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Another happy UDS builder with diy PID controller

Pitchlynn

Newbie
2
1
Joined Aug 24, 2019
After eating some of the best BBQ I've had in Kauai at Chicken in the Barrel I decided this Texas boy is tired of not getting any decent BBQ up here in Oregon. I spent 2 months researching smokers and settled on building a UDS with a home built draft controller.
Smoker.jpg

I'll second everyone that said not to bother with a drum that has a liner. I spent a lot of time with a HF weed burner torch and wire brush getting that liner out. But it would have delayed the build to search for another drum.

First cook was chicken of course since the whole driver was to replicate my meal at Chicken in the Barrel. It was perfect, I'd even say an exact replica minus the sauce the serve. This was done with temp controlled manually by valve like a normal UDS.
Chicken.jpg

The next cook was ribs and they turned out great too! Was going to try the 321 method but the article I read said to skip all that and keep it simple so they just sat on the grill like this for 5.5 hrs.
IMG_7783.jpg

This cook was my first attempt running the PID controller. For the first 4.5 hrs I was modifying code and trying to tune the PID but I managed to keep the temps ok during all that. The last hour I finally got the PID to work.
IMG_7795.PNG

Green is setpoint 225, Purple is actual BBQ temp, and blue is fan speed. This controller is using an arduino like micro controller called the Particle Photon which is wifi enabled. I used arduino's PID and auto tune libraries and a couple others from a similar project some others worked on 7 yrs ago. Because it is wifi based I easily built an app with Blynk and can see and control it from anywhere I get cell signal. The graph above is from the chart widget which stores historical data in the cloud even if my phone is not connected. The controller also monitors meat temp and there are enough inputs to have many probes. Blynk supports notifications so I can set probe alarms and have it wake me up if something goes wrong on overnight.

Next cook will probably be a smaller brisket to satisfy my chopped beef brisket Texas roots. I want to make sure the controller is solid before I run over night. Cause I don't plan on getting up.

Thank you all on the forum for all the invaluable information that I needed to build this and make delicious BBQ! Finally good BBQ in Oregon whenever I want it!
 

Hawging It

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
2,345
1,129
Joined Jan 1, 2019
I like your simple idea on the ribs. Just let em smoke til done. That's how I roll smoke on the stick burner.
 

kelbro

Smoking Fanatic
332
121
Joined Mar 22, 2009
Mine runs that steady without a fan/controller. With correctly sized intakes and exhausts, these things run very efficiently. Simplicity at its finest.
 

Pitchlynn

Newbie
2
1
Joined Aug 24, 2019
Mine runs that steady without a fan/controller. With correctly sized intakes and exhausts, these things run very efficiently. Simplicity at its finest.
Well then I wouldn’t have had all this fun building a controller! I knew that many had really good success with theirs running very steady. But, I didn’t know if that would be the case with the 50 deg swings we have here between night and day and in wind/variants weather. I want to be able to run it over night with no worries about the temp. And I really needed a project, haha! I ran manually a few times and while pretty stable during the day I still had to fiddle with it a little. Maybe some vent size adjustment is in order. Having remote monitoring appealed to me also. If it makes good bbq I’m happy.
 

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,043
1,326
Joined Dec 30, 2016
After eating some of the best BBQ I've had in Kauai at Chicken in the Barrel I decided this Texas boy is tired of not getting any decent BBQ up here in Oregon. I spent 2 months researching smokers and settled on building a UDS with a home built draft controller.
View attachment 407324
I'll second everyone that said not to bother with a drum that has a liner. I spent a lot of time with a HF weed burner torch and wire brush getting that liner out. But it would have delayed the build to search for another drum.

First cook was chicken of course since the whole driver was to replicate my meal at Chicken in the Barrel. It was perfect, I'd even say an exact replica minus the sauce the serve. This was done with temp controlled manually by valve like a normal UDS.
View attachment 407320
The next cook was ribs and they turned out great too! Was going to try the 321 method but the article I read said to skip all that and keep it simple so they just sat on the grill like this for 5.5 hrs.
View attachment 407323
This cook was my first attempt running the PID controller. For the first 4.5 hrs I was modifying code and trying to tune the PID but I managed to keep the temps ok during all that. The last hour I finally got the PID to work.
View attachment 407325
Green is setpoint 225, Purple is actual BBQ temp, and blue is fan speed. This controller is using an arduino like micro controller called the Particle Photon which is wifi enabled. I used arduino's PID and auto tune libraries and a couple others from a similar project some others worked on 7 yrs ago. Because it is wifi based I easily built an app with Blynk and can see and control it from anywhere I get cell signal. The graph above is from the chart widget which stores historical data in the cloud even if my phone is not connected. The controller also monitors meat temp and there are enough inputs to have many probes. Blynk supports notifications so I can set probe alarms and have it wake me up if something goes wrong on overnight.

Next cook will probably be a smaller brisket to satisfy my chopped beef brisket Texas roots. I want to make sure the controller is solid before I run over night. Cause I don't plan on getting up.

Thank you all on the forum for all the invaluable information that I needed to build this and make delicious BBQ! Finally good BBQ in Oregon whenever I want it!
Hi there and welcome. Nice job!
Now if you rig up a hole for a mailbox mod and use the AMNPS tray you can have set and forget smoke generation for up to 12 hours for long or overnight cooks with PERFECT smoke all the time and no worries about the fan causing ignition of your wood (if that is even a worry) :D
 

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