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ECB temperature woes

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I know there's probably a million threads about this topic but, I think there's an issue with my temp gage and how accurate it is. My smoker is a modded ECB (mounted a generic Home Depot temp gage and drilled holes in charcoal pan for better air flow) and for some reason my smoker gets way too hot if I put more than 10 briquettes in. I tried the minion method on my first smoke and the temp peaked at 500 degrees. And today when I did ribs, there was no fire in my smoker and the gage was reading 150 degrees. Granted it was in the mid 80s today and my smoker is right in the sun, but I'm wondering if my temp gage isn't calibrated correctly. How would I check that and potentially fix the problem? So far everything i've smoked came out great, but I'm worried that if there is an issue with the temp gage that my results are gonna become more inconsistent. I was thinking of investing in a digital gage or probe to also combat inaccurate readings but I'm not sure which route to take. I love my ECB but obviously you get what you pay for haha. Any help or advice would be amazing. Thank you in advance to those who respond.
post #2 of 6

Chuck, that is a problem with most original equipment therms....  replace it with a calibrateable therm if possible...  There are a few examples below....  check in boiling water...   Dave

 

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_8?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=tel+tru+thermometer&sprefix=tel+tru+%2Caps%2C230

post #3 of 6

You may want to invest in a good Probe type for youw IT mesurements...

Maverick-732 remote Thermometers -these are the reciever units . These units track your Grate temps. and IMT's. Very easy to use and easy to store (I suggest a plastic box the size of the shipping package.)  like this  - or

 

Thermopen instant read Probe. I chose the 'Black Covert' model This...

then check accuracy each time you Smoke.

post #4 of 6

I am thinking of getting a ECB for camping. I have an offset that I am not able to take smoking so I thought a nice portable ECB would work.  Do you think the temp actually hit 500 or was it just a shotty therm?   i know with my offset I left the original therm on it, but I calibrated it useing the oven thermometers that sit on the grates.  Then I marked the outside, factory thermometer where 200, 220 and 250 are.  I was afraid to pop the old one out.  Outside of the holes for the charcoal pans did you make any other mods?

 

Jim

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input guys. I do have a probe for the meat, but I like the idea of a 2 for 1 probe that does the meat and pit in one. That's something I might consider. Does anyone else usually have issues with temp spikes while using the minion method?

Jim- The temp gage did read 500, but whether or not that is what the actual temp inside the smoker was is what I'm trying to figure out and fix. I did the standard putting the legs on the outside of the smoker for easy charcoal pan access, I put a 10 1/4 in grate in the charcoal pan so the ash had somewhere to go while it was building up, and I also added u hooks reinforced with washers to make some makeshift handles on the grate. Not necessarily mandatory to make the handles, but I find it helps for easy removal of the grates especially if you're cooking on the lower grate. Also thinking of adding a damper on the dome to help regulate air flow. I may not get the best temp readings inside but everything has been coming out cooked pretty well so no complaints there.



That's the picture of my handles I made. Make sure you let me know how you make out with your mods.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
So after running the boiling water test,I found that my temp gage on my smoker runs 75 degrees too hot. That explains a little bit. I'm hoping in the next couple of weeks to order myself a maverick to help out and hopefully get some accurate readings. Again, thanks for your input and advice fellas
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