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Author Topic: Auber pid  (Read 11136 times)

Offline smokinjoe73

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Auber pid
« on: March 20, 2013, 06:39:17 am »
Hello. I apologize if this has been asked. But I have noticed people with the bradley digital also say they use a auber pid. I am very new to this. Isn't the digital supposed to do the same job ? I'm confused.
Thanks in advance

Offline GusRobin

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Re: Auber pid
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2013, 06:52:59 am »
A digital works like your oven. It will be on until the temp hits the set temp then it will shut off. Meanwhile the element is still hot and you get an overshoot of temp. It will remain off until the temp lowers past the set point and then it will turn on. Meanwhile it has undershot the temp. So you could end up with a temp swing of 20* or higher (+10; -10 past set temp). This is fine when you are smoking things like butts and briskets etc. But if you are going to get serious with sausages and other things that require a closer temp, you probably need have closer control. A PID (Auber or other type of controller) will have the element heat until it gets just below the set temp. It will then cycle the element on and off and gradually approach the set temp. It will then keep cycling to maintain the temp. So you can get swings as low as + or - 2*.
Do you need one? Not unless you are cooking stuff that requires close temps. Should you get one? I would try it without it first and learn your smoker. If you are going to buy the 4 rack digital, you may want to look at a OBS (non- digital) and buy a PID. You can get both for around the same price as a digital. If you need the larger space of a 6 rack, then you have to get a digital.
Hope that helps.
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Offline paulsnapp

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Re: Auber pid
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2013, 07:03:59 am »
Or, depending on what you are smoking - I have the four rack DBS with the Auber PID - I do a lot a jerky.  So, I bought another set of the four bradley racks, turn them upside down and place them on top of the existing original racks.  Now I get an eight rack smoker without having to add any additional side rails.  I also agree with GusRobin.  If I had it to do over again, I would buy the OBS and the PID.  I would not waste my money on the digital because, in my opinion, it does a very poor job and not worth the additional cost for electronics that do not perform very well.
Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker
Auber Dual Probe PID Controller
Second Heating Element Mod
Smoke and Stuff Fan Mod

Offline smokinjoe73

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Re: Auber pid
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 12:58:19 pm »
Thanks. That makes sense. I already bought the the digital 4 rack. It was 20% off. Should I return it and maybe try the non digital one. Or is it worth maybe still getting the auger pid with my digital? Is t hard to install? I'm new to smoking so not sure what I will get into. But I will for sure way jerky and sausage. Please share your thoughts on my best way to set up. I still have to box and all packaging to return. The other bradley is 25%off.
Your advice is vary appreciated and needed. Thanks again

Offline paulsnapp

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Re: Auber pid
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2013, 01:51:52 pm »
The DBS is a great smoker - I have one.  But, if it were me and I had it to do over again, I would go with the OBS and an Auber Dual Probe PID.  The cost of the OBS and the Auber PID is about the same as just the DBS alone.  Either way you can't go wrong but, in my opinion, you will end up with a PID to control the temp.  My DBS has a 20F swing in both directions when I used the digital SG to control the temp.  Now with the Auber PID it is a 1F swing at most.  Big difference. 
Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker
Auber Dual Probe PID Controller
Second Heating Element Mod
Smoke and Stuff Fan Mod

Offline smokinjoe73

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Re: Auber pid
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2013, 06:08:26 pm »
Thanks for the advice...i am really struggling with this one....the experts would know for sure...ok quick poll, this is my situation
i bought a DBS for 399.00 at canadian tire....a OBS is 299.00 and i would need a PID unit going for plus shippin i am sure....so it is abit more expensive.....is this extra cost worth it? or do i keep the DBS and add a PID later on when i get more used to this unit, keeping in mind i would love to smoke fish and sausage....

which Auber do people buy...there are two option - free hanging or wall mount...which one attaches to the outside of the unit....

I know these a very rookie questions but i know i can trust the passionate smokers here....

Thanks in advance

Offline paulsnapp

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Re: Auber pid
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2013, 02:18:24 am »
The probes are a matter of personal preference as you will soon see.  I have the Auber Dual Probe Pid and chose the probe option that mounts one of the two probes through the back wall of the smoker.  I really like not having a bunch of wires running out the top of the unit.  But, again, this is just a persona preference.  It also came with a second probe for monitoring the internal temp of the meat.  Since I live right here where Auber makes these PIDs, I stopped by their office when I picked up my PID order so I bought the third type of probe which dangles through the top vent.  The only time I have used this one was when I finished my dual element and fan mods.  I wanted a probe at all four rack levels so I used the Auber probe through the back wall, the Auber dangling probe and two more probes from my Maverick remote thermometer unit.  Other than that, for me, the Auber through the back wall is what I use.
Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker
Auber Dual Probe PID Controller
Second Heating Element Mod
Smoke and Stuff Fan Mod

Offline KyNola

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Re: Auber pid
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2013, 07:28:37 am »
You already have your BDS, keep it and learn how to use it "as is".  As you progress in your smoking experience you may decide to tackle sausage.  That is when you would need a closer temp controller of some sort.  My BDS is 6 years old.  Earlier this year I finally chose to start making sausages and purchased a temp controller for my BDS.  I actually had a brand new "still in the box" Auber dual probe PID because I thought I needed it.  I never used it and subsequently sold it.  When I decided to begin making sausages, I bought a temp controller.

