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Need some help with the ECB I think.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I had a charcoal smoker 1st. Loved it, wanted something more user friendly when I thought I "proved myself" to myself. :) Then I bought an electric one. VERY EASY. but, the taste seemed different. I heard a lot of good things about the ECB and 2 of my friends have them and they do very well. And I wanted to go back to charcoal.

My first smoke today. Wanted to try some different stuff. I made ABT and the smoked cabbage that was in an earlier post. Also did a marinated brisket. AND I used the water pan. I never used water before. I read about the modifications and made some with the added grate. And but, I think i need to still drill some holes to make the fresh air flow better. Because I did have a problem keeping the temp up. I was able to. But, it took work, and lots of coal and wood.

Yeah, long story. Here are my problems...

I used mesquite and apple wood. And it STUNK. why? I didn't use lighter fluid. I just put the coals in, and some wood on top. I read about when you get billowing smoke is bad. Would I have used too much wood? I threw maybe 3 or 4 chunks in. When the ABT got done they looked like they had a very dark color to them. Thats when i noticed it. Everyone liked them. And my wife really loved the cabbage. The brisket i haven't eaten yet. Its wrapped in the cooler as I type.

Everyone said it smelled and tasted good on those 2. But, I just wasn't feeling it. I was also thinking, at one point when i added coals i got a very big blast of smoke and maybe its still up in my nose.

Any suggestions.?? Lead me oh wise ones.!! LOL
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
Just cut into the brisket. Smoke ring was good. But, it tasted like solid smoke. Maybe the wood burned too fast. Soak it? It was this citrus marinade I found online that had great reviews. Then i put paprika and garlic salt on it. And i couldn't taste any of it. My wife liked it. But for all the time i put into it, i could have just threw the brisket on the smoker naked and had the same results.

I read that Lump Charcoal is better than the kingsford?
post #3 of 8
Some people, not me, find mesquite to be too strong to smoke with. Cherry is a lighter, sweeter smoke. If most of your friends were happy with the smoke, then maybe you just should try again and nix the mesquite or try something else (hickory, oak). I would cut back on the wood, maybe just two chunks, of course I don't know how big your chunks were?

Good smoke on right.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
They where about the size of my fist. and then I added a few more here and there over time. The first batch of wood I put in wasn't soaked. However, like the water pan. I never really soaked the wood either and turned out just fine before.
post #5 of 8
I also have a Brinkman charcoal unit and an electric unit, and a wife who doesn't like a stong smoky flavor. So I usually smoke the meat to 140 degrees in the charcoal unit and then move it to the electric (with no smoke) until done. It requires a bit more cleanup, but is much less stressful as far as regulating the temperature.

Also, I usually do a 50-50 mix of a hard wood (such as hickory or mesquite) with a fruit wood (such as apple or cherry). That will cut down on the strong smoke flavor.

Al in Las Vegas
post #6 of 8
From the info I'm gettin from your post, sounds like maybe just too much smokin wood. When I first started out I used way too much smoke. I use the electric brinkman a lot and have turned out some really great smokes with it. It doesn't take much smoke to give you a nice flavor, and really easy to over smoke and get that black, sting the back of your tongue thing goin. Remember if you can smell the wood you are flavoring your meat. It's much easier going from not enough smoke flavor and adjusting to just right than starting off with too much smoke. I'm thinkin you just need to drop back on the amount of wood your smoking with. I wouldn't bother soaking the wood first. It just dries out and does what it's going to do anyway. If your wood is hot enough to smoke it's going to evaporate the moisture first thing.
post #7 of 8
I'm with pignIt on this one too. I think you are using to much wood and maybe you should try some lighter wood too. I would try apple or cherry and not alot of it either. Sometimes less ias more. Again like pig said if you can smell it your flavoring.
post #8 of 8
hey im new to the boards but i did find a mod that might help...i plan on doin it when the money is right...heres the link http://www.eaglequest.com/~bbq/faq2/7.html#7.2 read section 7
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