Where's the best deal on a PID controller?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by prudentsmoker, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. prudentsmoker

    prudentsmoker Fire Starter

    I don't mind doing the assembly, just want the best price.
  2. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  3. prudentsmoker

    prudentsmoker Fire Starter

    I have a Number 2 Smokin-it. Their controller is expensive and actually more than I need in that I already have a remote temp probe. I am just thinking it might be nice to control the temp more accurately.
  4. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Well  prudentsmoker, the Auber is expensive relatively speaking. The SI site has a couple of  forum sections devoted to digital control. Many use the Auber in one piece of meat, and a remote in another when cooking to an internal temp.  You might also try the Auberins site itself and see if the price is lower, or has free shipping. 

    Building your own can save money, but your time is valuable as well. eBay has a lot of pids  listed. Whether one of those would meet your needs I don't know.  Sometimes it is best to go with what is popular and proven and has a base of users who can help when a problem arises.

    Was your smoked product good and you are just trying to tighten up the temp or were you getting poor food? Just curious.

    Good luck.

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  5. If you're just smoking bbq, a PID is overkill...you don't need it.
    If you're smoking sausages and the like, a PID is useful and if you're going to go with a PID for that you might as well get one with programmable steps, makes the PID about 10X more useful.

  6. I have a Gen 1 MES It died and the problem was not the control unit. I had a new one and a used  one sold them on eBay and purchased a single probe Auber.  There are several I went with the cheapest 140.00 and some change. Like most things you can spend as much as you want. My 30" is a 910 and has a 800 watt element so I could use the WC1200. Plug and play as they say. Since my 910 died I did not even think about using the factory wiring. I used a #14 cord I had and hooked it up directly to the element. using Hi temp spade terminals . I have seen (you tube video) people assemble other PID units from scratch and it did not seem that hard. It cost about 60.00 depending on the PID  brand. With the Auber all you do is plug in the smoker cord to the PID,  plug in the PID To the outlet and plug in the probe to the PID. The Auber has 6 levels that you can set for heat and time if your cook requires it. PM me if I can answer any other questions   Jted

    I just read Martins comment and he is spot on.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  7. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Listen to Martin, as jted says he is "SPOT ON". And jted's experience is similarly "SPOT ON". Advice like that doesn't get any better.   
  8. prudentsmoker

    prudentsmoker Fire Starter

    I made an Excel spreadsheet on measuring the temps every five minutes, for 2 hours. Once it got up to temp, which took almost half an hour the average temp was 239. It got as high as 264 and as low as 215. My first question is does the time that it takes to get up to temp effect the 2-2-1 formulas. My second question is on 2-2-1 baby backs. Do you guys close the door and leave the temp on when wrapping them in the foil? And if I may be so bold as to ask another question- why are we told not to preheat on the Smokin-It #2?
  9. I cant speak to the reason why the Smoke- it folks tell you not to pre heat your smoker, the temp swings are not that ab normal. That is one of the reasons I went with a PID.

     I felt like if I could keep steady temps it would produce better Q.

     I don't put my ribs in till the cooker is at temp. two reasons one that you question about the cook time  the second is that I use a AMNPS and pre heat my pellets. But I am using a MES. Some folks cook their ribs till they get the color they want and start to get some pull back and then foil. I have not tried this but it seems to me that it would work out fine. As I recall they have cooked enough ribs that they can tell when they are done by using the bend flex method.

     Other methods are the tooth pick or you can always use your instant thermometer and look for 185 degrees.  I like the 3-2-1 or a variation of it, it's just easier for me.The ribs come out better than the ones I cooked with a stick burner for many years.   Jted
  10. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    Regarding not preheating the smoke:  SI, smokinTex and Cookshack just state there is no need to preheat. You are welcome to do so but it is not necessary. Starting with cold meat and a cold smoker allows the wood to start smoking before the meat reaches the 140 degree mark. Also, since the meat is still moist on the surface, better smoke absorption.  140 degrees is the point where it is no longer possible to produce a smoke ring when smoking with wood.  For an electric, you won't get a smoke ring. And it is either a truism or a myth that meat stops absorbing smoke at 140 degrees as the surface has glazed over, cell structure sealed up, bark has started to form, etc.  All is true. The meat will continue to take on flavor, but does it continue to penetrate and be absorbed? Or is the flavor merely resting on the surface or slightly into the meat sans ring? There are proponents that adhere to the 140 mark for smoke and those who will add wood throughout the entire cooking time. Oftentimes, the details for flavor and ring get muddied up. Flavor and ring are two different animals. So do some searching.  I have started you with four. It all comes down to what you and your family like regarding flavor.





    As for preheating and it's effect on the 2-2-1 method, I would suggest experimenting with two racks.  One goes in cold, and the other goes in when the smoker has reached the temp you desire. Keep separate start times and compare the results.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  11. prudentsmoker

    prudentsmoker Fire Starter

    Thanks do much for the clarification. It makes sense now.

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