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Fan controller and M1 or M36

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    Fan controller and M1 or M36

    Hi M1/M36 grill owners - every time I think I get close to a decision, I keep seeing or reconsidering different options! For M1/M36 grill owners, have you tried using the smoker with a fan controller, and how has that experience been? I'm assuming this would be with a charcoal smoke, as I understand it's not a good idea to use them with sticks. Does it allow a "set it and forget it" cook, something like with an insulated cabinet smoker? And does it give an inferior or dirty smoke taste to them food? Am I better off getting an insulated cabinet, and use my weber kettle for high temp searing?
    Thanks in advance for any responses!
    FYI -- I have a MAK 1 pellet smoker and a weber kettle now, and my experience with it has been up and down, and I prefer the flavor from charcoal or wood smoking in any event.

    #2
    I have had very positive experiences with a fan. 10h ish set it and forget it charcoal. My go to cook on this grill on a brisket or pork butt is 5-7h with splits at 275, wrap brisket (but not pork butt) and use charcoal auto pilot to finish. FireBoard plus a fan is great. FireBoard also AMAZING for fire management and anticipation when smoking with splits.

    Comment


    • Primo
      Primo commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, that is great to hear! Especially that you can use it a wood, that surprises me!

    • Primo
      Primo commented
      Editing a comment
      When you use the fan controller with wood, do you set it at a higher temp to get clean smoke?

    • smarks112
      smarks112 commented
      Editing a comment
      I’ve experimented a tad with the fan on splits and have had good results, but the method described above I usually just use splits for 5-6h without the fan and then add the fan when adding the charcoal on auto pilot. I have not found the benefit to be there on fan with splits as I have learned the ins and outs of fire management

    #3
    If it was me, I would smoke the first 2-3 hours on your kettle and then finish the smoke on your MAK for hands free. I've seen a few people use this method on various wood or charcoal cookers and then moving to their pellet smoker and it works for them.

    But if you are looking for an excuse to add to your stable, it looks like the M grills add a 3rd fuel option as well as some different capabilities from what you have.

    I just bought a Fireboard, but didn't get the fan yet since I don't have anything to use it on. But I've been pretty impressed with the features and it feels like a quality product.

    Comment


    • Primo
      Primo commented
      Editing a comment
      That's a great idea, I never thought of that!

    #4
    At the end of the day, I have probably been happier with my M1 purchase than any other purchase I have made in the last several years. It radically transformed both my grilling and smoking options and skill level and it looks like it will last a long ass time.

    Comment


      #5
      I have used the Thermoworks Billows and it worked fantastic. Frankly, the fire was almost burning too clean. Straight from the box plug and play, easy to set up and had zero issues.

      Comment


        #6
        I have a thermoworks billows but have not found the need to use it yet. When burning charcoal/lump in the lower firebox of the M1, once the vents are dialed in the temp is extremely stable IME.

        Comment


          #7
          I went ahead a got the Billows and tried it out a couple times last fall. I had some initial really dumb user errors setting it up but Thermoworks customer service was awesome. Once I got it working I found it didn't really hit the temps I was selecting. I'd set it for 250 and it would run at 275 or 280, another day I'd set it for 275 and it would run 245. Just very inconsistent. Plus the M1 was burning through so much fuel I was still having to hover and constantly maintain the fire, add fuel, etc. so it didn't really add anything to my cooks. I stopped using it completely after about three cooks because I just didn't find it to be reliable. I got better temp control playing with the dampers on the firebox door.

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