Should I add another burner to my ECB

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by iruptacopula, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. iruptacopula

    iruptacopula Newbie

    I am in the process of converting my ECB charcoal to electric. I bought a 1000 watt burner from walgreens for $10. I remove the element, bought some Hi temp wire and wired the base of the hot plate on the outside to control the thermostat. I just fired it up in the basement to see how hot I could get it. I was only able to get to 210 degrees. Also there was no water in the pan. I would like to be able to hit 300 degrees. Should I add some lava rocks or just put in another burner. There is plenty of room for two burners. What do you guys think.
  2. mr mac

    mr mac Smoking Fanatic

    First, welcome to the forum! Second, you can get the Brinkmann 1500 watt element for right around $35 at many home centers and some outdoor sporting goods store and that would pretty much solve the low heat issue but won't get you to the 300 degree mark. You should be able to hit a steady 240 plus or minus a couple.

    Adding lava rocks or some other media (like fire bricks) in the units base can help maintain the heat at a more constant rate and allow your wood a place to rest near the element (versus on the element). Adding sand to the water bowl also helps to maintain a constant temp and improves recovery time but won't actually add heat.

    If you truly want to gain a lot of heat in your ECB, there is a thread here where an ingenious fellow took the side burner from a derelict grill and added that to the bottom of a charcoal smoker. That might get you to your target temps.

    Hope that helps and let us know what you decide to do!

  3. iruptacopula

    iruptacopula Newbie

    thanks for the reply. I am trying to avoid having to buy the burner from brinkman. I enjoy tinkering with things and trying to rig things myself. I think I will try adding another burner first. So i guess I looking for reason why I shouldn't try adding another burning. All thoughts and comments welcomed.
  4. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    Well sounds like a good plan to me. I have fiddled with them one eyed hotplates all my life. I would make a clairvoyant prediction that if you can get two of them in there would boost heat production by about 1/3. Works thataway on the upright of my big pit anyway..and that do not count rerigging up the guts. I am saying just sit in there and turn em on high. I aint smart enough to route the thermostat out of the heat duh..I think a buddy of mine sprung for some type of 400 buck temp control gizmo when we was trying to turn an old chest freezer into a giant sausage smoking moochine. He still working on it. I best tell him about this deal and to take the 400 buck device back to wherever he swiped it and get a refund. The hotplate hot the big freezer up into the lowish to mid 200 range fairly quick. Course the freezer is heavily insulated where the ECB aint of course. Hey I got a plan. Why dont you use one hot plate but insulate the ECB. Yeah thats the ticket.

  5. iruptacopula

    iruptacopula Newbie

    Well I added another burner and was able to get the temp of the smoker up to 300 degrees within about 10 minutes (empty with no water). Smoked my first Boston Butt on Sunday. Once I got the smoker up to 230 I set the controls. I put the burner with the wood on high and the other one on low. It stayed between 225 and 240 for about 4 hours with out me touching it. As the meat got hotter I had to trun the burners down some. Everything turn out great though. I highly recommend the two burners compared to buying the one from Brinkman. For one it is cheaper and you can control the heat.
  6. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    Well thanks for sharing the test data. The lack of controlability is the one thing which is really frustrating on the Elec Gourmet. Great plan on keeping one high to burn the wood and the other low to control the heat.


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