Trolling through the forums today, I noticed a comment from someone about 'stopping by' roll call with and introduction, etc. Well, I'm not one to buck protocol and even though I've been 'registered' since late November, I never did the electronic equivalent of 'grin and grip'. So...... I live in Denton, TX and have for the past 6 years. I've always enjoyed 'grillin' but never made the jump to 'smokin' until now. Seemed that every time my bride and I had a hankerin for ribs, brisket, or sausage we were never by a place that served them. So, about a month ago, I made the plunge and bought an ECB at our local Home Depot. The first try was interesting - I did ribs with a store bought rub. I had a terrible time with temperature spikes and the smoker leaked everywhere. The urge to peek was enormous but I didn't and probably should have. The finished product was just barely edible - way over cooked. So, I found this forum and set out to learn how to do a better job. First on the list of to do's - get the ECB more efficient. I figured the temperature spikes were due to problems with air flow so, I added two weber kettle dampers to the base of the ECB. I marked the tabs so I could tell open from closed without having to tip it on it's side. I also plugged the hole in the center of the bottom using a small piece of sheet metal and some high temp gasket glue. Next, a 13 inch weber charcoal grate supported by 4 S hooks got the charcoal off the base of the charcoal pan which makes air circulation more efficient and easier to regulate with the dampers. The thermometer that came with the ECB wasn't very accurate but a $6 Char Broil from Home Depot made a great alternative. Finally, I added another weber kettle damper to the lid an a fiberglass rope gasket to the top to seal the leaks. The mods worked great. Since then, I've done another batch of ribs and a pork shoulder. Up next - a couple of fatties for Christmas morning.