Hey guys, as I mentioned in my initial thread over in the roll call section, I am a complete beginner when it comes to smoking. I purchased my first smoker, a Master Chef Vertical Smoker, at Canadian Tire a few days ago for $69.99. This thing is the Canadian equivalent of the ECB, the "ECMC" I suppose. Thankfully I came across Jeff's article about the recommended ECB mods and applied them to my ECMC.
I didn't have to add an exhaust vent to the top as it comes with one from the factory on this beauty. I did install the legs on the outside, put some holes in my coal pan, and raised the pan grill to allow more room for ash in the bottom.
Unlike the ECB, the ECMC comes in 3 pieces so I had to attach the bottom and mid section together with some small self tapping screws to allow me to lift the smoker up and add more lump coal.
My first two attempts were failures due to creosote build up on the meat (the pizza I ordered was delicious though). I am running my smoker right now post mods to try and burn some of that creosote smell out and try to learn its tendencies. I was clueless my first attempt and had a ton of white billowing smoke coming out (just loaded it with hickory chips). You guys would have likely had a heart attack had you been driving by and witnessed it. I used Kingsford briquettes and there was a ton of ash. I've since picked up some lump charcoal instead and I can already tell it is burning much cleaner and hotter which I'm loving.
My second attempt was better as I added far less chips and had much less white smoke. I barely had my exhaust open at the top however and don't believe my smoker ever got hot enough.
I've decided to try chicken for my third attempt and I'm feeling much more confident now after browsing these forums for the past few days. The modifications made seem to be working really well thus far as well as the switch from briquettes to lump charcoal. I ordered a ThermoPro digital wireless thermometer from amazon to monitor the meat and smoker temp and it should be arriving any day now. That should give me a fighting chance to start turning out some half decent smoked meats.
I'll be sure to keep you guys updated on my progress with some pictures if there is any interest.
Thanks a bunch for all the help already!