

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