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  • Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Interests
    Chemistry, Molecular Gastronomy, Smoke
  • Grill
    Kamado Joe

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  1. Thanks for the extra data. Interesting to see how the temperature does not drop when opening the dome. Good stuff the fireboard
  2. Thanks for sharing your experience, it looks great! I have the Pit Viper fan and I'm happy with it. I find it a better built quality than the native Fireboard. Referring to your plot, I'm curious to know what happened between 7am and 12pm with the temperature spike. Can you share the fan data as well?
  3. I would second that. Lately I have been lighting my fire and starting the controller right away (even with the target temperature). Experience tells me the more you play and tweak this thing, the longer it takes to reach a set target, and you will likely get longer overshoots. These controllers are meant to be set and forget, and I have learned they work best in that way.
  4. Soot does build up in the surface of the Smobot after some cooks, but this does not seem to be an issue for it to perform well. Some people suggest that in the event of blocking, a butane torch helps. The surface of the device is very well polished, so any degreaser, e.g., rubbing alcohol, would be able to help
  5. It has been a while, but in the meantime, I managed to get my hands at a Smobot. Here are my findings: 1. What Kamado cooker you are using? Big Joe 2. What temperature controller do you have? Smobot 3. What are your vent and fan settings on your Kamado? Bottom vent open 3.5cm. Top vent controlled by the Smobot. This is an important point, basically the bottom vent opening needs to be the similar as the one you would use without a controller 4. Where do you place your ambient probe for temperature control? Not too close to the edges, not too close to the food 5. At what point on your cook you let the controller to take over. I lit the fire in the middle of the coals and activated immediately the Smobot 6. Please share the graph from your temperature control with eventual fan output. The plot is below. At the beginning, the temperature went higher than the setpoint and around 20:00 I found out there was a leakage on the Smobot (not fitted properly). Thereafter, the control was spot on for the following 12 hours. It is a pity that the damper position is not recorded though... 7. What do you love about your controller? -Uses natural draft instead of a blower -It is truly set and forget -Best temperature control I have seen so far -Less coal consumption compared to controllers with fans -Quicker reach of setpoint compared to controllers with fans (yes, this is counter intuitive, but the controllers with fans tend to overshoot, while the Smobot just gets you where you want to be) -If the right batter pack is used, no need of electrical plug (Important not to use a smart power bank since these may shut down) 8. What would you improve about your controller? -The app is pretty basic -Probe calibration would be welcome -Possibility of naming the foods would be welcome -Toggling auto/manual from the app would be useful -Visualization and logging of the damper -Internal battery 9. Anything else you want to share I am super impressed with the control provided by the Smobot. Most of the things I would like to see improving are on the app, which I am sure can be done 10. And last but not least, share pictures of your cook It was a test run with no food
  6. Thanks ckreef, good stuff. I see temperature dropping after it became stable for a while. Are you using a controller on this one?
  7. There are two different ways of controlling that I typically see: 1. Light your starter, leave the dome open for around 10min and start control. 2. Light your starter, leave the dome open for around 10min and adjust your vents to get to the desired temperature. Once you have stabilized temperature, engage the fan and let the control do its thing. Both methods will eventually settled you to the desired temperature. 1/8 of an inch is a good start for the top vent. I suggest the first time to start with sufficient coal (a lot), and well ahead of time. In this way you will understand how your cooker/controller combo behaves. I do have the Fireboard + Pit Viper set myself, and use it in a Big Joe. Go back to the first page on this thread for more details on it. Cheers
  8. M-fine, this is fascinating stuff. I like what you report here; especially the fact that the control is done mainly with air opening/close and little with a blower as most of the controllers. Kind of like the Smobot but with the extra versatility of a blower when needed. I would love to see a graph/video if you have the chance of recording your next cook. Thanks for the good info
  9. This is impressive control... so the HM has both a damper and a blower, correct? Can you share data of blower activity and damper openness? This is the kind of stuff I would love to see
  10. Congrats on your purchase SPORO! Your reasoning makes sense. Use your KJ at different scenarios and learn it. You will quickly realize how great it is at keeping constant temperatures based on air flow only (basically playing with your top and bottom vents). I do hope to see more data as well. Many good products out there. Cheers
  11. Welcome, good to have another fellow BBQ lover from NL
  12. Yes, it does fit. You will see that the adapter has adjustable height to snuggly fit on your bottom vent
  13. The damper at 50% is mechanical, and the 30% you do it through the app (Advanced Settings, see screenshot attached). These settings work well with the Big Joe for 225F. For higher temperatures, you may need to adjust.
