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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 09-19-2009, 10:27 AM   #1
Burk504
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Default Converting ECB into a mini UDS

I have done the standard mods that everyone suggests for the ECB and find it still needs fuel added every 30-45 minutes, which is a major pain in the arse. I added a charcoal basket to try and fix that (see pic below) but because there is so much air flow in these beasts, I couldn't get below 350 and even broke 415 once!!! Useless!

Now I am considering removing the legs altogether and converting this thing into a mini UDS. Has anyone ever done that? Can't find a thread for it on here.

Update: For some reason the pic didn't come through. here is a link to it.
http://twitpic.com/ib0ql


Last edited by Burk504; 09-19-2009 at 11:50 AM.. Reason: bad pic link
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Unread 09-19-2009, 11:07 AM   #2
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Don't know of a thread about that conversion. It would take a lot of work to seal all the air, IMO. The pic here is a little box with a red x in it.
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Unread 09-19-2009, 11:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meat Burner View Post
It would take a lot of work to seal all the air, IMO.
If I took the legs off and the 'barrel' sat flat on the ground, wouldn't that seal it? I may need to raise the water pan up a bit, but that is easy.

Also, is it feasible to use a few small air holes in the side to control the air flow? I could block up holes until there was just the right amount coming in.
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Unread 09-19-2009, 12:00 PM   #4
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I'm not sure the effort would be worth the results. The ECB with the mods can turn out some decent bbq. If you want a small UDS, you could just get yourself a 30 gallon drum and build one. The results might be a little more to your liking.

Or in Pirate Talk:

I be nay sure th' effort would be worth th' results. Th' ECB wi' th' mods can turn ou' some decent bbq. If ye want a wee UDS, ye could jus' get yersef a 30 gallon drum an' build one. Th' results might be a wee more t' yer likin'.
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Unread 09-19-2009, 12:01 PM   #5
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Burk, a few brethren on here have build mini drums from actual drums. You might do a search and get some input from there. Just my opinion, but I think setting it on the ground without somehow sealing it better would allow too much air. The door, the top, are all going to create air leaks I am sure it can be done and would be a whole lot better that what you have now. I am just thinking a mini would be real air intake critical. Keep after it, you can get it done!!
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Unread 09-19-2009, 12:06 PM   #6
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MOS, I tend to agree with Larry but around here we all like a real challenge. Just a thought, if you could fine something to use as a lit, could you possible take the legs off and somehow attach to the lid for a base for the the barrel part to fit in and create a seal with some mods. It would have to be an air tight fit. Just throwing that out.
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www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=111155
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Unread 09-19-2009, 12:30 PM   #7
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Are you using the minion method on your burn? I can get 4 hours out of a pan on mine. And have pretty good results on temp with a full water pan. I start with only 6 lit briquettes in a full load of K.
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Unread 09-19-2009, 12:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipls3355 View Post
Are you using the minion method on your burn? I can get 4 hours out of a pan on mine. And have pretty good results on temp with a full water pan. I start with only 6 lit briquettes in a full load of K.
Chris, you may have nailed it for me. I did use the minion method for my test but used natural lump (which does burn hotter than K) and maybe started out with too many lit.

I have taken the legs off already, so I am going for a test run. The only airflow in from the bottom will be through the 6 holes that were used to originally mount the legs. Lets see what sort of burn length and temp control I can get out of that.

Wish me luck.
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Unread 09-19-2009, 12:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burk504 View Post
Chris, you may have nailed it for me. I did use the minion method for my test but used natural lump (which does burn hotter than K) and maybe started out with too many lit.

I have taken the legs off already, so I am going for a test run. The only airflow in from the bottom will be through the 6 holes that were used to originally mount the legs. Lets see what sort of burn length and temp control I can get out of that.

Wish me luck.
http://www.randyq.addr.com/ecb/ecbmods.html

Here are the mods I made to my ECB.
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Unread 09-19-2009, 06:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipls3355 View Post
http://www.randyq.addr.com/ecb/ecbmods.html

Here are the mods I made to my ECB.
I just recently made the same mods. It works well with briquettes (minion method). Holds temp well. I'm actually kind of surprised it does so well.
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Unread 09-19-2009, 07:07 PM   #11
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one question. WHY??.. time wise you could have probably built a UDS using many parts from your ECB... go get a weber from Freecycle or Craigs and do it.. I was in the same dillema, stuck in ECB mode and I finally went for it and havent looked back since
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Unread 09-19-2009, 08:54 PM   #12
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you can just use a weber smokey joe as the coal burner. need to make the legs a little longer on the ecb. i used a weber vent wheel on the lid and you need to use foil made into a rope to seal the lid. works fine after that.
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Unread 09-20-2009, 09:17 AM   #13
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I ran a test last night with a full basket unlit and 8 lit coals to get the party started. I still had some high temp issues (260-280) but this baby burned for 6 hours. The bottom is sealed pretty well, so only a little air is coming in through the side door. My lid has a very poor seal, so if I seal that up well with gasket or foil, would that help keep the temp down? I still don't fully understand all of the physics behind this concept.
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Unread 09-20-2009, 09:24 PM   #14
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I did another test today and got 7 hours of 200-250. The trick to keeping the temp lower was stuffing rolled up aluminum foil around the lid to seal it a little better (thanks George!) I also put a brick in the charcoal basket to control the burn a bit. Those 2 changes were all it took to turn this into a much better smoker!



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Unread 09-21-2009, 02:33 AM   #15
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We used an old fryer basket and put some legs on it for a fire basket. I cut some bigger holes in the bottom for ask to fall. With a little aluminum magic wrap we were able to keep it between 220-280 for about 4 hours IMG_0504.jpg

IMG_0505.jpg

IMG_0506.jpg

The second time we used half as much charcoal and it worked alot better. I have some additional mods for the bottom air vent that should help consistency also.
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