ECB charcoal to propane conversion

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by glgoodwin, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. glgoodwin

    glgoodwin Meat Mopper

    I saw a post the other day that I thought was great. The post was asking about using a propane cooker as the heat source for an ECB. I did an experiment and here are the results.

    Here is my El cheapo... Old faithful

    The only mods are the holes in the firepan...

    This is my brinkman propane cooker. I aminly just use it for turkeys and a fish fry at the end of each summer.

    Here they are combined, notice how the smoker legs and the cooker legs line up perfectly. It is like they weren't meant to be together!

    Inside the ECB Propane smoker...

    Here it is with the firepan in place the the burner lit. After experimenting on some CSR's saturday I discovered placing the wood chips around the edge will produce a nice somke without igniting the wood.

    The rugulator that came with the propane cook allowes me to control the temp. I can make the flame small enough to produce little to no heat, incase i would like to cold smoke, and can increase the flames size enough the heat the ole ECB to close to 400* not that I would need to. On saturday I kept it 240 for 6 hours straight. the temp outside was about 35* and windy at times. even in the wind the temp only seemed to vary by 5-7*

    Thanks to the individual that first posted on this subject. I am super excited to have a propane smoker. This thing works great. I love wood and charcoal smokes too, and the coolest part is that the ECB can be taken right back of the the gas cooker base and used with charcoal.

    I am having to smoke a couple briskets for christmas lunch, thansk to this device I will ikely get some sleep and not have to stay up all night cooking the brisket.

    LEt me know any feed back you all have...

  2. tn_bbq

    tn_bbq Smoking Fanatic


    Father in law bought me a Masterbilt one and I never could get the temperature under control (only tried twice) so I punted.
  3. mr mac

    mr mac Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Pretty cool! With it sitting there like that it reminds me of my Brinkmann All-In-One.
  4. glgoodwin

    glgoodwin Meat Mopper

    My only question now is should i add lava rocks to the fire box. I figure I could throw the wood chips on the lava rocks. Or is that just unneccesary?
  5. michchef

    michchef Fire Starter

    Great Idea! [​IMG]

    I have a turkey fryer that I've never used and a Char-Grill water smoker that I picked out of the trash so I think I'll give this a try.

  6. oneshot

    oneshot Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I don't see any advantage...If it ain't broke don't fix it.....[​IMG]
  7. autoferret

    autoferret Meat Mopper

    Thats how i got my Char-grill water smoker too. i think the ran into a few times just a bit out of round but it works and it was free. going to try this mod myself!
  8. glgoodwin

    glgoodwin Meat Mopper

    This worked great with the ECB because both halves are made by brinkman. I really hope you all's char-grill water smoker works too. I am sure you can force it [​IMG]. Please post some pics here if you get'em together.

    I am still really excited about this. It was such a simple mod yet SO AMAZING. I am just excited to have a propane smoker to use on the longer smokers.
  9. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Gavin, you unbelievably clever man!
    Looks like I'll see about turning my electric ECB into propane.
    I have a turkey fryer I don't use so i have the base and the ecb body is used to hold my preburnt chunks of wood and butted up against my sNp firebox door to keep it fully shut.
  10. glgoodwin

    glgoodwin Meat Mopper

    Fire it up - did this ever work for your electric ECB?
  11. rev

    rev Fire Starter

    I may try converting mine this weekend! I have a full tank and an old turkey fryer think I can probably manage to use with it.

    I hope there's enough LP to last for the 8+ hours on the boston butt I plan on doing.
  12. glgoodwin

    glgoodwin Meat Mopper

    I think youll enjoy the outcome. With my rig I smoked a brisket for 18hrs at 225* and had fuel to spare. It works great. What I ended up doing is filling my fire pan with Lava rocks, and placing the firepan directly over the flame(my fire pan has been drilled full of holes.) the lava rocks get hot enough to make the wood smoke without actally burning the wood. WORKS PERFECTLY. I am am truely thrilled with how convienent this conversion has been on the longer smokes. I still use charcoal most of the time but if I am doing somthing that is going to take 8 or more hours I bust out the Propane!!!
  13. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Completely missed the update on this thread and such.

    Yes I converted it into a propane smoker and I gotta tell you...I LOVE IT!
    I use my little propane smoker now whenever I'm in a hurry or it's windy or chance of rain.
    Smoking at 300-325 if I feel like it is wonderful AND 10 minutes after firing it up you are ready to throw the meat on.

    Have been meaning to get some good pics for it and post but thanks for the post and tips Gavin, nothing less than completely awesome [​IMG]

    Pork butts take 12-15 hours?!?!?! Shoooooot....not anymore!
    Can smoke me a butt to temp in 5-6 hours and it is just as good as any slow smoked piece of goodness!
  14. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I use the same burner in my smoke shack and it works great. One suggestion keep an eye on your burner especially if you are turning the flame way down and it is windy out. Would hate to see you fill the smoker with all that propane and hurt the meat or worse yet have a spark or something and blow the place up. Just something I keep an eye on with mine.
  15. glgoodwin

    glgoodwin Meat Mopper

    I was doing an over night brisket smoke with the flame pretty low and and I feel asleep. When I woke up the flame had been out long enough for my brisket to go from a temp of 165 all the way back down to 137. I was like NNNNOOOOO!!! but I cranked her back up and set the smoker temp to like 350 and got the temp in the brisket back up...

    So I hear ya on watching the flame!

    I can express how much I love my ECB. Its a great little charcoal smoker with the fire pan mod. Its a great Propane smoker with the burner. With the burner I can get the range of temps from almost nothing to as high as I want!!! Really I wouldn't trade it for a high dollar smoker.
  16. I have a Masterbuilt 7 in 1 and have never used the propane thus far.

    Couple of questions...I take it you aren't using a waterpan anymore....are you using a drip tray to catch drippings at least?
  17. glgoodwin

    glgoodwin Meat Mopper

    I DO still use the water pan. Infact the smoker itself isn't setup any differnetly than it would normally be. the whole smoker is just setting atop a Gas cooker. Instead of charcoal in the fire pan I use lava rocks, of course as you can see from above pics there are many holes driled into the fire pan.
  18. Doesn't the water pan regulate the temp to 225 do you manage to get it to 300 or 350 with the water pan in?

    Gonna try this setup soon.
  19. glgoodwin

    glgoodwin Meat Mopper

    There is plenty of room for heat to pass right by the water pan and heat the smoker. The water itself will boil at a lower temp(212*) but the steam and hot air will heat the smoker as hot as you regulate the temp to. Now the water pan and hot water will help the smoker recover temp after it has been opend. But the size of flame at the gas cooker determines temp, the water pan itself has very little to do with temp.
  20. guvna

    guvna Smoking Fanatic

    word! [​IMG][​IMG]

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