Post your HeaterMeter graphs


Alan Erickson

First run with the HeaterMeter and my WSM 18.5" smoker. Smoked a 14# boneless butt from Costco. They split it in "half" when they take the bone out, and it was essentially one 6# and one 8#. Used Kingsford Blue briquettes. Setpoint was 260F. Cook took around 14 hours. Bottom vents all closed. Top vent opened half way at the start. Cook started going out of control at about four a.m. in the morning. Changed top vent so that it was only a quarter open and this stabilized things. Alarm woke me up a few times when it didn't need to. If I was to do it again I would set my high alarm at 350F (something is on fire !) or my low at around 200F (the fire has gone out). Anything else just let me sleep. ;)

Fan is a stock Auber fan. Max output was set at 20 percent.

PID Tuning Parameters

Bias 4 Proportional 2 Integral 0.002 Derivative 5

Edit: Most of the charcoal was burned in this cooked. It was a 14 hour cook. I would have been lucky to get 16 hours. This is using the stock charcoal ring, although building a custom / taller basket is on my todo list.


Last edited:

Pat C

New member
Here's my first overnight cook with the Heatermeter. This is 2 Sam's Butts, 19lbs total from the label, on a large BGE(standard fan attached with cardboard, stock settings, I have the high temp maverick probe on food 2 accidentally which I think accounts for the temp difference). I cooked some wings beforehand, cleaned the ash as best I could out of hot coals before filling it back up. I think started to get clogged around 4 and then it alarmed(225) and woke me at 7:30. I opened the top to 1/2 and poked through the grate with a coat hanger to get it going again, and then again. Really like the system, way better than hand written spreadsheet I used to use.
Last edited:


TVWBB Member
My last pork butt cook.

Akorn smoker.
Bias 0 Proportional 9 Integral .04 Derivative 25
fan min 5 fan max 25
servo x Full open/close only



This is from my Weber 22.5" OTG kettle grill. (See my install details here )

No meat in the grill, although I did use a small water pan and refilled it at each open lid opportunity. I also agitated the coals both time to shake off ash.

Blower only, with fan set to 40% max.


This was the last image I captured, but it actually maintained temperature for another 3 hours for a total of about 10 hours before the fuel ran out.

The first blip was when my taped-on blower fell off. I think I noticed it about 10 minutes later and reattached it. The second was just an intentional lid opening.

I did not expect to get such a steady temp without much fiddling at all. And I'm amazed at how long it went on one load of coals. I don't believe I've gotten more than 6 hours from the Smokenator before.

I'm curious about the effect a cool piece of meat will have.

And this was with an almost full load of coal -- I believe the Smokenator holds 60 Kinsgford briquettes -- with a double-handful of previously burned lump and Kingsford lit and dropped on top to start it. Will mixing in my smoking wood cut down burn time noticeably?

Would a smaller starter, like 6 briquettes, give me a more gradual start-up?


TVWBB Diamond Member
Yah, I've found the Heater Meter seems to work easier/better on a thin walled grill (kettle, water smoker etc) without having to fiddle with it much. I guess because they leak more heat than the ceramic Kamado's and the Heater Meter works best when it has stoking to do rather than choking. The air burner delivers the oxygen very efficiently so the response is pretty rapid. Looks like you were rolling there 7 hours and counting... nice!

Gary Graham

I did my first HM cook this weekend. Here's the graph from a cold start and short cook today using the HM to run my insulated cabinet smoker. The chamber holds (8) 2'x2' racks, so it is 32 sq foot of cooking area. The firebox inlet is 2"x4" or 8 sq inches with no damper. The exhaust outlets are (3) 3" pipes with no restrictions or damper. I use (2) 2-1/2" server fans because that seems to work best for the larger cooks. Hoping to use the cook logs to cook with lower fire temps.


I typically use the charcoal chimney to preheat the cook chamber, but did a cold start to profile the heat rise time so I can do some experimenting with a damper on the exhaust now that I have a HM with servo controls.

I let it "idle" at 225 to sterilize the racks, while I went to town to get meat. Pit temp went above the setpoint most of this time, but no big deal. There was no brisket at the getting place, so I had to use smaller meats. I cooked a styro pack of legs and quarters, two 7-8lb roasting hens and a 9lb pork loin. The door openings happened when I put those meats in, and in that order.

Notice how the fire temp varied while the fan was off for more than an hour... this is the nature of lump charcoal as a heat source. The cabinet was drafting on its own to a steady temp, while large and small lumps burn. Small lumps raise the fire temp and large lumps lower the fire temp. The firebox is gravity fed, so I just pour in the lump seal the lid and walk away.

