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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 10-22-2009, 10:01 PM   #1
douglas_p76
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ok i am going to be smoking my first boston butt, bone in, on sat. i have a brinkmann smoke n grill unmodded for now. it is kinda hard to control the temp, i need any advice to help make this turn out good. have used this smoker once and it was hard to keep the temp in the "idea" range. but i have bought an actual thermometer to put in it to check the temp. i need advice as far as how much fuel to start with and any other advice. thanks in advance
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Unread 10-22-2009, 10:13 PM   #2
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at least try and get the coals off the bottom. use a grate and some balls of foil or some bolts. also the unit is made to breath by having a loose lid. you can control it by using a rope of rolled foil around the edge. adjust by covering/uncovering this gap.
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Unread 10-22-2009, 10:16 PM   #3
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Are you using coal with wood chunks or all wood?
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Unread 10-22-2009, 10:23 PM   #4
Bob E Que
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If you can get the first mods to access the fire pan done, your life will be easier.
You want to fill 3/4 of the pan with unlit, and 1/4 lit.
Add boiling water to the water pan to start, and have a funnel to add boiling water when needed.
You will need to stir up the coals to make sure the bottom coals are burned as well. I used a wire hanger bent to stir them up. and push fresh ones across from the door.
I'm sure others have better ideas, but these are my $0.02.
Good luck, and post pics.
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Unread 10-22-2009, 10:33 PM   #5
douglas_p76
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i will be using charcoal and wood chunks, i plan on doing the mods but need to try to make what i have work for this weekend. i may try to do the pan mod before i start if i have time, i have the all thread already, i will at minimum find a way to keep the coals off the bottom,how long should i let it marinate with the rub on it? overnite?thanks again for the advice
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Unread 10-22-2009, 11:00 PM   #6
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As an ECB user here are the things I would do first. Drill at least a 1/2" hole in the bottom center of your charcoal pan. Purchase or adapt a grate allowing for a 1 inch or greater air space between the pan and the bottom of the grate. Also take your legs off and put them on the outside of the unit. Use some 3/8" x 8" bolts with double nuts and make legs for your charcoal pan. This will allow you to set the entire smoker around the fire pan. Not so much a problem when starting up but it allows you to lift the entire smoker, meat and all, off the fire pan when it comes time to change out the ash for fresh coals.

I set a my ashed over coals in an old juice can with the top and bottom cut out and then pack my charcoal around the can and drop a few wood chunks on top of the raw charcoal. I save one or two pieces for the hot coals. I then pull the can and place the last couple pieces of smoking wood. I then place and set my water pan, and grates, drop on the meat and then monitor my temperature.

A few words of advice, rub your butt and let it come to room temperature before putting it on the ECB, this will prevent a big temperature drop. Using boiling liquid for your water tray. This also prevents temperature loss and allows you to put the meat on immediately as the steam will allow the temperature to come to within range almost immediately. You will want a long funnel or a watering can to refill the pan as needed. I keep a pot simmering so I can add liquid as needed but usually only need to top off ever 3 hours or so. You probably want to double line your water pan with aluminium foil for easier clean up.

I would check temps every hour or so, you may need to knock down the ash using a pair of tongs. You should get 4-6 hours at temperature depending on outside air temp and wind. If you can set up a wind break, if it is windy you will have more consistent temps and be happier with the finished product. If you are only doing 1 butt count on 1.5 hours per pound. If you are doing more than one, or multiple meats count on 2 hours a pound for the largest piece. If you can get or you have a digital probe it helps alot with monitory meat temperature without having to lift the lid to stick in a probe. This always requires temperature recovering time resulting in longer cook times.

Also you might be able to add 15 coals every hour our so to help keep temps for a longer time period depending on how much ash accumulates below the grate.

I have made several mods to my ECB's and I compete with them so I know you can get a good product if you are patient and diligent. If you have any more questions let me know.
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Unread 10-22-2009, 11:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by douglas_p76 View Post
i will be using charcoal and wood chunks, i plan on doing the mods but need to try to make what i have work for this weekend. i may try to do the pan mod before i start if i have time, i have the all thread already, i will at minimum find a way to keep the coals off the bottom,how long should i let it marinate with the rub on it? overnite?thanks again for the advice
no use in marinating if you are doing it this weekend. you need 4 or more hours a lb to marinate a thick piece of meat like a butt. But you can rub it tonight and let it set until it is time to pull and smoke.
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Unread 10-22-2009, 11:16 PM   #8
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that sounds like a lot of great advice, i will try to get those few mods done before i fire it up. i do have a digital probe thermometer that i will be using, i was thinking of going ahead and drilling multiple holes and make a vent or something so that i can control the intake, should i use the lower grill or the upper grill
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Unread 10-22-2009, 11:22 PM   #9
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Use the upper grate for the meat. U can place the water pan on top of the bottom grate. This will provide better access to the coal pan. Also i forgot to mention to put something underneath the cooker to catch the sweat and prevent catching your deck or grass on fire. If you use do modify and put vent holes in the side of the unit make sure you have a good means of closing them off. A couple of thick sheet magnets will work well. you might also consider drilling a smoke release hole in the lid to help further regulate temp and smoke.
Best of luck and let us know how things turn out.
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Unread 10-22-2009, 11:26 PM   #10
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do u have a post of your mods. or a link, would love some ideas.
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Unread 10-23-2009, 06:30 AM   #11
Bob E Que
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http://www.randyq.addr.com/ecb/ecbmods.html

The site of choice.
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Unread 10-23-2009, 07:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob E Que View Post
That is the one! Let us know how the mods and butt turn out
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Unread 10-23-2009, 09:30 AM   #13
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No experience with a smoke and grill but I can tell ya the low end of the "Ideal" Range is close to 200. an oven thermo works good! GL and post pics.
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Unread 10-23-2009, 08:36 PM   #14
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i had my wife got to kmart to look for cheap marked down grills and she found me a kingsford 14" grill for $10.. i was just gonna use the rack as a way to get my coals off the bottom of the pan but as it worked out i just built the bottom half of the grill and it is a perfect fit with legs and all. it has a bottom damper and an ash clean out tray that slides in the bottom, i also took the damper from the lid and put it on the ecb lid and drilled some holes. it is perfect. i have half a shoulder butt and some chicken on it right now smoking away. i will try to take some pics later,
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Unread 10-23-2009, 09:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by douglas_p76 View Post
i had my wife got to kmart to look for cheap marked down grills and she found me a kingsford 14" grill for $10.. i was just gonna use the rack as a way to get my coals off the bottom of the pan but as it worked out i just built the bottom half of the grill and it is a perfect fit with legs and all. it has a bottom damper and an ash clean out tray that slides in the bottom, i also took the damper from the lid and put it on the ecb lid and drilled some holes. it is perfect. i have half a shoulder butt and some chicken on it right now smoking away. i will try to take some pics later,

Glad you made out like that. You can start a second pan of coals when needed and just lift the cooker off the cooler coals straight to the new hot coals. Nice score.
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