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helliger

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Everything posted by helliger

  1. I think it works best overall when the top vent is barely open. Like an eighth of an inch. I've gotten very steady temps that way. For the open/lid I think it's a matter of how long the lid is open and how long it takes to naturally get back to temp. If you have it set to 250, open the lid for 1 minute the temp could drop quite a bit. Even though it's still naturally rising when you close it the Billows might kick in too early and blow pretty consistently for too long which will make it shoot up more than it should. At 180/190 it probably wouldn't take very long for the temp to naturally get to 180/190 so wouldn't overshoot much. Would be nice if it could sense the temp is naturally rising and not kick in until it actually stops doing that. Open lid is definitely getting better but until it's perfected I'll just unplug the Billows if I need to open the lid, plug it back in and manually change the set temp lower so it doesn't kick in and then set it back to normal when it naturally gets back to temp (usually do that using the web app since I'm often on the computer). Kind of a pain but pretty easy and it's not like I'm lifting the lid that often on long cooks. Hardly at all. The web app is a great addition and I really like how they are dialing this thing in. I've been in contact with them when I've had issues and they are really taking time to address any issues and fix them (exactly how BETA apps should be done). When it's fully dialed in I think this setup will give the top competitors some serious competition.
  2. I have Android and I'm on version 0.0.71 which just came out last night. I'm not sure how you update a test app on IOS (I thought you could just go to the App store and see the latest version?) If you can't find a way I suppose you could delete the app and reinstall? Maybe they haven't released the new IOS version. Testing it out now. The new graph looks good (its different than the cloud graph but looks good on a phone). It seems to be a half degree lower than actual readings but figure that's a pretty easy fix.
  3. They just updated the new app last night. Says it has a new graph and firmware update support now. Make sure you have it and force close the app to reopen it from new. Looking forward to trying the new app tonight for some pork shoulders. Apparently the update replaces the placeholder graph. The website graph is real nice so hopefully similar to that.
  4. I just cooked a chicken with that firmware version v2.62 and it lost connection a few times (so a dud of an update) but they already released another firmware version v2.79. Doing two pork shoulders overnight tomorrow with the Billows so we'll see how it goes.
  5. I think it was just released. It should say version 2.62 if your on the latest release. I've experienced what you have as well. I think it's because it won't econnect if it loses a signal for a moment and restarting is the only way to get the connection back. Hopefully this fixes it. I had added a wifi extender which made dropouts infrequent but still occasssionally experienced it. We'll see if this fixes it. They are definitely spending time on the software side of things lately.
  6. In my experience that's usually the probe short circuiting and I just get a new one and try and be careful with them. Probe wires are kind of delicate it seems.
  7. Not sure if this is what you mean but you can turn off various graphs by clicking on them. I'm not sure if they've worked on the algorithm or if my process is better but I've been getting very steady temps lately. I changed a few things. I used to clamp the temperature gauge to the lid themometer (using alligator clips which fit right on the probe https://www.zoro.com/ideal-alligator-clip-non-insulated-pk4-770200l/i/G2079585/) Lately I've been attaching the alligator clip to the grate (directly over the drip pan which is closest to the temp the actual food is receiving). This works well if I have enough space between the meat and probe, not enough room if cooking two pork shoulders (I have a KJ classic). This cook was for ribs (only one rack of ribs so plenty of space). I notice the temp is quite a bit lower than the dome temp throughout the entire cook when I put it over the drip pan. They've added the open lid detection feature a while back but for a Kamado at least it's still not well implemented. Basically seems to shut off when it senses a rapid loss of temperature and then waits maybe a minute or two and fires back up so can easily overshoot your temp. I was cooking these ribs without wrapping so I had to baste them quite a bit. I unplugged the Billows when I did that and then set the temps on the billows manually to make sure it didn't kick in until I wanted it to. My cook was for 225 so after I opened it I lowered set temp to make sure the Billows wouldn't kick in until it got back up to 225 naturally. Occasionally I'd help it along by nudging the set temp a degree or two to nudge it along since it might take a while to get back to 225. Definitely not hands off but not much work since I just do it with the app. Pretty rock solid results though. Set temp was 225 and it never once went above 228 for the entire cook. At the very end when the temp starts dropping it's because I unhooked the Billows and shut the vents down before pulling em off the KJ.
  8. One thing I noticed is I had my other original app running as well and that was sending an alert too. I forced the old app to stop so just one was running. Not sure if your situation is the same. I've been keeping notes too but since it's BETA I'm going to hold off on reporting. A lot of the stuff is probably known, not implemented fully yet etc. The online monitoring looks like it will be pretty slick. If they can make this thing reliable and work out some of the glitches of the old setup I'll be a happy camper. They probably have several months of development before it's fully functional but like where this is going
  9. I think a lot of it has to do with how it was shipped. The last bag of B&B had probably the best sized pieces of any lump I've purchased and I've tried pretty much all of them (the top of the line FOGO, Jealous Devil etc..). I had to cut up a lot of the pieces because they were too large. I think fist size or smaller is ideal. It's not always like that. I've had some bags with smallish pieces but I've also had that with premium. I always feel the bag and move it around and listen for small pieces jangling around. Overall I think B&B is a great choice for lump.
