Have you ever heard the words smoker and authenticated SMTP in the same sentence before? Well, now you have. I have achieved eSmoking!!! Note: copyright pending by FFTWarren.
I now have a smoker that I can access via the internet anywhere in the world that will also send me text messages when the meat is done/almost done. I'm thinking about taking bids from local friends to fill up the unlimited extra email/text message spots to notify them when I have Vitamin "S" ready.
It's been an arduous few days, but fortunately I had a kegerator with a half barrel of Odell's 90 Shilling to help see me through it. In essence, I have hooked up an industrial PID controller to my Masterbuilt electric smoker. The PID controller is an industrial process controller that I have set up to monitor smoker chamber temperature and internal meat temperature. It just so happens that it is also Ethernet enabled. This means that I can use any computer's internet browser from anywhere in the world to set the temperature profile of the chamber and it sends me an email or text messages when the meat has reached the set point that I want!!!
There have been a few pitfalls along the way, but in the end I am victorious! I disabled the Masterbuilt's controller and installed a solid state relay so that I can externally control the heating element inside. Anyone who owns a Masterbuilt smoker can testify to the horrible temperature regulation. I don't have to worry about that anymore. I also had to set up an email/SMTP gateway on my home server because the PID controller didn't allow for email messaging using authenticated SMTP. Long story short, I am most of the way towards an entirely automated smoking process. The purists may hate the direction that I have gone. I do enjoy relaxing while drinking beer and smoking cigarettes while smoking meat to perfection, but in the end I want to be able to press a button when I leave home for work/school and then come home to finished smoky goodness.
How did I do it? Well, here's a pic of some of basic tools I had to use:
Please note that some tools are only for the purpose of remembering how awful it was to deal with the original controller's temperature regulation.
This is what it looks like inside of the back cover and when you drill out the gazillion rivets on the back and underside of the Masterbuilt smoker. Inside is a fairly simple electronics circuit board that includes a mechanical relay.
I have a two lead wire eminating from the smoker to control that solid state relay. Here's the PID controller sitting in an enclosure waiting for me to finish it. I will install connectors for the thermocouples and whatnot at a later time to make a waterproof installation
I only get about 30 characters so I unfortunately can't make the messages more fun, like "HELP!! I'm choking and my ribs hurt!", etc. Regardless, I can automatically announce to any friends that I've got Vitamin "S" ready to go and that they should head on over.
Unfortunately all I had to smoke once I finished it was some awesome local bratwurst and a piece of ribs that I smoked previously to experiment "second smoking" with. As I play with this contraption I'll be sure to post some Qview in the "Electric Smokers" section of this forum.
If you've made it this far reading, thank you for letting me share my fun. Happy smoking,
Edited by sparksnsaaben - 6/9/10 at 9:32am