Brinkmann used to make great grills and smokers, but in 2017, they went out of business, filing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. For a brief period, retailers like Home Depot continued to sell Brinkman products (often at a huge discount), and honored warranties as able.
However, Brinkmann products, including the Brinkman Vertical Charcoal Smoker, are now largely unavailable (though sometimes you can find a few parts for the Brinkmann Vertical Charcoal Smoker and others on sites like Amazon or eBay).
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Why Did Brinkmann Go Out of Business?
In business since 1975, Brinkmann was well known in the BBQ and grilling communities. However, in more recent years, its products became less and less popular with consumers. Many, like Lyle from No Hippie BBQ & Cooking, felt that the smoker needed too many modifications to make it truly usable.
Better Charcoal Smoker Alternatives
Our list of recommendations for an alternative to the Brinkman Vertical Charcoal Smoker include grills that are under $200, do a good job keeping the inside temperature regulated, and are easy to use.
Here are a few of the smokers we include on our Best Charcoal Smokers and Buyer’s Guide:
- Series III Smokehaus Smoker
- Weber 731001 Smokey Mountain Cooker
- Cuisinart COS-118
The Series III from Smokehaus Smoker is extremely versatile. It has an ingenious design that allows you to either use the whole thing or just smoke a small amount of meat without forcing you to waste tons of fuel.
If you’re familiar with the Weber brand, you’ll appreciate that we included two Weber smokers on this list, including the Smokey Mountain Cooker. This is an inexpensive, durable, simple little smoker that packs a surprisingly effective punch, and we wouldn’t be disappointed if this was the one that ended up in your garage!
The COS-118 from Cuisinart is another strong alternative to the now-defunct Brinkman Vertical Charcoal Smoker. It is well made, and you can even find it under $200 sometimes. It does tend to smoke a lot, so keep that in mind if you’re trying to keep smoke to a minimum.
Brinkmann’s bankruptcy is sad news for the BBQ community. Fortunately, there are tons of other great options!