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Bear with me, this is going to take some explaining.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Yeah, TFNG here with questions but I'll try and lay this out as best I can to avoid a bunch of confusion.


I've ended up way North of where I lived for many years and winter temps aren't playing nice with my ECB smoker so I go and build this to put my ECB in during the winter and may just use it in the summer to conserve on energy/ combustable's usage.

01132012170.jpg An insulating box I built for my ECB smoker.

I tried rotating the picture on my hosts site. :dunno

Anyway, it's multiple layers of both aluminum foil and 100% wool blanket material between 3/8 inch plywood with the interior lined in aluminum. The door's gasket is 100% wool twisted and stapled into a shallow dado cut. It measures 18" X 18" X 33" interior and has a total of three inches square air intake and exhaust with dampers, this isn't accounting for the hole in the bottom which can be sealed.


It's been tested in 20 degrees F with Original Kingsford brickettes and has proven to likely never need lump coal of any sort no matter what the temps may be but I'm working on getting lazy or would like the option anyway.


My ECB was modified with ventilated coal tray as well as a cheap B&D single element electric cooker which I feel is my problem with reaching preferred temps during the winter cold by way of electricity. Junk I'm thinking!Looks like this now, it's hard to see but the control for the element is on the exterior of the ECB.

DSC00267.jpg Phone picture, can't see the elements controls on the exterior. :(

This set up with an aluminum frying pan wood tray only got to 165 F in 30 degree F temps and than the element bought the farm.


Being I would really like the option of going controlled electrical temp, what would be your suggestion for an electrical burner for the bottom of my ECB? I hope to keep this low budget!


Thanks for any information you may be able to help with!



Edited by Smokin-wylie - 1/15/12 at 3:30pm
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 

Did I post this in the wrong area?

P1020439.jpg Temps I did my first turkey in and the venison in my avatar.

Please don't leave a brutha out in the cold like this!

post #3 of 13
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks SausageBoy !

In reading the reviews on the product I was noticing there is no rheostat for temp control and the reviewers lack of information left me to wonder if I would get enough heat out of one of those. I do venison in the winter months and would like to be able to reach 275 F.


Would you have a rig for controlling temps with this element and know if it would get hot enough for my venison? Sure I could go with the dampers to down the temps but that would seem like a waste of energy.

Edited by Smokin-wylie - 1/15/12 at 4:11pm
post #5 of 13

Add a PID controller to the ECB 1500 watt element (search PID on this forum - tons of posts and how to's)

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks Dave!

I think I'm getting a grasp on the PIDs already.


Edit: These things are pretty cool, looks like a guy could wire up alarms and all kinds of bells and whistles.

Edited again: I'm just curious to know if anyone has had problems with this unit?

Edited by Smokin-wylie - 1/16/12 at 12:01am
post #7 of 13
post #8 of 13

Wylie, morning.... Below is a 1500 watt dimmer switch that will make your electric burner have an adjustable heat output.... like a gas burner so to speak...


Then there is the burner... probably 800-1200 watt... that should be plenty of heat to reach 275*F.... I can run my MES 30 over 300*F with the 800 watt burner...



Just some ideas for you to chew on..... any questions??..... PM me........ Dave

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 


That sure looks like a nice burner!



That looks a little closer to my usual budget.


I just realized last night I better wait on spending anymore money on this rig for a while. I really appriecate the help and will keep your suggestions in mind for when I get the spare cash again. I'll just be forced to enjoy the flavor of charcoal smoked foods for a while, life could be so much worse!




post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by Smokin-wylie View Post

Thanks Dave!

I think I'm getting a grasp on the PIDs already.


Edit: These things are pretty cool, looks like a guy could wire up alarms and all kinds of bells and whistles.

Edited again: I'm just curious to know if anyone has had problems with this unit?

Try this post


post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you southensmoker!

I have been looking around some for elements and such, there really isn't much out there (mainly speaking of elements) and the thought of going 220 volt has crossed my mind too so I could open up more options. Meanwhile I'm smokin. I did three tiny beef roasts(later to be used as pot roasts) a london broil, a venison back strap and a brisket yesterday.


Everything turned out very good and I'm starting to get to know my new rig. It held temp at 228F in something like 36F ambient for over an hour (pushing two) than went up a few degrees making me think my water was getting low being I was a few hours in at that point. I should have just closed the lower dampers a tiny bit more as the water was fine (added a touch anyway) but opening the door allowed air in and spiked my temps to 250 degrees F which I dampered down again. Better ventilation to my coal tray has made a huge difference as well as tossing wood chips in my water to slow evaporation. Maybe slowing evaporation wouldn't be the correct terminology, maybe less boiling splash factor?


I'm thinking once I get to know this rig the missing charcoal flavor might be missed going electrical. Along the same lines a Maverick ET73 for my thinest cuts being smoked and smoker temps with my Oregon Scientific AW131 for my thickest cuts keeps everything close at hand by remote. It's all still being digested up in the think box but I do thank you for your input sir!


Now for the good stuff! I went easy on the prep, venison in it's own bag for 24 hours with McCorrmicks Mesquite marinade and in another bag the same with the rest of the cuts. I might have went and cut too much fat off the brisket being I don't inject although it does really taste good anyway, just a bit well done for my taste.


That big turd looking thing with the sticks in it is the venison back strap, so freakin good!

Below the freezer stash.xrocker.gif



post #12 of 13

Looks like you are really getting it dialed in

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks Scarbelly,

Just ordered an injector and that Wok Topper for a better breathing coal pan. I'm thinking I might hit the second hand stores window shopping for electrical burners. I might come across a good one cheap that way although I'm still not completely sold on going electrical yet. It may just be I'll get this dialed well enough I wont bother with the electrical deal.

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