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Unread 01-28-2013, 06:07 PM   #1
jgdusc
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Default Stoker wifi fan running times on LBGE

After much research and heart ache went with the stoker. Price was great and the expansion capabilities are what sold me. Solid unit with 5cfm fan that works as it advertises but I have some issues that I wonder is anyone here has experienced.

The unit seems to get the temp and hold the temp very well within specifications but my fan seems to run alot more that I would have thought it should once it gets there in order to maintain.

For instance, the weekend cooked baby backs at 275. I always set the hi temp target plus 10 and the low -10. (Not sure this is correct) I know it was cool - high around 53 and breezy, but fan was running every minute or so for two seconds it seemed like if not longer. Moved the pit probe around a little but still seemed to be running a while. The result seems to be cooking everything faster than you would except almost like a convection oven. Anyone else have this issue or know what I am doing wrong? I have the daisy wheel on and adjusted to not have any back pressure when the fan is running, ie little rattling of door. It usually means the holes on wheel fully open. Cooking indirect with plate setter. Legs up. Just foil on top to make clean up easy. Maybe I need water pan?

Tried another set and lowered the temp to 255 and still got almost the same result. Was shooting for 2 hours on smoke, 1 hour wrapped, and whatever they needed after that back on smoke. However after the wrap they were fall apart done.I checked the probes with the boiling water test and all was good. What am I missing.

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Unread 01-28-2013, 07:35 PM   #2
plowin-fire
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Cant say I have had that problem with my stoker and eggs. Have any air leaks? What kind of charcoal?
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Unread 01-28-2013, 07:36 PM   #3
luke duke
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You think that 2 seconds every minute is too much?
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Unread 01-28-2013, 08:44 PM   #4
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I don't care how much it runs as long as it stays close. It's BBQ not an oven.
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Unread 01-29-2013, 07:39 AM   #5
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Pretty sure no air leaks. Not sure exactly what to have the daisy wheel set at. Any suggestions? I tried opening it just enough to not hear any rattling of door which I assumed to be back pressure.

As far as fan on time I may have mispoke. It runs more frequently than that that sorry.

I know its bbq not an oven but it actually seems to be acting like a convection oven with the hot air blowing. Maybe just me. Ribs seemed to cook much quicker than I would have expected.

I have tried the lump available closest to me. Royal Oak which was dust. The ribs were cooked with Publix Brand greenwise which had huge pcs and seemed to last really well.

Just wondering if all the air moving is causing things to dry out more and cook quicker. Maybe a water pan will help. Thanks for your input.
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Unread 01-29-2013, 09:09 AM   #6
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Download stokerlog and post a graph of a cook.
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Unread 01-29-2013, 09:13 AM   #7
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Hadn't thought of that. Will do on next lighting. Thanks.
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Unread 01-29-2013, 10:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgdusc View Post
Pretty sure no air leaks. Not sure exactly what to have the daisy wheel set at. Any suggestions? I tried opening it just enough to not hear any rattling of door which I assumed to be back pressure.

As far as fan on time I may have mispoke. It runs more frequently than that that sorry.

I know its bbq not an oven but it actually seems to be acting like a convection oven with the hot air blowing. Maybe just me. Ribs seemed to cook much quicker than I would have expected.

I have tried the lump available closest to me. Royal Oak which was dust. The ribs were cooked with Publix Brand greenwise which had huge pcs and seemed to last really well.

Just wondering if all the air moving is causing things to dry out more and cook quicker. Maybe a water pan will help. Thanks for your input.

I always use a water pan on slow and low cooks.


That's a really versatile system you have, there.
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Unread 01-29-2013, 10:05 AM   #9
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With our Stoker and LBGE, the fan runs about 2 seconds every 30 seconds while maintaining anywhere from a 250-270 grate temperature.

Where are you placing the pit probe? If it is placed too near the meat, it will lower the reading and cause a higher cooking temp (at least until the meat comes up in temp to minimize its effects on the cooking environment).

