Airflow regulator on top?

Discussion in 'ECB Owners Group' started by bigeateruk, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. Hi All, 

    New to the forum and am in the process of doing the mods to my ECB. I live in Bristol in England and this is my first smoker so not only a newbie to this site I am a novice when it comes to smoking. Have currently put holed in the charcoal pan and have got a grill to get the coals raised off the bottom. Have a thermometer gauge which i fit this week and am wondering if I need to do the airflow regulator and does it make a lot of differnce. I am quite excited to use it as the first two times was without mods and was quite a struggle so am looking forward to better results. 

    Have also seen something about the gap around the lid and am wondering whether I really need to fill this. Have seen that someone has used some rope to fill the gap. Again is this gonna mke a massive difference. 

    Anyway any help with this smoker would be massively appreciated as I am determined to use this and get good results from it as opposed to spending hundreds of pounds on a Weber or the like.

  2. ron eb

    ron eb Meat Mopper

    I don't know if this is the same ecb but these are the mods I did on mine.

    grill and holes in coal pan, top damper, 3 bottom dampers, new thermometer,

    fiberglass oven gasket to seal gap in the lid. before these mods I had no control.

    These upgrades make all the difference. Go through this thread to see pics.
  3. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you are talking about the old time ECB?  Like this?

    Unless radically modified, they had huge flaws, one of which was the inability to regulate the air intake at the bottom. They were open at the bottom, so intake dampers were not much to think about?

    Using the top damper or any exhaust damper to regulate air flow and pit temp is akin trying to stop the wind from blowing or making the wind blow?  Additionally, trapping smoke and air flow at the point where it should be exhausting?  You are inviting stale smoke and creosote flavor on your meat.

    Others may disagree.  That is fine.

    That is not to say you can't get good smokes from one because you can.  It is just tricky.  Many of us started with one of those.

    There is a lot that can be learned from one of these, and that knowledge can guide you on your next smoker purchase. Or possibly your scratch build of a better designed upright?

    Keep at it, you will get there!

    Enjoy the journey!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  4. Ron EB - think the one you have is the Brinkmann Gourmet smoker which has a case at the bottom enclosing it whereas mine is open at the bottom. Have seen someone take off the legs and sit it on the floor and put a damper on the side at the bottom so could always try that. Have seen that people have blocked the gap at the top so may do that and fir the air damper on top. Its all fun doing the mods.

    Venture - mine looks like that  just a different colour. There is a gap around the lid at the top to let smoke out so no stale smoke, creosote flavour just having a problem with temp. Gonna give it a run with the mods i have done so far and see how it goes then go from there.

    Thanks for the advice
  5. ron eb

    ron eb Meat Mopper

    Good luck Bigeateruk.
  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Strange as it seems?

    I often wondered if that gap around the top wasn't part of their design plan. Maybe and maybe not

    If nothing else, it was basic and at the right price!

    It was an early and entry level design.

    Got many of us started.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  7. bpinmi

    bpinmi Fire Starter

    I cut a hole in the lid and attached a soup can lid using a small bolt. I generally leave it about 1/3 open. Helps with airflow. If I'm running too hot I can close it and temps will drop, if I I need more heat I can open it up more and pull more air through to heat up the coals.

  8. thinblueduke

    thinblueduke Meat Mopper

    I drilled holes in the lid and I leave them open all the time.  Combined with the rope around the lid, it makes a big difference.  Previously, the smoke would exit through the gap around the lid without ever reaching the food.  With the rope in place (others use an oven gasket), the smoke is forced up through the top grate, where I know it's doing its job, and goes out the top.  If you have the means, I would recommend doing both mods.

    These holes were a bit too small.  I widened them to about 6mm.

    The rope sits right under the ridge on the lid.  To keep it in place, I used a pair of pliers to flare the rim out just a little bit after affixing the rope.  The seal doesn't need to be perfect.  It's OK if a little smoke gets through.

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