Just "run what you brung" for a while.

Offline Caneyscud

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Re: Auber pid
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2013, 09:10:14 am »
smokingjoe73

Your BDS is a great machine that does what it is supposed to do - to relatively inexpensively but more importantly somewhat effortlessly produce smoked products.  And for most smokes - the digital adds a level of convenience over the original.  I've cooked barbecue in all sorts of set ups - over holes in the ground, in concrete block pits, in converted 50 gal drums, in custom folding sheet metal pits, in big iron trailer mounted rigs, in a pit constructed of rocks with a grill on top of the rocks and with a foil enclosure, to pellet grills, to vertical smokers, offsets, reverse drafts, on big rotisseries, etc...   I currently own 6 different rigs I can smoke in, and two I have partial ownership.  One thing I have found out with all those set-ups,  is that the "normal" meat you barbecue just doesn't care if you have a tight temp swing or a bigger one.  It might matter to you, but not to the meat.  If you are plus or minus 20 degrees of say 225 - no prob.  What you don't want is to usually get too hot as the desired IT could be attained without the low-n-slow magic happening.  Too hot will not happen in a normal Bradley - well it can if you have stuff on the bottom shelf and are receiving direct radiant heat from the element.  Then just rotate. 

The last big smoke I did was in Feb.- 14 brisket on the trailer mounted rotisserie (actually more of a ferris wheel than a rotisserie)  - I had 100 people to feed.  I wanted to have them done by 2:00 pm. so I started them about Midnight - figuring they'd be done in 12 to 14 hours because of the wind and cold that night.  At 3:30 I got up and went out to check on the rig and found out that sometime in the last 1.5 hours the key that held the rotisserie hub to the axle had fallen out and the whole get up got all cattywompissed!  One brisket fell off the racks and onto the coals, 2 other were stuck directly over the fire box opening, one got jammed up between one of the shelves and the body of the smoker.  Remember this is 3:30 am and 18 degrees F.  Getting the charred brisket off the fire was first priority - then I got the briskets that were over the fire off, because I knew it was going to start flaming soon.  Then I tackled the jammed brisket.  That was much harder and took a while with hands that were freezing because of the cold, but burning because of the heat, and then the fire started flaming which added another layer of fun.  I finally by brute force moved the shelf with the jammed brisket just enough to get enough slack to undo the tension device and unhook the chain from the sprocket drive.  Then I took a 4x4 and kept on beating on the jammed shelf until the brisket was freed.  Ok good to go - but no!  where was the key - nowhere to be found - and remember by now past 4:00 - nothing open.  With freezing hands I found a short piece of soft wire in the bed of the pickup and a couple of 8 penny nails  - forced all that into the still hot keyway while burning my arms on the shelves.  Had to use a brick I found next door to tap it all in as I could not get a hammer in the space.  Hooked everything back up and got it revolving again. And got the fire going.  All this story is to prove a point.  Popular opinion would say that I had 3 ruined briskets and 11 that were suspect.  In actuality I had 13 great briskets with one that was overdone a bit in the flat end.  It fell on the fire fat side down, and I had to slice off a good chunk of charred fat.  Over half of the flat end was over done - but so what, I made burnt ends that I shared with my kitchen help!  The one brisket was exposed to very high heat for probably an hour.  Two briskets were exposed to pretty high heat for that same hour.  Half of the others were pretty cold as they were stuck furthest from the heat source.  They all were done by 1:00 pm and in the cooler to stay warm until serving - 14 briskets in a cooler will stay hot for a long time.  Nobody else knew that they had experienced the extreme temperature differential. 

You can and I have smoked all those more difficult things as sausage on my non-modded BDS and on my other smokers.  But it takes a lot more of your time and attention.  A PID makes your life much nicer!  I have ruined a batch of sausage and almost ruined a batch of sausage by not paying the attention I needed to.  I still ate the batches, they just weren't "right".  I've done fish with no problem in the BDS - from thick halibut to thin catfish and tilapia fillets.  Its more a factor of taking off at the right time rather than the temperature you cook it in. 

So the answer to your question is to honestly poll yourself!

Do you want a gadget? 
Are you seriously "bugged" by temp swings?
Will you regularly do sausage? 

A Yes answer to any one of the questions could be justification to buy one.  But if all you are going to be cooking is butts, briskets, ribs, chuckies, fatties, chickens, turkeys, etc...  then you are good to go as is! 
“A man that won't sleep with his meat don't care about his barbecue” Caneyscud



“If we're not supposed to eat animals, how come they're made out of meat?”

