Advice on Temperature Controller for 26" Kettle?

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cptnding

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May 13, 2021
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I found what I feel like is a good deal on a slightly used Weber 26" kettle that I will be picking up in a week or so. I was curious what temperature controller setup you folks would recommend.
I currently have 2 22" Performers and both are set up with old BBQ Guru Party Q battery powered controllers. Unfortunately they do not make these anymore. They go through a lot of batteries but I've really liked the option of using them while camping, fishing, or at hunting camp where electricity requires running a generator.
On one hand I'm tempted to go with one of the newer BBQ Guru controllers so all 3 would at least use the same adapter port but thought it might be worthwhile to look at something different.
One thing I absolutely do not want is a set up that requires an app to control the temp settings.
Thanks for your help!
David
 
I'll be watching this thread, I also use the Party Q, actually it just took a dump during my last smoke, which just happened to be during a competition...OUCH!!!
The unit was flashing 246* and the fan was running constantly. Bummer, I really liked the simplicity of those old first generation party q's, and it worked great on my UDS. I'll be contacting Guru tomorrow morning, if I hear anything I'll post up for you.
By the way, mine never ate batteries, one set would last me many long smokes.
I tried rechargeables in it, and they didn't last for anything over 3 hours.
Lithium batteries lasted all summer, with many, many long smokes, but they are pricey. I ended up just using reg batteries.
If you find anything, please message or link me to what you find, and I'll do the same for you.

Good luck.
Dan
 
I do the same as Chris . I think you'll find that the 26 holds temp better than a 22 " because it's heavier gauge .
With the snake method set up , mine likes to run around 260 and I'll get 8 to 10 hours out of that .
 
I do the same as Chris . I think you'll find that the 26 holds temp better than a 22 " because it's heavier gauge .
With the snake method set up , mine likes to run around 260 and I'll get 8 to 10 hours out of that .
Now that's fuel efficiency. There aren't to many dedicated smokers that can match that.

Chris
 
Something like this would replace the Party Q controller.

You would tie 12 VDC through J1 Out to your fan or use the SSR output to drive a MOSFET or BJT gate.


JC :emoji_cat:
 
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I've reverted to vent-only control on both my WSM and 22" OG Performer Kettle (more than 20 years old). I do use a wireless Inkbird therm to keep track of chamber temp. If I see it headed more than 50°F north or 25°F south of my target, I'll adjust the bottom vent a tad. The need for a constant temp is overblown (wink wink). Meat don't care.
 
I use the 26 pretty much just for longer smokes. I do the same as chopsaw chopsaw Rich, snake method with wood chunks, has worked perfect every time. RAY
 
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I'm like Chris and Chopsaw...kinda' amazed how stable temps are, even in a 22", once you set the air inlet/outlet vents.
But a remote thermometer on both meat and kettle is a must-have. My problem, snake/labyrinth or not, is running out of fuel. When I start seeing a temp drop, i know I'm running out of fuel and need to add more. I fear with an thermostat unit, it just starts blowing more air until I'm down to ash, and by the time I know I have a problem, I don't have enough heat to get new coals to "start".
 
bill1 bill1
Here's an older thread on how I set up and run mine . Might be something you're interested in there . Starting off , running , and anticipating a stall or needing more heat at the end . Post 3 .
 
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I'll be watching this thread, I also use the Party Q, actually it just took a dump during my last smoke, which just happened to be during a competition...OUCH!!!
The unit was flashing 246* and the fan was running constantly. Bummer, I really liked the simplicity of those old first generation party q's, and it worked great on my UDS. I'll be contacting Guru tomorrow morning, if I hear anything I'll post up for you.
By the way, mine never ate batteries, one set would last me many long smokes.
I tried rechargeables in it, and they didn't last for anything over 3 hours.
Lithium batteries lasted all summer, with many, many long smokes, but they are pricey. I ended up just using reg batteries.
If you find anything, please message or link me to what you find, and I'll do the same for you.

Good luck.
Dan
Thanks Dan! Sucks that it failed you at a competition. That hurts. A couple years ago I had one of mine start going all over the place. Turned out to be the probe. Since I had a 2nd one I changed out the probe and all was good again.
The simplicity is exactly why I like them so much myself. It just works. No fuss no cords.
A few years ago I had one of my PartyQs go on the fritz. Since I have a second unit it was easy to figure out it was just the temp probe had gone bad.
Is your unit stuck at 246 and blowing? If not it might just be the temp probe.
 
I do the same as Chris . I think you'll find that the 26 holds temp better than a 22 " because it's heavier gauge .
With the snake method set up , mine likes to run around 260 and I'll get 8 to 10 hours out of that .
I used a similar snake method for a long time before I got the fan controller and I agree. It works. What makes me like that fan controller so much is the ease of use. On long smokes for butts or brisket I can light a couple handfuls of of chacoal, push them into the corner of the slow n sear, fill it up with more charcoal and some chunks of wood and pretty much walk away. Doesn't matter if the air temp drops overnight or if it rains on the kettle for hours. It will keep right at 250.
 
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I think the BBQ Guru would work. Works great on my WSM.
Yeah I'm probably just going to go with one of their current ones so at least they would all use the same adapter port. Which one are you using?
 
Thanks Dan! Sucks that it failed you at a competition. That hurts. A couple years ago I had one of mine start going all over the place. Turned out to be the probe. Since I had a 2nd one I changed out the probe and all was good again.
The simplicity is exactly why I like them so much myself. It just works. No fuss no cords.
A few years ago I had one of my PartyQs go on the fritz. Since I have a second unit it was easy to figure out it was just the temp probe had gone bad.
Is your unit stuck at 246 and blowing? If not it might just be the temp probe.
It flashes 246* while blowing constant. While I was trying to get it to reset, I'm sure I buggered up the preset temp. I can seem to recalibrate the temp probe either. I'll order a prob from GURU and see if that does anything for me.
I can't reach anyone at Guru, so I won't be buying a replacement unit from them if need be, I can't stand when companies do that to customers.

I might try the unit that JC in GB JC in GB posted, if I can get him to help me set it up. LOL
I suck at these techie things, which is why I liked the partyQ

If I figure anything out, I will be sure to post it up.

Dan
 
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Something like this would replace the Party Q controller.

You would tie 12 VDC through J1 Out to your fan or use the SSR output to drive a MOSFET or BJT gate.


JC :emoji_cat:
I have no idea what any of that means, but I am curious to learn if it is something I can do at home, with about negative zero electrical skills?
Thanks.
Dan
 
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What makes me like that fan controller so much is the ease of use.
I completely understand . I had / have some interest in one . I have a Thermoworks signals that also controls the bellows .
Just saying I think you'll be impressed with the performance of the 26 over the 22 due to the heavier gauge construction . Really holds heat well .
 
Just saying I think you'll be impressed with the performance of the 26 over the 22 due to the heavier gauge construction . Really holds heat well .
Really looking forward to learning it. Sounds like it will be even more efficient than the 22 with charcoal on really long cooks.
The other thing I'm really forward to is how many wings I can get on there with the vortex!
Depending on the size of the wings I generally get 20-30 on the 22". I'm hoping that will double or close to it on the 26"
 
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