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Meat probe thermometer that shuts off power

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've been smoking for only a few weeks, but I feel like I've been perusing this forum for a while.  My wife got me a MES 30 for fathers day. I love it, and in 3 weeks I've smoked over 120lbs of pork butt (4th of July party), a 6lb brisket, and some salmon. 

 

I usually put my meats in at night using the AMPS (See, I've been paying attention).  The problem I've had is that every cut of meat is different, and sometimes it'll take 16 hours, and sometimes it'll take 20 for the same weight with the same cooking temp.  This puts my pork butts as being done sometime while I'm at work.  

 

So I got to thinking.  Wouldn't it be nice to have a meat probe thermometer that can cut off the power to the smoker when the meat hits a certain temperature (patent pending :icon_smile:)?  Am I just particularly lazy or would that be useful to everyone else?  I think I could mock up a prototype pretty quickly.

 

Anyways thanks for all the great advice!

post #2 of 10

There is an "opensource" option called the Heatermeter.

This unit will allow the control of temperature by varying an induction fan.  It allows for multiple temperature probes so it can tell the temp of the meat and the smoker.  You can program it to maintain temperature when the meat reaches a proper done temperature.  This allows you to keep the product out of the danger zone 40-140 Degrees F until you can take the meat off the smoker.  If you wait too long it could dry out the meat though.

The unit also allows for control over the web to a smart phone or computer.  This way when you are work or your local pub you can tell when your meat is done.

Just a thought.  

 

PS this is a unit that you have to put together yourself and it runs off the arduino platform. 

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Ya, that would be ok, but ideally I would like to shut it off completely and let the meat rest.  Maybe it would be more ideal to use some sort of blowers to evacuate the hot air and cool it down faster, but I'd rather just cut the power to the smoker than leave it on and blow air around.

post #4 of 10

You shouldn't just shut it off, smokers are not air tight, or very well insulated and a variety of airborne bacteria would be happy to settle on the meat and begin to multiply once the temp got below 140°F. Having a smoker or oven run down to a Holding Temp of 140-150° is common in restaurants. These Combi-Oven/Smokers, Cook and then Hold as long as needed, they are also good at maintaining a high Humidity. This is why nobody has made a " Shut it Off until Whenever " controller. Too Dangerous!...JJ

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well that rained on my parade. Glad I didn't cash in the 401k on that idea.
post #6 of 10

Sorry Bro...Keep thinking there are still some Million Dollar Q'in ideas to be thunk up...JJ thumb1.gif

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well, I think I'm going to build the device for myself.  At the very least, it'll be useful as long as I'm able to get to it within a few hours. That's ideally resting time anyways for the meat.  I don't think you should have to worry too much about bacteria within that time frame.  The internal temp is 195-200 for pork butt, so the surface temp should be high as well.  Fatty meats don't dissipate heat well, so it should stay pretty hot. I've had pork butts that were still hot to the touch 3 hours later.  Chances of airborne bacteria are even smaller if you foil wrap at the end (which I don't generally do, but I know some people do).

 

You might have to worry about flies or whatnot, but I think that could be solved by putting some screen over your smoke vent.  

post #8 of 10

As long as you can get to the meat from where ever you are before the temp drops below 140°, then Yes your idea will work. Foiling will add additional protection and buy a little more time...JJ

post #9 of 10
Hi Deathsfriend, I built my own vertical smoker from a plate warmer and incorporated just that.

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/152549/new-member-new-smoker-build

Once the meat teaches temperature, it cuts the power to the heater thermostat. Simply it wired in series.

Smokin Monkey
post #10 of 10

If you're really serious about it, you can use an Auber Instruments PID like this one: http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=380

 

It can be easily programmed to keep up the smoke temp until your meat reaches the desired IT, then back off on the heat until you're home to take it out. I use a similar one on my fridge conversion.

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