Do you have the probe placed over the "vents" of the plate setter (i.e. outside the circular portion and not above the leg supports). This will give you an erroneous reading as well. Generally, I try to point the pit probe towards the meat or parallel to it about two inches from the meat and 1.5 inches away from the circumference of the plate setter, preferably over the legs of the setter to protect the probe wires. This can be tough to do with big cuts, but I try to balance the location as best I can.

What dome temp were you seeing with your stoker running at a steady state temperature? Generally, we see about 50 degrees warmer on the dome temp compared to the grate temp. This is most likely due to the natural convection of the dome flow around the plate setter. Many of our recipes had to be adjusted for time when using the stoker. IMO, this is due to the stoker maintaining the desired grate temperature ignoring the dome temp whereas cooking without the stoker results in a desired dome temp. Simply put, when you are using the dome temp probe, the temp the meat sees on the grate is lower and results in a longer cooking time.

For most low and slow to medium temp cooking, we set the daisy wheel at about 50%. This provides a free flowing situation for the fan back pressure, but not so much as to create a flue effect on the fan damper and lose control of the temperature. If the daisy wheel is open too far, I have seen it where the natural flow through the dome, will pull the fan damper open slightly and allow the temperature to creep up without the fan running. It's ok for the fan to have a bit of back pressure. It simply means the fan will cycle more often and run longer to "force" the air into the dome in order to maintain the temperature. I like to hear the damper rattling occasionally; it lets me know everything is cycling and working correctly without getting out of my chair.

As for your convection oven concerns, 5 cfm is barely a breath of air compared to the volume of the dome. I've not noticed any effects related to this unless the meat is near or in the plate setter "vents". This will cause accelerated cooking of the portions hanging in the flue flow. Of course, this happens with or without the blower fan.

I do not use a water pan as I do not like the steaming atmosphere it creates and how it effects the bark. You may already know this, but if you choose to use a water pan, the fan will cycle more often and longer to maintain temp and you will consume more charcoal.

Hopefully this helps. Congratulations on the stoker. Once you get her dialed in, you'll love using it.

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Unread 01-29-2013, 12:47 PM   #10
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Wow. Now thats some info I really wanted to see Eggspert.

I try to leave the probe an inch away from the meat so I will try to move it a little farther away. I too try to keep the cord aligned with the platesetter legs.Not in the "vent" area. I was running the ribs at 275. The stoker showed anywhere from 274 to 276. The dome temp wasn't 50 plus but more like 20+. I may have an issue if it should be closer to 50 difference.

I will dial the daisy back to 50% and let it rattle a little. Maybe this will help. As far as 5cfm fan, when its running it is blowing strong. Maybe because I have the daisy wheel open to far? But it is definitely moving some air. I have video of it but not sure how to post. I guess I should confirm its a 5cfm too. Just assumed it was based on its size and order placed.

I wasn't clear on the water pan in regards to increased fan cycles and charcoal usage. Thanks for the heads up.

One thing I am pretty sure I did wrong to the ribs was rub them and let them sit over night. Apparently you are supposed to put it on right before they go on or close to it??

Thanks again.
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Unread 01-29-2013, 12:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgdusc View Post
One thing I am pretty sure I did wrong to the ribs was rub them and let them sit over night. Apparently you are supposed to put it on right before they go on or close to it??
Rub rubs at most 30 minutes prior to putting on the smoker. Doing so too early can lead to dry "hammy" ribs.

You are welcome. Anything I can do to help.
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Unread 01-29-2013, 01:37 PM   #12
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They were definitely dry. Probably hammy as well. The masses ate them and were gracious but I knew they not up up to snuff. Luckily the local chain had em 1.99lb for cryo 3 packs. Been a long time since I saw em that cheap. Just wish I had bought more but freezer space at minimum due to many other great deals
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