  10. I created an account using the same username and password and then I got in
  11. I was told when we open the app we'll get a notification that a firmware update is available when it's ready to go. Apparently was going to go out last week but then they found a few other things they wanted to put in with it. So probably be updated soon. I've experienced the freeze scenario occasionally as well. Been testing this new app all day and no issues with that so far though. It's possible it could be fixed without a firmware fix depending on what's causing the freeze. Editing this. After going for many hours it lost internet connection even though the wifi signal was very strong. Had to turn the Signals off then on again and it was connected again. I had fired up the old app as well and it couldn't see it either. That does sound like it's the Signals itself. Hopefully the Firmware that's due out fixes that
  12. No I don't have the link. She had just told me to email her if I needed it. Since you already emailed them they'll probably get it to you soon. If so could you post it in this thread? Be good if they have multiple testers. Hopefully they've tightened up the open lid feature. They added that a while back but it's not implemented very well (at least for a Kamado). It can easily overshoot the temp since it doesn't wait long enough for the temp to climb before the fan kicks back in. I'm going to test that out tomorrow and see if they've worked on the algorithm. When the lid is closed (using current setup, not the new app etc.) I've been able to get very steady temperatures. I've had connection issues though and just a lot of little glitchy stuff. Hopefully they get this worked out since it's completely redone from the ground up.
  13. Do you have to get right over it to feel the heat or will you still feel it a little ways away? (I mean in general not just from the knees down) I heard one person say the heat doesn't radiate out much and shoots straight up. Also, how is it for sparks? I live in California with a big hill in my backyard and my uptight neighbors would be upset if I accidentally lit the neighborhood on fire.
  14. It makes great wings but if you use a dry rub it will just knock all the rub off. Works really well if it's marinated. Or if you cook it and add a rub after it's cooked. I got the Napolean basket. Works great. Kind of a tight fit on the classic so I got screws with a smaller handle (super easy to find at a hardware store) For whole chickens I personally think it comes out better spatchcocking it and cooking it. Comes out great on the rotisserie too of course. You can use pretty much any recipe. Just watch it on the sugar or you'll end up burning it. Also for chicken you'll want to bank the coals or the fat will end up burning the bird a bit. I really like the rotisserie for picanha, tri-tip, pork tenderloin, roasting coffee beans (can get a coffee basket for like $12 on Amazon).
  15. There is now a BETA website for the Signals and Billows. It's cloud.thermoworks.com. As well there is a new BETA app that has been written from the ground up so they'll be ditching the old one altogether (it wasn't that great). I just installed the Android version of the app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tworks.thermoworks_app If you can't find the IOS version from the App store I can get the link to it or I imagine if you email the link below you'll get it as well. Offhand it looks really slick but I just installed it. For people who want to test it out and comment they can send feedback to apps@thermoworks.com A new firmware is supposed to be released very soon as well. I ended up getting the Signals/Billows initially since I knew the hardware would be solid and figured they have the resources to update the app, add a website etc.. Looks like all that is coming about now. Here's a screenshot of the dashboard on the website and a screen shot of some options from the dashboard view on the website. Current graph on the phone app is a placeholder will eventually be similar to website graph.
  16. They addressed that issue and it kind of works but overshoots a bit. They should tighten up the open lid algorithm. I have the Billows and it works pretty good after using it quite a few times. It's still a bit buggy software wise. Not as many bells and whistles as the competitors either. It's pretty bare bones as a temperature controller goes. But...... The Signals is really nice and I often use that when I'm doing shorter cooks. If I were just going to get a temp controller I'd probably get something else but with Signals/Billows you're getting a temp controller and an awesome temp monitor so something to consider.
