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First Pork Shoulder Tomorrow

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, 

 

I'm new to the forum and to smoking...I've been reading stuff all over the place and figured this is the place to ask some questions...

 

1. I'm using the ECB Smoke n Grill with the "Warm Ideal Hot" temp gauge in the lid. I bought a replacement thermometer  and was wondering if it's better to drill a hole to accommodate it on the trunk of the unit by the lower grate, to drill the hole in the lid next to the W.l.H sensor, or to rig it to replace the original sensor?

 

2. I came up with a rub that's 1/2 a box of light brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and pepper.

 

I rubbed some Golden's mustard on it, applied the rub, and put it into the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap for overnight. It's weight after removing the skin was about 8lbs. I've read that an hour a pound is good but then read elsewhere that after the 8th hour...you wrap the meat in aluminum foil and stick it back in for another hour? Is that correct? Also on the same note...AFTER that 9th hour...how long should it rest...another hour..or less is ok?

 

3. This smoker is obviously entry level and all in all...fairly crappy. I "cured" it today by wiping it with oil and burning 6lbs of charcoal in it with a pan of water...The thing barely got to boil the water and a LOT of heat escaped from the rather ridiculous gaps where the lid goes...

 

My question here is...what can I use on short notice to fill the gap around the lid? Would the tin foil work? 

 

Anyway...thanks for reading...any help is much appreciated!

 

Steve from NYC

post #2 of 9
Take some aluminum foil and cut off a price long enough to go around the smoker. Now fold it in half and then in half again and again
Now fold it over the rim so gal his inside and half is outside . So much for the lid gap!
post #3 of 9
It's supposed to have a gap in the lid because there is no smoke stack.
post #4 of 9
I punched out the gut of the orig thermo and drilled 4 holes in it as my vent
post #5 of 9
Ok, I just read a lot of reviews where people were complaining about the horrible craftsmanship because it leaked right there. Some people don't realize the smokestack is missing from this unit
post #6 of 9

 

Lined my new one up right to the top grate, which is where most food would sit. My old gauge was off by -65º.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by icefalkon View Post
 

Hi guys, 

 

I'm new to the forum and to smoking...I've been reading stuff all over the place and figured this is the place to ask some questions...

 

1. I'm using the ECB Smoke n Grill with the "Warm Ideal Hot" temp gauge in the lid. I bought a replacement thermometer  and was wondering if it's better to drill a hole to accommodate it on the trunk of the unit by the lower grate, to drill the hole in the lid next to the W.l.H sensor, or to rig it to replace the original sensor?

 

2. I came up with a rub that's 1/2 a box of light brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and pepper.

 

I rubbed some Golden's mustard on it, applied the rub, and put it into the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap for overnight. It's weight after removing the skin was about 8lbs. I've read that an hour a pound is good but then read elsewhere that after the 8th hour...you wrap the meat in aluminum foil and stick it back in for another hour? Is that correct? Also on the same note...AFTER that 9th hour...how long should it rest...another hour..or less is ok?

 

3. This smoker is obviously entry level and all in all...fairly crappy. I "cured" it today by wiping it with oil and burning 6lbs of charcoal in it with a pan of water...The thing barely got to boil the water and a LOT of heat escaped from the rather ridiculous gaps where the lid goes...

 

My question here is...what can I use on short notice to fill the gap around the lid? Would the tin foil work? 

 

Anyway...thanks for reading...any help is much appreciated!

 

Steve from NYC

your first question about the thermometer, when I used to have that smoker I put it just under grill grate level. You will find that there is quite a temperature difference from the top of the lid to where the food actually is. Question number two. Your rub sounds fine, but you do not cook by time but temperature of the meat you are cooking. Also you will want to allow about 2 hours per pound. That is a big butt you have there and it will take up to 20 hours to smoke that puppy. With the unit you have you will be tending it nearly constantly so stock up on beer and snacks. I have been there and done that. There is some real good reading on this forum on your ECB and all the modifications you need to do to get the most out of it. I recommend you check out the pork section of this forum or this http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/159333/bears-step-by-step-index is a great recourse that one of the members here put together. Do yourself a favor and follow the tried and true recipe that bear outlines. If you have any questions, go ahead and fire away.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

Thanks for the advice!

 

I can say...without exaggeration...that this thing is a total piece of junk. I drilled holes in the fire pan before starting...and used aluminum foil around the lid. I started at 6am and got the piece out of the smoker at 5pm...wrapped it in foil and  a blanket and let it rest until 6pm.

 

The shoulder looked and tasted fantastic. Everyone LOVED it...

 

However...back to the ECB...wow...how they still sell this thing is beyond me. I have been trying to find one...yes one...redeeming quality for this thing and can't...just can't. 

 

Starting at the bottom...the fire pan sucks, even with draft holes, ash quickly becomes the enemy and you continually have to feed it to keep temp up. I did from 6-12...then tapped out and my wife had from 12-5. Trying to get fresh coals, wet wood, dry wood...into the thing is almost comical. If you nudge the thing in any way...the fire pan literally drops out...if you try to feed it using the door...you're fighting against the water pan above and the coals below. 

 

In cooking this shoulder we literally went through almost 16lbs of charcoal and 8lbs of wood. The reason...

 

The coals in the pan are suffocated by their own ash...so you have to beat the pan, add wood, or add coals...and obviously...the longer you have the door open, the more heat escapes!

 

wow..I'm still at the bottom of the smoker here..

 

Now we move to the middle of the thing...the water pan is too low...not enough clearance...the grate should be a little higher...and the build quality sucks. 

 

Now onto the top...

 

WTF is up with the lid? There is a ridiculous gap around the entire lid and the walls of the smoker. I mean so noticeable that without the tin foil trick..I'd have had nothing but 150 degrees Fahrenheit in the barrel!

 

Conclusion...it tasted amazing! My rub kicked ass, the shoulder bone slid out dry, the meat was amazingly moist and the bark awesome...

 

However...with the flaws in this smoker...I'm content to stick to grilling until I can save enough for a better quality offset smoker.

 

Steve from NYC

post #9 of 9

Why don't you just build A UDS? I have one and could easily do 12 hours on 7 or 8 pounds of coal if not less. Hardly ever have to open the thing ever. I got a barrel for free and with weber hinged grates and everything stainless except the coal basket. I think I have 80 bucks in it. Mine has two levels to cook on and I can get 10 racks of babyback ribs in there with room for plenty of smaller goodies. Just a thought. Then you can have the real thing while you save up for your Lang or whatever. When I had my ECB I finally gave up on charcoal and found a propane burner at a yard sale. I cut the legs short so it would sit underneath the barrel part and used a coffee can for wood chunks. It actually worked really well but was hokie as all get out. Then I found out about the UDS and never looked back. Well, except when I got my WSM. lol

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