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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 11-01-2009, 08:37 AM   #1
SkySaw
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Default Got a Stoker.

I just bought a Stoker. I wanted it to not only control/monitor those over-night cooks, but also have the ability to put on dinner and do other activities (stuff with the kids, etc.) while monitoring/controlling the Egg from the palm of my hand. Also I'm hoping that it will keep me using the Egg as much in the winter as I do in the summer. The wet, cold, early dark, and snow make putting dinner on the Egg more of a challenge, and I hope the Stoker will keep me from making too many trips out to the Egg.



The whole reason for deciding on a Stoker rather than a Guru was that I wanted to be able to not just monitor, but also control the Egg from anywhere (like the park, on a walk, etc.). After reading a lot about the process, I was a bit worried about the difficulty of getting the Stoker talking on my home network and on the internet. It turns out it was actually really easy, and took about 30 minutes in total to make the necessary changes in my home network and the Stoker to get it running.



So now I can control my cooks from inside, or on the road. My pulled beef took longer yesterday than I expected. By the time I had to take the kids Trick-or-Treating, the beef was only at 170 degrees. It hit 190 while we were out, so I took the Egg down from 250 to 210 to let it ride until I got home. By the time we got home, the beef was at 197. On the first day of use, it helped me out of a sticky situation! Such is the life of a busy smoker!

I'm really digging this Stoker.

Mark
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Unread 11-01-2009, 08:55 AM   #2
Yambor44
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Thats awesome! Where did you get it?
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Unread 11-01-2009, 09:02 AM   #3
SkySaw
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Rock's Barbque - http://rocksbarbque.com/. Ordered it on-line. I researched it way more than I needed to.

Mark
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Unread 11-01-2009, 09:36 AM   #4
barbefunkoramaque
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He He He
Test 1 Top Secret Results "Meat Mama 300 Hits 644 degrees!"
Test 2 Top Secret Results "Meat Mama hits Ambient Surrounding Temperature"

Test 3 (a) Initial Test after Rock Tweaked for Big Unit

Test 3 (b) Cold Test


Test 4 Mess of Coal


Test 5 (a) Mess Of Wood
Test 5 (b)

Please in either case pay attention. Every time I post these some yahoo doesn't pay attention and says I am ruining meat and that its not the way to properly smoke meat. These are test to show how durable the stoker is.


Look here at about 1:20 - New Programs for the Stoker go far beyond where you are buddy! Its called Stoker log and it will call you up on your damn PDA.

Stoker Log and a Small Clod


I could not get Brazos Pit (8000) up to my smoking temp of 270-325 or the meat mamma up to 400 (for making Pizzas) without this thing.

Google Stoker and you get my Vids.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=stoker%20bbq%20video&um=1&ie=U TF-8&sa=N&tab=wv#
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Unread 11-01-2009, 10:20 AM   #5
barbefunkoramaque
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I can say, other than the communication skills of the maker, the Stoker is a great product. We started off with a bad start (but after exchanging the unit and fans a three times it was okay), I obviously made some of the most popular videos about the subject and but John has never once made amends or thanked me for my support. But, I don't need personal support if the product is good. I call them Like I see them.

In any case the unit is great - although for low and slowers on big units you may need to seal up your firebox real well. I don't do that of course as the unit I use with the 25CFM blower is used to reach those real good hot and fast numbers I use like 270- 340 sometimes or 400 for clod. I do seal for Jerky though and the Stoker is crucial them for keeping those small little fires in a big unit.

Pluses are when John says he gives you 25CFM he means it. In competitor's stuff the FAN may be 25CFM but the outlet may slow it to the extent its less. Of course if you use a little egg or something its no big deal with those 5 and 10CFM blowers.

The only disappointment engineering wise is that I think the 25cfm taxes the unit as far as it can go. I found this to be the case when I, per advertisement and product lit, attached standard stereo extention cords run through the old Funkotorium Trailer so I could keep my Stoker unit safe inside the commissarry. As far as the sensors they worked well through the extention cords. But when the fan was plugged in it would not work at all... prob too much resistance. I bet John would be able to figure it out but the unit was so INDESPENSIBLE (I've used it for maybe 3500 hours) I dared not send it back.

About my crack about John. John is obviously an engineer of sorts. This means his primary duty is to be that much brighter than anyone else. Thats the power he tapped into in order to complete his vision. He does this well. Customer service is a crap shoot. I have heard good stories and bad but the usually are focused around just communication. He always fixes what he is asked so he cannot be faulted with that, but at times communication is a problem.

