I have seen a few people who use a temp controller/blower on their wood smokers and I had a curious interest in them. A few weeks ago I bought an igrill2 thermometer and used it on my last 2 smokes. Now that I have an accurate reading at grate level I find myself paying more attention to the temp swings which occur from loading more wood, wood burning down, etc. I realize that a person doesn't have to be anal about keeping the temp EXACTLY on a chosen number and that temps will fluctuate slightly. I'm just more aware of what is happening and strive to minimize the difference. I find myself going out to tweak the inlet air control slightly more than I ever have done. I have an Okie Joe's Longhorn. It's sealed up pretty good and I use a charcoal/wood basket in the fire box on the elevated grate that came with the unit. My swings are from my inexperience with the unit and previously only having the Tel-Tru thermometers on the lid to track temp. I understand that a wood offset requires more attention than an electric or a gas unit to maintain proper temps. I'm looking at a controller to lessen the required tweaks to the air and change my attention to monitor fuel level and condition. My long winded question is this. Of the people who use them do you like the controllers? I know some brands have better tech support than others (from what I see on here). Some do more than others. I have been looking at the Auber units since the PID controllers for electrics are talked about with such reverence on the forums and the price is good. Also they are on sale thru the end of the month. I would like to see a variable speed on the blower vs and on or off which the Auber (and probably most others) uses. I would think that if installed in my air inlet it would blow ash dust into the cooking chamber. Per an email response from Abur you install it above the charcoal grate. How do you users do the install? I was wanting to use the existing opening down low. Any ideas or advice are welcome. It's through this forum that I learned so much and can produce some nice brisket, pulled pork, and ribs! Thanks!! Don
Temp Controller (blower) on an offset smoker
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I use a DigiQ DX2 on my WSM and I swear by it. It makes the WSM as close to "set and forget" as you can possibly do when Qing. BUT it's a vertical smoker.
I've never used one on an offset., although I intend to modify a charcoal offset next Spring to accept my DigiQ. Winter has set in up here and I'm not gonna fool with it until it starts to warm back up in the Spring.
The only concern I have on a stick offset would be the fan capacity. Most of the kits come with a 10 cfm fan and I'm not sure that's enough air for a big offset. I believe you can special order 25 cfm fans but they are pricey.
My WSM install is on the lower intake, below the fuel box and I never get ash in the cooking area above. I doubt that the fan has enough power to blow ash across the fire box and into the cooking chamber but I'm guessing based on fan speed and air movement. Again I haven't user one on an offset (YET).
Edited by BBQWillie - 11/26/15 at 5:59pm
Thanks Willie. I've looked at The Auber units and you can get a 10 or 20 CFM blower for $154. I'm not sure which size I'd go with. I did contact Auber customer support and they thought either would work for my smoker. An Okie Joe Longhorn has less volume or close to as a 55 gallon drum made smoker. I'm guessing less. Have you ever had problems with your Digi Q? Is the fan either off or on or is it a variable speed?