New ~No Weld~ Charcoal Pan for my ECB

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by smoke_chef, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. smoke_chef

    smoke_chef Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Hello all.

    I know this is by far not an original idea. But... I have completed this mod, tested it, and I'm really proud of the results so I had to share.

    Thanks to many of you but special thanks to Jerkyaddict. He and I have the same smoker and he really pointed me in the right direction.

    As most of you know, this is the stock charcoal pan that the ECB comes with. This is a really bad option! Brinkman should be ashamed of themselves.

    This was my first attempt at making a mod to the pan. It helped a little but not a lot. I realized I could have helped my cause some with more holes. Especially around the side but I could also see that I still wasn't going to get where I needed to go this way.

    So... After chatting with some of you, especially Jerkyaddict, I came up with this. It's "medium" grade expanded metal. Those of you who know more about this type of material may know it as a certain gage or something. The guy at the metal shop knew that I didn't know much about metal so he probably was dumbing it down for me? They cut it to shape (almost) for me at no charge. The guy thought he was doing me a favor by leaving extra material. In fact, they made it a little more difficult but I managed with a dremil tool. Any way, using the stock frame that original charcoal pan sat in, I bent the metal into a circle to fit. Then using heavy gage bailing wire attached the bottom piece in four places.

    I lit up a basket of coal to see what kind of temps I could expect. At 396* I closed down dampers and looked for a steady temp at 325*. It held that for about 2 hours without me doing a thing to it. (Except adding some water) It started to drop at that point and I wanted to test what it was like to get and hold 225*. It got to about 240* and held that until I was content that I can make the heat I need for pretty much what ever I want to cook now.

    I'm doing two chickens and some ABT's tomorrow. I'll post some Q-View in the poultry section. I CAN'T FREAKING WAIT! Life is going to be so much easier now. [​IMG]
  2. bunky

    bunky Smoke Blower

    Nice Basket, But How did just the metal handle the heat??

    I have used that metal before and it warped all out of Wack..

    also you must have the square version of the ECB ??
  3. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It's not really the ECB's a Brinkmann vertical I believe it's called. Same pan looks like tho..with a square holder.
  4. smoke_chef

    smoke_chef Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Rich. I have been calling it the wrong thing all this time. I just thought Brinkman stopped making the original ECB and went to this one. I will call by the right name from now on. In fact, I think I'm going to be spending so much time with it, that I should give it a real name like Bill or George.

    Bunky.. It's held up great so far. I have lit two pans of charcoal and sustained each for about five hours. Each time I got my temps up over 300 and so far no warping or any sign of stress on it at all. So far so good.
  5. I think we have similar smokers and i ended up putting a small grate in my pan sort of like a grill would be. I also drilled holes in the pan like you did and with the grate added I get up to 325 easy. Nice job on the charcoal basket!
  6. teacup13

    teacup13 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    your mods look good

    in my smoker thats the
  7. aussiemick

    aussiemick Meat Mopper

    Where can I purchase the material to make the basket? I am new to all this stuff so any help is greatly appreciated

  8. figjam

    figjam Meat Mopper

    You can get it at Home Depot. That is where I got mine. I put holes in my pan like the OP did, but then I bought a square/rectangle of the expanded metal from HD and used some heavy duty snips to trim it down to size so it sat in the bottom of my pan about 1" up. Works nicely.
  9. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    chef............they still make the original ECB.......and the gourmet version

    also..........the FIRST ECB's had a hole in the bottom...........but some fool was smoking on his deck made of wood, and a coal dropped out onto the deck and caught it on fire.........and sued and brinkman toke away the hole...........the idiot should of known to put summin under the smoker...........oh well.........god looks out for fools and idiots.............

    nice mod btw.............
  10. smoke_chef

    smoke_chef Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    My HD didn't carry it. So I had to go to a steel fabrication shop. I'm not sure how much they sell it for at HD but I was able to get what I needed for about $15. So far, I'm loving it. I have no more problems getting my smoker up to temp.

    Also... thanks for the back ground Walking Dude. Where is the "justice" system in cases like that?
  11. smoke_chef

    smoke_chef Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I realized I left out some detail to my original post by someone asking for dimensions in a different thread so i thought I would post them here to just in case someone finds it easier to locate here.

    The measurements of the metal I used are:

    36 x 4 for the wall of the basket and 13 inches square for the bottom of the basket.

    The guy where I bought the metal cut it for me using some sort awesome hydraulic press. This added $10 to the cost of my metal but was well worth it. I just had to come home and slap it together.

    I came up with the 36 inch length by measuring the circumference of the stock ring that came with my smoker (34.5 in) and then added and inch and half to allow the metal to lap over itself. This lined up two holes in the expanded metal giving me a place to put a half inch bolt. I used a washer on both sides. I used the same nuts and bolts around the ring giving the basket a lip to connect the metal and ring.

    The bottom piece is 13 inches square. This was almost by accident. The guy at the metal shop was just cutting it close and I was then going to come home and use my cutting torch to cut the circle. But, as I started looking, I decided the corner would give me a place to put oak or cherry or what ever I was smoking with that day. It works great! Plus, it was easier that way than trying to make a perfect circle.

    I fastened to the top to the bottom with heavy gauge bailing wire. It was just what I had laying around. Really, this was just going to be a temporary solution but it’s worked great for several baskets of coal. So, like the saying goes, “If it isn’t broke… don’t fix itâ€

    I hope this helps! I feel like I have taken so much from this site. I’m glad to give back. Even if it’s just a little bit.
  12. coyote

    coyote Master of the Pit

    great job..these smoker will make you think..and empty yer wallet at the same
  13. fireman00

    fireman00 Newbie

    Even though this is an older thread the mod still works!  I just bought a Brinkman upright smoker adn I couldn' get the temp over 120 degrees.   I picked up 2 sheets (12"x24") of the mesh, 4 ea. 1/4" x 1" screws with washers and nuts for under 40 bucks. 

    I cut two 4" tall strips, bolted two ends together to make a 48" long strip, curled the strip, dropped it into the rack for the coal pan, measured it and cut the strip to length. dropped it back into the pan, bolted the two ends together and wired it to the rack.  

    The bottom piece is 12"x12" that I then wired it to the bottom. 

    The wiring is heavy duty aluminum - hopefully it'll hold up  to long use. 

    Here's a pic. 
  14. pork dork

    pork dork Smoke Blower

    Hi all you smokers,

    I smoked a big butt and only got 3 one hour naps. I put on a 13.4 LB butt cut in two at 1:AM and took it off at 4:pM the next day.

    The mods I made were a larger water bowl, new internal temp gauge, I drilled 25 holes in my coal pan and put in a thick foil catch for the ash in the bottom that didn't block the lower vents.

    I'm going to measure the bottom to make a 3/4" metal extruded metal basket instead of the pan pictured below (not my pic) so I can do the Labyrinth method of burning coal and see if I need insulate the areas around the doors and to put the 1/2" concrete board on the outside for insulation. I like to do big butts and I can not lie but this requires over 12 - 14 hours of smoke time which severely limits my beauty sleep.

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  15. pork dork

    pork dork Smoke Blower

    Here's some pix of my updated Brinkmann two door. The first pic is of my DIY build.

    Second is on the minion method basket I built. It works great. You just need to put a briquette touching at the end where it makes the turn and pile lump coal in the centers. This method lasts about 5.5 to 6 hours.

    For long 15 to 20hr smokes I'm going to go with a pellet hopper and smoke generator. Eventually I'll build a UDS and sell the Brinkmann mods and all. The hopper will go to the UDS and the minion basket will go back to the Brinkmann.


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