In 2008 I wrote him an email, my choice of communication, about ordering three more stokers but 2 WITHOUT the fan. My purpose was to use them with my Trailer's on board computer to be able to monitor the temp and cool down of just about anything. I was going to order a mess of probes. Can you imagine being able to actually show the HD I got my meat from an internal of 190 to 70 in under two hours and from 70 to 40 in such and such time. This would all be shown on a grid which could even be printed out. Proper cool down is an obsession of mine and people screw this up all the time. I have seen 300 pounds of pork shoulder go straight from the smoker into sealed plastic and thrown directly into a freezer and be pulled out with a high bac count. I think the Stoker would be GREAT for this and wanted to dedicate a unit just for recording holding temps.

There was NEVER any response for an additional sale (and I write his service, admin, and sales emails) so I thought if the guy can't get back for sales then service THIS time might be worse.

I am very glad to see that he is still making the product and hope he continues to do so. I had a partner that was really upset with him at one time (by the way, never take in a partner) and said some things (not really bad just sort of questioning) the Stoker on BBQ NEWS which is where we heard about it (problem at that time was it took forever for us to get it and there was no answer to our calls for two weeks as to where it was) and the nutjobs that ran THE BBQ NEWS didn't help any by deleting the posts. It was like a swarm of bees, really. LOL

This is why, incidentally THIS forum is better. If you are a advertiser in the BBQ NEWS print or web media, then when someone starts a thread complaining or asking about a vendor who advertises there, they erase all negative comments. As a result, don't look to BBQ NEWS for anything but GLOWING reviews when you are about to spend your hard earned dollars.

This forum doesn't let that get started so you get good reliable info. BBQ News responded we don't let anyone complain about anyone - to which I showed them negative commentary of Wal Mart, Sams, and copies of deleted threads about people asking about Austin National Smokers (and we all know what happened to them). Sad, I know.
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Unread 11-01-2009, 10:27 AM   #6
SkySaw
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Of course, I have seen every minute of every video you have produced that mentions the word Stoker. Also read about the yahoos who talk about choking the fire and creosoting your food...

One of the brilliant things about the Stoker to me is that it is totally platform independent. Stoker doesn't care if you are Mac, PC, or Linux. With built-in twitter support, it can even present enough of a log that I can roll over in bed at night and call up my Twitter page to see if my 165 degree butts are just entering, well into, or should be finishing the stall.

My problem is that I can't get Twitter running properly yet. StokerLog is dependent on PC, and I am all set up on Mac. However, I have pulled out my old XP Ppc, and am in the process of loading all the upgrades and stuff so that I can fire up StokerLog.

In the end, I'm hoping John gets the Twitter thing figured out.

Mark
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Unread 11-01-2009, 10:31 AM   #7
MJHuffDaddy
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Welcome to Star Trek meets BBQ...
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Unread 11-01-2009, 10:34 AM   #8
SkySaw
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I also think about your abandoned trailer in New England from time-to-time - it was a sad story.

Whenever I purchase a product into Canada from the US, I am aware that there may be no warranty or customer support. Luckily I think the internet takes care of a lot of customer support issues through other owners. If my Stoker breaks, however, I figure I am out 1 Stoker.

Mark
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Unread 11-01-2009, 11:25 AM   #9
Bushwacker
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Great story and review Funk, Your right about this site, from what I see in the short time that I have been here, And I also have watched a lot of your vids, and thank you from them, they are very informative...
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Unread 11-01-2009, 10:39 PM   #10
T-Que
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Default Stoker Questions

This seems to be the most informative forum on the Stoker. Looking for some help... Since RocksBBQ has not answered the phone (busy all the time) and has not answered my emails I'm hoping maybe you guys may have some insight. I currently have a couple of BBQ Gurus, a Competitor and a DigiQ with 2 10CFM fans. I love theme but, truth be told I'm a geek BBQ'er and really like the remote possibilities of a couple of smokers, a Stoker and a iPhone.
I'd like to think the BBQ GURU CyberQ would give me what I need because I really like those guys but they are a generation away from real wireless with web based control, and quite frankly Stokers lack of response when I'm trying to spend money with the doesn't give ma a great feeling about product support. But...I'm still looking at them and posts like these have me thinking again.

- Is there a fan adapter for a Backwood's Smoker (Party model) and is there one for a Stumps?
- Did you have to use any additional equipment (USB to Wifi bridge) to make your Stoker wireless?
- If I bought the Dual system with and additional pit probe and meat probe I would be good for 3 pits. Of course I would need 3 fans and 3 fan adapters. Any thing else?
- Concerning fan sizes. Will a 5 CFM handle a Medium Big Green Egg? What about a Large BGE? Would a 5 CFM handle a Backwoods Party or would I need to go to a 10 CFM?
- By some strange twist of luck are BBQ Guru fans adaptable to the Stoker?

