Begin by taking the entire Brinkmann smoker apart. Place the bottom portion that houses the coals in the desired location for the smoker. Next, place 6 to 10 pounds of charcoal in the metal charcoal pan and light it. Wait until the coals are white, and then heat enough water to fill about three-fourths of the water pan that sits above the coals.
It is important to heat the water first to avoid having to wait for the coals to heat the water. Place the filled water pan in the designated space above the charcoal pan where the coals are burning. Next, enclose the water and coal pans with the barrel portion of the Brinkmann smoker that houses the meat. Make sure the water and coal pans are sealed inside the vertical structure of the smoker. Next, place the smoking racks in their designated spots within the barrel.
Place one of the racks just above the water and the other near the top of the smoker. The reason for this is that, as the charcoal generates smoke, the smoke rises to the top of the Brinkmann smoker. Therefore, only meat that is placed near the top of the smoker can retain the desired smoky flavor. The temperature inside the Brinkmann should be 200 degrees Fahrenheit while smoking the meat.