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Thread: Post your HeaterMeter graphs

  1. #1
    TVWBB Honor Circle Bryan Mayland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Tampa, FL

    Post your HeaterMeter graphs

    Someone had a great suggestion, that we should post our graphs to give some examples of HeaterMeter control. To post your graph, you can either screenshot it or save the PNG image from the archive (select View, then click the 'Save graph image' button) and upload it to a hosting service like

    If you post, make sure you include details like what model of smoker you use, blower modifications, PID parameters, what you were smoking.

    This is my large Big Green Egg smoking a 5.2lb boston butt. Servo mode (BPID=0, 10, 0.05, 10) with the top vent halfway slid open. The vent appears to be open too much which caused a few strange spikes up to a max of 237F. The set temperature was automatically lowered from 225F to 215F at 6:34am when the food hit 175F using an alarm script. Foiled at 8am and messed with the temperature to try and hit 11:30am 200F food temperature, which I hit on the nose.

  2. #2
    TVWBB Fan
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Here is a 12 hour 7.5 lb Butt cook on WSM 22. Used KB with top vent 1/4 open. This is first cook with swing open damper installed on fan. Didn't seem to make a lot of difference compared to previous cooks without damper. It's neat to see the spike at about 12:00 and how the PID dampened out the oscillations to get back to 250. I'm guessing spike caused by wood chunk(s) igniting. I am not sure why the food temp line has oscillations, they seem to follow the fan.

    Genesis 1000 LX (96), Skyline 3200 (99), 18.5 OTG (05), 22.5 WSM (09), Performer (09)

  3. #3
    TVWBB Fan
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    Nov 2011
    Did this one last weekend. Brisket, probably around 12#'s, overnight cook. Cooked on a Char Griller Kamado for around 15 hours. Top vent was only opened to the 0.75 mark. Wish I could open the top vent more, but the temps are tough to control when the vents opened much. Used a stock Auber fan. The fan output was limited to 30%. Used Royal Oak lump. Got 15 hours out of a single load, and probably could have gone another 6 hours. Wrapped it in butcher paper after around 8 hours, which you can see the spike on the graph when I took it off to wrap it. Started off at around 250 and then ramped to around 275 part way through to push through the stall. Brisket turned out great. A little oscillation in the temperature, but as long as the coals don't go out I can live with it. Also had some trouble where the alarms didn't always go off, and I need to dig into that a bit. Need to do a cook on my 18.5" WSM one of these days.

    Last edited by Alan Erickson; 07-08-2013 at 08:39 PM.

  4. #4
    TVWBB Fan
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    May 2013

    Yesterday's smoke.

    6# bone in pork butt. Fourth cook of in my WSM 22.5. It is tightening up and performing better with each use. The fan is inserted into an aluminum bowl which is held tight to one of the chamber bottom vents via a toggle bolt and 5" screw. Lump coal and I tried a new (to me) "fuse" Minionesque method where I put a big rock in the center of the grate and lined the perimeter with the lump (this was suggested by Meathead on All vents were closed save for the fan and the top vent which was open enough to get a pencil eraser through. It burned really nicely around the rock and kept a pretty consistent temp for most of the day.

    Settings were:
    B: 4
    P: 3
    I: .005
    D: 5

    Smoke wood was pecan, apple and cherry.

    Highlights were:
    1. The meat. Purchased from a new local butcher ( that is pretty outstanding. The pig was slaughtered less than 24 hours before it hit the grill. Much more than I usually spend on meat, but it was obvious from just rubbing it that it was going to be special. Worth every penny.
    2. Lighting the thing. The fuse method meant that it took much longer to get the smoker to temp. I think next time I will dump a bit more lit fuel at the beginning.
    3. Lid Open..although the lid open indicator only went off once, there were three times during the cook that I opened. The lump is so sensitive to air that all bets are off when you open and the temps can shoot up very quickly despite missing your top.
    4. 4pm to 5pm was a really magical time for me. Watching that temperature stay soooooo steady.
    5. I foiled the butt at around 3 pm at 150ish (when the lid open indicator hits) and reloaded the chamber with what I *thought* would be PLENTY of fuel. We then we down to check out the BBQ comp about 20 miles away, confident that the Heatermeter had everything under control. I didn't expect the fuel to give out so soon and when I got an alarm SMS telling me the temperature was dropping in the chamber, we hauled butt back to the house. I like to hit 200 ~ 204, it was holding steady at 197 by the time we got home and I figured it was good enough. Into the cooler to rest for an hour and a half.
    6. pork butt I have ever smoked, hands down. The meat really makes the difference.
    7. Feeling comfortable with driving 20 miles away while my smoker is going. I saw a lot of Stokers and Party-Q's at the the comp, no Heatermeters. I wil try and change that in the near future. Thanks Bryan!

