Electric ECB mods - looking for HELP/advice
I am thinking about modifying my Red Brinkmann Gourmet Electric Smoker (Electric ECB), or Little Red Kettle as I like to call it, to get control of temperature and smoke.
**** NOTE: Every time I mention ECB throughout the rest of this thread I am referring to the ELECTRIC smoker, not the charcoal ECB that many people think of. This thread is all about the ELECTRIC variant of the ECB. Thanks! ****
I have been looking up mods that others have done but they all seem to be for the charcoal ECB except a few. Only one, by dysenterygary, was really good for the Electric ECB. Link below
I will explain what I am thinking about doing and list the equipment and supplies I have found, including links to where I found them. Pictures and sketches will be included also.
I would greatly appreciate any and all advice on this. That includes advice on better parts to use, where to buy parts, or links to mods that have already been done. I am trying to keep it relatively inexpensive and simple. If it’s going to get crazy and out of hand I might as well just go buy an MES 40 and have a great smoker without mods.
Thank you very much in advance for your help. Once I have gathered all the information I need I will post about my chosen mods and then create a new thread about how they work as I go through the process. Thanks for looking and for your help!!
The Desired End Result!
I want to get better use out of my ECB. I have done a few smokes with it so far and they have gone alright, the last one being the best,
But I want more. I want temperature control, I want more racks so I can smoke more at once, I want to know the temperature of my smoker, I want better seals, I want less heat lose, I want better smoke, I really want a window….but that one won’t happen.
I want to take this….
And make this!! Or something similar to it….
Okay let me go step by step and hit all my “wants” with what I have sketched above.
**** NOTE: I have my dad’s old ECB for parts, along with the middle section of my brother’s ECB. Also I have a Brinkmann All-In-One Gas & Charcoal Single Burner Smoker, Grill, & Fryer. The All-In-One is the only one that came with the grill grates. I will be using these for parts as needed. ****
- Temperature control – for this I decided to go simple. I found this universal replacement heating element for electric smokers on Amazon and I think it sounds awesome. Basically just swap out my current one with it and BAM…adjustability! Qty: (1) at $39.95
- More Racks/Space – for this I actually need more racks/grates/grids, whatever you want to call them. I also need mounting brackets and hardware. I found all of this on Brinkmann’s website and they don’t seem to be priced too badly, BUT I may just steel them from my parts ECB’s or my All-In-One. I want (1) rack to sit on the base above the heating element like it would for grilling, and I want (1) additional rack to go between the (2) upper positions. For that to happen I would lower the rack/water pan position a few inches or so, raise the top rack position as high as possible, and place the new rack in the middle. This would give me a total of (3) cooking racks and (1) accessory rack. Racks Qty: (2) at $9.95 ea, Bolt Bag Qty: (1) at $1.95, Lower bracket Qty: (6) at $0.50 ea = $24.85 or free if I steel from my parts smokers.
- Smoker Temp – Okay, so I admit I went a little crazy with the thermometers in the sketch. Is there any reason to monitor the temp at each grate, or should I eliminate all but (1) and mount it about 1” above the top grate? Best reviewed one on Amazon that was adjustable for calibration. Assuming I don’t need all of them. Qty: (1) at $14.49
I also want one of these for temps. Qty: (1) at $69.99
- Better Seals – For this I was thinking about the rope gasket seal that many people have done on the charcoal ECB's to seal the gap at the top. I really haven’t done any research on this one and dysenterygary used a different method so I am open on this one. I may just go the route he did since I have a spare lava rock pan. I would also want to seal the door how he did it. Many options in the link. Qty: (?) at $??.??
- With better seals comes some sort of venting system. For the lid I would probably just do a Weber Style dome lid damper. Then I would either do the same thing for the base, opposite where the element cord comes out, or on the bottom with a handle to control it, or a vent damper on the bottom similar to a Weber charcoal grill. Advice on this one would be helpful! Qty: (?) at $??.??
- Heat Lose – for this I have a couple ideas. The first being what dysenterygary did and use the (2) spare bodies I have to thicken the walls. I would also thicken the lid and base similarly. My alternative is to fabricate a “Smoker Coat.” This would be like a water heater blanket, or a flame retardant quilt material that I could custom fit into a, well, coat for my smoker. If I do a water heater blanket I want a non-fiberglass one, (2 options below) but I am unsure what to do if I go with a quilt like material. Would quilted moving blankets work? Qty: (?) at $??.??
- Better Smoke – not to be confused with "more smoke", I want better smoke! I can get TBS going but the problem is how long it will last. Replacing chips in an ECB isn't the most ideal situation, but I do it when I need to. For this specific want I think most of us can agree on one product, A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker. This would be placed on the new lower rack I want above the heating element. If need be I can fabricate a heat shield to hang from the rack to keep the AMNPS from direct heat. Qty: (1) at $30.97 (1st option in drop down menu)
- Window – Unless someone can find a cheap, curved, high heat glass that I can put into a curved door, this one won't happen. However, that doesn't mean I can't make accessing things easier! Sketch below.
- As shown in the sketch, I am planning on adding a 2nd door down low to access the grate above the heating element where the AMNPS will sit. That way I can add or remove the smoke as needed without removing the smoker body. I am considering making the lower "door" more of a "drawer" and have a hook that attaches to the AMNPS so when I "open" the drawer it pulls the AMNPS out. Also when I "close" the drawer it will push the AMNPS back into the center of the rack. This would be made from my parts smokers or material I already have.
- In the sketch on the right I have shown a larger main door. This would aid in checking meat on the lower racks and such. This would also be fabricated from material I already have.
- Lastly, if I can't have my window, darn you dad's MES 40 for spoiling me!, I might just make a single large door on the side of the smoker body to access everything, sort of like the picture below. This would be done with material I already have.
If you are still with me at this point I thank you very much for sticking it out and reading to the end!! Please reply with any comments, thoughts, advice, suggestions, critique, funny pics, or whatever! I would really appreciate any help I can get on this one so I don't waste money and time on bad ideas or bad parts.
Thank you for looking and your help!!
Edited by 4PoGo7 - 10/27/15 at 7:15am