Do pit conrollers blow ash around?

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by sag1370, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. sag1370

    sag1370 Newbie


    Thinking about getting a pit controller for my WSM, specifically a QMaster Senior. Looks like good reviews and a fair price. My question is, do the fans on pit controllers blow ash up and around inside the smoker when they are running?

    If so, was thinking about covering the holes on the charcoal ring right of the vent intake with some heavy duty foil to sort of deflect the air blowing in around the smoker. This is an oxygen thing right?



  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    No they don't and don't cover the holes.

    I have a BBQ Guru and the adapter that fits on the WSM has a deflector on it to push the air down under the fire. It is not a very strong fan, just enough air to fuel the fire.

    I don't know about a QMaster Senior, but I'm assuming the same is true.

  3. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've been running a BBQ Guru DigiQ II since about 2006 and never had an issue with it blowing ash.  Like Al said, the adapter has a deflector that lets you aim the airflow either around the edge of the bowl or down into the bottom of the bowl.  I have mine pointed sort of 60% around and 40% down. I'm using a 10cfm fan on a 18.5" WSM. Like I said, never a problem with ash blowing and the 10cfm fan is not overkill as the controller keeps it in check.

    I googled the Qmaster Senior and it looks like their adapter is blowing straight in through the vents (looks to use all the holes also.  The Guru adapter only uses one hole and you put a metal foil tape (included with mine) over the other two holes.  The Qmaster looks to use a 10cfm fan, and assuming it actually is 10cfm (never know with China stuff).  I see it's $100 less than the same setup with a BBQ Guru DX2, but the Guru is American made and would probably have better support (note: I've never needed support on mine, and it is built like a tank).  For my money, I would stick with the Guru.

    Here is the Qmaster Senior photo

    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  4. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I found some photos of the Guru adapter on the WSM.  You can see how the baffle works.  On a 22.5" you have 4 holes in a vent, and on a 18.5" there are only 3.  Either way you cover the other holes and only use the 1 for the adapter.  Some people also drill a new hole just for the Guru adapter (like in the first photo).  On mine, I just used the foil tape to cover the extra holes and used the one remaining in my vent.  The adapter does come with a silicone plug so you can still block that last hole in the vent to totally shut down the airflow and kill the coals.

    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  5. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have to ask. Why does a WSM need any kind of controller? It is one of the most self efficient set it and forget it cookers out there. My son has one and starts it at ten in the morning leaves the house and comes back at 4 to perfect ribs.
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You are right, and in most short cooks like your sons ribs, I don't bother with it.

    For an overnight cook, I like to keep the WSM temp around 210. The Guru will do this + or - 2 degrees. The outside temp & wind can vary, but the Guru never does.

  7. sag1370

    sag1370 Newbie

    Exactly as said above, problem is long cooks. Plus, we have a corner lot house and WSM is placed at furthest corner under pool cage. Why does that matter? Well, wind, and overnight temp drops.

    As a follow up, and this may sound crazy, but I wanted to put the WSM in a short alcove area outside of my pool cage where it is a bit more protected, plus my wife is complaining about the smoky smell coming inside the house. Question is, will it get bothered by raccoons, possums, and other vermin? I know it is hottish, but with a hunk of meat cooking, well you get my drift. Anybody have any issues with unwelcome visitors on a long overnight cook?
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I don't think so, we have a lot of wildlife around here & I've never had a problem.

    Most animals don't like smoke, and they'd burn their lips off trying to get in.

  9. Sag:  I live on the edge of town in farm/corn country and have 2 large gardens myself.

    Occasionally, the raccoons and possums will crap around the garage out back (I have 2 acres), but they've never screwed with a hot WSM.

    I smoke under a second story deck.  I hang a welding blanket (8 x 8 folded in half) around my smoker when the wind is up (550 cord tied to the grommets and hung from hooks in the floor jousts).
  10. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mostly neighbors who have smelled the meat cooking all night then come around wanting to try some !

    To add to the answers regarding the blowing ash. I have used an IQ-110 for many years and I dont get any blown ash either. The air flow is so low with these controllers it is not a problem. The aim is to gently manage the temperature and not to create a blacksmiths forge.
  11. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I was doing an late night smoke and this "neighbor" smelled the meat cooking and came over to check it out.  No samples for him though.


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