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Unread 09-19-2010, 06:21 PM   #1
qapla
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Default not-so-ugly drum

Picked up one of those Smoke & Grill drum smokers on a good deal from Home Depot (seems they mark them down at the end of summer - seems dumb here in Fl when that is also the beginning of football season)

Anyway, we have already smoked ribs, chicken and brisket. But here is the deal ... I did not put the smoker together exactly according to Hoyle ...

The smoker has a bottom bowl that is supposed to hold the charcoal. It is fitted into the legs to hold it under the drum. I am not using charcoal. So, I put the legs on the outside of the drum and faced them out so they cannot hold the bowl. I also put them on a little too low. All this was to allow me to place an electric hot-plate under the bowl and fill the bowl with wood chunks. Then I can set the whole drum over this and the legs do not get in the way.

This also allows me to simply lift the entire drum, with everything inside undisturbed and the lid still on off the wood bowl without having to open anything - saves time and heat.

So far, it is working just as expected.

I do have a question. I am thinking of getting some of the wood pellets for smoking instead of using chunks. So, I guess my question is two fold - Does this sound like a good idea and if so, should I use 100% flavor pellets or use the 80/20 type to keep the flavor from getting overpowering and still keep the heat level up.

Any help will be appreciated.
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Unread 09-20-2010, 07:56 PM   #2
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Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

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Unread 09-20-2010, 08:16 PM   #3
markpmc
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look i'm from alabama. i need a pic or two for the description.
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Unread 09-20-2010, 08:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpmc View Post
look i'm from alabama. i need a pic or two for the description.
Same here, can't really visualize it. Been thinking of adapting a stick burner to run electric overnight also.
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Unread 09-20-2010, 09:19 PM   #5
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I guess a little more info would help as well. Why are you thinking of trying to use pellets? Is there a problem with using chunks or chips? Are you just putting the wood in the pan or are you filling the pan with water and then the wood? A couple pics of your setup would definitely help.
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Unread 09-21-2010, 07:13 AM   #6
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I will post some pictures later.
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Unread 09-21-2010, 08:35 AM   #7
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I get poor results using traeger pellets like that, not enough flavor. You can't lose with a few chunks.
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Unread 09-21-2010, 09:37 AM   #8
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pics would really help.
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Unread 09-22-2010, 12:23 PM   #9
Downtown Smokeout
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They mark them down everywhere right now. I was thinking about buying one, looking forward to the pictures to see what you've done.
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Unread 09-22-2010, 05:08 PM   #10
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Here are the pics.

The first one shows the drum, fuel bowl and the hot plate. The next shows how I put the fuel bowl directly on the hot plate. The third is a view down the drum showing the two racks and the water bowl. Next is shows the drum placed over the hot plate with the fuel bowl (this is intended for charcoal - I smoke with wood).

Now, if you look at the next pic (I hope they all stayed in order) it shows one of the legs. There are three legs. The leg is mounted on the outside of the drum facing out. It is supposed to be mounted on the inside facing in.

Notice the notch in the leg (red arrow). These notched are supposed to hold the fuel bowl when used as intended. The blue arrow shows the top most hole in the leg. If the legs were fastened per instructions, this hole would be where the bolt is (green arrow) thus raising the drum up far enough to insert the fuel bowl.

The door on the front is supposed to allow the adding of fuel.

The last pic shows the cord from the hot plate ready to be plugged into the extension cord. The hot plate stays turned all the way up during cooking. The way I fastened the legs allows the fuel bowl to be at the right height inside the cooker and airflow from below.

I should mention that the first time I fired it up, I had not attached the legs and just sat the bottom of the drum directly on the deck. It did not get hot enough and the water bowl got pushed up when there was a full load of wood chunks in the fuel bowl. Adding the legs solved both problems.

To use, I fill the water bowl first; Then I place the first rack in with some of the meat on it. Then I add the top rack with the rest of the meat. I fill the fuel bowl and put it on the hot plate. I plug the hot plate in and make sure that it is heating up. I then lift the drum with the handles and place it over the hot plate and fuel. I put the lid on.

When I need to add fuel, I lift the entire drum and set it on the porch. I add wood chunks and put the drum back. I have very little heat escape this way. When I check the meat for doneness, the heat and smoke recover just fine. I never open the door.

I hope this helps ... now back to my original question I am thinking of getting some of the wood pellets for smoking instead of using chunks. So, I guess my question is two fold - Does this sound like a good idea and if so, should I use 100% flavor pellets or use the 80/20 type to keep the flavor from getting overpowering and still keep the heat level up.
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Unread 09-23-2010, 09:48 AM   #11
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I guess I should mention that the thermometer in the lid is one of those that just says "warm", "ideal", "hot".

When the smoker is running, it reads just below the middle of the "ideal" position.

I still need to get a thermometer that read actual temp
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Unread 09-23-2010, 10:19 AM   #12
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These are referred to here as ECB's. El Cheapo Brinkmans. Drums are a whole nother story, and shouldn't be confused with ECB's.
Do a search and you will see them heavily modified to get a good cook. Mainly sealing your intake for better temp control. However with an electric heat source this may not be as big an issue.

Brinkmann also offers this same cooker in electric. It is sealed from top to bottom. The water pan is a heat diffuser and can be filled with liquid for flavor and pit humidity. Or Heat bricks or sand to simply act as a heatsink.


The thermometer is also the first thing most ECB owners mod.

As for me My ECB has been converted into a Chimney garage. I park my chimneys there and also start them there. Keeps them nice and safe from kids grabbing. Also its a nice place to put a hot chimney and not worry about it falling over and igniting something.





Proablly best to use just regular old wood chunks and chips. Pellets are priced high because they are designed specifically for a pellet cooker.
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Unread 09-23-2010, 12:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetfxr27 View Post
These are referred to here as ECB's. El Cheapo Brinkmans. Drums are a whole nother story, and shouldn't be confused with ECB's.
I have not digested all the terminology yet, please be gentle

I will mention - we have an old well water tank, two 20# LP bottles and a small trailer that we plan on turning into a smoker. When we get that done, it may qualify as a real UDS :)
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Last edited by qapla; 09-23-2010 at 03:13 PM..
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Unread 09-23-2010, 05:03 PM   #14
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No prob. Took me a while. here are some more for reference you'll see here.

UDS= Ugly drum smoker
mUDS= mini Ugly Drum smoker
ECB= El Cheapo Brinkmann
COS= Cheap Offset Smoker
EOS= Expensive Offset Smoker
BGE= Big Green egg
Gasser= Gas grill
GOSM= Great Outdoor Smokey Mountain

This should get you started, there are many more. Especially as you get into the commercial and comp, cookers, spicewine, jambo, old hickory, backwoods, stubbs, on and on and on....
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Unread 09-23-2010, 05:21 PM   #15
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many of us started on an ECB - IMO, it's a good learning tool. I used pellets in mine once (don't even know where I got them), but I didn't like the smoke as much as chunks. YMMV.
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