Barbecue (alt.food.barbecue) Discuss barbecue and grilling--southern style "low and slow" smoking of ribs, shoulders and briskets, as well as direct heat grilling of everything from burgers to salmon to vegetables.

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Old 07-02-2005, 08:56 PM
Brad Houser
 
Posts: n/a
Default New ECB Cooker

As mentioned in another post I have completed my first smoker meal. I have
used the Weber grill for years, as well as the Weber Genesis gas grill for a
while, when I had natural gas piped to my old house. I decided to go the
smoker route after reading this NG and the BBQ FAQ. I didn't want to spend a
lot, so I figured that since so many people say the El Cheapo Brinkmann can
make "great Q" without modifications, I decided to give it a go and save the
bucks for later (and ECB was on sale for $34.99 at OSH).

I assembled the Smoke 'N Grill Brinkmann with the easiest non-invasive mod.
I put the legs on the outside, and found some extra pieces of marble to hold
the briquet pan, making tending the fire a simple task of lifting the entire
unit. Since I was using mesquite charcoal, and it generally burns hotter
than regular briquets, I wanted to just try it as-is without drilling more
holes for air.

After the 2 hour curing burn, I had the two 5 lb. chickens rubbed and ready
to go. (Olive oil and Jamaica Seasoned Salt if you are interested.) I had a
couple big chunks of regular mesquite soaked for the added smoke kick.

The mesquite lasted longer than I thought it would, but during the actual
smoking, I learned it was best not to add fresh mesquite, but to get it
going in the chimney first. This minimizes the recovery time and reduces
heat loss. I added coals twice, and in 4 hours my babies were done. I was
the BBQ hero saturday night!

I will be moving on to bigger things soon.

Question: Since I am using mesquite charcoal, do I really need the soaked
wood chips?

Brad Houser



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Old 07-02-2005, 09:08 PM
Matthew L. Martin
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Brad Houser wrote:
As mentioned in another post I have completed my first smoker meal. I have
used the Weber grill for years, as well as the Weber Genesis gas grill for a
while, when I had natural gas piped to my old house. I decided to go the
smoker route after reading this NG and the BBQ FAQ. I didn't want to spend a
lot, so I figured that since so many people say the El Cheapo Brinkmann can
make "great Q" without modifications, I decided to give it a go and save the
bucks for later (and ECB was on sale for $34.99 at OSH).

I assembled the Smoke 'N Grill Brinkmann with the easiest non-invasive mod.
I put the legs on the outside, and found some extra pieces of marble to hold
the briquet pan, making tending the fire a simple task of lifting the entire
unit. Since I was using mesquite charcoal, and it generally burns hotter
than regular briquets, I wanted to just try it as-is without drilling more
holes for air.

After the 2 hour curing burn, I had the two 5 lb. chickens rubbed and ready
to go. (Olive oil and Jamaica Seasoned Salt if you are interested.) I had a
couple big chunks of regular mesquite soaked for the added smoke kick.

The mesquite lasted longer than I thought it would, but during the actual
smoking, I learned it was best not to add fresh mesquite, but to get it
going in the chimney first. This minimizes the recovery time and reduces
heat loss. I added coals twice, and in 4 hours my babies were done. I was
the BBQ hero saturday night!


Good for you! Glad to hear that you got success on the first try.

I will be moving on to bigger things soon.

Question: Since I am using mesquite charcoal, do I really need the soaked
wood chips?


I gave up on chips, soaked or otherwise pretty quickly. I use chunks of
wood. In the ECBX2 charcoal, I would wrap the wood in aluminum foil and
pierce it in a few places. In the ECBX2 gas, I place the wood on the
stainless steel disk I use as a heat deflector.

I prefer black cherry for poultry. I reserve mesquite for beef.

--
Matthew

I'm a contractor. If you want an opinion, I'll sell you one.
Which one do you want?
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Old 07-02-2005, 09:49 PM
Duwop
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"Matthew L. Martin" wrote in message
...
Brad Houser wrote:
The mesquite lasted longer than I thought it would, but during the

actual
smoking, I learned it was best not to add fresh mesquite, but to get it
going in the chimney first. This minimizes the recovery time and reduces
heat loss. I added coals twice, and in 4 hours my babies were done. I

was
the BBQ hero saturday night!


I wouldnt worry too much about temp swings up and down. It's really not a
big deal. Another thing to consider is that the bulk of the smoke comes
during the lighting process.
Most people don't bother pre-lighting lump (kingsford yes, lump no). But if
you like doing it, why not.

Try the smoky chicken in a sandwich, or a burrito, or a salad
or.....................
As long as there's room for one I always put a chicken or two on. They cook
up faster than anything else, so time's never a problem, temps arent a
problem, they'll do just fine anywhere between 225 and 350, and you can use
em so many ways.

Congrats. Next you'll be wanting Matthews instructions on how to make a
double decker ECBX2.