  14. Thank you all for your replies so far. In my relatively short research time with Kamado controllers, I have seen that most of them are able to control temperature accurately (both with PID and non-PID algorithms). I have made sort of a dry-run with the Fireboard during the weekend that ended up in cooking some babyback ribs. Below some results and comments: 1. Cook performed on the Big Joe, BGE lump used, pretty full firebox. I don't think coal makes a difference, but this is the one I had available 2. Top vent barely open, between 1st and 2nd mark. 3. I used the Fireboard Drive + Pit Viper fan for temperature control 4. I decided to test both Grate (called Pit) and Dome temperatures for the sake of experimenting. I used the Pit temperature for control 5. My setpoint was 225F 6. I used the suggestion from @John Setzler to start the control soon after the fire starts. I let it go to around 130F and then I turned on the Fireboard Drive. 7. I used the suggestion from @Vanole of having the Pit Viper damper half way open/close. 8. I limited the fan to 30% of its capacity (that was my personal flavor) See the plot below: After an initial overshoot of around 15 degrees, it went down and then up again to stabilize around 225. The temperature was super stable thereafter. Both Grate and Dome temperatures were the same after some time. Once I saw how this was behaving, I headed to the local butcher to get some babyback ribs (I could not "just" let those coals burn). To my surprise, they only had the ribs frozen, which was a big bummer, but I got them in any case. I thawed and dry-rubbed them and around 2pm I put them on the grill. Of course the ribs were wetter than usual, so I am partially attributing to that, what I observed next: The above is a super interesting plot: a) First of all, the control, although not as thigh as without meat, it is very good (max deviation 8 degrees, which in my opinion is fantastic). As said earlier, I was controlling based on the Pit temperature and not on the Dome. b) The Dome temperature started to get hotter than the Pit one after placing the meat. I would think that this is because all the water vapor evaporating from the thawed ribs. After most of the moisture was gone, the Dome temperature went down and it became lower than the Pit one, which is what you would normally expect. c) After some time, Dome temperature was around 15 degrees lower than the Grate. After opening the lid for adding some pieces of corn, such difference became larger (30 degrees). d) During the last part of the cook, I did increase the temperatures to get the ribs done quicker (not shown). In summary, here are some findings: 1. Patience is critical, not rushing things will get you far. Start your fire and control, a couple of hours in advance before start cooking 2. I have had some connectivity problems in the past. I added a WiFi extender close to the grill and it works perfectly. I never lost connection to the Fireboard during this cook. 3. Fireboard is capable to control temperatures without the need of stabilizing first the temperature on the Kamado. This saves a lot of time. 4. The ribs were ok, but not great. The last-minute thawing is definitely a terrible idea. . In any case, I have not managed to cook awesome ribs at 225. My favorite ones have turned out to be at 250-275F. Maybe a coincidence, but if somebody has experience on this, it would be appreciated. 5. In the meantime, I have a friend here in NL that started to build a BBQ controller for myself. He is now doing the programming and it would be fun to compare it to the Fireboard. See below a dummy test he sent me yesterday: Most importantly, I think that the Fireboard Drive is doing a solid job: the fan activity from 10:30 to 14:00 is minimal (showing the great capabilities of the BJ in keeping temperatures), but super accurate (deviation of 1-2 degrees). After introducing the food, swings go up to 8 degrees occur. I see similar results with the Flame Boss, Smobot, BBQube TempMaster Pro, etc. Even the iKamand with their new Firmware is starting to produce decent results regarding temperature control. Still gathering more data, so anybody that wants to share theirs is welcome. Good week to all, José Rafael
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