I was using the default BPID values during the cold start. I changed the P to 7 before putting on the meat. Notice the difference in the shape of the fan cut out once the pit reaches the target temp.

I only had two probes to use in the cabinet, so one pit probe and one meat probe. I put the pit probe on the center of rack 4, in the center of the smoker cabinet. There were two racks of meat below the pit probe, and nothing above it.

The meat probe was monitoring the breast of the largest hen (on rack 3) , and after two hours it was saying 185, so I pulled the hens and found that the legs and quarters (on rack 2) had basically caught on fire and were crispy little tar coated critters - not edible at all. This is the first time I smoked chicken with chicken smoke and the last time I will put small meats like that near the bottom where the temps are highest in my cabinet.

Need more probes to profile the temps on the bottom racks compared to the pit probe with a couple of racks of cold meat in between.

The meat probe must have been going bad because I moved it to the pork loin when I took out the hens, and the temperature went off scale... not acting right. I had to reboot the HM to see if it would recover, and that did not work, so I traded positions with another jack and that did not work. I put everything back to original position and rebooted again... shortly after the meat probe was reporting the pork loin was over 600 degrees. Pretty sure the probe went bad.

I have seen 8 of these probes go bad, and the only pattern I have noticed is that they do not like being in or near water. I lost one or two in the dishwasher, and typically see one or two fail after profiling temperatures with the probe tips in a pot of water being brought up to a slow boil, but being careful not to get any water in the braided cable or the grommet where the tip and cable meet. Could be thermal shock too... I took the probe at ambient temp (about 89) and when I put it in the chicken, it was reading 37 degrees and it dropped pretty quick. Using CDN-DATTC probes and a custom profile for a,b,c values. The fire temp is using a thermocouple on the heat transfer tube right at the firebox outlet.

Best of times:
Using my HM in AP mode with my cell phone to control the pit and monitor the cook from inside the house. Extrememly cool.

Worst of times
Walking outside to the smell of "bad smoke"... there's no sensor for smelling the cook on HM, and no replacement for actually being at the pit to smell the air (and get the BBQ smell all in your clothes) and to make sure the pit is really cooking right.

Next time:
Ordered some Maverick pit and meat probes for next weekend.. cooking for a friends wedding.
Last edited:


WSM 18.5 stock (no modifications)

8 lb. pork Butt

Fuel: Truflame Hardwood Charcoal (lump, made in Indonesia, only sold in Australia), 4 KG bag + a little more
Ambient Temp: COLD! 32*F when started (it's Winter in Australia).

Fan only.

I used a foiled 36 cm Terra Cotta dish instead of the water bowl.

B: 2
P: 3
I: 0.005
D: 5

4:30 - Started charcoal
5:30 - Put shoulder on grill, went to work
10:47 - Oscillations that I can't explain
17:04 - Home for work and stoked coals
19:30 - Added fuel for security
21:07 - Hungry, upped temp to 230*
22:42 - Messed with C/F feature in setup (don't know why)
22:47 - Got curious so checked temp with Thermapen. Spot on.
24:00 - Thermapen again
1:45 - Upped temp to 250. Really Hungry!!


What an awesome tool! I can put a Butt or Brisket on in the morning and go to work without worrying!


TVWBB Member
Spent some time adjusting PID values

Kamado Joe Classic (similar to Large BGE)
Rotodamper with stock fan
BPID settings stock at start 4,3,.005,5

3:15 RotoDamper, fan and damper active 4,3,.005,5, temp climbed nicely to 400F, a little oscillation, difficulty really getting to 400F
3:30 changed D to 2 (4,3,.005,2) temp now going above 400F
3:35 changed setpoint to 350, let's see if it can drop temp, ok 350 is too much, how about 390F
3:45 changed i from .005 to .01, twice as fast (4,3,.01,2) to see if I like faster response
3:53 changed i from .01 to .05 for even faster response, not getting to 390, see if this helps, if not try adjusting P up

A little too much oscillation with I at .05 so I'll stick with .01 for now.

Satisfied with BPID 4,3,.01,2 for a 400F cook where fan and damper are both active. When I do a 225F low and slow cook I set fan to on at 100% only, we'll see if these settings work as well there next :)


Gary Graham

Second cook on my v4.1.4 Heatermeter. Cooking some BBQ for a wedding. The fan is using pulse mode, and no servo or damper for this cook. Using all other default values, except I changed the fan speed a few times (have to remember when that was, because there is no indicator of the setting in the graph (is there?))

