Author Topic: Help me before I change my mind again!  (Read 9321 times)

Offline Hackk

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Help me before I change my mind again!
« on: June 08, 2011, 11:37:15 pm »
So about a 2 years ago I wanted a smoker, I said I can wait. A year ago, I wanted one again, so I did the research, something financial came up... So here I am again, Im getting one damn it!

I was hoping you guys can point me in the right direction so I can get this right the first time, and not have to rebuy parts. I decided on an OBS with PID controller. So if you can first help me with that. I'm assuming Auber is the best choice? I know there is the plug and play, or the build your own. Im handy, so either will work for me. But I want to make sure I make the right initial purchase. 1 probe or 2? and why? And are there any differences between the plug n play compared to the DIY kit? Is there anything else I should know? For years I've been using a smoke box on one side of my BBQ, and albeit inconsistent, some of the meat has turned out great... So I know it can only get better with the right equipment.

Also, can you guys recommend any books or reading about smoking with a PID? I understand the concept, but I would really like to "master" this, without having to relearn after years of doing it wrong. Im from Southern California, Im a snowboarder/surfer that loves to cook, so I dont have access to smokeouts or smoke masters to learn from like some of you Midwest people, Im doing this all on my own, and I want to do it right! I spearfish a lot, so I know some yellowtail, seabass, or halibut are getting smoked. Other than that, I love steak!

I really appreciate any help you guys can give me. Thank you

Offline SiFumar

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Re: Help me before I change my mind again!
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2011, 12:56:33 am »
Welcome! You'd be surprised how many smokers there are in So Cal!  I'm sure you'll be hearing from them.  I'm in NV and haven't come across a Bradley smoker yet!  They are a real helpful bunch here and I'm sure you'll get answers to your questions.  I'm fairly new at this myself so can't help ya there.  I have a OBS and PID.  I'm still having a few issues with the PID but it is my fault for just not comprehending it.  Enjoy the addiction!

Offline La Quinta

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Re: Help me before I change my mind again!
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2011, 01:23:00 am »
Just get an OBS or Digital...hell I just use an instand read thermo pen...the beauty of smoking is you get to experience something...fish is lovely smoked...but just a hint (for me) or you lose the taste of the fish. Depending on where you live in So Cal...just go naked with the smoke and the fish to start...you'll get the hang of it...it's not rocket science...IMHO don't overthink it at first...

New smoking is a work in progress....you try...it's ok...do it again it's a masterpiece!  :)

Offline Hackk

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Re: Help me before I change my mind again!
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2011, 02:12:11 am »
Thanks for the warm welcome guys!

I've done my reading, and I know I want an OBS with PID. I plan on cold smoking a lot of fish, and I really dont want that temp swing that the digital alone causes. I'm a trained chef (well used to be, but got out of the restaurant industry), so cooking is natural for me. Unfortunately my experience never really dealt with smoking meat, so I feel that may be the last discipline I need to attack. Plus a man needs a smoker, so I feel I need this or a lifted truck to make up for my inadequate manhood, haha.

So anyway, back to the point. I know if I dont get the PID, it will leave an empty pit in my stomach, because I will always feel I can do better. I want to do this right! So back to my original question, if any of you experienced smokers out there can set me straight, I would love it. I may be a beginner now, but I know I will eventually grow, and I dont want my equipment to limit my ability.

devo

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Re: Help me before I change my mind again!
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2011, 03:36:11 am »
If I was to do it all over again I would have bought the OBS instead of the digital. You already settled on the PID so if it was me I would get the duel probe plug & play as the DIY one is kinda over my head. If you get the plug & play don't get the wall  mount as its not needed and only gets in the way. That way you can put the probe where its needed the most.
If your going to be doing alot of cold smoking than by all means get the cold smoke adaptor. In hot weather you will never keep the cabinet temp below 120*F without it.
Hope this helps and welcome to the forum.

Offline TedEbear

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Re: Help me before I change my mind again!
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2011, 03:40:17 am »
And are there any differences between the plug n play compared to the DIY kit? Is

I installed the DIY on my OBS and it really works well for what I bought it for.  No more tinkering back and forth to find the right position for the slider temp control, which is a different position if the wind is blowing, if the outdoor temp is warm or cold, etc.  The PID maintains the chamber temp to within 4 degrees on mine.

As far as the differences, I believe the DIY is still limited to a single probe for monitoring just the chamber temp.  The plug n play has more features but it also costs about 4x more.  You can buy the DIY PID for less than $45.  Even after adding the additional parts and things to make it all work the cost is still less than 1/2 of the plug n play unit.

I installed mine in the smoke generator box.  Externally everything is neat and there aren't a bunch of wires and cables running all over the place.  It works perfect for what I bought it for. I also added a second 500W heating element when I installed the PID for a little more 'horsepower'.  I think two elements is something the OBS should have come with all along.





