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Modified ECB

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Here are some modifications we've made. I'm not handy at all, but my father-in-law is great at everything mechanical. We used steel studs to make the base and drilled some holes in the lid and sealed it off with fiberglass gasket for fireplaces. I don't have the pic yet, but I drilled holes in the coal pan and put a lever on it to adjust the air intake. I've never smoked a thing, but I figure before I start I should do it right.
post #2 of 11
That is a heavy duty charcoal pan support...

Looks like you are getting it under control...
post #3 of 11
I like the idea behind the steel studs supporting the pan. Is that lighter fluid I see in the back ground? icon_confused.gif
post #4 of 11
Make sure you change the thermometer.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Sorry, my father in law was cleaning off his work bench and found that, thought I might need it. I did buy a new chimney though, so no worries.

I was hoping to find cheap thermometer to replace it with, but all I could find at Walmart were thermometers that only go up to 220 or so and the one they had in the outdoor grills section has a footlong stem on it. I went to Lowes and didn't find much there either. I may just get one with a wired probe and use it for both the smoker temp and put it in the meat every once in a while to check meat temp. Does that work or should I get two separate?
post #6 of 11
Home Depot sells a Char Broil replacement thermometer for about $8. The probe is about an inch long. I bought one for my ecb, drilled a 5/16 hole just below the top grate, inserted the thermometer, tightened the wing nut it comes with, and voila! No more guess work with how hot or not the ecb is.
post #7 of 11
You really need to have TWO, one for monitoring cabinet rack temp and one to monitor internal meat temp...
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

First Butt

Well, I found a new temp gauge at Home Depot and it was by luck because it was in a box with other parts. I put it at the dome and now I wish I put it at the base of the lid near the grill top.

I couldn't find a grate to lift the coals off the bottom of the pan. I'm not sure what to do. I've seen some guys make a basket from some kind of metal weave, but I'm not sure where I can find that. I keep worrying that I'll use galvanized steel and kill people

I went ahead and tried a 3.5 lbs pork butt to test my first smoke out. I put some coals on the perimeter of the pan and lit up some coals in the chimney until most were red hot. I put those in the middle and tried to push those around until I saw two or three little airholes. It got to 230 easily, but it died out about an hour and a half which was disappointing. I guess having the coals off the bottom make the biggest difference compared to having just the holes. I started at 8:00am and put on new coals around 9:30am and did ok until noon. It didn't have a great bark so I tossed it in the oven because of time and finished it off until 1:30pm. Finally I just tore into it and it wasn't fall-apart tender, but it tasted fine.

I'm definitely going to have a large learning curve on smoking, but it was fun.
I'm going to find a grate, maybe use sand instead of water if anything at all, put the smoke chips on a little earlier.

I was surprised that smoking doesn't really put out that much smoke.
post #9 of 11
My first smoke was the same way. I found a cheap charcoal mini grill and used the parts in it to make the grate. I plan on using some of the other pieces to make my ecb even better.

I am in the same boat. I need some advice when it comes to really getting the smoking to roll.
post #10 of 11
Rolling smoke is not good. TBS will be very light smoke that you can hardly see but can smell. Rolling white smoke is bad. This can oversmoke the meat or create creosote that will turn the meat bitter and inedible. What you want is TBS, just thin blue smoke.
post #11 of 11
That takes me back when I see someone talk about rollin smoke.

When I first started I was probably worst than most when it came to "rollin smoke". Boy I tell ya, if I didn't see that billowing white smoke I thought something was wrong. Boy how reading and a lot of practice has changed that. It's all about the TBS now.

I guaranty this; I wouldn't be where I'm at as far as smokin goes without this forum. That's for sure.
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