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Author Topic: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?  (Read 3368 times)

Winz

  • Statesman
  • Posts: 1644
Re: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2017, 05:55:16 AM »
I'm considering purchasing an automatic temp control/blower system to run my WSM for me. Are you running one and how has your experience been?

Yes, I know, theoretically I can set my vents and voila WSM will run stable. With a toddler and growing family, that quick temp check or slight vent adjustment can sometimes hinder my ability to cook. To address these concerns and maximize my family time, I've thought a PartyQ with quality rechargeable batteries would be my best bet.

I started out not using an ATC, and viewed using them as "cheating".  The thought of set it and forget it seemed counterintuitive to mastering the skill of using a WSM.  But now I'm totally in the other camp.  Being able to get some precision lets me better plan cooks which is important - whenever I am using the smoker it is usually for a gathering of people, and the ATC makes for one less thing to worry about.

There are so many good systems out there, from very basic units to high end wifi controllers.  Once you decide to go with an ATC, it is hard to go wrong.  the PartyQ with a rechargeable battery set up would be a good, portable rig. 

I ended  up building 2 versions of my own ATC:  [size=78%]http://weberkettleclub.com/forums/wsm-weber-smokey-mountain/home-made-automatic-temp-controller-model-2-0/msg232816/#msg232816[/size]  It has been a fun project, but best of all, makes for carefree cooking.

Winz
In an ongoing relationship with a kettle named Bisbee.

Harbormaster

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 864
Re: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2017, 05:23:08 PM »
Whenever I am cooking for a big event, I will run as many as four 18.5" WSMs simultaneously and none of them have an ATC.

Never seen the need for them.
I've got Webers. 10 - WSMs, 5 - 22.5" kettles, 2 - 18.5" kettle, 2 - SJS, 2 - SJP, 4 - WGA, 1 vintage Coolie Pan, 1 - Genesis Silver C
"Animal flesh cooked over an open fire is a sensible and essential part of a well balanced diet"

kettlecook

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 361
Re: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2017, 05:51:20 PM »

Whenever I am cooking for a big event, I will run as many as four 18.5" WSMs simultaneously and none of them have an ATC.

Never seen the need for them.

Harbormaster, you've been smoking with wsm's a while now. You still using RO Chef Select briquettes for long cooks? Water?


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club mobile app

Harbormaster

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 864
Re: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2017, 03:05:14 AM »

Harbormaster, you've been smoking with wsm's a while now. You still using RO Chef Select briquettes for long cooks? Water?


Generally RO Chefs Select or Stubbs Minion Method. I run without water. Half a dozen crushed aluminum cans in the water pan covered with a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil.
I've got Webers. 10 - WSMs, 5 - 22.5" kettles, 2 - 18.5" kettle, 2 - SJS, 2 - SJP, 4 - WGA, 1 vintage Coolie Pan, 1 - Genesis Silver C
"Animal flesh cooked over an open fire is a sensible and essential part of a well balanced diet"

kettlecook

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 361
Re: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2017, 04:47:02 AM »


Harbormaster, you've been smoking with wsm's a while now. You still using RO Chef Select briquettes for long cooks? Water?


Generally RO Chefs Select or Stubbs Minion Method. I run without water. Half a dozen crushed aluminum cans in the water pan covered with a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil.

Cool. Can't find RO Chef Select around here but a buddy of mine has always spoke highly of them. Thanks.


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club mobile app

Lemans

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 902
Re: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2017, 06:04:28 PM »
Pitmaster 120
I can't stop lovin my Weber!!!
2-22 WSM, 22.5 gold, 22.5 MT code EE Red Head ,22.5 AH in Green ,18 silver , Green SSP code EI,Weber Ranch,mini WSM black,4-smokey joes black, lime, copper, crimson Sjg  IQ120 electric 22.5 silver economy 2004..that makes 15. I know WEBERITIS !!

Brain_STL

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 260
Re: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2017, 06:30:47 PM »
I use the Pitmaster IQ 130 and love it.


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Lemans

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 902
Re: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2017, 02:51:58 AM »
I don't hang mine from the handle .. it's way too hot for a plastic housing. IMHO
I can't stop lovin my Weber!!!
2-22 WSM, 22.5 gold, 22.5 MT code EE Red Head ,22.5 AH in Green ,18 silver , Green SSP code EI,Weber Ranch,mini WSM black,4-smokey joes black, lime, copper, crimson Sjg  IQ120 electric 22.5 silver economy 2004..that makes 15. I know WEBERITIS !!

