The sun’s been out, it’s been hot hot hot, there’s whiff of burnt sausages in the air and the barbeque hungry people of the UK have been very, very content. With barbeques being the most popular of alfresco cooking, we have recently been sent a Brinkmann smoker from the Garden Giftshop to contend with and perhaps add a little sophistication to the proceedings. This is something I have been thinking about for a while, although being a carpenter and hence hands on, I do like to try and make stuff rather than buying it. However the phrase, ‘a builder always lives in an unfinished house’ applies here and my plans for building quite an elaborate and over the top smoker made from various items of old household appliances will remain in the dusty corner of my workshop.
So, time to assemble the smoker. Like any proper barbeque chef, however, there must be a cold beer present. But, as it’s a smoker, I kept the door to the fridge closed and poured myself a glass of 2009 Bordeaux.
Instructions and assembly were very straight forward with only handles needing to be attached.
The smoker is not the conventional smoker where the charcoals are in a separate container and it’s just the smoke that cooks the meat/fish etc. For this smoker the charcoals are placed in the bottom container and lit. Once they get to that magical condition ready for cooking as if on a barbeque the middle section is placed over the base. Next in goes a basin of water, suspended over the charcoals to keep the hot air moist, then a grill where i placed my whole chicken and then another grill above that where I placed some quarters of chicken. After that, the purposely ill-fitting lid (to allow smoke to escape) is placed on and I sit back, enjoy the sunshine and sip my wine.
After 4 hours, all the chicken was perfectly cooked. In preparation, I simply rubbed the skin with olive oil and seasoned although the smoker does come with recipes that you could try out. The chicken skin went a delicious looking dark brown and the meat just fell off the bone. It had a nice smokey flavour but wasn’t overpowering at all. I aided the charcoal every so often with some off-cuts of cherry wood which generated more smoke and flavour. The instructions do suggest that chippings of hickory, oak and fruit tree wood will aid the flavour of the meat.
I can whole heartedly recommend this smoker as it cooks well, gives a good taste and you could fit at least 4 whole chickens in there at one time. The charcoals also stay hot enough for 8 hours.
It’s a simple device, requires minimal effort and looks good in the garden. There is also plenty of scope to what you can cook including whole fish and marinated hunks of meat. It is priced at £109 which I think is fairly priced. I enjoyed my chicken very much and will be off to the fishmongers for some trout before the clouds come rolling in.
Post by Mr V of Your Last Mouthful