Re: having trouble maintaining temp!???!!I've been meaning to post here for awhile now so here I go. . .
I have an ECB that my little sister gave me several years ago. I made some of modifications to it (vents top and bottom of the unit; holes drilled into the bottom of fire pan and placed a charcoal rack in the fire pan)
I too had problems during long smoking sessions having to add more charcoal to the fire pan. I decided to fill the fire pan with 2 charcoal chimneys full of briquettes, then I filled the chimney again and set it over a lit burner on my propane stove. Once the briquettes started to ash over I dumped them on top of the unlit briquettes. Now just recently, I found out that a guy by the name of Jim Minion came up with this very same method!!! Well all I got to say is â€œDonâ€™t ya just love it when GREAT MINDS think alike?â€ :)
My El Cheapo came with an outter bottom pan that the fire pan sits in. I made a modification to my unit that I haven'y seen nor read about so I'll share it with you.
You will need:
3/8 in. drill bit
1/4 in. drill bit
Drimel with cutting disc
1/4 in. X 4 in. bolt
lock washer and nut for the 1/4 bolt.
small wire nut that will fit the end of the bolt (optional)
(1) Measure down 1 1/2 - 2 inches from the top of the bottom unit and and mark this location with a marker, Measure your first mark then using the same measurement, measure down from the top and 2 inches from your first mark and make another mark. You should now have two marks that are 2 inches apart and on the same level.
(2) Drill a 3/8 inch hole at each of these markes. Make a 3/8 inch slot between these two holes (drill a series of over-lapping holes then file the points down or use a drimel with the cutting disc). File the slot smooth.
(3) Put the fire pan in place in the bottom unit and with an awl or nail inserted into the 3/8 inch slot make a mark on the fire pan. Remove the fire pan and where the mark is drill a 1/4 hole. From the inside of the fire pan insert the 1/4 bolt, put the lock washer and nut on the bolt and tighten. With the fire pan sitting on a level surface, check the angle of the bolt. Chances are it will have a slight down ward angle. Apply upward pressure on the bolt until it is parallel to your level surface.
(4) Place the fire pan in the bottom unit making sure that the 1/4 bolt passes through the 3/8 inch slot. Place the wire nut on the end of the bolt. You now have a shaker handle so you can shake down the ashes. One mod that I made to this handle was to cut down my bolt so that there was enough of the threaded bolt coming through the slot to add the wire nut and now the wire nut sits very close to the wall of the bottom unit and I don't have to worry about the handle reaching out and "biting" my ankle whenever I walk past it. :shock: :cry:
(NOTE: This mod works best if you have installed a charcoal rack in the fire pan.)
I'll try to post pictures of this mod. My son has even suggested adding a vertical slot at the end of the horizontal slot so that you can "rock" the fire pan. So far the "shaking" seems to work well for me.