or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

ECB Gasket Question - Page 2

post #21 of 44

A couple of changes I made recently. I was reading this forum entry http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/145781/water-and-sand and decided to try using something other than water in my drip pan. I used a cobble stone and it really helped keep the temps more even.


I was able to stay around 250 no problem during my burn. I did add a few more pieces of lump at about the 3 hour mark when the temps started to slip. 


I had drilled the holes in my charcoal pan some time back, but the coals were still drowning in their ash as there was no place for the ash to go. I bought two of the weber 7439 grates from Amazon and turned them at angles to each other to give the ash someplace to go. The grates are replacement grates for the Weber Smokey Joe grill and are 10.5 inches wide. 



post #22 of 44

Well, did my trial Friday afternoon. The new gasket was a big improvement - doesn't seal perfectly

but it is way better than w/o it. Previous runs using the Minion method had my temps continually

creeping up. This time, I did the snake method....huge difference. I'm guessing both the gasket

and the snake method contributed to the improved temp control. Sure was nice getting the temp

to where I wanted it and then seeing it stay there for the 2 hours I needed it.... So, the gasket

was well worth it - will be trying it out on a longer smoke this weekend - hopefully on some ribs.

The smoke that gets by the lid is more what I'd consider leakage than what I see exit the top vent.

Part of that is a bit of a messy join where the ends of the seal come together. I'll try cleaning that

up this week when I get a chance.


I do use the water pan with water and foil it. Cleanup is a snap. Also put a couple of handles

made from wire coat hangers on the lower cooking rack. Saw that mod somewhere - big help when

pulling that rack out! Nice and easy to just lift it in and out when loaded. Last mod I need to do

is put in a decent thermometer. Thanks to all those that contributed their thoughts and ideas

they sure help out a lot!


post #23 of 44

I made the switch from water to a granite cobble and I was able to keep my temps nice and even for over three hours.

I could have gone longer but I didn't put a lot of lump charcoal on because I was only cooking fatties. 


I did go back with the rtv and put some under the gasket where I am still getting some small puffs of heat/smoke leakage and the rtv helped where I didn't get the gasket 100 percent where I needed it. 


jrbab how about some pics of what you did. I like the handles idea for the lower rack, never saw that mod. A pic of that or a link to the mod (if it is on this forum) would be great. 


Here is what my cobble/ water pan looks like. Others use sand or bricks and other materials that hold heat. 



It's a bit heavy though. I am going to look around for a smaller one.


I read in one of the forums, that water boils at 212 and will never get much hotter than that so if you are trying to stay at 250-260 or whatever then the water keeps bringing the temps down. Not real difference in moisture content except in my chicken thighs, but I left them on the smokee a bit too long. 

post #24 of 44

Will put up a couple pics this weekend of the (messy) gasket and the handles on the lower cooking

rack....been too busy so far this week to get to it. The gasket job looks real messy since the RTV

I got was a bright red....don't really care since I'm not entering the smoker in a beauty contest and

I figure it will all end up black from smoke eventually anyway!


Bobank03, I think I'll use your suggestion to add a little more RTV to help finish sealing a bit where I

detect leaks...I have a nice silver Sharpie that will be perfect for the job...can't use it on much else!

Plan is to smoke some chicken halves this Saturday so the marking up will happen then, along with

the pics. The handles are a great (plus free) mod....even with gloves, it is a pain to grab those racks.

I may add some short ones to the top rack also just to make life a little easier. To do both racks would

be a total of 3 wire coat hangers, so it is hardly a big deal. I also like your stone in the water pan idea.

May try that for hotter cooks - so far, I've tried keeping everything lower so I've used water. No complaints,

as everything has been tasty and moist so far. Will get some ribs first chance I get and try those. That

will probably be my real acid test for the smoker w/ all the mods...that will be a long-term burn vs. the

2 hrs needed for the chicken....


Thanks for all of the ideas. Will get some pics up first chance I get.


post #25 of 44

I was gonna use the red too, but I just couldn't do it, lol. If it starts to bother you buy some high heat paint and touch it up a little and no one will ever know. 


Gotta take some pics, but if you don't post some pretty soon, I'm gonna pull out one of these 


th_What_NO_QVIEW.gif or maybe even worthless.gif


But that would be harsh. Looking forward to the pics. 


And, I am looking for a smaller chunk 'o granite as that one was a little too heavy. It worked fine, but I think one about half that size will work just as well. 


next easy to do is to come up with a small table or cart or something I can put next to the smoker... I have some ideas and I challenge you guys to make an uglier "smoker cart" (for lack of a better term) than mine. 


Of course it will be something to get me by, but the wheels are spinning to make something nice over the winter. Have you seen hambone1950's vertical smoker cart? It is in another post. Very nice. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/142148/cart-for-my-wsm

post #26 of 44

Give me until Sunday evening! : )  I'll try to take my pics Saturday during my next smoke.... work is nuts and things

at home have been rushed once I get in.... doubtful I'll post pics Saturday night but I will Sunday when I get a chance

to sit down and relax.


