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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 04-12-2013, 07:08 PM   #16
mbshop
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has this been mentioned ?

http://home.comcast.net/~day_trippr/smoker_mods.htm
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Unread 04-12-2013, 07:20 PM   #17
bbq1980
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For sure. Ironically, I'm a bit conflicted. Haha.

One on hand, I'd like to finish the ECB mods, add the rope/gasket to the lid, take it for a maiden voyage and see if it's any good. But from my research, the best option still looks like finishing it would involve modding the WSJ, at least a tad. I also don't, at least right away, have a need for a portable smoker, which is essentially what the mini WSM is.

On the other hand, the mini WSM looks like it has some physical advantages, namely the bottom, and it sounds like it holds temps better...but its capacity is less then the modded ECB I'd imagine.

Plus, my wife would probably kill me if I started off with 2 new smokers. I'd need to smoke a chicken or two first, though I generally live high on the hog with baby backs. Have never tried a pork butt, but want to.

Anyway, if it's between the modded ECB which I've started and the mini WSM, what direction would you go in? I figure if I go the ECB route, I can always put the mini WSM together for under $100.
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Unread 04-12-2013, 07:58 PM   #18
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From my experience we can never make the *^%#¥ smoker outlook from our better halves go away:-;.......but I dunno if we can make it worse either ;-)
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Unread 04-12-2013, 10:06 PM   #19
bbq1980
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True. Thanks for that suggestion about the lava pan. This might do the trick and this link actually has some pics of it installed:

http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/vi...bf5389adb84bcb

Anyone else tried this with decent results? This way, I can stash the new WSJ Gold in the basement for my next project (or when the ECB lives up to its name)
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Unread 04-12-2013, 10:27 PM   #20
bbq1980
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@hamiltont,

Liked your mods. What size hex bolts did you use to keep the charcoal pan off of the lava rock pan?
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Unread 04-14-2013, 09:23 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbq1980 View Post
@hamiltont,

Liked your mods. What size hex bolts did you use to keep the charcoal pan off of the lava rock pan?
Thanks!! I don't recall for sure but they were prolly 5/16" x 2", maybe 1 1/2". Cheers!!!
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Unread 04-15-2013, 12:10 AM   #22
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Thanks. I wound up getting some screws that were 1/4" x 2" since they were stainless steel and not zinc coated. I'm gonna see if those work. I also ordered the lava pan, which comes with the one vent hole in it already. It looks like you drilled 1, maybe 2 more holes in it for better air flow. Is this correct? My biggest drill bit is 1/2", but what size roughly were the holes and did you leave these open or cover them with a piece of metal or something? Thanks again for the clarification.
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Unread 04-15-2013, 08:31 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbq1980 View Post
Thanks. I wound up getting some screws that were 1/4" x 2" since they were stainless steel and not zinc coated. I'm gonna see if those work. I also ordered the lava pan, which comes with the one vent hole in it already. It looks like you drilled 1, maybe 2 more holes in it for better air flow. Is this correct? My biggest drill bit is 1/2", but what size roughly were the holes and did you leave these open or cover them with a piece of metal or something? Thanks again for the clarification.
I used a step bit (5/8" - 3/4" I believe) to drill 2 more holes equal distance from each other and then used the electrical box plugs with screws to plug them. I open all the air intakes when firing it up and then I generally plug the 2 smaller holes and adjust the temp with the slide over the big hole. Cheers!!!
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Unread 04-25-2013, 11:47 PM   #24
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Thanks for the tips. I'll have to post pics when the mods are done. Two more questions though...

With the charcoal grate from the WSJ resting in the bottom of the ECB charcoal pan, there's probably only about 3/4 in between the grate and bottom of the pan? Is that sufficient or did you bother to try and pop in some bolts and raise it up a tad?

