HM v4.0 & Brinkmanmn electric smoker


 

Stan Hall

New member
I finally put together my HM v4.0 & Rpi that I ordered back in October. I was disappointed that I didn't get my parts in time for a Thanksgiving turkey, so I just let the parts sit until last week. Everything went together great.

Instead of a controlling a charcoal smoker, I wanted to control a Brinkmann electric smoker. I am using an SSR to control the electric smoker, and setting the minimum fan speed on the HM to 100% to force it into long PWM/SRTP mode. I was inspired by the success of Evan MJ as documented on the Sous Vide thread.

Last thursday I did some testing controlling an electric heater using an SSR and the HM. That went well. So today I finally hooked up my smoker to try it out and was gung ho to actually cook something. So here are the results (sorry for the lousy phone pic):

2013-02-03%20Pork%20Loin.jpg


That was definitely success, but it was a long tough road:

2013-02-03%20Pork%20Loin%20stats.jpg


The Brinkmann smoker has an electric heating element and no thermostat control, so it basically runs wide open and it designed to max out around 250 or so. It heats up slow and loses heat quickly. The only regulation is from the water pan which effectively loses heat above 212(ish) as steam. I used it with the water pan and probably shouldn't have.

I neglected to do any research into appropriate PID settings, so as you can see at the beginning of the chart I was desperately attempting to change the settings to something useful and made some guesses that at least got me in the neighborhood. I will work on fine tuning the PID parameters soon. As you can see
 

Bryan Mayland

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Looks to me like you got it dialed in pretty good! I can see what you're saying about it losing a lot of heat though, especially as it struggled to maintain temperature as the ambient drops. Just spitballing, maybe replace the water pan with some bricks wrapped in aluminum foil? It would take longer to heat but might retain it a little better.

Pretty sweet to see how well it works with an electric smoker, thanks for sharing your success story!
 

D Peart

TVWBB Pro
I've used a similar setup with my ECB for several years. I actually used a BBQ Guru because the HM didn't exist.

I had a similar issue but found a fix for it. I went to HD and bought a water heater blanket. Basically a piece of fiberglass (won't burn) and made a wrap for the smoker. This helps retain the heat better. Eventually I was happy with just a hat for the lid. I can upload a picture if your interested.

I've had good success on three different types of smokers with Bryan's default PID settings. The ECB, my UDS, and a Brinkley Electric smoker.

dave
 

Stan Hall

New member
FYI, here is the legend for the chart.

Green - Food 1 - Pork loin
Aqua - Food 2 - SSR
Gray - Food 3 - Ambiant

Bryan,

I was going to try it without the water, but the bricks sounds like an even better idea. I just saw on another thread that you provided some helpful information for PID tuning. I would suggest that you start a PID tuning thread :)

Thanks a lot for all the work you put into this project.
 

Stan Hall

New member
Dave, I would be interested in a pic of your lid. I was thinking about building an insulated box for the smoker, but the water heater blanket sounds perfect. I will check it out.

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I had a similar issue but found a fix for it. I went to HD and bought a water heater blanket. Basically a piece of fiberglass (won't burn) and made a wrap for the smoker. This helps retain the heat better. Eventually I was happy with just a hat for the lid. I can upload a picture if your interested.
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