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Thread: Heatermeter on Pellet Grill

  1. #11
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    I see that this thread has gone dormant for a few months, but I would love to resurrect it again. I just got a Pit Boss Pro Series 1100, and while it has been pretty great so far, I too would love to adapt my HM to work with it. I was very happy with the HM on my cheap offset smoker, but I can definitely see the potential that is possible with the HM controlling my new Pit Boss. Has Kyle or anyone else, put anything together yet to give this a try? I've seen all of the other various posts through the years which started down this road, but it seems that nobody has ever taken it all the way through to testing. Here's to hoping that someone is, or will be working this soon!

    Nick

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick T Wellman View Post
    I see that this thread has gone dormant for a few months, but I would love to resurrect it again. I just got a Pit Boss Pro Series 1100, and while it has been pretty great so far, I too would love to adapt my HM to work with it. I was very happy with the HM on my cheap offset smoker, but I can definitely see the potential that is possible with the HM controlling my new Pit Boss. Has Kyle or anyone else, put anything together yet to give this a try? I've seen all of the other various posts through the years which started down this road, but it seems that nobody has ever taken it all the way through to testing. Here's to hoping that someone is, or will be working this soon!

    Nick
    I'm with you Nick; I love my HM with all its features and graphs etc. Recently got a GMG JimBowie WiFi model as a Fathersday gift from my sons. I now use the pellet smoker regularly instead of firing up my UDS & HM, but each time I do, I miss all the bells and whistles of the HM. Whilst it is doing what it is designed for, the GMG controller and its app feels so 'basic' now compared to the HM.

    I'm sure I could hack the HM (hardware wise, not software) to sort of control the auger and blower, but it would be so great if controlling a pellet smoker can become part of the HM design, thus including control of the startup and shutdown of the pellet smoker etc.

    I would be happy to be a guinea pig; unfortunately I can hardly program my name in my mobile phone, let alone write any code. I am quite handy with electronics etc though (been my job a few decades ago)

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by KyleH View Post
    Hey guys, I started traveling heavily for work shortly after making the post. I never got around to do it.

    I may do this in the next couple of weeks. Heatermeter has been sitting in my garage for almost a year now! If anyone is interested, here are the components (still in my amazon save for later) I planned on using.

    SSR: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...7ZTN08/tvwb-20 $9.99
    SPST Switch: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...WWZ0GK/tvwb-20 $7.98 (includes 3)
    Fan Speed Control: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...F9DAL2/tvwb-20 $16.67

    If I get around to this, I'll probably create a model for the enclosure that can be used for 3D printing. I will also do my best to document so others can follow.

    EDIT: To anyone else looking to do this. The circuit I previously posted will not work the way I wanted it to.


    I'm a mechanical guy so I thought, oh I just need a check valve for the branch of the solid state that powers the fan. I don't think adding a diode will work the way that I want it to in an AC circuit.

    I will post the final build if I am successful. I think I will need two solid state relays, one for the auger and one for the fan. That will isolate the auger so that it will only be powered when I flip the normally open switch during start up or when the heater meter decides to turn it on.
    Hey KyleH, did you ever get around to doing a test build of your design? It looks like you are probably the best equipped to try it out, and there are a few of us who would genuinely be interested in helping you reach the end result. I’m all in with my PitBoss 1100 smoker/grill. I’ve been using it regularly to do everything from hamburgers to our thanksgiving turkey this year! I do like how the pellet grill is a bit more “hands off” during longer cooks, but I miss the ability to remotely monitor and make changes, set-up and get custom alerts, and I’d love to be able to hone the temp control a bit tighter than it is right now.

    Let us know if you’ve made any progress, and thanks for the info you’ve given so far!