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Old 07-02-2005, 09:50 PM
Matthew L. Martin
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Duwop wrote:


Congrats. Next you'll be wanting Matthews instructions on how to make a
double decker ECBX2.


And the better burner system:-)

http://www.mlmartin.com/bbq

I've improved the ECBX2, but not the website. I now have an ECBX2 on
stilts so I can use either an unmodified Sunbeam grill for a fire pot or
a gas burner from a cheap turkey fryer.

--
Matthew

I'm a contractor. If you want an opinion, I'll sell you one.
Which one do you want?
  #5 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 08-02-2005, 05:22 AM
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"Brad Houser" wrote:
[]
I was the BBQ hero saturday night!

I will be moving on to bigger things soon.

Question: Since I am using mesquite charcoal, do I really need the soaked
wood chips?

Success is always fun, isn't it? I like mesquite lump because it seems to
burn so well, and, it seems to me, charcoal is charcoal. I can't detect a
noticeable flavor from the mesquite lump. The guys who have much more
experience than me will advise you on chips and chunks. For pork and beef,
I like to start with hickory chunks, for chicken and seafood, citrus. I
don't soak 'em.

--
Nick. To help with tsunami relief, go to: http://usafreedomcorps.gov/


Thank a Veteran and Support Our Troops. You are not forgotten. Thanks ! ! !


  #6 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 08-02-2005, 07:36 PM
Brad Houser
 
Posts: n/a
Default


wrote in message
...
"Brad Houser" wrote:
[]
I was the BBQ hero saturday night!

I will be moving on to bigger things soon.

Question: Since I am using mesquite charcoal, do I really need the

soaked
wood chips?

Success is always fun, isn't it? I like mesquite lump because it seems to
burn so well, and, it seems to me, charcoal is charcoal. I can't detect a
noticeable flavor from the mesquite lump. The guys who have much more
experience than me will advise you on chips and chunks. For pork and beef,
I like to start with hickory chunks, for chicken and seafood, citrus. I
don't soak 'em.


Thanks all for the great advice.

Did I say chips? I meant to say chunks. I jkust finished off the last of the
chicken for my lunch. I was thinking of a pork butt this weekend.

Brad


  #7 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 08-02-2005, 07:36 PM
Brad Houser
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Matthew L. Martin" wrote in message
...
Duwop wrote:


Congrats. Next you'll be wanting Matthews instructions on how to make a
double decker ECBX2.


And the better burner system:-)

http://www.mlmartin.com/bbq

I've improved the ECBX2, but not the website. I now have an ECBX2 on
stilts so I can use either an unmodified Sunbeam grill for a fire pot or
a gas burner from a cheap turkey fryer.


I am intrigued. I looked at the pictures, I will delve in more when I get
some more time.

Brad


  #8 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 08-02-2005, 07:58 PM
Graeme...in London
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Brad Houser" wrote in message
...

wrote in message
...
"Brad Houser" wrote:
[]
I was the BBQ hero saturday night!

I will be moving on to bigger things soon.

Question: Since I am using mesquite charcoal, do I really need the

soaked
wood chips?

Success is always fun, isn't it? I like mesquite lump because it seems

to
burn so well, and, it seems to me, charcoal is charcoal. I can't detect

a
noticeable flavor from the mesquite lump. The guys who have much more
experience than me will advise you on chips and chunks. For pork and

beef,
I like to start with hickory chunks, for chicken and seafood, citrus. I
don't soak 'em.


Thanks all for the great advice.

Did I say chips? I meant to say chunks. I jkust finished off the last of

the
chicken for my lunch. I was thinking of a pork butt this weekend.

Brad



Brad, if you are planning cooking a butt, I would strongly recommend either
one or both of these suggestions.

1) Get yourself a grate to ensure some ash can fall away from the burning
coals. With an ECB on long cooks using lump, you will get a build-up of ash
and this will cause the temperature to drop and the coals will not produce
the desired heat. (nae probs with a 3 1/2 hour chicken, butts are a
different animal)

2) Drill a few extra holes in the charcoal pan. (This makes a big difference
with air flow.)

Cook to 190 - 195F internal and you'll be fine.

Post some pics on abf.

Graeme


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Old 08-02-2005, 08:52 PM
Cam
 
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Default


Graeme...in London wrote:

Brad, if you are planning cooking a butt, I would strongly recommend

either
one or both of these suggestions.

1) Get yourself a grate to ensure some ash can fall away from the

burning
coals. With an ECB on long cooks using lump, you will get a build-up

of ash
and this will cause the temperature to drop and the coals will not

produce
the desired heat. (nae probs with a 3 1/2 hour chicken, butts are a
different animal)

2) Drill a few extra holes in the charcoal pan. (This makes a big

difference
with air flow.)

Cook to 190 - 195F internal and you'll be fine.

Post some pics on abf.

