PID Controller

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by ron w, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. ron w

    ron w Newbie

    Let me begin with a confession: I am not a purist.  I want results rather than process.

    To that end, I own a SmokinTex 1400.  In the beginning, my results were not spectacular.  I was using the built-in analog thermostat and the SmokinTex guesstimates of time required.  It proved to have wide fluctuation of smoker temperature, as much as 40 or 50 degrees around the thermostat setting.    I noted that our counter-top sous vide water cooker maintained temperatures within 2 degrees of the digital setting.  I was perplexed by this difference.  I assumed that the SmokinTex used a standard bi-metal analog thermostat.  I did not bother to confirm that because it was not producing the consistency that I wanted.  So, I set about learning why the sous vide could be so accurate.  The short answer is a PID (proportional-integral-derivative) controller.  Next step: could a PID controller be adapted to the SmokinTex?  The short answer is yes.  In fact, Auber Instruments makes one that is specifically compatible with the SmokinTex, Auber's model WSD-1500GPH.  This controller has two probes, one for the smoker temperature, and one for the internal temperature of the meat. Here is the link  Auber says that this model will control SmokinTex, Smokin-it, and Masterbuilt.  I dont see why it would not also control other electrics.  At $218, it is a little pricey, but worth it to me.  YMMV.  Auber has other controllers for electric and charcoal smokers.  My only connection with Auber is that I send them money, they send me a controller.

    With this setup, very little ability, and recipes from this site, I have gotten excellent results most of the time.  The few exceptions are all traceable to my not following the recipe!
  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I almost bought that controller but it didn't quite meet my needs (too low of an Amp rating). I decided to build my own instead. It is 75% assembled and sitting on my work bench collecting dust...... Maybe I will get it done soon (but probably not)
  3. drewed

    drewed Meat Mopper

    I use an Auber for my charcoal smoker.  I wouldn't give it up for anything.
  4. I have had that one on my SI-3 for a couple of years now with no problems. Went through a period last year where I used it almost daily. What was handy for me was the ramp feature, I used that all the time. I built a jumper to go around the analog controller so the Auber would have total control of the element.

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