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Pellet Smoker Fridge Conversion

sparky1980

Newbie
8
10
Joined Dec 1, 2013
I have the same setup and have been running it for about 2 years now. The so called PID controls are sub part but they work. I can hold 158 degrees with our a problem. But the real problem is have is the ash, how does yours do. We primarily used ours for sausage and snack sticks. I'm an electrician and am in the process of building a new PID control for it.
 

greyape

Fire Starter
52
13
Joined Dec 26, 2015
I have the same setup and have been running it for about 2 years now. The so called PID controls are sub part but they work. I can hold 158 degrees with our a problem. But the real problem is have is the ash, how does yours do. We primarily used ours for sausage and snack sticks. I'm an electrician and am in the process of building a new PID control for it.
 

scootermagoo

Smoking Fanatic
341
24
Joined May 2, 2011
I can elaborate on my experience with the Smoke Daddy PID controller.  It doesn't work too well with my fridge, but that has nothing to do with the controller at all.  My fridge holds heat pretty well, almost too well.  The problem with that is it calls for very little heat, but it still needs pellets to keep the flame lit.  What I end up with is the temps creeping up and I get a large amount of burn back in the pellet auger tube. Being it is not calling for heat also causes the fan to run at a very low speed so very little smoke is produced.  The smoker is just not optimized for PID control.  Did the controller hold temps well?  It would have if I had more heat escaping.  I probably need to increase the flue size.  I have two 3" flues on it.  I might increase that to one 6" flue, effectively doubling the flue area.  I can always throttle the flue back.  I also tried an additional fan on the cook chamber to push in cooler outside air, but that worked exactly how I figured it would work.....NOT AT ALL.  All that did was pressurize the inside and cause MORE burn back and smoke coming out the pellet hopper.  People have said they've done this, but for the life of me don't know how they have had any success with doing that. If I have one gripe about the controller, it's the start up sequence.  It takes too long for the pellets to ignite, if they even ignite at all.  It won't light unless I intervene in some manner.  The controller starts with the glow plug lighting and the fan pulses at a slow rate but never seems to ramp up high enough to light the pellets.  The pellets just sit there and smolder and smoke like crazy but never light.  They need air but ain't getting it.  That fan needs to ramp up to max RPM after the glow plug has been lit for a few minutes.  I would actually shut it down so it went into cool down mode where the fan spins at max RPM.  Then they would light, and I would turn the unit back on and everything is good.  I have since re-installed the old controller, which isn't PID.  It just works better for me.  It lights the pellets in about 3 minutes and it produces the most excellent TBS ever.  The fan runs at max RPM continuously and drops in a few pellets at an adjustable interval, which ends up working magically for me.  The hickory flavor in the meat is so pronounced, it's just so fantastic.  I do country style ribs occasionally (because they practically give them away up here in WI, and they are meaty and flavorful). They almost have a bacon or ham smell and flavor..........it's crazy.  My wife gets all orgasmic when she eats them......bonus.  So overall, there may be a 15-20 swing in temp, but that doesn't occur often and it doesn't bother me too much.  If you leave the door shut, it works excellent. And really, there no need to open the door, I monitor the pit and meat temps with a Maverick remote.  Until I address the flue issue, I will leave the old controller in it.  But then again, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 
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greyape

Fire Starter
52
13
Joined Dec 26, 2015
Awesome, great feedback thanks!

It does seem that the going thing is to oversize the exhaust on these things and add additional fans to boot.  It seems most of the successful builds with the PID have at least 1 6" stack or dual 5".  I went with a square vent on mine that is pretty huge as well, but haven't completed it.  I do think that the overall heat retention is something really not accounted for with the original unit.
 
2
10
Joined Aug 29, 2015
What controller are you using specifically? Do you have the model #? I have the same fridge and have a Traeger unit in it. It keeps going out because of the well insulated box. I do have a PID controller in one of my Traegers but after reading your comments do not think it will work. If I knew what controller you have I can get Dennis to get me one. Thanks for the help.
 

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