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Help Me Decide Between PID Controllers

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by Yanks332, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. Yanks332

    Yanks332 Newbie

    Hi All,

    I have a Traeger Pro 34 and have way too many temp fluctuations and occasional flame outs when cooking at 180F.

    I am strongly considering getting a new PID controller to avoid the temp fluctuations and allow for auto relight if necessary, but can't decide which would be best. Hoping some of you have experience with these and better yet, if any of you have used more than one and have a preference.

    1. Savannah Stoker - One downside is that it isn't WiFi, but I do have a Fireboard.

    2. Rec Tec WiFi - One downside is that it doesn't fit into the Traeger controller opening so I would have to either do metal work or use some sort of project box.

    3. Freedom Grills Jewel - One downside is that they say you need a larger hot pot and I'd rather not buy yet another thing. It also only allows for one probe.

    4. Any other

    Any thoughts or information on any of the above would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. retfr8flyr

    retfr8flyr Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would go with the Savannah Stoker, if it were me. I think it's one of the best available and they are familiar with modifying many different grills. You don't just need the controller, you need the controller programed to work with your grill.
    Yanks332 likes this.
  3. dan the mano

    dan the mano Smoke Blower

    i had the same problem, with temp swings ... plus 20 then minus 50 and these were all consistent also .. so after a few chats with traeger ,they sent me a new different temp control , and this works fairly good , like +10 -15 . the flame outs (well for me ) not always cleaning the igniter box out with a vacuum. however this was only after i had done long smokes too ( 6 hour plus).

    the PiD controller i use now , and would recommend ..( and these are for my bradleys) is the auber PID .. and these work great there .. so i can imagine they'd work also as they are not just meant for one type of smoker .
    Yanks332 likes this.
  4. Yanks332

    Yanks332 Newbie

    Thanks Dan. I have called Traeger numerous times and have gotten multiple different "fixes" that may work for a short time but not for good. They have sent me a new controller and at first it did a pretty good job but then it started to go back to the temp swings. Then I got advice about vacuuming out the hopper (the firebox and barrel were clean) and there was definitely a ton of saw dust in there. That is very likely what caused the flameouts...so...user error. I am still getting crazy fluctuations though. I did jerky at 180 the other day and it was going up to 205 (not terrible) and down to 130. I would panic around 130 because I thought it was going to be a flame out. It wasn't...but 50 degree negative swings are crazy. I have had up to 80 degree swings on higher temp.

    I'll take a look at the Auber. Thanks for the advice.
    dan the mano likes this.
  5. airmec

    airmec Fire Starter

    I installed a Savanna 4.5 in my Traeger and love it the step cook program really is a great feature and with auto relight flame out is just a bad memory
    Yanks332 likes this.
  6. I have the SS 4.5 and love it. For me, the wifi isn't necessarily a need since I would never be gone from a cook long enough and the auto red-light keeps me sane when I am away from the house. The temp swings are 10-15° when at 225° and about 5-10° at about 170-180°, but that's what you want to create smoke. Overall a great product and the gentleman who helped design the SS is very active on the SS user Facebook group...so any issues with it, he's there to help figure it out.
    Yanks332 likes this.
  7. flatbroke

    flatbroke Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    what pellets are you using with these swings?
    dan the mano and Yanks332 like this.
  8. Yanks332

    Yanks332 Newbie

    Thank you all. I went with the Savannah Stoker 4.5 a few weeks ago and so far am VERY happy. I had some issues adjusting it to work properly but the gentleman I believe smokinjoe45 is talking about, Arthur, was exceptionally helpful and walked me through the proper adjustments. It is now working beautifully.

    flatbroke - I was using Pit Boss competition blend and Traeger pellets. Regardless of whether it was a new bag or pellets from an airtight container or pellets from an open bag sitting in my garage, I always had problems. Arthur (mentioned above) told me that PitBoss and Traeger pellets aren't great and I should go with Lumber Jack or CookinPellets. Once I burn through all of the bags that I have, I will switch to Lumber Jack.

    Thanks all!
  9. flatbroke

    flatbroke Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I was using treager pellets, and my temp swings were awful. drop 30 and raise 50-80 above set temp. switched to pitboss and the swings are still 20 under to 30 over but I can live with that. the treager pellets were much longer then the pitboss when I compared the bags I had.
    Yanks332 likes this.
  10. dubob

    dubob Smoke Blower

    I also use an Auber PID Controller on my Bradley and love it. Looking at their website I didn't see anything for use with a pellet grill. So I sent them an email and asked if they have such a product for the Camp Chef pellet grills. I'll let y'all know when I hear back from them. The OP has already decided on the Savannah Stoker 4.5, but others may want to know if the Auber is an option for the pellet grills.
    Yanks332 and dan the mano like this.
  11. dan the mano

    dan the mano Smoke Blower

    well i have used alot of alder for my fish , however i have a bit of everything for smoking alot of ribs to doing a few roasts and so on . but now after the temp controller and really having to go and clean (vacuum ) out things so it isn't dirty or dusty (sawdust ) it seems to work fine . i mean its not a 100% set at one temp and there are a few different temp swings , however it is bearable as compared to before. just in my opinion .
  12. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I love my Aubers.
  13. airmec

    airmec Fire Starter

    I love my SS 4.5 It has been over a year and no trouble. You might also consider upgrading your ignition to the ceramic one offered by rec tec it gives a better ignition source and since air is sent around the igniter its self it cleans out the fire pot built up ash and the 10ga stainless fire pot that comes with it is a nice addition