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-   -   Alton Brown Smoker + Ebay temp controller (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f172/alton-brown-smoker-ebay-temp-controller-338902/)

phoenixs4r 07-01-2012 03:30 PM

Alton Brown Smoker + Ebay temp controller

Never smoked a thing in my life, but a recent development of being exhausted and starving after brew day, a friend suggested we start smoking our dinner when we start brewing! Sounds good enough to me!

Little bit of googling and I found the Alton brown special to build a smoker, seems easy enough to me, but I heard reports of it being a little hard to dial in the temperature.

On brew day, my ebay temperature controller for the fermentation chamber isn't doing anything, so I was curious if I could use it to control the smokers hot plate? The controller caps out at 10 amps, which leaves me at a limit of 1200 watt hot plate. Is this enough to get the 16" terra cotta planter up to 200f?

If it would work, where would be the best place to put the probe? Again, new to all this so does it go in the ambient air inside the smoker, or inside the meat?

Thanks for reading!

shelly_belly 07-01-2012 05:31 PM

This guy has a 1000 watt hot plate in a 17" pot and says he got 220F with the dial near the half-way mark...


carlisle_bob 07-03-2012 12:33 AM


If the controller is an STC-1000 I would be worried about a couple of things:

1) The probe sure does not look like it's intended for high temperatures.

2) The probe may or may not be food safe.

3) The probe really isn't designed for clamping on anything .

Most ovens and smokers use stainless steel covered thermocouples rather than thermistors as probes.


phoenixs4r 07-03-2012 01:18 AM

I agree I would have to use a different probe

lex990 07-04-2012 06:05 PM

And you want your cooker when you are smoking at at least 225 better at 250. You want it hot enough to get the meat to food safe numbers quick enough to reduce the risk of infection while still being low and slow. I do yardbirds and turkeys at 275-300. Ribs at 275 brisket 250. Fish 225-250.

phoenixs4r 07-04-2012 06:27 PM

Interesting, I thought the magic number was 200, thanks for the clarification!

carlisle_bob 07-05-2012 02:14 AM


Originally Posted by phoenixs4r (Post 4220579)
I agree I would have to use a different probe


The probe on the STC is a 10K NTC thermistor with a specific beta. That's going to be tough to match / replace.


lex990 07-05-2012 03:27 AM


Originally Posted by phoenixs4r
Interesting, I thought the magic number was 200, thanks for the clarification!

It will take a week to get a brisket to 190's at 200 degrees and it will dry out along the way. It's all trial an error. Have a blast doing it and you will probably never make anything not edible. There are forums for BBQ and smoking just like this one for beer. Read and learn. It's a great hobby. Just may wanna up the cardio lol.

carlisle_bob 07-05-2012 02:46 PM


I think I would design for an upper temperature of at least 300F on a normal hot summer day. That way you should be able to hold 250 through the night. Also consider that when you toss the "stuff" in the smoker it will load down the heating. I'm a *lot* happier now with a charcoal powered beast than I ever was in 7 years with an electric smoker.


phoenixs4r 07-05-2012 04:06 PM

Interesting. Thanks for the input guys.

I'd much rather have a nice charcoal one as well, but as it stands I've already canceled all if my brewing projects due to funds so I'm trying to keep this one cheap, lol.

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