Sealing the fire bowl?

Discussion in 'ECB Owners Group' started by tickers, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. Hi all,

    I've just bought a Smoke n Grill to get myself into smoking and I'm going to carry out the mods I've seen on this forum but I have a question.

    The fire bowl doesn't seal to the smoker body at all, I'm assuming to give some airflow as the ECB doesn't have any adjustment. If I'm adding adjustable vents to the bottom, is it beneficial to seal the rim of the fire bowl?

    I'm going to be sealing the lid with fibreglass rope and adding an adjustable vent.
  2. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    Welcome to the SMF and the ECB Group. Some of the ECB do have a sealed up pan with vents, but most don't. Mine does not. It is pictured in my avatar. I have often thought of doing a gasket around the pan to try and make a tighter seal, but I haven't really seen the need to do that. 

    Let us know if you decide to try it and don't be shy about taking some pics of the mods you make and have fun with it! 
  3. Ok, I've just started my first test burn.

    I added a damper to the bottom of the fire bowl and another to the lid, and attempted to seal around the lid with foil (I'll be adding fibreglass rope tomorrow evening)

    For ease of keeping the fire going I thought I'd try the minion method. I lit a smallish chimney of lumpwood and added it to the side of a half full fire bowl.

    The temperature shot straight to 300f, and it's been sitting there for about half an hour with both vents closed.

    Aside from a leak (the only obvious huge one being around the fire bowl but there's no smoke coming out there) what could be causing this? The fuel I'm using is Weber Premium Express, which I'm wondering if it burns too hot/fast. Should I also have used less lit coal to get the fire going?
  4. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    Yeah, probably a little too much charcoal, but thats why you do a test burn to learn a little. I hope you've got some meat to throw on anyway? Seems like a waste of charcoal?


    you can dump some coals out and bring the temps down? What are you using to determine the temperature? 
  5. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    and if you want the temps to go down a little, open the top vent and the heat will escape. Always cook with the top one open some or the smoke will be acrid and make the meat taste bad. 

    what are you using in your water pan? 
  6. I've got no meat on it, it was just a test run ahead of having it's first use this weekend for some pork and/or beef.

    I've got the water pan just over half full with water and covered in foil. I'm measuring the temperature with a cheapish Weber digital gauge.

    Thanks for letting me know about the top vent, I probably would have carried on with that closed, ruining my first cook!

    When it comes to the weekend I'll start with less lit coal, do you think I should have less unlit coal in the bowl as well? Tending to the fire won't be too annoying because I don't plan on going out, but it would be nice to do as little as possible.
  7. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    hard to say at this point unless you took a picture or what you did? If you have no picture and it maintained the higher heat then yes, do less. Also do a boil test on that thermo to see what it gives you in boiling water. That way you can gauge what you are actually getting when you use it. 

    A lot of times the water will prevent the ECB from maintaining an even temp, that's why a lot of the guys fill their pan with sand or a paver/ cobble and then foil it (for easy cleanup) as it helps maintain an even temperature.

    The next time (especially if you have food on) if the temps climb, you can always lift a bit of that foil around the lid opening and let some more heat vent. Of course, you can't do that after you glue a gasket in place. 

    And please, ask as many questions if you need. their is a lot of knowledge and experience here on SMF and I'm STILL a newbie compared to most of these guys!

    I will look for one of my posts were I did the minion and send you the link in this post in a few... Except I can't find a pic. I will tell you that I only do a half chimney and about that much more in the pan. It is much easier to add to the fire than it is to take away temperatures. 

    Hope this all helps. I have had my ECB for a long time and was inspired last summer to drag it out and start doing the mods. What I never did was show anyone a "before" pic... So here we go. Before and after! 

    Before... early June 2013                 After...July 2013

    Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder! 
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014

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