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Old 07-15-2014, 12:07 PM   #1
Gary Tomato
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Default Using an automatic pit temp controller with a WSM

Hi

I done a few successful cooks on my couple of months old WSM aiming for a temp of 250 F throughout the cook for pulled pork.

I've got a CyberQ Wifi now and in a few days will be using it for the first time so I'm wondering the best way to incorporate the CyberQ into the cooking process, i.e. do I put the same amount of lit charcoal on the same amount of unlit charcoal - or should i use more or less either way? Any other tips would be appreciated too!

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Old 07-15-2014, 12:25 PM   #2
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I use a Guru on my 22" WSM all the time. I would light using the minion method with about a dozen coals, and drop them in the direct center of the 20lb load of charcoal. I would leave all vents open on the WSM with the Guru stocking the fire. When I was with 25 of my target temps I would close down all the vents with the top vent wide open. The Guri would take over and hold temps as long as there was fuel.

You dont necessarily need to change anything, just know when shut down the vents so you dont overshoot your target temps.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:03 PM   #3
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Think of your temp controller as being a replacement for you adjusting the dampers on your WSM. Do everything the same, just let the fan control the airflow.

I have a PartyQ and I hook it up after I get the pit up to temp.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:32 PM   #4
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I agree with Dark, except with my Pitmaster IQ 120 I start my coals in front of the vent with the fan. This causes the fire to burn across the width of my fire basket. I have seen issues where started in the middle, it burns across and then tries to wrap around. If that doesn't work, the fire can die...
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:09 PM   #5
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I don't start the fan until the cooker is within 20 degrees of target temperature.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:31 PM   #6
Gary Tomato
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I've completed two cooks with the CyberQ now, unfortunately on both occasions I just did not have any luck with the controller being able to get the pit up to temp, or down to temp. I know that on both occasions I had sufficient charcoal to get the heat up to 250F because after it didn't happen courtesy of the CyberQ I opened up the vents and watched it heat up, I then turned the CyberQ back on when it hit 250F but the temperature rose to nearly 270F and it wasn't going to come down so I had to close the vents again.

I took the advice of the comments above, getting the pit to within 20 of the desired temp but yesterday after doing this the temp went from 238F and just continued on a downward spiral until it sat around 198-205 requiring me to open the vents to get the temp to increase.

I know that the vent on the PitViper was open, I could hear it turning on and off, the deflector plate was pointing downward but nothing seemed to happen in relation to pit control.

What the hey could I be doing wrong!
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkoozy View Post
I use a Guru on my 22" WSM all the time. I would light using the minion method with about a dozen coals, and drop them in the direct center of the 20lb load of charcoal. I would leave all vents open on the WSM with the Guru stocking the fire. When I was with 25 of my target temps I would close down all the vents with the top vent wide open. The Guri would take over and hold temps as long as there was fuel.

You dont necessarily need to change anything, just know when shut down the vents so you dont overshoot your target temps.

Yup!
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:41 PM   #8
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I'm a recovering ATC user so i can say.... Just say NO.
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Tomato View Post
I've completed two cooks with the CyberQ now, unfortunately on both occasions I just did not have any luck with the controller being able to get the pit up to temp, or down to temp. I know that on both occasions I had sufficient charcoal to get the heat up to 250F because after it didn't happen courtesy of the CyberQ I opened up the vents and watched it heat up, I then turned the CyberQ back on when it hit 250F but the temperature rose to nearly 270F and it wasn't going to come down so I had to close the vents again.

I took the advice of the comments above, getting the pit to within 20 of the desired temp but yesterday after doing this the temp went from 238F and just continued on a downward spiral until it sat around 198-205 requiring me to open the vents to get the temp to increase.

I know that the vent on the PitViper was open, I could hear it turning on and off, the deflector plate was pointing downward but nothing seemed to happen in relation to pit control.

What the hey could I be doing wrong!
What kind of charcoal are you using? Also, are you leaving the top vent wide open? Are you filing the water pan with water?

Unusual that you are having issues coming up to temp. I know you said the pitviper vent was open, but did you look or stick your finger to make sure, the fan will come on and off even if the vent is closed.
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:55 PM   #10
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Is there a tab or something on the damper that needs to be removed to let it swing open?
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkoozy View Post
What kind of charcoal are you using? Also, are you leaving the top vent wide open? Are you filing the water pan with water?
Unusual that you are having issues coming up to temp. I know you said the pitviper vent was open, but did you look or stick your finger to make sure, the fan will come on and off even if the vent is closed.
I live in Australia, so there isn't any Kingsford charcoal around, so I use Heat Beads which i've been using for several years without any issues.

I had all the vents on the WSM open until I got within 15 of my target temp (250) then closed the bottom vents and left the top vent wide open.

I had about a gallon of (straight out of the tap) water in the bowl but it had at least 30 minutes to warm up before I turned the fan on.

The PitViper vent was definitely open, I checked it before I started it up - it was closed when i picked it up so I thought to myself that may have been why my first cook with it failed, but it shouldn't have been the problem yesterday. I had it open full, prepared to back it off if necessary!
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kajunatwork View Post
Is there a tab or something on the damper that needs to be removed to let it swing open?
I've added some hole plugs like you can see here: http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...08&postcount=9 - i've noticed a few other people on the forum using and recommending these plugs as well ...
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:07 AM   #13
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250* might be a little high for the WSM with water. It would be hard to bring the temps up. If you plan on using water I suggest a few more things that might help.

1. Get a gasket kit to seal to seal up the door and dome lid.
2. start it without water, then when you reach your temp, add boiling water slowly to the bowl.
3. get a 25cfm pitviper, as it can move alot of air, and would make a huge difference (i use 10cfm on the WSM)

I cook at 225 on mine, fill the entire ring with 20lb of charcoal, and light the center using the minion method with about a dozen coals, and fill the bowl with 3 gallons of boiling water. I let the guru stoke the fire when I am close to temp, and close all the vents except for the top.

I recommend trying it without water. Foil the bowl up and try it dry, and see how it runs.
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkoozy View Post
I cook at 225 on mine, fill the entire ring with 20lb of charcoal ...
Would you use that much coal for a 5 hour cook?
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Tomato View Post
Would you use that much coal for a 5 hour cook?
No, I typically run overnight cooks averaging 14-16 hours smoking briskets. But, I know some will use whatever fuel was not used up on the next cook. Try filling at least half the charcoal ring and see what happens...
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