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go to home depot and get the replacement element for the brinkmann gourmet smoker. costs $29.95. the replacement parts from charbroil (thermostat and element) will cost about $60.00. just remove the elemnt, replace it with the brinkmann and you're back in business.
I have used the charbroil bullet electric H2O smokers for years (wore 2 out - currently on my 3rd). I won't use anything else (having used many, many others - HOWEVER - as with every product made there are things to watch or overcome. Learn to use it properly and look forward to many years of great BBQ.
Ambient (outside) air temp below 70 (depending on wind also) will affect these smokers drastically - highly recomend getting or making a "smoker blanket" (got mine at cabelas years back - if you can't find one welding blankets from an industrial supply store can be made into one) to insulate the sides - this drastically reduces heat loss and reduces the electrical load.
Another MAJOR mistake many people make is extension cords - avoid the use of them at all if possible - if not possible then purchase the heaviest gauge you can find.
Always pre-heat your smoker - Always use boiling water (or other liquid) in the H2O pan added after smoker is pre-heated - Always minimize opening the smoker once cooking has begun.
The heater element can be cleaned when cold with a very mild detergent and room temp water.
If you have the large 2 rack but are only smoking enough to use a small amount of rack space on only one rack remember that you are heating a whole lot of air - i have a couple (different size) wood boxes wrapped in foil to take up excess air space - this means less air volume to be heated and better heat control - DO NOT use cardboard boxes or other low temp combustable items in the box construction!
Make sure the house outlet you are plugging into is a 3-prong GROUNDED outlet on a 20 amp breaker.
Finally, make sure your smoker is level and remember there can be up to a 20 degree cooking temp swing in temp between the bottom rack and top rack (top rack 5-20 degrees hotter than bottom).
The heater element will cycle on and off during normal use.