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Unread 01-05-2013, 11:42 PM   #1
djs1202
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Default Newbie Smoker - ECB

This is my first post ever on here, so I am excited to hopefully get some feedback from much more experienced smokers. I just got an ECB for Christmas and hadn't had the opportunity to try it out until earlier today. I smoked two racks of pork ribs for my first ever attempt (I figured I could never go wrong with a pig) and they actually came out pretty darn great. Plated:


Inside:




And I just have a few general smoking questions:

1. Am I just supposed to add more wood chips as soon as the ones on the coals burn out? Because they were burning out in about 15 minutes, and the wood chunks weren't lasting much longer than that either. And it didn't seem to make a difference time-wise if I smoked them or not, because I tried both ways, I was just kind of experimenting with all sorts of things.

2. The ribs on the top rack seemed to be a bit more well done than the ones on the bottom rack, why is that? I am guessing because the heat is trapped in the top because of the lack of air flow, but that would just be a guess.

3. While the ribs were smoking, I was doing some research on my new smoker and while I was reading about some of its issues, I was experiencing them at the same time. I found two different modification websites, (http://www.smoking-meat.com/modify-b...cb-smoker.html and http://www.randyq.addr.com/ecb/ecbmods.html) both are WFS. Which of these modifications work best?

Any other advice for a new user on the ECB? Anything is appreciated. Thanks guys, I am looking forward to talking to you all.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 11:53 PM   #2
HankB
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First off, you can't go wrong with a pig. Glad to hear you're happy with the results.

I use wood chunks mixed in with the charcoal and they seem to last long enough. A common method on the WSM is called the Minion method and it involves setting a few lit coals on the bulk of unlit so the fire progresses through the bed (which has the smoking wood chunks mixed in.)

I can't offer specific advice with the ECB.
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Unread 01-06-2013, 12:44 AM   #3
Lars
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I started with a Brinkman Gourmet smoker, similar to the ECB. I made some darn good BBQ on it, but it did need some mods before I could get that far... These tend to run hot, and the stock thermometer is useless. I used to stuff some aluminium foil in between the lid and the body to help seal it up. Also, I added a charcoal grate to bring the coals up off the floor of the smoker. Hank's advice of looking up the Minion method is good, I used the Minion method for years.
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Unread 01-06-2013, 03:06 AM   #4
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Good job!!!
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Unread 01-06-2013, 03:49 AM   #5
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good start...watch you temps at the exact spot you are cooking, use an oven temp gauge or a wireless and know exactly the rack / area where you are cooking, move the meat around...the color on the meat looks a little dark, maybe you were heavy on the smoke ...but learn your cooker and every smoker is different however you have a good start...just keep cookiing, if you have a multi input temp gauge, take a note of the temps at the same time, you have boundry layers of different temps throughout the cooker...
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Unread 01-06-2013, 08:05 AM   #6
Bludawg
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Concordats on popping your cherry. Those bones look really good. I had an ECB 30 yrs ago it made some great BBQ.

And I just have a few general smoking questions: I have answers

1. Am I just supposed to add more wood chips as soon as the ones on the coals burn out? Because they were burning out in about 15 minutes, and the wood chunks weren't lasting much longer than that either. And it didn't seem to make a difference time-wise if I smoked them or not, because I tried both ways, I was just kind of experimenting with all sorts of things.Bury several chunks in your unlit coals and use the Minnion method chips are for Grilling and cold smoking chunks are for BBQ ( Don't soak them either)

2. The ribs on the top rack seemed to be a bit more well done than the ones on the bottom rack, why is that? I am guessing because the heat is trapped in the top because of the lack of air flow, but that would just be a guess. Heat rises mods will help to equalize you temps some

3. While the ribs were smoking, I was doing some research on my new smoker and while I was reading about some of its issues, I was experiencing them at the same time. I found two different modification websites, (http://www.smoking-meat.com/modify-b...cb-smoker.html and http://www.randyq.addr.com/ecb/ecbmods.html) both are WFS. Which of these modifications work best? This one http://www.randyq.addr.com/ecb/ecbmods.html)

Any other advice for a new user on the ECB? Anything is appreciated. Thanks guys, I am looking forward to talking to you all.[COLOR="Red"] Go to the dollar store and get a poke of cheap cat litter put about 2-3 in in your water pan and foil over it it is a better heat sink; You don't have to replenish it, more efficient even heat, you burn less fuel for a longer cook time Any other advice for a new user on the ECB? Anything is appreciated. Thanks guys, I am looking forward to talking to you all. Go to the dollar store and get a poke of cheap cat litter put about 2-3 in in your water pan and foil over it it is a better heat sink; You don't have to replenish it, more efficient even heat, you burn less fuel for a longer cook time.
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Unread 01-06-2013, 08:27 AM   #7
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Nice pr0n. The above info is good advice.
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Unread 01-06-2013, 09:36 AM   #8
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Congrats on your first smoke djs1202. This place is full of good advice. You came to the right place.

Hmm I did not know that trick with the cat litter. I will have to try that.
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Unread 01-06-2013, 01:54 PM   #9
djs1202
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Thank you guys for the advice. I was happy to have a great first smoke and then watch my Packers beat the Vikings. I will make those mods to the ECB so I can help regulate the heat. I thought that it may have even been running cooler than it was supposed to, but of course that was just trying to gauge it off of that terrible Brinkmann stock thermometer. (Warm, Ideal, Hot? seriously?). The minion method sounds like an efficient way to keep the heat regulated, so I will give that a shot for sure. The cat litter trick sounds very interesting, is it a pretty well known trick?
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Unread 01-06-2013, 02:04 PM   #10
djs1202
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Thank you guys for a great advice, I will definitely take this knowledge and apply it. I am happy that my first ever smoke went great, and was even happier when my Packers beat the Vikings. I will make those mods to the ECB so I can better regulate the temperature, because I thought it might have been running pretty low temp the entire time. But, of course I was only using the stock Brinkmann thermometer (Warm. Ideal. Hot. Seriously?). The minion method sounds like an extremely efficient method of keeping a consistent heat without having to tend to the coals and wood chunks every couple of minutes. And the cat litter technique sounds very interesting, is it a pretty well known technique?
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