ECB Mods? Anyone trying anything new?

Discussion in 'ECB Owners Group' started by bobank03, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    I was wondering if anyone had tried any new ECB Mods that haven't had a chance to speak up? Let us know. Add them here or start a new thread. 
     
  2. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

  3. thinblueduke

    thinblueduke Meat Mopper

    I've been toying with a hybrid gas-charcoal idea for a few weeks now, and finally got it to work well today.


    It's a tabletop butane burner (every Japanese household has one) underneath an ECB.  In the firebowl is a big hunk of sakura (Japanese cherry) and a few lumps of lump.  I ordered about 50 lbs of the cherry last week, and this was its maiden smoke (I'm sure there's a pun in here somewhere).  I was amazed by the aroma of the smoke... at times I swore I could smell the actual cherries.

    I did some brat-type sausages, but the main dish was the closest thing Japan has to pork chops: tonkatsu (boneless pork cutlets).  They're quite thin (1/2" or so), so it was a challenge.  I dry-brined them overnight with salt and pepper, and pulled them at about 135 F.  Before pulling them, I gave both sides a quick sear with a butane cooking torch (from the same type of canister that the burner uses).  I was worried they'd be dry, but was pleasantly surprised that something that thin could be that juicy, with a nice little crust.  They even passed the wife's "not too smoky, OK?" test, thanks to the subtler cherry, as opposed to hickory or oak.


    I've got more photos... should I post them here, or start a new thread?
     
  4. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    wow, considering what you had to work with, I think those came out amazing. Up to you on the post. Either way is fine. It would probably get more view in the Pork forum though. 

    I like the butane burner idea. you can put some pics of it here about how you did that. 
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  5. thinblueduke

    thinblueduke Meat Mopper

    Here's the burner itself.  The unit is about $25, and a 3-pack of the cans costs about $2.75.  One can lasts 2.5-3 hours.


    I use a gardening sieve as both a heat collar and an ash screen.


    Unfortunately, I had to put the legs back on the ECB for portability.  If the neighbors have laundry hanging outside, I have to move my operation to the parking lot.

    One issue I had was placement of the wood and charcoal.  After trying various heights from the burner, I ended up using the same grate set-up I use for all-charcoal smokes.  I put the wood and charcoal in another gardening sieve to catch more ashes.  I would like to find something that would fit more easily through the access door, so I could pull it out and dump out the ashes more easily.  Fortunately, I don't get much ashes from the wood or lump charcoal.  Here's a side view and a top view:



    It's working pretty well so far.  I'm going to keep working on the charcoal-to-gas ratio.  The main purpose for using the gas is to keep the temperature steady, but it also helps me conserve charcoal.  Towards the end of the cook, if my charcoal is dwindling, I can just turn up the gas a bit, rather than light more charcoal.  I also picked up a 1500W electric hotplate I'm going to experiment with.
     
  6. thinblueduke

    thinblueduke Meat Mopper

    I've looked into getting a fiberglass gasket and some high-temp silicon sealant, but it would cost me about $40 to get enough to finish the job.  I live in Japan, where some things are hard to come by.  Instead, I spent about a buck on some cotton rope, and rigged this up, binding it with some aluminum wire:


    A little smoke still gets through, but it's a huge improvement on, well, nothing.  I keep my temps below 250 F, and the rope is still intact after about ten hours of use.  I'm planning to replace it, though, with something a little wider than 9mm (about 3/8").  I'll probably try 12mm (about 1/2") next, along with less of a braid.

    The gray residue is from some metal putty that didn't even come close to doing the job.
     
  7. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    Try getting the sealant from an auto parts store. RTV was designed to be used on engines of cars and trucks. It helps seal up the gaskets. The rope idea is a good one, just gotta watch those flareups. I think you are doing well for what you have to work with! 
     
  8. orlenz

    orlenz Newbie

    Not sure if it is a new mod or not, I havnt seen anybody else do theres quite like mine, here are some pics of it, I used steel hardware cloth the make a holder for my firepan, and made a skirt to control air intake



     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
  9. rvial

    rvial Meat Mopper

    I am thinking about adding a chimney to my ECB. Not sure if its a good idea or not or if so how long to make it.
     
  10. rvial

    rvial Meat Mopper

    I could make it out of aluminum i guess, just cut the bottom so I could bend it and attach to the lid, maybe with a couple small screwa.
     
  11. thinblueduke

    thinblueduke Meat Mopper

    Speaking of skirts, one mod I would like to try, but don't have access to the materials, is cutting a large hole in the center a disposable aluminum pizza pan, turning it upside-down, then slipping it over the top of the ECB lid, like a skirt.  Here's a really bad rendition:

     
  12. rvial

    rvial Meat Mopper

    I never ecen thought of that!
     
  13. rvial

    rvial Meat Mopper

    maybe even use a regular on, when you cut it just leave some tabs to turn down to attacj it to the lid and use some rtv to seal around the lid
     
  14. thinblueduke

    thinblueduke Meat Mopper

    Seems like it would work.  It would be a bit tougher to cut a regular pan, but once you had it on there, it would certainly be more stable.  If I ever come across the materials, I'd like to give it a shot, maybe the disposable pan first, for sizing.

    Might run into some problems if the top rim of the body isn't perfectly flat, though.  Might need to so some bending.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
  15. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    Hey orlenz, yea thats different. It doesn't have to be completely different, just your take on the mods. But you qualify! I like what you have done with the pan, hardware cloth and skirt. Why don't you explain your mods a little more? The fire pan and hardware cloth are pretty easy to understand, but the skirt needs some explanation or talk us through what you did there.  
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
  16. orlenz

    orlenz Newbie

    "I am thinking about adding a chimney to my ECB. Not sure if its a good idea or not or if so how long to make it."

    I saw some of that at Home depot, they have different sizes 3", 4" etc, and have 90 degree elbows too, I thought about making my intake out of that stuff like some of the guys do with drum smokers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
  17. orlenz

    orlenz Newbie

    Seems like that would work good, seems better than using the firberglass rope stuff too. all you would need is the pizza tin, some sheet metal snips and a tube of high temp RTV sealant.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
  18. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    rival, I'm not sure if a vertical smoker would achieve anything by having a chimney or not? I guess you could always try and see what happens. I don't think it would hurt anything?
    thinblueduke what would the pizza pan do? At first I thought you meant inside, but outside and over the lid? If you are thinking to seal around the lid?
     
  19. rvial

    rvial Meat Mopper

    I was judt thinking just to be a litlle different is all :)
     
  20. rvial

    rvial Meat Mopper

    argh. just and little
     

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