SMOKIN-IT SMOKER

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by mitsuruss, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. divotmaker

    divotmaker Smoke Blower

    I have the "downsized" version of your setup - a model 1 and 2!  Not "anal" at all!  Load 'em to the hilt, brother!
     
  2. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The offset in the background looks similar to mine except for the placement of the lower drum.  Mine is on the left.  Semi retired at this point!
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
  3. big fish

    big fish Smoke Blower

    Sarge, shipping was delayed, the Owner was moving and the unit came late and the cart was bent when it arrived - the packaging was fine, yet the cart was damaged. I bent it back into place - wasn't easy, I was in a motorcycle accident, so my arms and wrists are toast. I think I just got a lemon, 2x. The unit temp was all over the place - but just stayed under 185. I got 2 or 3 good smokes out of it. It was definitely the controller. I did a long smoke (butt) and the thing would not go over 185, it did once, but that was it. I had to finish it in the oven. The new controller and element was sent out within a week. The new controller had black residue on it, so I just put it in, but didn't bother hooking it up and testing it. I have been in the low voltage business for over 20 years and know fried electronics. I just bypassed it with the PID controller. Then, the instructions to autotune the PID were off and worded where I saw many people questioning it on the forums (hours of searching for answers) and were also frustrated. I got booted off the forum because I spoke my mind and didn't hold back and the Admin took offense to it - not knowing that Admin wrote it - right after he bad mouthed me. I might have been a bit more tactful, had I'd known that he wrote it. So much for constructive criticism. On top of all this, I was supposed to do a smoke today with it. It's the 3rd time I had to pull out of it and explain to my family and friends why I was grilling ribs on the BBQ. The whole ordeal just has me frustrated.

    Anyway, on the hunt for a new electric smoker. Hope ya had a great 4th!
     
  4. Maybe someone should make a simple instructional video on using the Auder PID.
    It's really not at all difficult. :smile:
    I have two Smokin-It smokers and four PID controllers and they've all worked great for me..



    ~Martin
     
  5. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yes Ernie, I have had a nice and quiet 4th.  I am glad you mentioned that you could have been a tad more tactful. And I am sorry you have had a bad experience when most have had a good experience.  I gave my brother a model 3 a couple of years back and unmodified he is very pleased with the results.  Yes, the temp swings are present:  shoots over the set temp, them shuts down till it is below the set temp. And the food is good.  It is done when it is done.  And it can be frustrating. I own a CS. And it is digital. No two racks of ribs are identical and their tenderness can vary even when cooked/smoked simultaneously. It is something I live with. Smoked butts?  Same thing. The difference is not that great, but I too expected perfection.  But the units are made by man, and that means nothing will be perfect. Pretty close, but not perfect. 

    My suggestion is to look over the unit you have, and go back to the instructions and have some patience and give it another shot. There is a learning curve. Look at all the posts on MasterBuilt. Nothing but problems with the newer units yet people still swear by and sometimes at them, and continue to produce good food. Just have to work around the quirks.

    Here and on other sites I am a member of I read all the time of folks looking for the elusive thin blue smoke.  They drill extra holes in order to use a device called the AMNPS (or is it ANMPS).  Anyway, they mod their unit and get the smoke they want. They have drilled the SI and ST units in order to accomplish this as increased air flow is required. And for them it works.  It is a good accessory.  So you are not alone in trying to tweak a great smoker into a unit that performs to their/your expectations. 

    You said here and at the SI site that you got good ribs. That is good news.  Butts as you know are cooked to an internal temp.  That takes time.  Lots of it. My CS can take 14 to 16 hours for a good size pork shoulder. The SI, un-modified can take the same amount of time. And do it at a lower cost. 

    I wish you well in the future. And good luck in your quest for the perfect smoker.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
  6. big fish

    big fish Smoke Blower

    "Perfect smoker?" Lol, no such animal...just one that works.  ;-)
     
  7. divotmaker

    divotmaker Smoke Blower

    And, like the rest of us, you apparently did it without a video![​IMG]   Folks can also download the manual, from Auber, and figure it out on their own...it's really not that hard; just takes a little effort to learn.
     
  8. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I don't know what to say Ernie.  You did say you got good ribs, got 2 - 3 good smokes.  Then replaced the controller and added the Auber unit, which by all accounts takes the analog smoker to new heights of preciseness.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
  9. big fish

    big fish Smoke Blower

    There are only 3 things that could actually be wrong with this smoker. It's pretty simple really. There is the controller, the heating element, and the wiring. If it doesn't work, it is one of the 3. The wiring is fine, I opened it and checked it first. The heating element I would suspect would be difficult to test, but it gets hot on command from the controller (which I think is a variable resistance) - meaning that it is more intense as you turn the knob up (increase the temp.) The controller was definitely the culprit. Might have been a bad batch - because the second one (replacement) looked fried. It happens - and it has, as I am in the low voltage business.
     
