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Thread: Post your HeaterMeter graphs

  1. #11
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    WSM 22.5 Ribs

    Here are the results and comments of Ribs on the Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5" with HM4, 2nd smoke using the HM4

    Please post any comments in this thread

    Smoker was started up around 11:30 AM. Full of coals, 40 briquettes were lite in a chimney and scattered around. Using Kingsford Original.

    2 bottom vents closed, top open about 0.25, Fan mounted in bowl and toggle bolted in place, open 100%. Water pan foiled without 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.

    2 St. Louis ribs from Costco of about 3 lbs each.

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

    Fan:
    Started at 100% max
    12:50 PM fan set at 60% max
    4:30 to 5:30 fan set at 70% max

    Smoke wood:
    6 oz Apple
    6 oz Hickory

    How it went:
    Time Temp Comments
    11:30 AM 80 Started smoker, fan set at 60% max
    11:42 AM 193 Brain fart, top vent closed, opened to 100%
    12:00 PM 199 set fan to 100% max
    12:30 PM 223 Put meet on, added wood, 6oz hickory, 6oz apple
    12:50 PM 221 set fan to 60% max
    01:00 PM 223 smoker up to temp
    03:00 PM 211 Foiled ribs, 2tbs apple juice each, set smoker to 250 (wanted to speed up the cook, figured smoke was done since being wrapped in foil)
    03:20 PM 250 smoker up to temp
    04:30 AM 247 Removed foil
    05:25 PM 218 Stoked coals
    06:00 PM 225 baste with SBR sauce
    06:15 AM 248 DONE!



    Questions/observations:
    This cook went better then the last one.
    One reason I think it went better is because I removed the 2nd coal grate stacked on the first.
    No water in the pan, just foiled. Have to see if I continue without water. Maybe try the clay pot method?
    Had to stoke the coals more then I thought I would have to.
    I think I'll redo the blower and have it blow under the coal grate so it provides air from under the coal, instead of just on 1 side? (WSM has 3 air inlets spaced around for a reason)




    22.5" WSM, 22.5" OTG

  2. #12
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    John, that cook looks like it went much better....

    Like I said before, I dont have a WSM so it's hard for me to give you direct advice.....

    ...but on my Char-Broil H2O smoker that is similar in design to the WSM I built an air delivery system out of copper tubing that I call the "air burner". It is a series of tubes made from 3/4" copper water pipe with holes drilled in it, it kinda looks like a gas burner so that's why I call it the "air burner". Here's a pic:




    I am kinda surprised you need to stir and stoke your fire so much, I NEVER have to do any stirring or stoking on this little smoker with the "air burner", I just toss more lump coal in the door if it's running low and that's about it. This smoker holds whatever temp you set rock solid until it runs out of coals, when it starts running out of coals you can see the fan percentage ramp upward from in the teens, when it starts hitting about 50% I know I need to throw in more coals. I throw the (unlit) coals right into the pan on top of the "air burner", no grate or nothing, and it lights up and burns like magic!

    As you can see, the air burner will pump the air right up into the coals from all around the burn pan, so it will stoke your fire in all corners. Lighting the fire is also a breeze, just a little paper lit on fire under a pile of lump coal and it's off to the races! This is by far my easiest smoker to run, my Kamado is a touchy little sucker that doesn't behave the HM nearly as well as this Char-Broil smoker. I think that is partially due to the "air burner" and partially due to the fact that this smoker does not hold the heat nearly as well as a Kamado.

    At any rate, I've never had any of the problems you've had running lump coal in this smoker Since you have mentioned delivering the air in a more central location I thought I would throw this idea your way....

  3. #13
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    Ralph,
    Thanks, I'm going to make an airburner myself. I just need think about how to get the air in. I don't want to really drill a hole in the bottom. But the air vents on the WSM are above the coal grate. I may cut away some of the coal grate to allow the pipe to go below. I'll post pictures of what I end up doing.

    John


    22.5" WSM, 22.5" OTG

  4. #14
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    This is my 3rd smoke on my 18.5" WSM. It was my first Boston Butt and first cook using the HM.

    I used the default settings:
    Bias: 4
    Proportional: 3
    Integral: 0.005
    Derivative: 5

    As you can see, the grill was pretty hot when I started. So, I closed the vents almost completely. My strategy from there was to open the vents as the fan became necessary. My logic was that if the fan was running, my vents were too closed. Theoretically, I figured the smoker should be able to maintain a pretty steady temp on its own. My goal was to limit the amount of work required by the fan on the HM. When I did make an adjustment, they were very slight. That seemed to work pretty well. I just had to be patient and give the adjustment time to work.