Offline viper125

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Re: Auber pid
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2013, 10:18:06 am »
The Plug and play pid is very easy to hook up. Basically it has the cord to plug into electric and 2 120 outlets on the back. One says smoker and you plug in the smoker. And one say smoke generator and it plugs in there. I dont use that one and plug straight into the outlet.
 
As Caneyscud stated if your only going to do large  hunks of meat you don't need it. 
But any thing smaller like sausage, sticks, jerky and such you should have. My thought when I bought the OBS instead of digital was i didn't want any limits on what or what not I can do.  And i have never been sorry. In fact even if Id of bought the digital Im sure I would have added a pid by now.,
 A good stick or sausage requires low and slow temps well controlled. Don't believe any one will tell you different. Big hunks of meat can be done in any smoker or even a grill at real hot temps if you want. But I still prefer low and slow on them. Patience is its own reward mom used to say.
A few pics from smokes....
http://photobucket.com/smokinpics
Inside setup.

Offline paulsnapp

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Re: Auber pid
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2013, 10:32:34 am »
I have all the mods and the PID, but CaneyScud is right in a way.  You can get away with just buy your smoker and enjoy.  For me, it is like a lot of my other hobbies, I enjoy gadets and fiddling with everything.  I do know that for me making jerky, it turns out a lot better with my mods and PID that it did when I just had my plain ole BDS.  But, to CaneyScud's point, if I had of continued to work with it and gone down the learning curve I am sure I would have figured it out.  Cars don't need radios to get you to work in the morning.  So, it is really all up to you to decide what it is that you need.  If you think you need more precise control of the heat then a PID is a wonderful addition.  Before the PID and my mods I was reversing and rotating my racks of jerky every hour to try to make sure they were all as even as possible with the temp swings and the higher heat in the bottom of my BDS.  With the mods and the PID, now I only rotate once when I empty out the water bowl at the end of my smoke cycle and the temp difference between my top and bottom rack is only 5F. So in that sense it does make it easier.  Just enjoy your smoker and you will figure it out for yourself what you need or don't.  Either way, you will have a great smoker.
Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker
Auber Dual Probe PID Controller
Second Heating Element Mod
Smoke and Stuff Fan Mod

Offline smokinjoe73

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Re: Auber pid
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2013, 10:45:29 am »
Wow I really do appreciate all the input. This is such a big help. Paulsnap, what are other mods are there. If there is a separate forum just direct me there so I don't waste anyone's time. With all the advice. I may just take the DBS back. It's stil in the box. I, like viper don't like to be limited and if there is an easier way to do something. I am in all the way.  Them you everyone.

Offline viper125

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Re: Auber pid
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2013, 11:24:54 am »
Well you find them on the recipe site. I did.
the front legs
the fan
the dual element with the extra switch
also bought 8 more racks but haven't got the bracket installed yet.
But you can flip 4 racks up side down and double space for sticks,jerky or any thing about smaller then 2"(guessing height)
Gives you 4 rack and a 8 rack capacity.

These mods I can say helped me out I believ there may be more but cant think of them now.

In case you dont have the recipe site yet here is the link, lots of good stuff here. http://www.susanminor.org/forums/
A few pics from smokes....
http://photobucket.com/smokinpics
Inside setup.

Offline paulsnapp

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Re: Auber pid
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2013, 11:30:37 am »
There may be other mods that some of the folks that have been on this forum can share.  I have done three mods.  The first one you are already aware of, I added the Auber Dual Probe PID and chose the option that mounts the primary probe through the back wall of the smoker.  The second one I did was to add a second heating element and third I did was to add a fan kit:

Here is a photo showing the Auber Probe through the back wall (you will also notice a second Bradley temp sensor - I did this when I added the second heating element mod).


Here is a photo of the dual element before I added the fan kit. It really helps to bring the smoker up to temp quickly and also recovers the target temp very quickly after opening the door.



Here is a photo after I added the fan kit from www.smokeandstuff.com.  This helped get the heat off the back wall and provide some circulations inside the smoker.  Helped reduced the temperature variance between the bottom and top racks.


Here is photo of the back of the smoker with mods added.


Here is a photo of my DBS with the back panel removed.  I would suggest that if you decide to add a mod that you check under the back cover first to make sure you do not drill through any wiring.  Mine has a little more wiring than the original since I added the second heating element and a second Bradley temp sensor circuit, fusible link, and temp sensor plug.



The fan kit will come with instructions.  There is a link on this forum that does a great job of describing how to add the second heating element.  I'm sure someone can point you to it.
Bradley 4 Rack Digital Smoker
Auber Dual Probe PID Controller
Second Heating Element Mod
Smoke and Stuff Fan Mod

Offline KyNola

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Re: Auber pid
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2013, 07:47:34 pm »
So much for "Run what ya brung" until you get used to your smoker. ::)

Your Bradley is brand new. Drill a hole in it and your warranty is void.  Add a heating element of any type and your warranty is void.  If you're OK with that, then drive on and forget everything I said.