So, as the title says, I bought an ECB, and before firing it up I did the following mods:
1. I replaced the firebowl with a cheap Masterchef kettle grill base that I picked up for $10 at TSC. This has an adjustable vent, although it's above the charcoal bed, and a bottom ash cleanout with a little basket hanging underneath, which isn't sealed, so I presume it's sucking a large amount of air through the ash cleanout as well.
2. Moved the legs to the outside to accomodate #1 above.
3. I put a fiberglass stove gasket around the lid, attached with RTV. Some smoke gets past / through the gasket.
4. Drilled 6 5/8" round exhaust holes in the lid.
5. Added a new thermometer, after calibrating it in both icewater and boiling water.
Once this was all complete, I coated the inside with olive oil, and went for the cure / burn in. I lit about 2-3lbs of RO briquettes in my chimney, put it in the firebowl. I used a 1/2 pan of water as well as I wanted to make sure I could keep the temperature in the range I want for smoking.
At this point, it just wanted to sit between 200 and 210 degrees, and sat there without moving for a few hours. The temperature didn't respond at all to my adjusting the vents on the firebox, nor did it respond to adding more charcoal. When I lifted the smoker off the firebox, the temp would drop into the 180-190 range after a minute or two, but went right back to 200-210 once I put the smoker back on the firebox.
I'd like it to sit somewhere around 250 naturally, so what else can I do to increase the temps in this box? I can try drilling new holes in the firepan below the charcoal grate, but seeing as the temps didn't seem to respond to the existing vents at all, is this even worth trying?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions! I'd love to use my ECB, but I need to get it dialed in right first.