First Smoke after Mods

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by billbo, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    As some of you have seen in the thread below, I recently did some mods to my ECB. I fired it up today for the first time!

    My son's birthday is Wednesday and his favorite meal is ribs and chicken, so I fugured I'd smoke some up for the boy. He is five now after all!

    Getting ready

    Fired it up! I used apple wood I got from a local orchard.

    Then Victor's finest showed up! Luckily it was not for my ribs & chicken! I had filled a 20lb grill tank Saturday and had it in the garage. Luckily I was replacing the weather stripping on the garage door and smelled gas. Turns out the OPD valve was leaking. I really didn't know what to do so I dialed up 911. They told me to just keep it outside and let it leak till its empty. If the garage door had been down and the freezer kicked on........... I don't even want to think about it. We were lucky!

    Final stages

    The judges agree again, gold medal! A nice smoke ring too, I missed that when I was using electric.

    All in all it was a good smoke. If you notice in the picture I took of the smoker I had the lid ajar a bit. I had to do this to keep the temps from going too high. The one mod I did not do was the vents in the lid. Am I correct in assuming that adding the lid vents would have allowed me to keep the lid in tight? I think I may have used a bit too much lit charcoal to start out too. I am curious about your thoughts on the lid vents. Thanks for looking!
  2. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    billbo - great smoke! the smiles on their faces say it all!

    now that i think about it, the holes in my lid probably do help with keeping temperatures regulated. i can't say this for sure, but they do promote uniformity in the airflow, and that's what it's all about! - just my two cents, but i am still a noob.
  3. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    Glad those mods worked out. Food looked great. Points for all the Q-view.

    About the vent. I doubt it could hurt, and it's easy to do. And of course it should be an easy way to purge heat. I did not vent my dome. While smoking I never needed it. But I was using it as a grill too. With the dome on, it seals pretty good (as a grill) and my coals would start to suffocate. But I got a Weber for grilling last week, so I'm going to hold off on putting a dome vent in.

    Just keep in mind, on all other top vented smokers, you should run with the vent full open all the time, because those smokers seal tight. Brinkman made the lid loose to vent smoke that way. It you open the vent and leave it open, you may not be able to get enough heat. But you'll learn when to open and close it real quick.

    However, there is one trick you should know..... Open the side door a little and your temperature will fall off. That's what I do.

    How high did the temp get, and how much lit coal did you start with?
  4. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    BTW, I just noticed you used lump. I haven't tried it yet, but everyone says it burns hotter, just an FYI....

    One of these days I'll buy some.
  5. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey billbo, glad everything worked out OK! The smoke looks great, and the smiley faces are telling me that it was a tasty feast!

    Nice smoke! Keep the thin blue close to yer heart, it fit's well!

  6. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I did have to use the door a little while too. I was doing ribs so tried to keep it at 225 or so. With everything closed it was going up to 235 and would have kept going if I hadn't adjusted my lid & door. I started out with about 3/4 of a chimney and some unlit on either side in the pan. I think next time I'll use less lit charcoal.
  7. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    bill - from my experiences last year, 235 and even 250 is a great temperature for ribs. i know the popular temp is 225, but it seems that they take on an extra depth of flavor when they're done at a little higher temps. i tried them at 225 and wasn't quite satisfied, then read about a fellow who does them at 250, saying that have a real good flavor - i tried it and became a believer.
  8. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice looking smoke and you have a pair of the nicest looking kids! Got two of my own (one of each) and my heart goes out to you and those pics- that is just great. Get your kids eating right, and smoking right early on and they will be okay! [​IMG]
  9. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I find that @ 225 ribs take roughly 4 hours. How long you cooking them for at these higher temps?
  10. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i was cooking them for a bit longer last year - from a little over four hours, biut i think MOST of that time was me learning temperature control. depending on the ribs and the day and the alignment of the planets, it could be anywhere from 3-5 hours.
  11. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    I don't know how big your chimney is. My brinkman is a different model than yours, so keep that in mind. I use 32 lit blue bag kingsford. I dump them in the pan, then add about 70ish more unlits next to them. I set up unlits across the edge of the lits. I get 240* on the dome for 3 hrs solid that way. I still haven't ordered an ET-73, so I really don't know what the grate is at.
  12. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    Here I forgot you use lump. I was talking about briquettes. Apples and Oranges. Sorry, I'm pretty tired tonight.

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