  10. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Ernie,

    I would ask for another controller.  They are inexpensive. Here is another option for you.  At your own expense though, you may want to contact the company at the link I have provided and discuss what you have (SI3 and it's specs) and see what they recommend.  If the controller in the SI units are, as I suspect, of the capillary type, the line leading to the control may be dented a tad thus preventing the contained fluid from working the unit as designed.  They are a US based company.  It is worth a shot considering the time and money you have invested.

    If it were me, I would not give up just as a matter of pride.  I am very stiff necked that way. But it is not my money nor my frustration. 

     http://www.tempco.com/Catalog/Section 13-pdf/Bulb_Capillary_Thermostats.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
  11. big fish

    big fish Smoke Blower

    "the line leading to the control may be dented a tad" What line Sarge? I saw a line (I guess maybe 16 gauge white) had a little chink (bulge) in it, but didn't think anything of it. It's the thinner one that goes up to the controller with the crimp cap connector on it. I took pictures when I had it opened and will upload tomorrow.
     
  12. The capillary line from the bulb (temperature sensor) inside the smoker chamber to the controller.


    Apparently it's not easy for everyone....a video would, hopefully, eliminate a lot of unnecessary drama! :smile:


    ~Martin
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
  13. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Ernie,

    IF the temp sensor in the box of the smoker is of the capillary type, the switch in the controller depends upon fluid, thus the capillary.  If the fluid is restricted, it will not work to control temp properly.  I suspect that the controller is of the capillary type which is why I sent the link.  You can also call Steve or email him and ask for another temp sensor, under warranty and see if that solves the problem. Just be careful when handling the line from the temp sensor. If it is not capillary, then it could still be bad. 
     
  14. big fish

    big fish Smoke Blower

    From what I can tell, Sarge, it looks like a simple rheostat and not a thermostat. But since it has a temp probe, it just might be a thermostat. Anyone?
     
  15. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    As I said, I do not know for sure, I am only suspecting what it is.  But you might very well be correct.  Variable resistance to the element, but something has to signal when to power up and down based upon temperature readings inside the smoker.  Send Steve an nice email on Monday and work with him on this. I am sure the solution is simple.

    Someone on this forum may have the solution as well.
     
  16. big fish

    big fish Smoke Blower

    After doing research, you are correct, Sarge. It is a capillary type thermostat. I just can't find the exact part number.
     
  17. jond36

    jond36 Meat Mopper


    Happy 4th all!!

    Model 1. 15 pounds of butts. And no problems at all with SI.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
  18. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Get with Steve next week and see if he has a replacement probe/sensor. Otherwise, give Tempco a call next week.  They may be able to help. It might be pricey, you may need to purchase the entire unit from probe to controller. I don't know what they charge. Make sure you have cabinet penetration opening measurements if you go this route. But I would still get with Steve first and try to work this out amicably. With your unit being used and somewhat modified, I don't believe it is returnable.  So it is really down to working with what you have and replacing what components need replacing under warranty.  But I think you have the unit connected up and the AT takes time to settle in, maybe a couple of hours or so.  So give it another shot. Tempco should be a last resort.

    If it comes down to TEMPCO, and they can help, it will still be far less investment than going the CS route.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
  19. Sarge- you are a kind, patient, considerate man.  I always enjoy reading and learning from, your posts!  I am getting ready to step up to the "set it and forget it" world of electric smokers.  And as I have previously mentioned to you- my unit of choice is Smokin It.  I was sad over the cost of the shipping a fully decked out unit- 2 or 3; only to find out that the Smokin It factory is an hour and a half from my door step!  Now I am really excited! And just this past week I sold my old (1 ton iron side) Brinkmann Smoke King wood burner for $100.  It's time to take a drive to Montgomery, MI!
     
    marauder likes this.
  20. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Welcome Pastor!  It has been quite a while.  Yes, Steve moved his operation from Ohio.  Yes, the shipping is a killer.  But it is FedEx, quick, and secure rather than inexpensive freight and a couple of weeks out.  Give Steve a yell and I am sure he will great you and go over everything on the spot.  Then just pack it up and enjoy.  

    Dave
     

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