There is 50 pounds of meat in my vertical cabinet smoker using the Heatermeter. I have the cooker arranged like this:

Rack 8 <empty>
Rack 4 < empty>
Rack 3 <2 Turkeys>
Rack 3 <2 Briskets>
Rack 2 <Pit probe>
Rack 1 <empty>

Here's the graph of a 12 hour cook that I did on Sunday, starting early in the morning. The Wedding dinner was scheduled for 6:00 PM. We served at 6:30 because we got lost in Woodstock and had to ask the locals for directions.


I started the pit using a charcoal chimney right in the cabinet for ~30 minutes while I went in to prep the meat.
The startup and first hour of the cook did not save properly, so I was not able to show it.

Using some new Maverick pit and food probes, I noticed the noise indicators were showing and also noted squiggly temperature traces early in the cook. The traces flattened out once the moving average smoothing kicked in on the data. Guess I need the white wire fix with these probes.

The thermocouple reading matched the reading on my handheld reader and that was around 920 degrees. When the fans were blowing 100% for extended duration I checked the temp with the handheld and it was 1400 degrees and there was a lot of glowing metal on the firebox, but the thermocouple reading is not showing over 1,000 (?!). I noticed the probe temps shift and are more squiggly when the thermocouple is unplugged, so I am suspecting a grounding issue.

Noticed the meat probe in the socket where the vishay thermistor is located did not read the same temp as the other meat probe....

Decided to cut the fan speed in half to see if that changed anything but it did not seem to make a big difference. I probably have way too much fan, so I cut it back to 20% for parts of the cook where I did not want the really high heat and where I really did not need to push the cabinet because it was at temp.

Wrapped meat around 11:40
Dropped the pit temp to 190 a little after 2:00 PM
Raised pit temp to 200 at 4:00 PM
Pulled everything at 185 at 5:00 PM.

I typically let the brisket go to 190 or 200, but kept this one more on the juicy side. Had decent voids and a nice smoke ring.
Turkeys were cooked in small aluminum pans, and I was able to cut it up without it falling apart too bad. The skin cut OK, but I probably should have basted it when I wrapped everything at noon.
Last edited:

Bryan Mayland

TVWBB Hall of Fame
When the fans were blowing 100% for extended duration I checked the temp with the handheld and it was 1400 degrees and there was a lot of glowing metal on the firebox, but the thermocouple reading is not showing over 1,000 (?!).
Yup, the code does a "sanity check" on the calculated temperatures and assumes anything outside of -20C (-4F) to +500C (932F) is bad data.

Dave Smith

TVWBB Super Fan

smoked a meatloaf today, had some trouble holding temp, but all in all it went well.
Stock fan, pids = B=0; P=4; I=0.02; D-5; started out with a pit temp of 350 but had trouble holding it, so I dropped down to 325 which seemed good.

Dave Smith

TVWBB Super Fan
Todays smoke.........Roast beef, taters and carrots
WSM 22.5, Royal Oak Briqs, fan controlled bottom vent, 2 other bottom vents closed, top vent open 1/4.
B=0; P=4; I=0.02; D=5; Fan 10% pulse.

Gary Graham

Nice looking cook log. There is a way to have HM tell you the degrees per hour for the probes, but I am not sure where to find that or if it works in a recalled cook log or live only. (if someone knows, please chime in...)

I am studying how to make improvements in cold start times and recovery when adding meat, and the best place to locate the pit probe in my insulated cabinet smoker.

Here is a cook log for the entire duration of a ~160 lb cook. I have a case of trimmed brisket (5 pcs total), a case of boneless butts (60 lbs total) two packs of spare ribs (20 lbs, trimmed St Louis style, with tips on the side)

There are no probes in the meat until late in the afternoon... I am just monitoring the cabinet temps to learn how everything reacts while there is a big thermal load (lots of cold meat in the smoker)...

I did a baseline cook with a cold start and dampers open and that took about an hour.
The log below shows a 50% closure on the 3 stack pipes (to see how 50% damper would work).

The temperatures from highest to lowest are:
Fire, Drip Pan, Pit_rack4, pit_Rack6... using Pit_rack4 for temp control point.


