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i bought brinkman gourmet electric

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
hello folks...great site ! i been lurking around the site for awhile now trying to decide which smoker i wanted to get...i decided i wanted a cheap but functional electric smoker..so i bought the ECB electric at home depot for $56........i'll be cooking for myself and maybe couple more people occassionally so i figured going cheap and easy would be the ticket for me...also didnt want to tend fires the whole time..

my main uses will be to smoke fish, spanish and king mackeral that i catch...and the occassional pork butt, ribs and chicken.......my cholestrol #'s are not good enough to eat smoked meat more often lol

my main questions are what the best mods that i can do to this unit to make it as good as it can get...and for a cheap as possible...i would like to put a rheostat on it to control the heat as i heard these units run 240+ most of the time.. i'd like to get to to 175 to smoke fish without cooking or drying it out too fast.......where can i get a cheap rheostat for it? or which do you recommend?....can i just cut the electrical cord and install a rheostat inline on the cord?...any tips or info is appreciated..thanks
post #2 of 20
first off Kajun..........you need to get over to roll call and introduce yourself.........where you from........etc.

and sign up for Jeff's 5-day ecourse........its FREE, and has LOTS of great tips

some folks with better experience will be along shortly and answer your questions.......

but in the mean time.......welcome
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
thanks dude...i posted my intro and signed up for the 5day course..
post #4 of 20
you the man............now i KNOW there are some fellow lectric dudes that should be along soon
post #5 of 20
Hey Kajun I don't know either but think I was given the same smoker and gotta do the same thing so if you figure it out post it up and if I do I will
post #6 of 20
Hello Kajun, I have the same smoker, I did'nt want to deal with the mess of adding smoking wood to the lava rock, so I got a 14inX2inX1/4in thick piece of steel and bent it like a horseshoe and placed it in the center of the lava rock around the heating element. I bought a cast iron wood chip box and put the wood in it and place on the "horseshoe"(I can post a pic if you want)
I am still learning about smoking, but the smoker works well mine runs 220-245.
I recommend buying a oven thermometer and a good meat thermometer.
You have come to the right place this site thas great people and info!
post #7 of 20
I too have the ECB and have not made any serious mods to it. The only thing I did was to drill a hole just below each grate so I can stick a thermometer probe into the chamber and monitor the heat inside. Get yourself a good digital thermometer with a long probe cord (or even better, go wireless) and always have it on when the smoker is running.

You are correct that these babies will usually push between 215 and 240. However, I have found my unit running 300+ on extremely hot days. The side door is your friend. Open it about an inch and it does wonders for dropping the temp in the dome.

I have an old griddle temp control unit that I intend to wire into the heating element someday. But it sits for now.

Some people recommend using sand inside the water pan instead of water. The water doesn't add any moisture, it is strictly there as a heat diffuser. So fill it with sand and triple wrap the entire pan in heavy duty foil so that drippings don't get into the sand. Otherwise, have the power washer handy as the water pan can get pretty nasty with greasy build up from a long smoke.

Good luck and enjoy!
post #8 of 20
Pics of wood chunk pan in the ole ECB!
post #9 of 20
kewl........you use the same cast iron chip/chunk box i do...........
post #10 of 20
ButtMuncher, good thinking on the chip box stand!

Everyone else, keep in mind that opening the side door will let in more air and change the draft of the smoker and in my case cause the smoke chips to burn faster. Your results may vary.

I havent priced out either a rheostat or thermostat just yet, but I think that I would try to build it as a seperate unit that the factory cord of the smoker plugs into. This would make heating element replacement eaiser and if the rheostat or thermostat burned out I could still use the unit by simply reverting to the as built unit.

I am leaning more towards a thermostat (Sight unseen and cost unknown) just because I don't know what the minimum temps would be to make wood smoke. With the thermostat I know that for the duration of time that the heating element is on it would be hot enough to make smoke. (Now whether it would be on long enough to make smoke is another story) The saving grace being that low temp smoking seems to need less and often no smoke at the low temp smoking stage.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
well i got it all put together yesterday and did a 3 hour season...tonight i'm trying to see how it smokes and run alil wood through it before my first smoke tommorow(some fish that i caught today)......i dont have a chip box so i just emptied out a can of soup and using that...i had chips soaking for a couple days now and they are in the can and i'm waiting for smoke PDT_Armataz_01_36.gif anyone use a soup can as a chip box? i plan on getting a setup like buttmuncher! thanks BM! and Zapper i think your right.. prob be better to just go with a separate unit instead of cutting in the cord.....and the thermostat sounds good too.. thanks for the tips...

one question on the build up of the unit.. the element just kinda lays there and its not attached to the unit...there was no instructions saying to attach it...am i missing a piece? i also had quite a bit of hardware left over eek.gif

here's some pics...

post #12 of 20
kajun...........for small smokes, or for cold smoking...........i use a small coffee can i cut down for my chips/chunks.........tho i don't soak em.........werks great
post #13 of 20
Nice smoker. Will be waiting to see it in action.
post #14 of 20
Element just sits there, try to keep it tite to the wall of the smoker, less air draft.
The can should work good but i would use dry chips if not chunks, water just delays the smoke!
post #15 of 20
Nice ECB. Get it smokin and get us some Qview.
post #16 of 20
Kajun, I have taken what ButtMuncher, AJ and BBQBubba input here it works.

I would also like to do a mod to add a separate temp control unit as mentioned as well but open the lid like AJ mentions and it works ok.

I just keep the wood chunks in a pie pan and it sits right on the element with no issue. Sometimes they flare up so applying ButtMuncher's mod to hold it off would help. (I tried to do this using a metal 'holder' from some of our cookware but it was a tad wide to sit down in the base of the ECB above the element)

let's see some q-view.

AJ -- nice idea to drill a hole for thermo wires. I will do this shortly.
post #17 of 20
When you are done with a job and you have spare parts it is generally OK. It is when you come up short that you have a problem!

I may or may not have mentioned it round here somewhere before, but I add to the supply of lava rocks. I don't know if it makes a dang bit of difference but I bought a bag of lava rocks and hammered a few down to the small size that comes with the unit and added them to the fire pan. No real reason excecpt that the amount from the factory looked a little thin and I could see the bottom of the unit through the rocks.
post #18 of 20
unless its a motor you are rebuilding.........i HATE extra parts then.......btdt couple times..........couple left over bolts, and NO idea where they came from.........motors always ran good, after the rebuild.......but, left over bolts is NOT good..........LOLOLOL
post #19 of 20
Eh, spare lug nuts and brake pads, just toss them into the trunk with all of the others biggrin.gif There is too much redundancy these days anyhow anyhowPDT_Armataz_01_28.gif ..
post #20 of 20
Welcome and congrats on the new smoker...............As for a temp control unit, I have made two for my little cheifs using the control units from an electric frying pan/skillet......... I just take them apart and drill a couple holes in the bottom of them and run a wire through each hole and solder the wire to the wires inside the unit and then wire a female plug on the outside to the wires and then you can plug your smoker cord into it and then I drill a hole in the smoker at about mid level on it for the temp unit to slide into.... Mine work great for me............And they were cheap, got them at thrift store for a buck apeice..........Hope that helps.............
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