    Lowlights were:
    1. Brand new high heat ET-73 probe lost it's shrink-wrap at the junction to the couple. One reason (I'm guessing) why the meat temperature was so wacked out while it was in the cooler.
    2. Probably didn't put enough smoke wood in. The ring was much smaller than I am used to, but that may be a byproduct of the meat.
    3. As the smoker gains some seasoning and I figure out exactly what my coal strategy will be, I hope to avoid some of the temperature flux and hope that I'll be able to fine tune the BPID settings better. I didn't change them at all during this cook because I wanted to see what would happen without any fiddling. (Any suggestions are welcome.)
    Last edited by Phillip P; 07-14-2013 at 10:01 PM. Reason: Meat weight.

  5. #5
    TVWBB Fan
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    Jan 2013
    Fullerton, California
    Started with Ribs 3-2-1 at 275 deg ribs were falling off the bone tender, next time little use 3-1.5-1 hope to give a little bite to them.
    I was using Servo mode (BPID=0, 10, 0.05, m10) Same as Bryan was using. Top vent at 1.8 to 2 on Big Steel Keg. Put fire out then knocked off ashes and relit lump at 10:48 pm set temp to 225 and put in 13 pound brisket for second smoke of day, it was short smoke for a brisket only 12 hours, did not foil the brisket in the smoker. I pulled at 185-190 and foil wrapped, wrapped in towel and put in cooler for 4.5 hours till dinner came out of cooler still steaming hot and was best brisket yet, I usually go 18 to 20 hours on brisket.

    Last edited by Dale Ward; 07-22-2013 at 08:01 PM.

  6. #6
    TVWBB Diamond Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    I just finished building a simple gravity damper for the fan and did my first test cook. (Check out the thread here for details about the damper valve)
    Here's a graph of the pit showing two jumps up on the setpoint, I am really pleased at how fast the temp rises and how well to settles on the set point....

    It also recovers from lid open really well....

    FINALLY I am happy with the way the Heater Meter controls my FauxMado grill....

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Brisket - BGE

    12lb Brisket on a large BGE


    Using an Auber blower, lump charcoal and pecan wood. BPID 4, 10, .02, 10. Put temp probes in both parts of the brisket. Wrapped in butcher paper during the stall. Started at 225, stepped up to 240, then finished at 250. My BGE has a hard time staying stable at 225, but is fine at 250. After this cook, I replaced the top gasket to see it that will help.

  8. #8
    TVWBB Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    New Jersey

    WSM 22.5, Pork Butt

    Here are the results and comments of my first Pork Butt smoke as well as the first time using the HM4

    Please post any comments in this thread

    Smoker was started up around 7:30 PM to test HM4. Full of coals with a hole in the center to dump about 30 hot coals into. Using Kingsford Original.
    Stacked 2 coal grates, the stock grate that sits on the bolt heads from the legs. The other is the exact inside diameter as the coal ring so I put that on top of the standard coal grate. My thinking was I would not have as much coal drop through due to smaller holes.

    2 bottom vents closed, top open about 0.25, Fan mounted in bowl and toggle bolted in place, open 100%. Water pan foiled and filled with hot water.

    WSM 22.5 has nomex gaskets and probe grommet hole.

    Smoker came up to temperature (225) and held it nicely about an hour later. So I figured I would prepare the butt.

    8lb 2oz, boneless Swift Premium pork butt from Costco, tied up the butt, rubbed with Memphis dust. Let sit at room temperature for about an hour, rubbed again and put in smoker at 10 PM

    Decided early on after having read about the stall, that I would power through it and give the HM a run for its money.

    Can we make this thread a sticky thread?

