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  1. J

    I am terrified

    Add wood. Light fire. Add meat. Learn fire. Drink beer. Eat food. If you're lazy like me, you'll suck at the "Learn fire" part and lean more toward the "Drink beer" part. I have a digital controller on my offset. haha.
  2. J

    Fire management help

    Experiment. I have bricks under my grate to elevate it. Test the difference elevating the grate to different heights makes. change the direction [crossways or longways] the bricks [or whatever you use] to increase airflow. Change the location of the grate in the firebox [more toward the cooking...
  3. J

    A smoker for camping?

    Cooking for the whole campground... What's your next port-of-call (asking for a friend)?
  4. J

    Got me a new smoking buddy

    My cat likes the meat before it hits the smoker.
  5. J

    Moving a smoker to the patio

    Could you come move mine to the back yard when you're done? It's been in my driveway for almost a year. :-)
  6. J

    Stainless offset build

    Nice! Stainless... it sure would be nice to NEVER oil the outside of my firebox again. It is possible to use a controller that does not use a fan [or in any way control fire management], but the idea is really geared toward someone that is building their own smoker because it uses a small...
  7. J

    Temp Differences once loaded up with Meat

    Does it have any baffles in the cc? Do you have a water bath anywhere in the cc? Where are you placing the thermocouples reading right and left temp? Are thermocouples at the same height in the cc? Have thermocouples been calibrated (boiling water/ice water) to prove they're close to each other...
  8. J

    Ribs... when to wrap?

    I wrap mine when I smoke too much food and have to put some in the fridge.
  9. J

    Post your Offset Long cook data!

    I guess I should've said... good looking hunk of meat. Yep, I understand you are not interested in using a controller. Most folks running stick burners want nothing to do with controllers... it's like replacing a car that came with a stick shift with an automatic transmission. My controller...
  10. J

    Post your Offset Long cook data!

    Gotcha. It's a challenge to get steady temps. Some smokers are easier than others to manually maintain [usually more expensive with thicker steel]. It's good to use consistent splits, timing, a water bath [acts like a big heat sink], and carefully control the oxygen available to the fire...
  11. J

    Post your Offset Long cook data!

    Here's the graph from my 5 hour cook yesterday... pork ribs. I cooked 4 slabs and they came out good. The control software worked fine. I had it sending me messages when a split needed to be added. I still need to work on that. The big drops are the doors being opened to move ribs around. The...
  12. J

    Pid Controllers - Part 2 of Why I don't recomend one.

    I think it all depends on your goal. If cooking good food is your goal, you can do that with temp swings of fifty degrees or more. Most temperature graphs I've seen for pellet smokers swing this much and they produce some fine food. Hell, most home ovens have giant temp swings. If you're like...
  13. J

    Post your Offset Long cook data!

    This weekend I'll do my first cook where my smoker sends me a slack message when a split needs to be added. If the temp goes N degrees below the set point, it sends a message. I'll also have a nice set of graphs to post.. similar to this, but for my smoker instead of a kiln...
  14. J

    Post your Offset Long cook data!

    Thanks. I have lots of experience with temperature control. I've written open source software for kiln control that's popular with ceramicists, knife makers, glass artists, and scientists. I adapted it to work with a smoker and servo. The folks at bubba grills were nice and built a smoker to my...
  15. J

    Post your Offset Long cook data!

    I built my own controller and record every cook. I use a Bubba Grills custom smoker with an exhaust on the firebox, a raspberry pi, and custom PID control software. My cooks stay within a few degrees of the setpoint... which is usually 250F...
  16. J

    large smoker question

    To get more even control of temps from bottom to top, I see three possibilities: First is to install one or more fans to move hot air around the inside of the cabinet. A logical layout would be fans pointing down from the top of the cabinet to push hot air downwards. The fan would not bring in...
  17. J

    large smoker question

    River country elements are good. I've used them in my smoker for a few years. 1500W 120V.
  18. J

    large smoker question

    Having elements across the back and sides is fine, and it prevents the elements from getting covered in fats and oils. For a cabinet of that size, heating to 200F, four 110V elements would probably work fine. Having them independently controlled is odd and this is not really how PID controllers...
  19. J

    Splittin Wood

    I've had one of these for a few months. Makes splitting fast and easy. Mount it to a log with some lag bolts and go! I ended up cutting off half the top round circle so I could fit larger pieces in it. I always tend to have a few in the face cord that wont fit and get jammed up in that top part.
  20. J

    My insulation project

    Magnets demagnetize at 176F. I've experienced this with rectangular neodymium magnets on my electric smoker I used to limit air flow. They work for a while, then slide off.