Offline ghost9mm

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Re: Help me before I change my mind again!
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2011, 07:05:29 am »
While I have the DBS and the plug and play PID  and I am content with that.. I think more here will recommend the OBS with plug and play PID and if you are going to be smoking sausage you might want to look at the six rack because of the height to hang your sausage...just my thoughts...good luck with your choice and welcome to the forum...
Digital Bradley Smoker with Dual probe PID
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Offline muebe

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Re: Help me before I change my mind again!
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2011, 07:42:12 am »
Welcome to the forum. I also am in Southern California ;D

I have the OBS and Auberins Dual Probe PID. IMHO The plug and play is the way to go. Being able to control cabinet temps by time or IT is a plus. And it is the easiest installation ever! And as Devo stated do not get the mounted temp probe...get the hanging. That way you can place it just below your lowest rack of meat ;)
Natural Gas 4 burner stainless RED with auto-clean
2 TBEs(1 natural gas & 1 LP gas)
OBS(Auberins dual probe PID, 900w finned element & convection fan mods)
2011 Memphis Select Pellet Smoker
BBQ Grillware vertical smoker(oven thermostat installed & converted to natural gas)

Offline Hackk

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Re: Help me before I change my mind again!
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2011, 12:55:17 pm »
If you guys dont mind, I'd like a little more clarification on the PID differences.

I can understand hanging the probe in the chamber to monitor temps, but what would the second probe be used for? The Protein temps?
Are there any performance differences between the DIY and plug n play? Like I said before, Im sure I can put together the DIY just fine, but if the Plug n Play offers something other than just a pretty box, I'd like to know.

And finally, TedEbear, I know Im jumping away from my original question, but do you have any reading material on adding a second heating core? That's an area of learning that I havent touched yet. And that's also a very clean setup. I wondered if that was possible, but I havent had an opened smoke generator in front of me, so I had no idea if it would work...

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Help me before I change my mind again!
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2011, 01:12:11 pm »
This review may be helpful.

Auber Plug & Play


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline HitLines

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Re: Help me before I change my mind again!
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2011, 01:31:19 pm »
In the same boat except my OBS is in route from Amazon. I plan to mod it with a second heating element before the first smoke. Maybe the feet mod after a quick run to HD as well.

So no DIY dual probe PIDs exist? Is the only option the plug-in-play?

TedEbear has been most helpful and he has the DIY single probe PID so perhaps I could get away with that for now.
OBS

Offline Hackk

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Re: Help me before I change my mind again!
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2011, 01:43:33 pm »
Can someone explain what "The dual probe can automate the smoking more by adding temperature versus time only into the ramping control feature."?

beefmann

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Re: Help me before I change my mind again!
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2011, 01:46:07 pm »
hackk,

welcome to the forum and enjoy, for the  most  part the OBS with an auber the  the way to go, my set up has a Timer and Pid to switch between the smoking process and cooking, along with a 900 watt finned heater  with a blower that aides in the  cooking and recovery process.  both the timer and pid can be installed in the smoke generator for easy programming and adjustments.

also you  will want to get the maverick et 732 dual probe thermometer to aid in the cooking  process, it comes  with a food probe and a bbq / smoker probe which is good.

as for  getting a pid with dual probes i do not  have one only  for the reason that i do not  want to babysit my smoker... i want to enjoy the company of family and  friends during the bbq  

Offline muebe

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Re: Help me before I change my mind again!
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2011, 01:50:14 pm »
Dual Probe PID allows you to adjust cabinet temps according to meat IT (second probe) or time and a single probe does not(just time).

The single/dual probe Auberins Bradley only requires the ability of the user to be able to plug in an electrical plug to install. The DIY PID requires some complicated installation procedures.

The DIY costs over half as much and can be installed into the smoke generator housing.

So there are pros and cons to each ;D
Natural Gas 4 burner stainless RED with auto-clean
2 TBEs(1 natural gas & 1 LP gas)
OBS(Auberins dual probe PID, 900w finned element & convection fan mods)
2011 Memphis Select Pellet Smoker
BBQ Grillware vertical smoker(oven thermostat installed & converted to natural gas)

Offline Hopefull Romantic

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Re: Help me before I change my mind again!
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2011, 01:54:34 pm »
Hi Hackk and welcome to the forum.

I have the DBS and the single probe plug & play PID and I love it, but the again I am not so technically inclide to even begin to think about the DIY. I could not help but notice that you mentioned you want to do do  alot of cold smoke fish. I just wanted to mention that in this particular case, the PID would not be a part of the game. The PID would ramp up the temperature ONLY and I do recommend that you contemplate getting a cold smoke box. They are avalable from Bradley or you could build your own.

HR
I am not as "think" as you "drunk" I am.