Just bought an ECB (Brinkmann) and it ran way too hot...help.

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by thaddy1978, May 30, 2010.

  1. Brought home and assembled my new ECB and tried it out today--new to smoking and didn't want to break the bank. My neighbor was so excited about the thing, that he gave me a whole chicken today to try out. The end result was some of the best tasting chicken I have ever eaten. Without reading the mods for this grill, I went to the hardware store and picked up a candy thermometer. I drilled a hole and stuck the thing in the top. I figured that was a good place as heat rises. Well, got it all started and on the factory thermo, I was in the good range. But according to my new thermo, I was running way too hot...350+ degrees. I tried to prop the lid up and that helped minimally. Propped the lid and opened the access door on the side and that helped even more, but then there goes my smoke.

    Most of the mods I read refer to things I don't really have issues with. Many complain about not getting hot enough--again, not my issue. How do I better regulate the heat without losing all that smoke? Would drilling a few holes in the top help this? I have committed to doing a brisket tomorrow and was hoping that I would have it all figured out with the chicken I did, but I don't.
  2. 5lakes

    5lakes Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I have the round ECB. It very quickly became my standard, over my horizontal. Maintains temp reliably, etc. Which ECB do you have? With too much heat, my first guess is that there was too much charcoal and/or no water in the water pan. I'd try a test burn with less charcoal and make sure the water pan is full. Not sure about the candy thermometer, either. I've never used one like that. I'd suggest getting a higher quality one, even at Wally World. Mount it at grate level. Also, try the Minion method for the charcoal. With mine, I'll put unlit coal in the pan and use at most a quarter chimney of lit charcoal to get the ball rolling. If you add wood for smoke, if it flares up and is actually burning, that will raise your temp above what you want.

    Hope this helps a bit.

    Oh, if you could stop by Roll Call forum and introduce yourself, it would be greatly appreciated. People here love to welcome our new members and this is the best way to do that.
  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I personally don't have one of those smokers for I'm a gasser. But I did notice that this is your first post so welcome to SMF there Thaddy. Now if you would vcan you stop into Roll Call and introduce yourself properly Please.
  4. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome aboard, thaddy!

    I have a new brinky gourmet myself...second smoke in it today. If you're running too hot, start with less coal as mentioned, and if that doesn't slow down the burn rate, you can add a simple intake vent baffle to adjust the combustion air. Also, be sure the cylinder/barrel is fitted correctly with the base, and the lid fitted correctly as well.

    Mine is the opposite...trouble getting hot enough, and keeping coals burning. I have a coal pan mod and I'm still working out getting enough air to the coal-bed, but without the pan mod, it could get a pretty hot fire going, but will probably snuff itself out due to ash build-up, I think. It's a huge factory coal pan, but there's no good provisions for ash fall-out.

    The fire control should always be done with the intake air, and the exhaust should be relative free and un-obstructed. The factory build does not have a tight fitting lid, and that is what is needed for this smoker, unless a top vent is used. Then, the lid could be modded to fit tighter.

    Using a better thermometer would be another thought from me, too. The position of the thermometer probe is important, as in this case, the hottest are will be the very top of the column, as there is no vent up there...it's below, at the upper grate level, which will be a bit cooler. I'm using a digital thermo on the upper grate for mine, which is hotter than my lower water pan grate.

    Hope this helps.

  5. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Too many coals at one time, as mentioned above.  It takes a while to get out of the mindset of grilling at high temps when learning these smoking rigs.  Start small, with the minion method, and have a chimney of coals on standby to boost the heat if temps aren't high enough until you learn your smoker's characteristics.  For a quick heat bump while the second load of coals are getting hot, throw one or two wood chunks on; they will catch fire quickly and boost temps fast -- also mentioned above.  If things get too hot, slow the coals down with a few spritzes of water from a squirt bottle.  Just go easy so you don't kick ash up onto your food.  Remember -- make small adjustments and then wait 10 minutes to see how the smoker reacts.
  6. Thaddy, not sure what mods (if any) you have made to the ECB but I would suggest you look at the mods made by the guy here:


    I have tried most of them or some variant and am able to maintain low temps for a long time. I used the felt tape used on the BGE to seal the top and found it better than the fiberglass tape.

    I light about 14/16 brickettes and load one half of my pan with brickettes two deep and place the wood chunks on top of those. When the lit brickettes are ready, I lay them against (rather than on top) of the unlit ones. I keep the top damper open and adjust the temp with the bottom ones. During the cook, I usually have one of the bottom dampers closed and the other one about 1/4 open at most.

    Welcome to the forum. You will find a lot of helpful info here.
  7. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Boy, good luck with a brisket in a ECB. You'll be adding charcoal for sometime on that one depending on its size.
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  8. stewntexas

    stewntexas Newbie

    It would appear than most people posting to this thread are not picking up on the ECB thing.  As it is electric, I would not pay much attention to their comments regarding charcoal.

    I have the same trouble with my ECB (El Cheapo Brinkman).  I am looking for some way to cut the temps. down too.  Someone must have solved this problem with a rheostat device, or something similar.

    If anyone knows of such a device, please let us know.

    EDIT - Wow, I got off one topic thread.  I thought I was on the Electric, and I was really on the WOOD smoking section.  My bad, very bad.   Sorry to all.  Will try to pay more attention.
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  9. 5lakes

    5lakes Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I guess I'm not seeing the "electric" part. I've read all the posts again and not seeing it. According to Brinkmann's web site, the Green Gourmet is charcoal. They have black and red electrics and black and green charcoal smokers.

    Thaddy, I apologize if I got it wrong.[​IMG]
  10. douge

    douge Smoke Blower

    I believe that the OP is talking about a brinkmann charcoal smoker since they mention that it has a stock thermometer ............ the ECB electric smokers don't have a thermometer.
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  11. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I rarely have heard of anyone having issues with too MUCH heat on an Electric ECB, usually it is quite the opposite. Unless you have it setting out in directly sunlight, most were only good for 250º.
  12. cricky101

    cricky101 Smoke Blower

    I've got the Brinkmann Gourmet ECB (the green one) and had trouble with too much heat and no way to control it. At first, I used less charcoal and that seemed to help out for shorter cooks for ribs and ABTs.

    Last week I made a sliding vent cover to go over the one hole in the bottom of the unit which helps a lot with air flow regulation. I keep it wide open as the smoker gets going, and then gradually slide it closed until I get the temperature down to where I want it. Typically I close it a little and wait 15 or 20 minutes to let it even out and then adjust again as necessary.

    For the cover I just screwed on a piece of sheet metal on each side of the hole and slid another in between them that sticks out from the edge of the smoker. It lets me slide it open or closed as needed to adjust the airflow and the temperature. I marked the "handle" that sticks out from the edge so I know how much of the air hole is covered without being able to see it under the smoker.

    That, along with using a small rack to raise the charcoal off the bottom of the pan to allow ash to drop down, I smoked for 7 hours at about 235 with very little monitoring this weekend before having to replenish the charcoal.

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