Don't care about the red RTV - like I said, it's not entering a beauty contest.... just want good food off it. Last smoke

(pre-gasket) was chicken halves and they got raves from everyone. I made 1 for everyone at the table plus 1 spare,

figuring there would be enough in leftovers for lunch for me and the Mrs... hah! There was zippo left..... used the

Cornell marinade overnight and then basted during the smoke (w/ cherry wood chunks). The stuff was definitely the

best I've ever made. My dad, never one for going overboard w/ compliments, even said it was terrific and he was amazed

how the smoke flavor went through the whole bird.... wish there was some left to send home with him but it all got

wiped out....


Looking forward to trying the same cook with a controlled temp - last time, it was up and down as I had to fight it

mainly from going too high....


Will keep you posted...I promise.


post #27 of 44
Thread Starter 

Hello Jb,


I installed an oven gasket on my ECB and wow, what a HUGE difference in constant temps.  

First time using the oven gasket Mod. What a HUGE difference..jpg

post #28 of 44


Glad to hear it - expecting the same thing from mine. Had 2 variables going at once but I'm sure the

temp control is primarily due to the gasket. That gap on the ECB is huge.... Will report on my smoke

this weekend. Great little smoker for the money, including the mods. I figured it would get me into it

so I could see how much I like it before I would drop $ on a WSM....may not need to now, which was

my initial hope...


post #29 of 44

Well boys, I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I am a tinker-er. I think I enjoy tweaking these little beasts as much as i like making good food. 


I like it so much I asked Pineywoods to create an ECB Users Group. 




Give us ECB owners a place to hang out. He also created a group for NY, PA and New England. 

post #30 of 44
I have a brinkmann charcoal smoker and I have been reading your thread. Mine has no dampers but I just got my hands on 2 4 inch ones an d thinking of putting one on the lid along with a new temp gauge and one on the bottom. The gasket sounds like a great idea to. Is the idea here to almost choke the charcoal pan to just keep it going to maintain temp?
post #31 of 44
Thread Starter 

Hi Ron.  If you are speaking of the gasket, it's used to keep to heat in.  I and other ECB owners have a gap once the lid is on.  So the gasket is used to cover the gap to maintain a steady temp.  I don't use a lot of charcoal now that I have the gasket. on.  Once my dampers arrive, I'll be putting those on the lid.  The dampers are used to regulate the heat.  What all mods have you done to your ECB?

post #32 of 44
Thread Starter 
post #33 of 44
I used it straight out of te box and struggled with temp for a few smokes but got a little easier but not enough. The only things I have done so far is put in a real temp gauge and put a grill grate in the bottom to raise the coals off the bottom. I'm looking to fill that gap in the lid. I also have a couple of dampers to put on the bottom and top to regulate air flow. I want to get two more. I came cross these at a local que product store from the discount bin. There is a que bash in my area next weekend so I'm looking to do some r and d on some real que. hoping to make the rest of my mods in the next week or so. We ECB got to stick together. I have good results so far but I think it can get better.
post #34 of 44

Ok , as promised, here are the pics of the messy gasket and the coat hanger handles for the lower rack....

The handles are pretty big but they make it easy to fit my grilling gloves into....



A bit of a closer view - I just wrapped the end of the hanger around the perimeter of the rack but

after the first lateral wire on the grid. That keeps it from trying to slide the ends of the hanger together

if the rack started to tilt and the food shifted....so far, it works well and will take a lot of weight....that

coat hanger wire is tough stuff. If you are unsure, add an extra wrap or 2. I tried to do 2 wraps. Seems

plenty to me....YMMV.



A look inside - you can see the handles come up to the top rack supports. If they hit them,

rotate the lower rack a bit or just stretch the handles wider and it will pull the top down a bit.

Have some salt potatoes (new potatoes for the non-NY-staters) in the water pan to ride along

with the chicken that was the main course....


Messy gasket job - red RTV, which was all I could find around here....No biggie -

I am sure it will end up black eventually.... As long as the food turns out good, I

don't care...


The worst of the messy gasket - the join. Holds smoke well though.


Results? This thing held the temps dead on for the 2 hours I did the smoke.

Previously, it kept ramping up. No thermometer yet but that will happen soon.

Using the built-in junky one, temps settled to the I in 'IDEAL' in the center of

the dial. Only adjusted it once and that was to let a little more air in at the

bottom, as it was settling just above 'WARM' initially. The gasket & vent

mods caused a total transformation of this thing.... I would now trust it to be

left alone to hold temps for probably up to 3 hrs w/o checking. I pulled the

upper portion away from the charcoal section and I'd be willing to bet I had a

good 2 hours left on the charcoal in it. I used the snake method for the burn.

