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PID Controller

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Let me begin with a confession: I am not a purist.  I want results rather than process.


To that end, I own a SmokinTex 1400.  In the beginning, my results were not spectacular.  I was using the built-in analog thermostat and the SmokinTex guesstimates of time required.  It proved to have wide fluctuation of smoker temperature, as much as 40 or 50 degrees around the thermostat setting.    I noted that our counter-top sous vide water cooker maintained temperatures within 2 degrees of the digital setting.  I was perplexed by this difference.  I assumed that the SmokinTex used a standard bi-metal analog thermostat.  I did not bother to confirm that because it was not producing the consistency that I wanted.  So, I set about learning why the sous vide could be so accurate.  The short answer is a PID (proportional-integral-derivative) controller.  Next step: could a PID controller be adapted to the SmokinTex?  The short answer is yes.  In fact, Auber Instruments makes one that is specifically compatible with the SmokinTex, Auber's model WSD-1500GPH.  This controller has two probes, one for the smoker temperature, and one for the internal temperature of the meat. Here is the link http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=381.  Auber says that this model will control SmokinTex, Smokin-it, and Masterbuilt.  I dont see why it would not also control other electrics.  At $218, it is a little pricey, but worth it to me.  YMMV.  Auber has other controllers for electric and charcoal smokers.  My only connection with Auber is that I send them money, they send me a controller.


With this setup, very little ability, and recipes from this site, I have gotten excellent results most of the time.  The few exceptions are all traceable to my not following the recipe!

post #2 of 4

I almost bought that controller but it didn't quite meet my needs (too low of an Amp rating). I decided to build my own instead. It is 75% assembled and sitting on my work bench collecting dust...... Maybe I will get it done soon (but probably not)

post #3 of 4

I use an Auber for my charcoal smoker.  I wouldn't give it up for anything.

post #4 of 4
I have had that one on my SI-3 for a couple of years now with no problems. Went through a period last year where I used it almost daily. What was handy for me was the ramp feature, I used that all the time. I built a jumper to go around the analog controller so the Auber would have total control of the element.
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