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Temp Controler

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey Guys

I recently joined SMF,Great site lots of info

I recently biult a electric smoker outta old fridge and worked great till the other day while making jerky it quit working and I leaning toward the temp controller being bad,I used an old controller outta oven which worked fine .I havent done any testing on it yet to determine the problem,but what I wanted to ask is there any place out there that I can purchace a controller with a temp sensing probe like the one I have or better.

Thank Guys100_4174.JPG

post #2 of 10

Search for the term "PID smoker" (or similar) on the internet or eBay and you will find controllers that will do what you want.

post #3 of 10

Yes, but kind of pricey I see.  Are there any other more cost effective controllers avail?  You could buy another used oven thermostat with sensor for $20-30, but they usually only have a minimum setting of 170F, not so helpful if you're trying to smoke sausage or bacon at about 100-130F or so.  

post #4 of 10



 is there any place out there that I can purchace a controller with a temp sensing probe like the one I have or better


Yes, it kind of depends on how much you want to spend on a controller and what you get for what you spend. Using a PID controller gives you much better results but at an extra cost. However, if you assemble your own controller using parts from eBay and such, the cost may not be too bad. Just my thoughts.


Example "do it yourself" PID controller

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your input,

I did a little testing and found that I lost connection at the element

so now I need to look for sum new brass slip on connecters that connect to the element

and have to be braised to the wires,I would imagine solder would melt that close to the element. 

post #6 of 10

Dont use brass use stainless . i got mine at ace hardware . The guy called them flags . they crimp on so that you dont need solder.

post #7 of 10

 Save yourself a lot of grief and get a PID controller from Or you can order something from an eBay Asian vendor and get something else for about  half the price. The K type thermocouples and SSR you'll need are OK from Asian vendors. They can't screw them up too badly, but the vendors are not knowledgeable regarding PID controllers.The inapplicable Engrish translations are irrelevent and pathetic. If you want a multicultural experience, go for it. If you need a PID controller, contact Auber Instruments.

 Jim <///><

Edited by jimtweedle - 10/1/14 at 10:01pm
post #8 of 10

I'm with Jim on this one. Having taken the trouble to build my own PID controller I suggest buying one from Auberins. Here's the link to their site.



post #9 of 10

This thread has got me thinking about making my own controller using an Auberins PID. I took a look at their website and see that there are quite a variety of PID models with lots of detail specs. Kind of hard to figure out which one would be a good/best choice (i.e., lowest price but still gets the job done) and which ones (if any) would not be OK for a 800W heating element smoker.  Any thoughts?



post #10 of 10

I think that the way Nate Elston did it is the way to go. Get yourself an Aubers PID that controls a solid state relay. I bought the two together with a probe (K type thermocouple) for about $80. The SSR has more than enough power to switch your current element, and if someday you want to upgrade to say 1500W you'll still be in business. You'll need to also get a heat sink - I got mine out of my junked stereo receiver and you can find them in computers and other electronic devices or shell out $5 or so at Radio Shack.


As I had mentioned in a previous post, I'm converting my defunct MES 40 to a PID controlled smoker, but if I had any type of insulated box like an old fridge I'd use that. You can find 110V heating elements at almost any thrift store - I bought two of those table top electric grills and one had an 800W element, the other a 1000W element. I'm not mechanically inclined enough to build my own smoker and ended up with an MES that failed way too soon. Go for it - you can build a great smoker yourself.

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