Temp controllers for WSM

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by remsr, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. Anyone out there have any experience with the IQ 120 or 110 temp controller by Pitmasster? I am about to buy one but I would like to know if it's worth the money. I see 3 of them ranging in price from $139 to $279 for the newes addition.
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I really don't feel the need for one on my 18 or the mini's. They are all pretty much set and forget. Not to mention I like to smoke in places where power isn't available.
  3. Yes My 221/2" holds consistent temp for hours once regulated. As long as the out side temp is in the mid 70's and 80's and there is no wind. Even in perfect conditions the temp can drop when ash doesn't drop to the bottom which requires a kick to one of the feet. My interest in a temp controller is for those long brisket and pork butt smokes where I would like to go to bed and feel confident that temp will be maintained and warned by remote should something go wrong. I like options which is why I also have a MSE 40" and a cold smoker attachments that I can set and forget. If it produced a smoke ring and charcoal flavor I wouldn't need the WSM. Here is a question about the WSM a 28 time grand champion who compeats using the WSM says don't fill the water pan. Jeff says if you have a water pan use it I smoked for years using the water pan now my pans are full of sand. I have turned out good food either way. What are your thoughts.
  4. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Remsr

    I bought an IQ-110 several years ago and brought it back with me to the UK. It has given me great service for extended cooks (like pork and brisket) and have used it at a couple of SMF-UK group meets too. It has served me well in both a WSM 22.5" and a Weber Kettle 22.5". It is simply fit and forget. I usually use it in conjunction with a Maverick ET-732 so that I can see what is going on inside the smoker, and once the unit has got up to temperature it will keep it there for as long as there is sufficient fuel available. The good thing about it is that it adapts automatically to changes in outside temperatures and so you do not need to monitor the smoker and keep adjusting.

    My first attempt at using it was a disaster though - but then I admitted defeat and actually read the instructions that came with it. Once I had done that it worked like a dream. As with all of these types of temperature controllers it is important to use them to get the pit up to temperature slowly. They do a great job of adding heat as required but once a smoker has overshot the required temperature they cannot easily bring it back down. They work by adding just enough heat to balance the heat loss through the walls of the smoker. It is an obvious statement I know but providing you remember that and do not rush bringing the unit up to temperature so that it overshoots you will be fine.

    I cannot find any photos of it being used on the WSM (and unfortunately I no longer have access to one) but here it is in use on the kettle.

    This temperature log was taken while using the IQ-110 on a very changeable day in November 2014. The black line was with the IQ and the orange line was without. As you can see over the 6-7 hours that smoker was going (on the single snake of Heat Beads briquettes) the temperature stayed constant without any adjustments being made manually to any of the vents. The temperature only tailed off at the end because it was running out of fuel - but I had finished cooking the ribs by then.

    I have not used the IQ-120 so I cannot give you any feedback on that but I understand that John has made some useful software enhancements and it has an LED temperature display.

    I hope that helps

    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  5. Great help thank you sir. The IQ120 digital read out is nice which also includes a meat prob then there is the newest I Q 130 with wi fi which could be nice. Decisions, decisions.
  6. [​IMG]   Good afternoon and welcome to the forum, from a chilly and dreary day in East Texas, and the best site on the web. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.

  7. Gary, you say that like I'm new, maybe I posted a new thread in the wrong place. I have actually been a member for a 2 years.

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