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Brinkmann Gourmet Smoker Reviewed - Not a standard ECB!
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scas
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Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 142
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Wed May 21 08 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These mods look great. I just got my ECB Gourmet yesterday and am planning on BBQing some chicken this weekend. I already bought the thermometer and am also planning on adding the weber grate to the charcoal pan as described on this website I found http://brinkmansmokermods.com/default.aspx

I am also planning on adding a vent to the lid.

How important do you think adding the "jar lid" to the bottom vent and sealing off the lid (with rope) is? I guess for my first cook, I will add the thermo, charcoal grate, and lid vent, and see how I do.

Looking forward to really getting into BBQing.
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newkev



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu May 22 08 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How important do you think adding the "jar lid" to the bottom vent and sealing off the lid (with rope) is? I guess for my first cook, I will add the thermo, charcoal grate, and lid vent, and see how I do.


I think that you'll notice a big difference if you add a way to control the amount of air coming in through that bottom hole. I used a piece of aluminum so that I can open and close the bottom hole, and I drilled some holes in the side that I can open or close since the bottom hole is a pain to get to.

I never made any modifications to the lid, but I wish I did. Also check around the door, mine is slightly bent and leaks around it. Whatever you can do to give you control of the air flow in this smoker will make your life easier. I found that once I added the extra grate in the charcoal pan temperatures would raise really quickly until I added a way to restrict the amount of air coming in.
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scas
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Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 142
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Thu May 22 08 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any idea where I can get the circular dampers to add to the lid? Can't find them anywhere.
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John Furdyn
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Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Thu May 22 08 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

newkev

Care to share any pics of your mods ? Maybe some of us can get some good ideas. John
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scas
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Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 142
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Thu May 22 08 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I installed my new thermo last night and will most likely finish my mods tonite. I'll definitely post some pics as soon as I am finished. I got some sheet metal at HD to fab a damper for the cover. I'm sure it won't be pretty but should work fine.
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newkev



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri May 23 08 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Furdyn wrote:
newkev

Care to share any pics of your mods ? Maybe some of us can get some good ideas. John


Here are some of the mods I did to the base to help control air flow. All of the metal is aluminum flashing picked up from home depot. Pardon my rust, this past winter seems to have taken its toll on my smoker...

Here you can see some holes of various sizes that I drilled in the side of the base with a piece of aluminum that slides to cover/uncover the holes.



Here is it with the intake holes covered



And the bottom, with another piece of aluminum that pivots to cover/uncover the vent on the bottom.




It may not be pretty, but it works well for me. I start with everything closed and the temperature stays reasonable for several hours. I start opening the vents as the temperature starts dropping. I orient the charcoal pan so that one of the holes in the charcoal pan lines up with the holes in the base.

I haven't made any modifications to the lid, but I usually end up doing something (usually with aluminum foil) to help seal some of the air leaks around the door and to help control the amount of smoke venting around the lid.
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scas
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Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 142
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Fri May 23 08 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the pics. The biggest drill bit I have is 3/8" so I'll be making several holes in the base. I guess I am concerned with the gaps in the lid but I guess I can seal them off with foil.

Do you feel that the holes in the side of the base are a must have? I think I would rather add a bunch of holes under the base and add one larger damper if it would function the same. Although I am happy with the way my lid damper came out, my metal working skills are quite limited. I figure if it's on the bottom and functional - I won't care about how ugly it looks. Call me shallow Laughing
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John Furdyn
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Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Fri May 23 08 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

newkev

nice mods, mine won't win any competition for the mods, for looks but it cooks some good BBQ.

curiours you say you start with the vents closed, then open as temp starts to go down. Do you start with a full lit chimney. Please explain.

I use the minon method with an empty foiled water pan, with all my vents open at first. when temp hit 190-200 then I close bottom to about 25% open, an then tweek vents (both top&bottm) as necessary.

john
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newkev



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri May 23 08 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scas,

Quote:
Do you feel that the holes in the side of the base are a must have? I think I would rather add a bunch of holes under the base and add one larger damper if it would function the same.


No, they don't have to be in the side. I just didn't think the bottom was very easy to get at. I usually leave the bottom sealed off until late into the cook.


John,

Quote:
curiours you say you start with the vents closed, then open as temp starts to go down. Do you start with a full lit chimney. Please explain.


I usually start with about 1/2-3/4 of a chimney using the minion method, use a full water pan with the vents closed. I use some foil around the door to limit any air leaks there, and some foil around part of the lid in the beginning of the cook to help control air flow. By the time the water heats up and the temperature levels off, I'm usually in the 200-250 range and I can adjust the vents if I need some more heat (your mileage will vary).

I've really found that my smoker will burn out of control and heat up very quickly if I let it. I'm just paranoid about it getting too hot since its hard to cool it down once the fire gets out of control. This way at least I can prevent the temperature from spiking up after I add the chimney and keep it at a constant temperature for a few hours.
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John Furdyn
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PostPosted: Sat May 24 08 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

newkev

I agree it's much easier to control the temp on the way up, than try to bring it down once it's too hot. John
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scas
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Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 142
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Tue May 27 08 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finished my mods and had my first smoke this weekend. Details here:

http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=163074#163074
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Lars_BBQ



Joined: 23 Sep 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25 08 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to thank everybody here for giving me the push to go out and buy my Brinkman Gourmet. I did my first smoke on Sunday and it turned out great! I didn't make any mods to the smoker, but did stuff some foil around the lid. Using the minion method I was able to smoke a pork butt for ~9hours and added a chicken that smoked for 6 hours. Both turned out great! When I have some more time I'll post some pix.

Thanks again!

Lars_BBQ
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wasilvers
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Joined: 04 Jun 2007
Posts: 32
Location: Sussex - WI

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03 09 1:27 pm    Post subject: TIme for another season Reply with quote

You know, those mods on the side of the 'firebox' make a lot of sense. I have been putting mine on my a 2 x 4 sheet of plywood with a hole in the middle - over two sawhorses. It works great as a platform and utensil/foil/plate/whatever holder and I could reach up and adjust the lowerer vent. It puts everything at a good working height too.

Just can't let the charcoal fall out on the wood - lesson learned there. A few more mods may be on the agenda this summer Smile

Now it's time to break the little smoker out for another season! Ribs Sunday at my place!

Will
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El Ropo
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Joined: 24 Sep 2010
Posts: 331
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07 10 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sir Ashine wrote:
Your mods look and Sound great.
I've Wanting to Buy one of these and I'll have try out some of your mods

Just one question Im not worried about using the bottom vent for air control and I don't own nor have a drill so do U think there is a way I can cover it in a different way. Only thing I can think of is some kind of glue and jar cover but I don't think It will stand up to good with the hot charocoals over it Laughing


I did this to mine. Works great, and the sheet of aluminum flashing was $.50 or so.



I marked lines on the bottom of ash pan for 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, open, and another for full open. I simply slide it over against the leg, and I know it's shut down all the way. Oh, and I used leftover hardware from the ECB packaging.
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