  17. I meant if I lose wifi connection with my phone. When it reconnects to wifi it should seamlessly reconnect to the current session on the cloud. Same with the Signals. If it loses wifi when it gets a connection again it should reconnect to my account on the cloud. Forcing the app to quit or logging out and back in on my phone would be needed. A few times had to restart the signals. Happened with Bluetooth as well. If I left the house sometimes I'd come back and bluetooth wouldn't reconnect without me restarting Signals. But with this latest update I haven't had those issues. It looks like it's able to properly sync up with the current cloud session as it should. Just tested out the open lid functionality with a chicken last night and can confirm it's in place and works pretty well. They might want to tweak it a bit though but it's fine. When you open the lid the fan may turn on for a second until the temp gets low enough for the open lid algorithm to kick in (not an issue) since it turns off really quickly. When you close the lid it doesn't turn on again immediately but does after about a minute (maybe a bit less). Not full blown but billowing (hence the name). They could probably have it wait longer to do that since it takes longer than a minute for the kamado to naturally climb back up to temp. The result is it billows up to set temp (lets say 250) but there may be a 10 degree carry over so the fan shuts off at 250, it will climb to 260 or so and then gradually come back down to 250 in around 10 minutes. That's not really a big deal at all but seems like it wouldn't be hard to improve that a little bit. Here's the data from the cook attached, pretty much tells the story. I started the fire at the front to try it out since it seems that when I light it in the center it burns towards the back when using billows. Lighting in the front seems like maybe the temp wasn't quite as stable but still plenty good. Probably go back to lighting in the center though. Also played around with the temp a bit. Set at 250, put in setup with deflector plates on the middle rack and let it settle in at 250 (opened lid) took out grates and added some sugar maple wood chunks then let it settle in and get a nice smoke going (opened lid) Added chicken put probes in each breast (just because I could) After a bit raised the temp to 325 After a bit raised the temp to 375 billows_chicken.xlsx
  18. The update came out with Wednesday's firmware update so open lid detector is now in. It's been raining so I haven't tested how well it actually works though. I did leave it on at home when I went to work and did a bunch of testing. i.e. getting out of bluetooth range having it automatically reconnect, turn off my wifi, back on, saving graphs while it runs etc.. Software seems much more stable now. I've used the billows several times and it's kept temperatures extremely stable. Did cooks in the 225 range and in the 350 range as well. Kept it rock steady within a few degrees and knocked temp up quite a few times. Longest cook was a low and slow chuck for about 10 hours. I screwed an alligator clip on the temp sensor and attach it to the end of the dome thermometer. temp reads the same as the dome. The big problem I had was the software was real glitchy. If you saved a graph during a cook it would cause problems. As well loosing wifi by going somewhere and coming back would sometimes confuse it. Worst situation was saving a graph and having the Signals freeze up at a lower temperature than the set temp so the fan just kept blowing. I was home so caught it fortunately but it would have kept going full bore. Called customer service for that and they exchanged my Signals even though I think it had nothing to do with the Signals and everything to do with the Software. I found for low and slow just barely opening the top vent allowed it to keep the temps rock solid. Whenever I opened the lid I unplugged the fan (which is kind of goofy) but apparently that won't be needed anymore. If this latest software update works this is a really nice unit. Solidly build. Rock steady temps. Doesn't have a web interface or a lot of fancy options for cooks but for simply keeping temps along with a very nice temp unit (Signals) I think it will be great.The software was most definitely not ready for prime time when I bought it. When I test it out with some long cooks I'll update if they seemed to work out the kinks but from fiddling with it for a day it definitely seems much better. I got it based on the build quality and company reputation figuring they'd fix any software issues. We'll see
  19. Thanks for the info. I went ahead and ordered it before I saw this. I got it just because I've always had good luck with Thermoworks products and figured at least the Signals is a top notch unit. Software can always be improved and they have the resources to improve that. I bet the open lid issue will be dealt with soon. It is a high powered fan and if it's really not variable it might be hard to program around that, we'll see. In regards to your temp sensor issue though I have a great solution. I also have a Thermoworks smoke and I just bought an alligator clip at the hardware store that has a screw that attaches to the probe end. Works great! It came in a pack of 5 so if you pm me your address I can send you one. I clip it perpendicular to the dome thermometer about half way up if I'm cooking something on the larger side so it doesn't hang down and touch the food.
  20. In regards to the Billows was your assessment pretty recent? I see they've come out with various adapters now (i.e. one specifically for Kamado Joe). It seems like some more recent reviews have been positive for this product. I'm really curious since I'm looking for a temperature controller and have had really good experience with Thermoworks products. Assuming they'll enhance the software side. One thing that does give me pause is that it's a pretty strong blower (looks to be the strongest out there) but it's not variable so when it's on it'll be cranking some serious wind.
  21. Yeah, I looked and saw that. Strange that it's been popular enough to hang around so long. I don't like to have single use things that wouldn't be used very much and a real heavy cast iron pan to make corn shaped bread would definitely fit the "not heavily used" and "cumbersome" bill. LOL
  22. This looks kind of interesting? Wonder if this was ever a common thing. Kind of weird. Actually just looked it up. I guess corn shaped cast iron is pretty common. Wonder why? https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/atq/d/newark-vintage-27-cast-iron-corn-shaped/6833885833.html
  23. That's the purpose. Draws out the moisture than some of it dissolves back in with the salt adding flavor and the rest evaporates. Having too much moisture in the meat is why hamburgers can end up like meat balls. Especially if the water is cold when it cooks. Getting rid of some of that concentrates flavors too. To me the desired moisture in meat is the fat not the water. Dry aged beef has lost a ton of it's moisture but tastes amazing.
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