I have had a SmokinTex 1400 for 5+ years. I have had it so long I can't remember when I bought it. That's beside the point. It worked great when I first bought it but it never held a steady temperature. I had gotten to the point where smoking was near impossible. I would put some meat in it, smoke it for a couple hours then wrap it up and stick it in the oven to finish.
Fast forward a bit, found this forum and did a bunch of research. Found the pre-made PID controllers from Auber Instruments. I settled on the WS-1510DPMS instead of getting a replacement rheostat that the unit comes with.
I did have to modify the 1400 so that the built in temp control would not kick in and make the PID usless. It took all of about 20 mins. to make the mod.
1. Remove the smoke vent that comes out of the top
2. Remove fasteners that were holding the lid on
3. Clip the large insulated wires off the rheostat and but join them together to complete the circuit
**** Once this is done do not plug the unit in because the heating element will be always on. Only run the unit using the PID****
4. A-MAZE-N-PELLET-SMOKER 5X8 modification. Turn the unit on it side, drill out the existing vent/drain to 3/4 of an inch. Add a second 3/4 of an inch hole to provide enough air flow for the pellet smoker.
The A-Maze-N fits on the left side bottom next to the heating element. I put a shelf down low and use a piece of aluminium foil to keep the drippings out of the A-Maze-N. I run the PID temperature sensor through the vent in the top and clip it on the shelf where the product is. That way I know what the temp is at food level.
I have to say I am impressed. Rock solid temperatures and great smoke for the A-Maze-N. I have done ribs, and two pork butts since the mod and they have turned out perfect and on time.
PS. I went with the WS-1510DPMS because It has a 6 step program for time and temp. This allows me to program a ramp up smoking profile for fish and other things.
I am now in love again with my SmokinTex again. I love that it is stainless, and insulated. I like to smoke stuff year around here in Alaska. Now that I have temp stability it makes it much easier.