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How to Modify El Cheapo Brinkmann aka ECB.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Folks seem to be interested in the ECB Mods so I decided to put together a pictorial of sorts that show the Mods I’ve done. I’ve successfully smoked ribs half a dozen times or so with great results.   


The Stock ECB out of the box is not a very good smoker. Temp control is very difficult unless you get it right the first time, with right amount of coals, temps will be off the charts. Adding charcoal is a challenge since everything is enclosed. 



First Mod I made was the Thermometer. This was great but only drove home the fact that I need to control the temps.  I installed some basic Weber vents that I got off Amazon; they come in packs of 4.  I also installed a oven door seal around the lid. Held in place by red RTV and stainless steel screws.  These mods were great but I knew I needed to do something with the charcoal pan. 





I ordered a Brinkmann Replacement Aluminized Charcoal Pan & also the Lava Pan. At this time I only used the Charcoal Pan.  I simply mounted the legs on the pan and elevated the existing charcoal pan on 5 inch bolts. This configuration allows me to lift off the grill and tend to the coals without disturbing the meat. The grate on the bottom of the charcoal pan is a small Weber grate I got from ACE. 







These simple Mods have made a world of difference to the ECB. A single chimney of coals and the Minion Method allows me to keep 250 steady for about 2 hours. Then a second 2/3 chimney added lets me smoke for another 3 hours.  Wish I could take credit for these Mods but they are only my version of things I found on line.  Overall, it’s a great little smoker now and I enjoy using it every chance I can.  Enjoy!

post #2 of 4

this may be a stupid question because I am in the middle of restoring an ecb and have not been able to us it yet but can I not just add coals through the door instead of having to lift the smoker completely off the fire.

post #3 of 4

I haven't used charcoal with my ECB in a while (I've converted it to gas), but as I recall, it can be done.  The water pan is a bit of an obstacle, though, and placing the coals where you want them can be difficult.  You'll need some very long tongs.

post #4 of 4

I usually make most of my heat from electric filaments (and make smoke in an external 2" pipe) but when I use all wood/charcoal, I "feed" it in using a 3-foot length of galvanized steel rain gutter acting as a trough.  I've trimmed the last couple inches to somewhat match the curvature of the water pan.  Then when it's time to add fuel, I add with it sitting level on a table, pick it up with my left hand (no glove needed) maintaining it horizontal, open the smoker door with my right hand (with leather glove), then tip in the contents into the charcoal pan.  The smooth bottom of the gutter offers minimal friction to the coals or wood so they slide right down at anything over about a 30 degree angle of inclination.  You can do this in less than a couple seconds so you don't lose much cooking temperature in the process. It's too long to store in the smoker but it snaps right over the downspout in my patio, where it's rather unnoticeable, but I always know where it is.  

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