Graeme


I have an old ECB and I'll second those recommendations. As soon as I
bought a $2 pastry cooling rack and bashed it into shape to fit in the
bottom of the fire bowl my ECB became much easier to control. Improving
and controlling airflow is the secret to getting long consistent burns
in your cooker.

Cam

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Old 09-02-2005, 06:53 PM
J.P.
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Cam:

Have you drilled additional holes for ventilation in the charcoal base of
your ECB?

The only mod I've made to my ECB consists of a rack that I "borrowed" from a
weber grill that happens to fit into my ECB's fire bowl/charcoal base. This
provides about 3 inches of clearing from the bottom of the charcoal base and
allows for the ashes to accumulate w/o detrimental affect (usually) to the
fire. However, I still struggle to maintain proper temp and feel that I'm
not getting the type of burn times I should for the amount of lump I use.
This is especially true if there is any wind, which, unfortunately, is
usually the case in my neck of the woods. (What kind of oxymoron is that
anyways...the things has horrible ventialation but is extremely susceptible
to wind?..makes no sense to me!) I had many successful rib runs throughout
last summer but would like to branch out into some longer cooks and want a
smoker that will help me w/ longer burns instead of being such a P.I.T.A.!

Ultimately, the reason I ask is because I've really taken to smoking and
have enough money to buy a WSM. Maybe I should try some of these other mods
(drill ventilation holes, add legs?) before I scrap the ECB. I don't really
care what unit I'm running with as long as it works reasonably well for what
I'm trying to cook and the conditions that I typically have to deal with.

J.P

"Cam" wrote in message
I have an old ECB and I'll second those recommendations. As soon as I
bought a $2 pastry cooling rack and bashed it into shape to fit in the
bottom of the fire bowl my ECB became much easier to control. Improving
and controlling airflow is the secret to getting long consistent burns
in your cooker.

Cam





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Old 10-02-2005, 04:03 PM
Cam
 
Posts: n/a
Default


J.P. wrote:
Cam:

Have you drilled additional holes for ventilation in the charcoal

base of
your ECB?

I didn't need to. I've got the older model that had a 1 1/2 inch hole
in the middle of the fire pan. It drops hot coals onto the driveway
while I cook. I've got a brick that I can slide back and forth under
the hole to choke airflow when needed.

The only mod I've made to my ECB consists of a rack that I "borrowed"

from a
weber grill that happens to fit into my ECB's fire bowl/charcoal

base. This
provides about 3 inches of clearing from the bottom of the charcoal

base and
allows for the ashes to accumulate w/o detrimental affect (usually)

to the
fire. However, I still struggle to maintain proper temp and feel

that I'm
not getting the type of burn times I should for the amount of lump I

use.
This is especially true if there is any wind, which, unfortunately,

is
usually the case in my neck of the woods.


Apart from poorly designed airflow in the firebox the ECB also lacks in
materials and fit. The thin walls and poor fit between sections bleed
heat and smoke in windy conditions.

Ultimately, the reason I ask is because I've really taken to smoking

and
have enough money to buy a WSM. Maybe I should try some of these

other mods
(drill ventilation holes, add legs?) before I scrap the ECB.


I keep my ECB at my parents farm. Twice a year I'll do up some ribs and
a butt or maybe smoke some herring. If it's windy I make a lean-to
shelter for it. The ECB can produce just as good results as any smoker
in the right conditions and with enough fussing.

I bought a WSM last year and love it. It is so much easier to use. The
materials, design, fit and finish are all superior to the ECB. I wish
I'd bought it sooner.

Cam

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Old 11-02-2005, 12:28 AM
Brad Houser
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Cam" wrote in message
oups.com...

Graeme...in London wrote:

Brad, if you are planning cooking a butt, I would strongly recommend

either
one or both of these suggestions.

1) Get yourself a grate to ensure some ash can fall away from the

burning
coals. With an ECB on long cooks using lump, you will get a build-up

of ash
and this will cause the temperature to drop and the coals will not

produce
the desired heat. (nae probs with a 3 1/2 hour chicken, butts are a
different animal)

2) Drill a few extra holes in the charcoal pan. (This makes a big

difference
with air flow.)

Cook to 190 - 195F internal and you'll be fine.

Post some pics on abf.

Graeme


I have an old ECB and I'll second those recommendations. As soon as I
bought a $2 pastry cooling rack and bashed it into shape to fit in the
bottom of the fire bowl my ECB became much easier to control. Improving
and controlling airflow is the secret to getting long consistent burns
in your cooker.

Cam


Those sound like excellent suggestions. I will let you know the results.

Brad


  #13 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 11-02-2005, 06:43 PM
J.P.
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"Cam" wrote in message
I bought a WSM last year and love it. It is so much easier to use. The
materials, design, fit and finish are all superior to the ECB. I wish
I'd bought it sooner.

Cam


Well, that's about all I needed to hear. WSM, here I come!




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