The Bottom Line
As of the end of 2015, the Brinkmann Corporation has filed for bankruptcy. Support and availability of parts in now up to the store you purchased your grill at.
This is actually the electric version of a classic smoker. A small unit that is considered by many, the starter smoker. What to know if you have what it takes to make barbecue? Many people will tell you to buy a cheap smoker and struggle with it until you know whether or not you want something better.
On the other side, this smoker is good for the occasional barbecue cook who might want to smoke a couple of chickens or a rack of ribs once in a while. The Brinkmann Gourmet is a simple smoker that plugs in and runs. There is not heat adjustment, you just load it up and plug it in and wait.
- Inexpensive and simple smoker
- A good starter smoker
- Good sized capacity
- No vents or ability to adjust heating element
- Limited construction quality
- Leaks smoke
- Frequent failure of the heating element
- One 1,500 watt electric heating element
- Two 15.5-inch chrome-plated steel cooking grates
- 375 square inches of total smoking area
- Lava rock barrier above the heating element
- Top grate level hood mounted temperature gauge
- Painted steel construction with porcelain coated steel water pan
- Vinyl cover included
- Made in China by The Brinkmann Corporation
Guide Review - Brinkmann Gourmet Electric Smoker & Grill
A vertical water smoker is a column with heat in the bottom, food on the top and a pan of water in the middle. The water adds moisture, but more importantly, evens the temperature. Think about it this way, since smoking barbecue is done within a few dozen degrees of the boiling temperature of water, it will take a long time for a couple gallons of water to boil away, and since liquid water can't actually be hotter than 212 degrees F (depending on your altitude) the water pan will hold a very steady temperature.
This is how water smokers hold a consistent temperature, which is a good thing since the Brinkmann Gourmet Electric doesn't have any way of controlling the temperature.
The Brinkmann Gourmet Electric is widely available and is one of the most popular smokers on the market. The reason for this is because it is one of the least expensive electric smokers you can buy. This smoker is simple to use, but can be difficult to fight with. Since you can't adjust vents you simply have to let the smoker go and hope for a good temperature. Actually, the best bet with this smoker is to just let it do its job. It's not a finely refined smoker, but it is a competent one.
The biggest failure point of this smoker is the heating element. A replacement element costs around $30USD. If you want a very inexpensive smoker but want to avoid the heating element issue try the Brinkmann Gourmet Charcoal Smoker & Grill.