Hello everyone! I have found my new addiction since acquiring my first smoker, the cheap ECB. I actually received this smoker as a service award at my job. Free is free! The only mod I did with it at first was drilling the charcoal pan, since, for some reason, Brinkmann decided you don't need air for fire. After seasoning/curing per the directions, I grabbed a 5 lb chicken, seasoned her up and fired up the ECB. I wanted to try the minion method, so I did. Worked OK, but couldn't get the temp over 280 degrees. Ashes began to smother the coals and since I had no easy way to get to them, I had to use long tongs to try and stir up and remove some of the ashes. This worked, but it was about an every 30-45 minute chore. Oh, and I didn't mention my digital thermometer decided to stop working so I was cooking blind. After about 4 hours I took the chicken off. It was a little over cooked but the family liked it! I didn't like the amount of baby sitting I had to do.
The next day, as I was trying to find a charcoal grate to help the smothering problem, I looked over at my Weber 18 inch Kettle grill and thought, "Hmmmm...this looks like a perfect fit!" Sure enough, It was:
Now my charcoal won't smother itself not to mention the bottom isn't wide open anymore!
And, I now have intake control! I was thoroughly excited! My next first was a turkey for my in-laws. After rubbing it down, letting it sit overnight, injecting, I lit up my new modded ECB. I used waaaay to much Kingsford and the temp quickly shot up to over 400 degrees! Mods are definitely working! Another thing this mod allows me to do is lift the entire smoker off the bottom, so I did that and removed some coals and got the temperature to about 350. It stayed above 300 for 2 hours and when I checked the temp, the turkey was done. I was surprised!
My father-in-law made this comment "I've been eating turkey's for 57 years and this is the best I've ever had." I told him he was either being nice and lying or I've set the bar waaaay to high. He swears he wasn't lying. SUCCESS!
Now the real test...my family. My Dad has basically taught me everything he knows about cooking and has cooked his entire life. When I was growing up, we would fry turkey's for 2 days for people that have never tasted juicy turkey. It was a tradition that I will never forget! After I told him I was going to smoke a turkey for the family, he told me he wasn't going to worry about making one. PRESSURE WAS ON! So rubbed the Butterball down, let her sit overnight, then injected with my own butter recipe.
This was another small bird, since we have two turkeys, so after firing up the smoker, getting the temp right around 300 I put her in. This time I was able to use my probe thermometer, and cooked it till 165.
My family loved it and my Dad said "looks like there's a new cook in the family." I can't tell you how happy and proud that made me. And I have to admit, it was a very good turkey. Juicy, flavorful, skin was crispy.
Sorry it got long guys, but I'm excited about this new hobby of mine and wanted to share! I look forward to learning more, and I'm definitely going to learn a lot with this ECB. One day I'll be able to get me a WSM, but for now I'm enjoying my new ECB. I will be doing a few more mods in the future!