WSM 18.5 owner wondering who is using what for temp control/blower/stokers

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by smokeshowingbbq, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. I'm coming into my second season with my 18.5 WSM and I love it as it is stock but I am researching maybe adding some type of stoker or auto blower so it self maintains when I have allot going on or people over to entertain while cooking. I know there are lots of mods for them, seals etc I never did any of that just kept mine stock.  So my question is what product do you recommend or use?
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Mine runs so smooth and I don't like being tied down to a power cord. So I just keep doing it like I always have. The WSM is pretty much set it and forget it.
    b-one likes this.
  3. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I haven't really seen the need once running my will go fine all night normally.
  4. Winds can play a factor where I live while it is pretty stable I have dealt with swings up and down with mine over last season. I mean it is a fantastic machine and I love it was just more curious for those who do use them how they've worked out was it worth the extra money as most systems arent cheap etc.
  5. drewed

    drewed Meat Mopper

  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I've used a BBQ Guru DigiQ DX2 for years. Never had a problem with it. Haven't even had to replace a probe wire. The WSM does hold a steady temp most of the time without the Guru. However when I'm doing an all nighter with brisket or a butt, I like to run the smoker at 210 for the first 12 hours or so. That's very hard to do with just setting the vents. The Guru keeps it right on 210 all night long. 

  7. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Al I would love to see somone do a step by step,from loading the charcoal to setting it.Hint Hint Hint LOL

  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Well I may have to do that Richie. I have a bunch of old threads on here from years ago. If I look back, that info may be in some of those threads.

  9. Thanks Guys I'll look into them. Al if you do one feel free to share it on this thread would like to see it as well.
  10. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Well I guess I'm going to have to do a pork butt, with the Guru!

    Coming soon!

  11. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Al you are the best Thanks I looked that up it is a pricey gadget 

  12. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Your right Richie, it is a little pricey. But it's something that will last long time & can be used on more than one smoker. All you need is an adapter for the fan. I even have one in a Weber kettle. Take a look.

  13. sirk98

    sirk98 Newbie

    I also have the Auber smoker controller.  The instructions are a little...interesting... at first, but it works great overall.
  14. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    Although the WSM runs just fine without a controller I love having a BBQ guru......a little spendy but worth it in my opinion. 16+ hours of smoke and I never even need to check it.

  15. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

    I agree with Damon555, now that I have a WSM, I'm not afraid to do an overnight cook.  Never would've dreamed of doing that when using a stick burner.  The first one I did, I did a pork shoulder for 12 hours at 250*.  However, when I woke up the next morning and checked it, my grate temp was down to 200*.  I used my fireplace poker to stir the coals up, added a few handfuls and it was back to 250* pretty quickly.

    But, the next overnight cook I did with a pork butt, I used the Auber SYL-1615SYS-W temp controller, and it kept it right there on 235* all night long.  That turned into a 14 hour cook, and the WSM and Auber did it all.  The next weekend, I used it on a brisket, 17 hours at 230*...all I did was stir the coals the next morning, and add a few handfuls of charcoal after about 13-14 hours.  I never thought I'd be one of these "high-tech" meat smokers...but, it does a great job, and I've been smoking meat for 35 years on stick burners and deserve to rest and let the WSM and Auber do all the work. 

    I did a lot of debating back and forth between using nothing, the Auber, or a Digi-Q.  And, I was just dying to try one.  And, the Auber sells for $141 on the Auber site.  So, I thought I'd throw $141 out there to test it...and if I didn't like it, I wouldn't have wasted a ton of money.  Now, I use it on every cook...and don't have to worry about my temps one iota. 

    One thing about the Auber does not have a food temp's grate temp only.  But, I've always used a Maverick for the internal food temp anyway, and have several of them.  In the pic below, the Maverick is showing the brisket internal temp at 190*, while the Auber is showing the grate temp at 242*.  At the same time, the Maverick was showing the grate temp at 241*.

    I picked up these little round hole plugs at Lowe's, 3/4" fits perfectly, for about 79 cents each...and they work great.  I didn't like the idea of using the tape that comes with the Auber or Digi-Q for plugging up my remaining holes in the vent the fan is plugged into. 

    Here's everything you get.  The top temp lead showing is the one I got.  They make another one with just the alligator clip...but it looked like it would be hard to put through the gasket in the side of the WSM to me.  The fan has those little springs on each side, so you just fold them in and plug it in.  Then, to remove it, you just pull it out.  So far, it has stayed very tight.

  16. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Bought the 18.5" WSM in 2005, bought a BBQ Guru DigiQ II about a year later..  Been using the Guru with the WSM for 10 years or more.  If a meteor fell out of the sky and hit my WSM and Guru tomorrow, I would buy them both again.  A WSM paired with a Guru or other power draft is about as close to set and forget as you will ever be with charcoal.  I used to smoke 4 large pork butts at least once a month for work and using a Guru made it a pleasure.  Once you figure out how well it works with your WSM, you will be getting normal sleep on overnight pork butt cooks.  If it's at 225 when I head to bed, it's still at 225 when I get up  the next morning.  It basically will hold the set point as long as there is fuel to burn.  I'm so confident in it, I usually don't even take out the Maverick remote temp sensor on a pork butt cook.

    Not cheap, but a worthy investment IMO.

    Any power draft will do the same thing, but I can attest to the quality of the build of the Guru.  The DigiQ is built like a metal tank and I'm still using my original probes 10 years later.  Although I have used some of Auber's other products and was pleased with their quality.  I'm just not personally familiar with the power draft kit from Auber.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  17. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Just sealed the door and I am going to use my PitmasterIQ on Friday 

  18. lemans

    lemans Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pitmaster IQ120 and my maverick on the WSM.
    What more do you need?
  19. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Nice weather and meat on it LOL

  20. Maybe an adult beverage or three... [​IMG]  

    Back on topic...

    As to temp control/blower/stokers, I haven't pulled the trigger on anything other than a gasket kit. Installed it when my WSM was shiny and new. 
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016

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