Any help here is appreciated!
Thanks in advance
T-Que
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Unread 11-03-2009, 06:34 PM   #11
barbefunkoramaque
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[QUOTE=T-Que;1074112]This seems to be the most informative forum on the Stoker. Looking for some help... TRUE

Since RocksBBQ has not answered the phone (busy all the time) and has not answered my emails - I was assured in 2007 that Rocks BBQ had problems responding and it was just a fluke and would be fixed. Looks like Rock's, a company that has a website and mostly web exposure, STILL can't answer emails and return calls.


quite frankly Stokers lack of response when I'm trying to spend money with the doesn't give ma a great feeling about product support. Imagine being ignored when you bought one and want to buy three or so more.

This is a sad thing for a decent product.
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Unread 11-03-2009, 06:42 PM   #12
Smoke Samurai
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Default Cost?

I have an BGE and 2 kids under 7... like all I hear about "The Stoker"...how much did it set you back? looking to ask for a Christmas gift.
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Unread 11-03-2009, 07:13 PM   #13
SkySaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Que View Post
This seems to be the most informative forum on the Stoker. Looking for some help... Since RocksBBQ has not answered the phone (busy all the time) and has not answered my emails I'm hoping maybe you guys may have some insight. I currently have a couple of BBQ Gurus, a Competitor and a DigiQ with 2 10CFM fans. I love theme but, truth be told I'm a geek BBQ'er and really like the remote possibilities of a couple of smokers, a Stoker and a iPhone.
I'd like to think the BBQ GURU CyberQ would give me what I need because I really like those guys but they are a generation away from real wireless with web based control, and quite frankly Stokers lack of response when I'm trying to spend money with the doesn't give ma a great feeling about product support. But...I'm still looking at them and posts like these have me thinking again.

- Is there a fan adapter for a Backwood's Smoker (Party model) and is there one for a Stumps?
- Did you have to use any additional equipment (USB to Wifi bridge) to make your Stoker wireless?
- If I bought the Dual system with and additional pit probe and meat probe I would be good for 3 pits. Of course I would need 3 fans and 3 fan adapters. Any thing else?
- Concerning fan sizes. Will a 5 CFM handle a Medium Big Green Egg? What about a Large BGE? Would a 5 CFM handle a Backwoods Party or would I need to go to a 10 CFM?
- By some strange twist of luck are BBQ Guru fans adaptable to the Stoker?

Any help here is appreciated!
Thanks in advance
T-Que
I can't help you with many of your questions - but all you need to go wireless from the Stoker are 1) a wireless router (obviously) for your home network, 2) a wireless bridge, or game adaptor, or Airport Express, and 3) a bit of ethernet cable to run from the Stoker to the wireless bridge. The Stoker has an ethernet port, no usb port.

The 5cfm fan is plenty to run a Large BGE. It easily ran my Large Egg up to 350 degrees, with a platesetter in the Egg for an indirect setup. It also kept the Egg at that temperature without having to cycle the fan very much, so I assume that the 5cfm fan could heat the Egg up considerably higher than 350.

I'm pretty sure there's a youtube video of a guy running a Stoker on a stumps, but you should check youtube to make sure.

The Stoker fans have a metal gate that opens when the fan is running and closes when the airflow stops. The Guru does not have this, so you would have to do some work to make a Guru fan function the way a Stoker expects. I think a Guru is a 12 volt unit, whereas the Stoker is 5 volts, so there may be power supply issues as well. So, the fans are probably not interchangeable.

Mark
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Unread 11-03-2009, 07:23 PM   #14
SkySaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke Samurai View Post
I have an BGE and 2 kids under 7... like all I hear about "The Stoker"...how much did it set you back? looking to ask for a Christmas gift.

Eggs are great when you have kids. I don't worry about them hanging around the Egg when it's running, since it just doesn't get that hot on the outside. The Stoker is great for when you are trying to cook something while net-minding the kids.

Anyhow, I already had an Airport Express, so all I needed to buy was the Stoker kit that comes with a pit probe, a meat probe, and a 5 cfm fan, and you have to also buy the fan adaptor for a Large BGE. Total bill before mail to Canada and taxes: $295. You know, with 2 little kids, doing an overnight cook where all you have to do to control/monitor the cook is roll over in bed and pull up the Stoker page on your iphone and then fall back to sleep makes the price worth it to me. Well, I guess being able to do a bunch of stuff while making dinner also makes it worth it.

Mark
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Unread 11-03-2009, 08:32 PM   #15
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i have a stoker love it and yes john is not the best when it comes to selling his stuff and trying to get ahold of lol im lucky i drive to the shop and bug him but the stoker is a great unit and the new probes do look cool skysaw pm me
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