    Next time, I might try a slightly different strategy, I might close the vents a little too much and allow the fan to do more work. That might reduce the number of times that I have to manually tweak the air vents. The only fly in that ointment is that I noticed a fair amount of ash on the foil when I pulled the food. I'm assuming that's due to the increase air flow from the fan. Ultimately, I'd like to add a servo to my HM and let the vents control the air flow. The WSM has 3 vents on the bottom. I believe keeping 2 closed and focusing on 1 vent would be sufficient for maintaining a 225 - 250 pit temp.

    Even if the HM didn't offer any kind of air flow control, I would still be enamored with the rest of it. It is a fantastic device, well thought out and I can't thank Bryan enough for all of his hard work.


    Last edited by Darren C.; 08-12-2013 at 09:54 AM.

  5. #15
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    Darren,
    I think your strategy goes a little bit against the general idea of the HM, you are SUPPOSED to let the fan control the fire and NOT have to adjust the vents. In general you want to choke off the fire with the vents and allow the HM to do the "breathing" for the fire. The HM will give your fire the air it needs, and it is important that the HM is able to choke down the fire as well as stoke it up.

    As for the ash in the foil, you can set the MAX fan speed in the HM configuration. I would suggest that you lower down the max speed a bit until it's not blowing ash around any more...

    All that said, can't argue with the result, looks like you had a pretty stable cook at 225 there, good job running the pit!

  6. #16
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    Thanks for the advice, Ralph. Yea, that's what I started thinking. That's why I mentioned that I plan to try a different strategy next time. I think that the sweet spot for the vents would be to set them so that they are just slightly closed too much.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren C. View Post
    Thanks for the advice, Ralph. Yea, that's what I started thinking. That's why I mentioned that I plan to try a different strategy next time. I think that the sweet spot for the vents would be to set them so that they are just slightly closed too much.
    As long as the pit temp will drop when the HM fan turns off you should be alright. If the vents are open and allowing enough natural convection flow to keep the fire stoked when the HM fan turns off you will get runaway temps and the HM is pretty much useless at that point. If you see the pit temp hovering above the set point and the HM fan never (or very rarely) coming on then you should close off the other vents more.....

  8. #18
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    Did another smoke today, figured I would kind of follow Harry Soo's ribs running at 275

    I made an airburner as inspired by Ralph, a little different. I attached it to the underside of the coal grate and drilled the air holes in the sides and bottom.
    The coals burned much more evenly then with the cat bowl method. I did stoke the coals twice to drop the ash. In the future I may just use a rubber mallet as others have done.
    I feel I'm closer, just a little more tweaking and I think I'll have it

    Bryan, thanks again for developing and sticking with the HM

    1:00 fired up the smoker
    1:35 put in ribs
    3:30 foiled the ribs
    4:15 put chicken on bottom rack
    5:30 pulled ribs from foil and mopped
    6:00 done


    Airburner






    Here's the graph from today


    22.5" WSM, 22.5" OTG

  9. #19
    TVWBB Honor Circle Bryan Mayland's Avatar
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    Love those air manifolds!

    I did ribs today too. I used the blower + servo today. I started off with the fan setting "fan only at 100%" but with the blower mounted to the servo damper there wasn't enough air getting drafted in, so the whole thing was running ~80% just to keep temperature. I turned that off and got this:


    PID settings were BPID= 0, 3, 0.05, 2. Notice that I lowered the P (from 10) vs using the servo alone because the servo needs to move more to change the temp, but with the fan going the P needs to be a lot lower. Think of it like "If the temperature is 5 degrees low, how much output do I need to make things right?" With a servo, which doesn't provide a lot of air, that was 50% (P=10). With the fan going too, 15% (P=3) is plenty to prevent it from getting carried away. Note that it ran ~10% most of the time, which is actually a function of the I term that ramped up to find the right amount of output to maintain 250F +/- about 0.5 degrees most of the time.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Mayland View Post
    Love those air manifolds!

    I did ribs today too. I used the blower + servo today. I started off with the fan setting "fan only at 100%" but with the blower mounted to the servo damper there wasn't enough air getting drafted in, so the whole thing was running ~80% just to keep temperature. I turned that off and got this:


    PID settings were BPID= 0, 3, 0.05, 2. Notice that I lowered the P (from 10) vs using the servo alone because the servo needs to move more to change the temp, but with the fan going the P needs to be a lot lower. Think of it like "If the temperature is 5 degrees low, how much output do I need to make things right?" With a servo, which doesn't provide a lot of air, that was 50% (P=10). With the fan going too, 15% (P=3) is plenty to prevent it from getting carried away. Note that it ran ~10% most of the time, which is actually a function of the I term that ramped up to find the right amount of output to maintain 250F +/- about 0.5 degrees most of the time.
    Bryan,
    I'm striving to get a constant temp like that. Do you think its possible with a WSM? If I recall correctly your using a BGE?


    22.5" WSM, 22.5" OTG

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