Chicken came out moist and tasty - marinated it in Cornell sauce overnight

and basted it a couple times during the smoke. All in all, great results from

this smoker. It will more than do the job for the foreseeable future, at least

for my needs. I'm not feeding more than 8-10 people at any given time, so

the beastie is plenty big enough....


Hope this helps...


post #35 of 44



Is that the minion snake method you are speaking of. Can I get some details on that?

I have the same brinkmann and just started my mods.

post #36 of 44

Yeah - I stole this pic from another site but this is what it looked kinda like (apologies to the original poster):


My differences? Well, I'm using an ECB, not a UDS (or WSM - not sure what that is). I also, don't have a firebrick

in the center of mine - I just leave a gap....and I use my water pan, foiled, w/ water. My briquets weren't stacked as neatly as these either, although they were probably in about the same density. I put the wood chunks mixed in with the charcoal also, not resting on it like the pic shows. However, the pic really shows how it works so good job to the original guy that took it. I lit about 12-15 coals and dumped them on the right-most chunk of wood, so the fire burned in a counter-clockwise direction.


I do have a pair of criss-crossed charcoal grates in the base that are elevated about 1-2 inches above the base of the original charcoal pan. That helps a lot with air flow.


Hope this helps - if you have any other questions, let me know. I'm no pro at this by any stretch but the mods really make life a TON easier.... Good luck! The mods will be well worth your time.


post #37 of 44

Thats cool. I have been trying different variations on that. This looks like the way to go. I ordered a 3 pack of dampers on line today and they already shipped out.

Getting gasket tomorrow and its time to get busy. BBQ Bash may be a wash this weekend so I may have to start my own.


Thanks, I will post pix

post #38 of 44


Good luck with your mods. Mine made a huge difference for not a lot of cash - about $20 for the 2 charcoal grates, $12 for 2 sets of 3 vents from Weber and about $15 for the gasket & RTV. I have 2 vents left over (I put 3 on the bottom, 1 on top) that I can use on my Weber kettle if I ever need them. If I did it over again, I might only put 2 vents on the bottom but the nice thing is I can always leave one of the 3 fully closed if I want. Still need to add a decent thermometer and that should be it. Sure beats $300 for a WSM - they NEVER turn up on CL around here. The couple I've seen have been stupid expensive - to the point that I'd just buy a new one for a little more money and be done with it. Since

you are handy, these are all simple mods that are straightforward to do. I might add a set of brackets and one more cooking rack for times when I want to add extra food (or just get the food up from the water pan more when on the lower rack). That is optional and may be a winter job if I get bored....

I think the ECB, even (especially?) with mods, is a great way to get started. If I want to go crazy with this stuff, I'll have a good feeling for what is involved before dropping big money on a smoker. I think what I have now will suit my needs for a long time - I have no plans to ever do huge or competition cooks... just stuff for myself, family and some friends on occasion.


Let me know how you make out with your mods.

John (jb)

post #39 of 44

Hey John,


I'm glad you referenced this post in the other post. I was thinking, I never saw your mods and there they are in this post. I missed them somehow.


I am using a white gasket on mine, and it is almost black now so no worries on how it looks. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder! Darn ECB's look like cheap garbage cans you see for sale at flea markets! I wouldn't trade mine for anything.


I see the snake method you are referring to. I sort of did something like that this weekend. I have started using a foiled tin can to hold my wood chips so they don't flare up and I put the charcoal around the can so it burns in half circle which lasts about 3 hours or a near full circle which is good for 5 - 5 1/2 hours. I think it is a good solid method that works well in the ECB. I had planned to take a picture, but I didn't. I will remember to do that next time. 

post #40 of 44

Glad to be of help. i think the snake method is the best for me. It just makes sense. The regular

minion method seems like it would just get hotter and hotter as the fire spreads, which means

more tending to the vents.... the snake seems like it would die off on the end as it progressed

on the head...


The only time I've noticed my wood chunks really flare up much is when open the top and a lot

of air hits.... chips definitely flare up a lot more (I've used both). I got bags of hickory, pecan, cherry

& mesquite chunks at Home Depot for under $8 each. Want to try apple & peach also. I've found the

cherry is most pleasing and the pecan runs second - depends on what you are cooking. The

cherry gives a nicer smoke ring, especially to chicken. The mesquite and hickory are good on beef.

Of course, that's my tastes...


I think I get about the same burn time as you do for the 1/2 and full circles.... those ECB's

with mods are nifty devices. So far, everyone has really liked everything that has come off it.

Still need to do a nice set of ribs but my free time has been killed lately. I figure that Labor Day

weekend has some real promise, finally! Have to take my youngest back to her college (last year

- yeah!!!!) this weekend or I'd do them then. Can't wait to try them....


New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Charcoal Smokers