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Temp Controllers on Cabinet Smoker

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    Temp Controllers on Cabinet Smoker

    I am looking for some advice, tips, and tricks to use my Fireboard 2 and Pit Viper fan on my new Humphrey's down east beast. Or if someone knows of an existing article or guide they could point me to I would appreciate it.

    I'm not new to smoking I've been using weber kettles for years and used to own a cheaper offset. I am new to cabinet smokers and temp controllers.

    I've used my Humphrey's twice since I got it a week ago. The first time was just the "first fire" I loaded the charcoal basket full and set my fireboard to 225 and it ran for 24 hours. For the first few hours, I noticed a huge temperature difference between my lower probe and upper probe. After that things stabilized and my temp held dead on 225 for nearly 20 hours (on top and bottom).

    My first cook was this past Saturday. I noticed the same thing, in terms of the temperature difference between top and bottom. To compensate, I turned the fan to 1% manually for about an hour but it didn't help. I never could seem to get stabilized. The ribs on the top rack came out perfect, whereas I ended up overcooking the racks closer to the bottom.

    I'd like to know what's the best way to help the smoker come up to temp using the fan without creating too much of a temperature differential. Or I've contemplated warming it up not using the fan at all.

    Thanks in Advance.

    I have a LSG insulated cabinet and use a Fireboard and Pit Bull fan. I notice it was about 30-40 degrees hotter on bottom than on top with out water in the pan. Temps are much more even with water, 10 degrees. So I always use water now.
    I guess on a cook that I needed temp differences I could use that to my advantage.


      It's a big pit and a whole lot of metal that takes a long time to settle in. I typically light up my Humphreys pint hours (5 or 6) or the night before and set it to 200. It hardly butns any charcoal at that temp. So when I'm ready to cook it's ready to go. It's also easier to adjust the temp once it's at 200. What you did the first time is right, it needs plenty if time to settle in. The guy I bought my Pint from bought two battle boxes instead because he hated to wait for it to come up to temp. You can also get a blow torch and preheat the thing.


        Thank you for the feedback. I realized that between my first fire and the first cook, i changed the water pan from the drop in position to the slide out position and also the head deflector was just above the coals on the first fire. I think I will stick with that as right now, the slide out isnt necessary.

        I have placed a thermometer on the bottom rack and top, I wondered, when i set the fireboard to auto and input the desired temp, how does it know which thermometer to go off of? Or does it do an average between the two? The lowest of the two? I wonder if just having a thermometer at the bottom in channel 1 would be best.


          You can set which probe is the control.


          • SchweinStein
            SchweinStein commented
            Editing a comment
            Cool - thank you. I should probably read the manual. Not in the habit of that

          hey guys/girls I need some help, I'm new here and fairly new to the BBQ smoker world, I'm trying to do some research and I've spent hours reading posts and reviews but i cant find exactly the topic that covers my question. I want to get controller and fan for my KAT "Large vault" smoker, Its a cabinet style insulated smoker as shown in the pics below. I've always said you buy it good you buy it once, so now that i have a really nice smoker its time to make it run correctly so I'm asking the professionals IE you guys

          So my question is that would be the best temp controller and fan combo for a large cabinet smoker? All the reading I have been doing says these items listed below are the best/easiest to use and they work great, but will these work a large smoke such as mine? does anyone here have the same kind of large smoker and what has worked for you?

          ---temp contorller:
          BBQ Guru- DynaQ or UltraQ,
          Fireboard2 driver or Pro.

          ---fan unit:
          BBQ Guru pit viper or pit bull
          Fireboard fan

          from what I've read I'm leaning towards the fireboard2 drive controller and a Pitbull fan. because of the size of the smoker i thought i would need the 25CFM fan like the pitbull, and the fireboard2 drive has universal probe connections where i could use some probes from my other devises (maybe). and no issues with bluetooth or wifi like people have complained about with the DynaQ and UltraQ.

          PLEASE let me know what you guys think or what you have used that works well on your large cabinet style smoker.

          Attached Files
          Last edited by hawkdriver9; September 27, 2021, 09:11 PM.


          • Polarbear777
            Polarbear777 commented
            Editing a comment
            If your fan is too big, the fireboard lets you set an upper limit on speed. (If your temp swings are wider than you want for instance).

          • hawkdriver9
            hawkdriver9 commented
            Editing a comment
            I didn't think about a fan being to big and sending too much air in the firebox, yeah that would cause big flare up and over shoots i would think.

            So there's another question- can you program the fan CFM's into the FB so it knows what size fan your running? i would think that would be important. does anyone know?

          • Polarbear777
            Polarbear777 commented
            Editing a comment
            The fireboard let’s you control the max voltage sent to the fan. So yes you can dial it back.

          So I pulled the trigger on a "Fireboard 2 Driver" and the "Guru Pit Viper" fan. and I'm so excited I can't wait, feel like a kid waiting on Christmas!!!

          After talking to all of you nice people and doing a ton of reading I decided on a Pit Viper 10-CFM instead of the Pit Bull 25-CFM. I made this call for two reasons.

          #1- the New design/modified Pit Viper is more plastic on the outside and they say is more "weather resistant". For me that is a huge thing. I don't want to replace this fan every time it gets wet and the Pit Pull is the same design as the "old" pit viper

          #2- from all that i read and the videos it seems most guys using the "fireboard 2 driver" turn down the max motor/fan power to 30-50% to run a 225-250 degree smoker (which is what I do 99% of the time ) so why have a more powerful fan if your just going to turn it down anyway and add one or variable to your smoker equation. if at some point I need to run the smoker hotter and the fan isn't enough Ill buy the bigger one.

          thanks for all the help guys and I'll keep you posted on how things turn out, hopefully I have great news for you.



          • Polarbear777
            Polarbear777 commented
            Editing a comment
            Only reason to get a bigger fan is for faster startups or holding steady temps above 400, which you may not need often or at all.

            I think it will work great.

          got the FB2 off Amazon just in case there were any issues like some people have stated (there where none, was perfect and really easy to get started. delivered in two days!!!

          got the docking station/holder from fireboard directly, was at my door in three days!!

          Ordered the Pit Viper directly from GURU (couldn't find it anywhere else) still waiting on that part. UPS tracking says it will be here tomorrow, which would be a week. that not bad actually but it todays world of instant gratification "i want it yesterday" LOL

          I'll make my first run with some ribs and let you all know how it goes, in case there are other cabinet smoker guys looking for the right set up,

          VR Dan


            ok first run of the new FB2 drive and Pit Viper.

            so after hearing reports of the FB overshooting the target temp I started off with a temp set of 200 and yes it went straight to 220ish, then i adjusted the temp to 220

            as you can see from the screen shot of the cook temps the FB held the temp mostly on target, the only issue was it temp would drop whenever i would open the door but the fire would also get stoked, so as soon as i closed the door the temp would rebound and increase, I think this is a common issue with vault smokers because a vault/cabinet smoker holds heat almost to well. not sure how Im going to fix that issue, maybe closing off the vent on the viper once the pit is up to temp incase there is a draft even without the fan running, I was really hoping this set up would be more set and forget, geuss I will have to keep testing,

            bottom line the rips and chicken came out perfect even with a minor temp increase, 225 to 245,

            oh yeah, thats bacon over the ribs, the bacon dripping on the ribs for moisture and flavor, keeps you from having to spray them, genius :P
            Attached Files
            Last edited by hawkdriver9; October 7, 2021, 10:48 PM.



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