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ECB trial run

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a new ECB (Brinkman Gourmet) with charcoal pan mod. Did a trial run today (no meat) to see if I could control the temp. I used the Minion Methhod and filled the water pan with warm water. Within 20 minutes it was at 400 and only dropped to 300 after opening the door and stayed that way for about 2 hours. I realize I will burn the pork loin and chicken up on the 4th. I don't think I used to much lumpcharcoal but I did something wrong. Any ideas?
post #2 of 9
hi, craig -

lump charcoal does burn quite hot, you might try cutting your charcoal use a bit and seeing if you can find a happy medium.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I'll try cutting back.
post #4 of 9
another thing is to keep a good eye on your smoker temperatures. these are in my opinion more important than internal meat temepratures, at least during the first 3/4-7/8 of a smoke.

by monitoring your temps and making SMALL adjustments, you can learn to anticipate what you will need and when you will need it. you should be able to get to a point when you are adding a couple-three lumps at a time (instead of chimneys-full) just before you actually need it.

an accurate thermomenter is a must - i recommend the reasonably-priced acu-rite from walmart at about 15 dollars.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I did install a Walmart $15 thermometer in the lid which I think will help. Thanks for the advice!
post #6 of 9
Welcome aboard Craig. I don't use lump, so can't help there. I think Tasunka nailed it. But let me add that the Gourmet body has to fit correctly on the coal pan, if not, it will leak badly and cause your coal to burn very hot. The coal pan has a lip around it. The body of the smoker has to be inside of the lip. It's simple enough, but it's not easy to notice if you set it down skewed.
post #7 of 9
keep in mind that the temps at the lid are going to be higher than the temps at grate level - heat rises! if the tempsa re 400 at the lid, they might be jsut right down where your meat is - some food for thought!
post #8 of 9

In addition to Tasunka's wisdom ...

I'm a proud owner of an ecb, it was my first smoker with this whole smoking gig. The little robot is pretty easy to use once you find the balance, and arrangement, of the coals in relation to the temps you want.

Another question for ya ... when you did the trial run did you add wood chunks or chips, of any kind? If so, did you add them directly to the charcoal? The reason why I'm asking is because if they were directly on the coals it might have caused the wood to flare and burn at a hotter temp, rather than smolder and produce the lovely tbs we all want. I'd suggest wrapping the wood chunks / chips in foil, and poking some holes in the foil package and throwing them on the unlit charcoal. Or, get an old coffee can and drill some holes around the top 1/4 of the can perimeter to allow the wood protection from the flames and it will smolder, rather than burn, per se.

I've rambled enough ...
post #9 of 9
With my ECB, which is not a gourmet, I only put in about 8 lit coals and burn the pan side to side. What arrangement did you have? I am a believer that burnt vs. lit placement is key.
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