Also, did you roll with briquettes or lump? I've read up on it and I'm now inclined to go with the lump...probably Ozark Oak since I've seen good reviews on it and it's on Amazon.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 09:26 AM   #25
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I use both lump & briquette in it. I like the lump for the minimal amount of ash but it won't last long enough for a pork butt w/o reloading. Actually I don't think the briquettes will last long enough in the bowl either. I didn't prop up the WSJ grate but I really don't recall the smokes with the "swiss cheese" bowl because I quickly built an expanded metal basket. That works WAY much better. With a full load of briquettes in the basket I can easily get a 12 hour burn @ 250-275F. It works perfect for 2 butts. I can do 4 butts on it but I have to stand them on edge and use a couple Bamboo Shish Kabob skewers through the top corners to prop them up. They sorta keep each other from falling over. Cheers!!!
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Unread 04-26-2013, 01:55 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamiltont View Post
I use both lump & briquette in it. I like the lump for the minimal amount of ash but it won't last long enough for a pork butt w/o reloading. Actually I don't think the briquettes will last long enough in the bowl either. I didn't prop up the WSJ grate but I really don't recall the smokes with the "swiss cheese" bowl because I quickly built an expanded metal basket. That works WAY much better. With a full load of briquettes in the basket I can easily get a 12 hour burn @ 250-275F. It works perfect for 2 butts. I can do 4 butts on it but I have to stand them on edge and use a couple Bamboo Shish Kabob skewers through the top corners to prop them up. They sorta keep each other from falling over. Cheers!!!
Interesting. I know the lump burns faster, but I liked that it made less ash and with the vents on the lava pan, I should be able to control the heat pretty well. I've seen some builds and tutorials for the charcoal basket but I hesitate about trying to make one after seeing how people had to shape it or bend it with 2x4's, propane tanks, etc. But the ones I saw online, pre-built were at or north of $50 and this is my first foray into metal work. Yet it looks worthwhile so I might try and build one.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 04:35 PM   #27
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This is one Mod I did on Mine which worked out great. I looked over at my cheap Kettle grill I had and just put the ECB in the bottom of the Kettle. The Ash Catcher and Vents from the Kettle worked just fine. The Charcoal Grate was a perfect fit. I just took the legs off the ECB. The Hight was great too. Just picked up the ECB carefully Added more Charcoal\or wood when needed, pretty easy mod. https://picasaweb.google.com/ben.Lyn...eat=directlink
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Unread 04-29-2013, 06:13 PM   #28
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Thanks for the suggestions. I wound up using the lava rock pan suggestion and the top of the ECB fits more or less snugly on top of the lava pan.

My next issue is that I've bit the bullet on the charcoal ring and decided it'd be a good thing to do. I also decided to emulate this guy's build, as I'm certainly no welder:

http://www.grilling24x7.com/UDS2.shtml

So off to HD I went. I picked up the 24" x 24" sheet of expanded metal, as folks have suggested to get. To cut said metal, I also picked up a laser guided jig saw with a set of blades, along with some of the SS hardware for the build, with the intention of now having this sit on top of the 10.5" WSJG charcoal grate.

For those that fabricated a round charcoal ring for a modded out ECB, how tall did you make it? It would 10.5" in diameter to match the WSJG charcoal grill, but it looks like, judging from the position of the water bowl, that 6'" might be about right, but I also like the extra capacity if it were to ever come in handy so maybe 8"?

The charcoal ring was going to sit in the charcoal pan (raised with bolts) that I had drilled holes in, yet now it seems like, if I pop some SS bolts onto the grate and put the grate in the lava pan, I might not even need to bother with the ECB charcoal pan because the raised grate should provide airflow and sufficient space for ash removal. Go figure. Looks like I've gone overboard on the mods a bit. I'll have to take pics when it's all said and done.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 06:41 PM   #29
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This photo may or may not help you but this is the charcoal pan and base of my modified Gourmet. The expended metal is about 5" tall, and is simply secured using some rebar wire, and nothing else.

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Unread 04-29-2013, 09:47 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbon View Post
This photo may or may not help you but this is the charcoal pan and base of my modified Gourmet. The expended metal is about 5" tall, and is simply secured using some rebar wire, and nothing else.

Thanks. I figured the height was in the ballpark of 5" - 6" to maintain enough space between the top of the coals and the bottom of the water pan. That was pretty much what I was thinking of doing until I stumbled across the tutorial for the charcoal ring. This would now render the original ECB charcoal pan redundant. In any case, I'll probably just finish drilling the holes in the ECB fire pan anyway and I'll have ot, since I plan on doing a few test runs, w/o food, so I'm curious which set up will work better (burn times, temp control, etc).
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