Modified ECB - Temp problems

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by petewoody, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. I have modified an ECB Gourmet - 2 dampers/one vent/raised grate/sealed lid with BGE felt/new thermometer. I add boiling water to pan/light 16 briquettes and add one layer of briquettes to grate and pour lighted briquettes onto that layer. When temp gets to 200 I close both bottom dampers and keep vent on lid open.
    Temp gradually rises to 300 + and only way to reduce it is to lift lid (but it rises quickly once lid is replaced).
    What should I try next? Less charcoal ? Any and all help appreciated. Thanks. Peter
  2. If you're closing the intake dampers, the coals should extinguish. Sounds like you have a nasty leak. 2 things..... Keep the access door shut tight. Opening that briefly causes temps to fall, but also gives the coals unlimited access to Oxygen, making them run hotter still.

    Also, the cylinder has to sit inside the lip on the coal pan. It's very easy to set the cylinder ON the lip instead of inside the lip. If that happens, the coals run super hot since air is leaking in there.

    Gourmets have a mind of their own. If the above things can be dismissed, then experiment with keeping unlit coals on one side, and overlap some of the lit coals on the other side. It will cause less coals to fire off at one time.

    This is more lit coal than I normally use. I was trying to run hot this day to do chicken.
  3. I always stacked my unlit charcoal pyramid style, then added 4 to 6 lite coals to one side. This will slowly spread and raise your temps. Usually a half a pan is all you need. After I did a few of the mods, 1/4 pan was enough.
  4. Steve, thanks for the prompt response. I also thought I had a major leak somewhere but the door fits tightly (after some less than gentle persuasion), the drum sits nicely on the bottom section and the lid is sealed tightly (using BGE felt gasket material). It is staying at a constant 290 at the moment. I did read somewhere that new ECBs often stay high until the inside darkens.
    I will amend how I place the charcoal so that it catches and burns incrementally.
  5. AHA! that is prolly why my temps were getting too high...i did the minion method but dumped all the unlit evenly on top of lit, temps where too high for ribs, they came out ok, but really burnt on the outside and overdone on the ends...i was going to add a flap on the bottom vent, but maybe i'll just play with charcoal placement for a while...
    Thanks bigsteve!
  6. After the ECB cooled down I noticed that the charcoal pan did not sit evenly on the base. There were two high spots on the top rim around the base and this probably allowed air to leak in. I ground it down today and now have a nice tight fit. I may also make a temporary gasket out of aluminum foil (belt and braces?).

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