CharliefromLI

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 694
    • Long Island Weber Club
Re: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2017, 05:51:00 PM »
I know this an old post but does anyone else feel like using Pitmaster IQ burns more coals?  I feel like any long cook over 6 hours or so requires a reload. I did a 7lb brisket cook last week that ran though an entire bag of Stubbs (first full ring and a reload)  and then I still needed to add more coal to finish cook. Pitmaster did hold temp as directed but ran through a ton of coal.


Sent from my iPad using Weber Kettle Club mobile app
Starting LineUp:Summit Charcoal Grilling Center, Genesis E310, SJ Gold MiniWSM, the JETTLE
Alumni: Performer Dlx, 22.5" WSM, 26" OTG, 18.5" WSM, 22" OTP

Groovinn

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 36
Re: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2017, 03:05:54 PM »
If you have a Do It Best Hardware Store near you, you can order it and shipping to the store is free, then you pick it up. My store gets their shipments on Fridays.


Harbormaster, you've been smoking with wsm's a while now. You still using RO Chef Select briquettes for long cooks? Water?


Generally RO Chefs Select or Stubbs Minion Method. I run without water. Half a dozen crushed aluminum cans in the water pan covered with a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil.

Cool. Can't find RO Chef Select around here but a buddy of mine has always spoke highly of them. Thanks.


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club mobile app


pbe gummi bear

  • Statesman
  • Posts: 8245
Re: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2017, 04:30:17 PM »
I know this an old post but does anyone else feel like using Pitmaster IQ burns more coals?  I feel like any long cook over 6 hours or so requires a reload. I did a 7lb brisket cook last week that ran though an entire bag of Stubbs (first full ring and a reload)  and then I still needed to add more coal to finish cook. Pitmaster did hold temp as directed but ran through a ton of coal.


Sent from my iPad using Weber Kettle Club mobile app

Imo 6 hour burn time on a wsm is really short. Are you running dry or with water? Are you packing the coals into the ring and stacking them high? You can pile them up into a mountain without much issues. I usually can get 10+ hours on WSM (dry water pan) without refilling for both lump and kbb.
"Have you hugged your Weber today?"
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SmokenJoe

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2424
Re: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?
« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2017, 08:30:59 PM »
Charlie,  I couldn't agree more w/ pgb  ...  something is rotten in Pitmaster town.  Several (most) of my WSM logs indicate that a WSM, with a full level of KBB, started w/ a modified Minion method should easily cook for 13-15 hours at 225.  I have occasionally allowed my coals to "burn out" and seen 17hrs at 225.

Sooooooo, my guess is that the heuristic algorithm in your Pitmaster is poorly designed (not likely or we'd have heard other KettleHeader's comment about it) or your particular unit is faulty.   If your Pitmaster "starves" the coal for too long before it initiates the air flow, then you end up with a major cyclic airflow problem (that is; choke the air too low and pump the air(temp) up too high).   

My advice, for what it's worth (and really what is ANY advice really worth), "log" some cooks (with or without meat) keeping track of your WSM temps for various damper settings.  Once you have confidence in the settings vs temps, you won't need any ATC to allow you time-away-from-the-cook.   Or you could just send your pitmaster back to the pitmaster factory :)

SJ
"Too Beef, or Not too Beef" ...

Looking for Dark Blue MBH 22", Dark Green MBH 22", Yellow MBH 22", Glen Blue MBH 22", Avocado MBH 22".

Lemans

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 902
Re: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2017, 05:19:58 PM »
I use a pitmaster IQ120 on my WSM and mini WSM
Works great.. I use s TTT on my 22 kettle and it is a cool toy for $35!!
I can't stop lovin my Weber!!!
2-22 WSM, 22.5 gold, 22.5 MT code EE Red Head ,22.5 AH in Green ,18 silver , Green SSP code EI,Weber Ranch,mini WSM black,4-smokey joes black, lime, copper, crimson Sjg  IQ120 electric 22.5 silver economy 2004..that makes 15. I know WEBERITIS !!

toolhead

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1329
Re: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2017, 04:10:34 PM »
I haven't seen the need for any gadget. It's taken me a few cooks to dial in what it likes but once you do that it's pretty much auto pilot. I got mine second hand and my factory door latch left the door very loose. I upgraded to the Cajun bandit door and latch and it is much more consistent. The door is the one thing on the wsm that is not great imo.


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club mobile app


This..id buy the cb door before an atc..

The cb door will remedy the problem rather than soothing the symptoms.

Ive noticed a dramatic temp stability diff after buying the cb door....

An atc is simply addressing the symptoms of the actual root problem which is the thin flimsy aluminum stock door...

Think if your oven door was made of the same material......
Grills

toolhead

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1329
Re: How many of you use an ATC with your WSM?
« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2017, 04:11:34 PM »
You may find you may not need an atc afterwards....

Aside from also getting more mpg from your fuel bc your wsm is now better insulated
Grills