A) Cold start ...40 minutes, an improvement !
B) Adding the first couple of briskets rack 2 and 3 left side
C) Going in and out of wireless range apparently hosed the wi-fi connection where I could not join the network, so I had to reboot e HM to recover. Added three more briskets on racks 4, 5 and 6. Pit temp was riding a bit high, so I updated one of the PID settings from 5 to 7, and bumped the set point to 250 to see how it would pull and settle.
Note: the critical temp in my smoker for the best cooking is the drip pan (Food1, Bright green trace). When the grease gets dripping, I want to have the drip pan temp around 300 degrees or less if possible to get some secondary smoke from meat juice, but no carbonizing stanky burrn smell.
D) Adding a pan full of butts on lower racks 2 and 3 right side. I lowered the Set Point back to 225 and cut the fan speed to 50% in an effort to see if I could lower the drip pan temps. Noticed the thermocouple temp could not possibly be right if the fan is blowing for any length of time... reseated TC, jiggled wires and eventually rebooted HM to recover. (probably noise related with my thermocouple amp board)
E) Adding the rest of the butts on racks 5 and 6. Note how the light green trace (Food2 on Rack6) takes a REALLY long time to get back up to temp with cold meat a few inches away. This is the effect of having a thermal load in the vicinity of the probe. Pit temp recovers, but it really depends on where I measure the pit temp because there are hot and cold spots everywhere when I start adding meat and cranking the heat. BTW... recovery was kind of slow, so I bumped the fan back up to 100%, you can see a slight improvement in the pit recovery time... 150 lb meat load is all in for the night. Nap time (~1:30 AM)
F) Wake up !! the fire is going out !! I really need to look into setting an alarm for this.
G) Got the fire going again, but the thermocouple temp was "flat lining" again. Had to reboot HM to recover.
H) No issues, just disconnected the controller and towed the trailer to the park where my BBQ event was being held. I have towed it hot before on a battery using my Megamometer controller, but did not have time to do battery hookup today.
I) trailer is all set up at the venue, power is on, temps recovering nicely. Looks like the pit temp may have dropped a bit during the 7 mile journey and being unplugged for 50 minutes.
J) Thermocouple temp still questionable. Rebooted HM again.
K) Added 20 lbs of ribs and spot checked temps on meat with a meat thermometer.
Note how the temp on the rack 6 probe is not hitting the pit temp. This is because the probe is in the center of the rack and kind of surrounded by pieces of meat, and not getting as much radiant heat form the sides of the cabinet.
L) Pulling out meats, smallest pieces first. Scraped down the drip pan, its really getting grungy with baked out drippings. Added 20 lbs pork loin to serve at church on Sunday.
M) I used the rack6 probe in one of the briskets, and let it ride up to 200 then started removing the last of the big briskets, butts and ribs as they hit the 6 hour mark. Dropped the pit temp to 225. note how the drip pan temps are more moderate as the meat load is decreasing....

Now to clean it all up.
Last edited:


Nice looking cook log. There is a way to have HM tell you the degrees per hour for the probes, but I am not sure where to find that or if it works in a recalled cook log or live only. (if someone knows, please chime in...)

You have to set a high temp alarm on the probes you want to see the per hour info.

Gary Graham

Thanks Steve. High temp only ? Would it work if I put on a low temp alarm to catch a fire out condition ?
Also do the alarms work on all probes, or just pit only ?
Last edited:


Thanks Steve. High temp only ? Would it work if I put on a low temp alarm to catch a fire out condition ?
Also do the alarms work on all probes, or just pit only ?

Not sure if it works with low, but I do know it works with high. You can set a low/high and more on every probe. It's in the Alarms tab in the config screen.

Bryan Mayland

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Nice looking cook log. There is a way to have HM tell you the degrees per hour for the probes, but I am not sure where to find that or if it works in a recalled cook log or live only. (if someone knows, please chime in...)
It only works with live data and only displays if there is at least 30 minutes of data for the past hour and the change is greater than 1 degree per hour. If there is a high alarm set it will estimate the time until hitting that alarm using a simple (target - current) / dph calculation.

Mike Wallace

TVWBB Member
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, just curious if you are still running these settings, and what do you have the min/max fan set to?

Dale Ward


Check ambient temp form wireless it is 102.3 deg f today
Compare thermocouple to rtd probe, ET&# is driving the damper. TC just monitoring.
4.2 board and 4.1 board

Thermocouple board got squiggly temp line when central air turned on, changed from transformer to switching power supply and got a little more stable.

Cooking on Big Steel Keg
PID Output Parameters
Bias 0 Proportional 12 Integral 0.004 Derivative 7