    Settings were:
    B: 4
    P: 3
    I: .005
    D: 5

    Smoke wood:
    9 oz Cherry
    10 oz Apple
    4 oz Hickory

    How it went:
    07:30 PM started smoker, full load of coal, small divot in center for about 30 light coals, foiled pan, filled with hot water
    09:30 PM added smoke wood
    10:00 PM Put in butt fat cap down
    01:30 AM temp down to 208, fan at 100% since 1:00 AM, stirred coal, butt at 130
    07:00 AM temp down to 195, fan at 100% since 5:20 AM, added more coal, butt at 154
    10:50 AM temp down to 215, fan at 100%, stirred coals, no room under grate, fill with ash, butt at 168
    01:30 PM temp down to 215, fan at 100%, broke open smoker and removed ash which was all the way up to the grate so no air could flow under. Removed smaller grate. Added coal, butt at 168
    01:50 PM smoker back up to 225, fan at 0 to 3%, butt at 168
    02:30 PM still going, wondering if powering through the stall is smart or not, smoker at 225, fan at 9%, butt at 168
    02:50 PM starting to wonder if food probe is not working, stuck butt with meat thermometer, it’s right on the money! Both at 168
    03:00 PM WOW, finally hit 170! we’re moving now, well maybe, damn I’m hungry!
    03:40 PM low temp (200) alarm went off, had to stir coal, went down to 197, Butt at 172
    04:15 PM temp still dropping, lit a half chimney of coal and added as well as more unlit. So far have gone through about 30 lbs of coal
    05:00 PM pit at 230, pushed pit temp up to 250, butt at 174
    06:00 PM pit losing temp down to 190, fan at 100% stoked coals,
    06:30 PM fan at 100%, opened top vent to 100%, opened 1 bottom vent to 100%, butt at 183
    07:00 PM closed bottom vent to 50%, smoker at 260, butt at 187
    08:00 PM butt at 195, tested with fork twisted 90 degrees meat pull apart nicely.
    08:30 PM pulled and eating pulled pork, no time to rest it, I'm starving!

    1 - Used PitDroid monitor HM4. Set up alarms to monitor while I tried to sleep. Worked very well.
    2 - Will not use the 2nd coal grate again, I think it caused ash to get stuck and not fall threw. Thoughts?
    3 - ET-732 pit probe worked fine
    4 - ET-732 food probe dropped out 4 or so times for seconds each time (Bryan posted a fix of soldering the shield to ground on connector)
    5 - Having problems keeping steady temps. Should I change the PID settings?
    6 - The fan blows across the coals, would it be better to have the fan blow under the coals? (saw a post where someone made an air distribution chamber for under the coal grate)
    7 - Blue blower speed bar is neat, but what is the small grey line tell you?
    8 - How can I hold temps like I see everyone else is able to?
    9 - 30 lbs of Kingsford original seems like a lot?
    10 - Butt seems very black instead of brown? But it tastes good, moist.
    11 - Is foiling at 150 to 160 degrees the better way to go?
    12 - Butt started at 8lb 2oz, finished at 4lb 14oz, during the stall/cook it lost about 3 lbs of moisture. Is that much weight loss normal?
    13 - 22 hours to cook a butt, holly $hit, anybody else ever have one go that long?

    Please let me know your thoughts on how I can improve the performance of the HM4?


    Meat rubbed and ready to go:

    Finished still on the grill:

    Sliced to show smoke ring:

    Last edited by John Case; 08-05-2013 at 06:28 AM.

    22.5" WSM, 22.5" OTG

  9. #9
    TVWBB Pro
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Goshen, VA
    Did you really open the lid 14 times or did the automatic lid open kick in on you? I have to set my auto lid detect to something not so tight as my UDS does fluctuate more than defaults allow. When the lid is detected open it stops your fan and can lead to poor temp control.

    Yes it does look like you need to tune the PID parameters, what type of smoker are you using? You should be able to start with something closer if you ask around. The PID parameters are very dependent on the heat change characteristics of your smoker.

    The butt looks great, I expect them to look like a burnt lump of coal. 22 hours is a little on the long side, but not unheard of, just depends on your hunk of meat. I do wrap as it will make it much faster and I don't mind a softer bark. If you want a hard barker just wrap, but take it off after you are thought the stall. It will still stall after unwrapping due to the moisture evaporating, but will be faster than no wrap.

    My $0.02,

  10. #10
    TVWBB Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    New Jersey
    I just counted as per my log and I opened it 8 times, (nice catch D. Peart) and that was to only intervene when fan at 100% and still loosing temp.

    The smoker is a Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5" with nomex seals, therefore it's very tight. I never see any smoke coming out anywhere but the top vent.

    There is a graph above that looks pretty good, he has the WSM 22.5 like mine and his PID settings are the same. Anybody have any suggestions for the PID settings?

    My next butt, I think I'll wrap it around 150 - 160 degrees.


    22.5" WSM, 22.5" OTG

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