    Nick

  4. #14
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    I going to chime in here with my opinion and ideas on this heatermeter use. First off I believe you will need two SSR`s. Also be aware that SSR`s can be tricky to use since they are solid state devices and the switched output connection is a semiconductive junction. That means some SSR`s can leak through across the junction. I am thinking you will need one for the fan and the other for auger. As you know the auger on all pellet devices are regulated using a duty cycle approach. That means some sort of regulated pulse to the auger SSR. The fan can be controlled by regulating the speed. I know the heatermeter has a pulse mode, but I have never tried it. Brian could give you more info on how that feature works. The ideal setup would to control the auger with a pulse regulation and fan with a voltage mode. The last issue is for the pellet ignitor. Not sure if the grills have this feature which ignites the pellets with a burner like they have in auto start pellet stoves. Hopes this helps. It only my opinion and ideas.

  5. #15
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    I popped on here with a WiFi problem and noticed this thread. Maybe throwing cold water but ...

    There are frequent discussions of temperature control on the BBQ Brethren Forum (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/) Typically people who feel that the temp swings on their cookers are too wide. In several years of reading, though, I have never once seen anyone claim that these swings affected the food in any way. This pretty much makes sense to me. Yesterday I cooked a spatchcocked turkey and a ham in my pellet cooker. The HM gave me a pit temperature of 220 in the center. If that temp had ranged up to say 275 or down to 180 it would only have been the very outer skin of the meat that was even aware. Below the skin, the temperature changes very slowly and the meat has no idea that the temp may be swinging in a way that alarms the cook. Obviously extremes hot enough and long enough to char the skin or to burn sugar rubs and glazes would be objectionable and extremes cold enough and long enough to noticeably slow the cook would also be objectionable, but none of the BB forum discussions ever mention these situations. Mostly it is people who see +/- 20 deg. swings and think they are too much.

    I have both a Camp Chef DLX and a Traeger Lil Tex. They are essentially identical, sometimes swing +/- 20 or more, and I have never seen any food-related reason to worry about this. So I don't.

    Some of the discussion on the BB forum is stimulated I think by people who sell supposedly "better" controllers and cite temperature swings as "problems" so that they can offer to solve them.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Frere View Post
    I popped on here with a WiFi problem and noticed this thread. Maybe throwing cold water but ...

    There are frequent discussions of temperature control on the BBQ Brethren Forum (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/) Typically people who feel that the temp swings on their cookers are too wide. In several years of reading, though, I have never once seen anyone claim that these swings affected the food in any way. This pretty much makes sense to me. Yesterday I cooked a spatchcocked turkey and a ham in my pellet cooker. The HM gave me a pit temperature of 220 in the center. If that temp had ranged up to say 275 or down to 180 it would only have been the very outer skin of the meat that was even aware. Below the skin, the temperature changes very slowly and the meat has no idea that the temp may be swinging in a way that alarms the cook. Obviously extremes hot enough and long enough to char the skin or to burn sugar rubs and glazes would be objectionable and extremes cold enough and long enough to noticeably slow the cook would also be objectionable, but none of the BB forum discussions ever mention these situations. Mostly it is people who see +/- 20 deg. swings and think they are too much.

    I have both a Camp Chef DLX and a Traeger Lil Tex. They are essentially identical, sometimes swing +/- 20 or more, and I have never seen any food-related reason to worry about this. So I don't.

    Some of the discussion on the BB forum is stimulated I think by people who sell supposedly "better" controllers and cite temperature swings as "problems" so that they can offer to solve them.

    Yes, and no.

    20 degree +/- swings arent even controlling
    Its basically turning heat on and off, out of sync with the heating dynamic of the system.



    Temp swings can be bad.
    They can produce bitter white smoke when unburned fuel ignites with excess air, and rapid heating occurs. When this occurs too much in long cook, it will affect the smoke taste.

    Fire management is a part to producing tasty bbq.

    Low temps dont produce bark as well. High temps can produce dried out hard surface on long cooks. In the middle, is forgiving cook conditions.

    A little variation may not matter, but being consistent in all ways, is the key to getting consistently good results.

    The heat transfer into meat center, at any point in time depends on the temperature difference , ie the pit temp. When this fluctuates wildly over a long period ,you can see the heating curve of the inside meat probe follow, flatten, steepen, even decrease in some cases. It may not matter to anything but time, but it is seen by meat interior.
    Last edited by MartinB; 11-29-2019 at 07:50 PM.

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