Ok my first smoke on the most expensive smoker I’ve ever owned. PG500. This may be the worst smoker I’ve ever used. Followed all the directions for set up and seasoning and started my first smoke. Trying to hold 235. I’m get 60 degree temperature swings. At one point it blew out. There is zero wind here today and it’s warm. I left it alone for 30 minutes and came back a the temp was 137 and the ash pot was full of unburned pellets. Cleaned it all out and restarted the grill. I’ve had to turn it off and on 3 times to get the igniter to light as the temp was dropping and the pellets still feeding. Not sure how that even happens. Anyway I’ve tried to adjust the low and high temp times using suggestions from this forum. No luck. Thing will NOT hold a temp. I really hope they will take this back. I’ve had it for longer than 30 days but this was my first smoke. Any suggestions guys?
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to give me a point of reference, what was the factory set LHT/HHT and what all combinations did you try?
FYI, On my unit anyways, just restarting is not a trigger for the ignitor to start. I think there is some logic that the ignitor only comes on if temp is less X. I don't know what X is, but it is pretty low.
have you successfully grilled or baked at higher temps?
are your pellets fresh/new? are they totally dry?
Pellets new and the ones that came with the smoker. I’ve pretty much tried every combination. It’s at 5/25 now and seems to be a little more stable but still huge swings. Below is a pictures from ThermoWorks thermometer as you can see the swings are from 230 to over 300 with the unit set at 265. It also produces a LOT of smoke too much in my opinion. I’m afraid my brisket is ruined but we will see another few hours to go
in my experience, when cooking below 300, temp swings +/- 10 to 15 degrees are inevitable on this model smoker. You should be able to fine tune it to get better results than you are seeing though.
one thing you might try is to set the LHT and HHT to the same value. 20 for example. That will provide constant feedrate and theoretically only a change in ambient conditions would cause a temp swing. I have started operating this way and I just have to bump the values up/down 5 at a time as the air temp warms/cools through the day or if there is a change in wind, etc.. this if nothing else would rule some things out.
regarding the excessive smoke, that is another thing I have just learned to deal with. my PG500 billows smoke through the entire cook. The good news, in my experience anyways, is that I have never had bitter/rancid oversmoked flavor. Even on overnight cooks of pork shoulders and briskets.
hope this cook is salvageable for you. my advice is to stick with it. i bet you'll get it figured out and you will come around to not regret the purchase.
Thank you! I’m going to try your suggestion today. Brisket turned out ok. Not my best but ok. Trying another cook today and I will set both at 20. Good suggestion.
It sounds like you have read about temp settings and pellet feeds but if not look here:
I had a similar problem as described here:
After talking with Cookshack I also readjusted my flue cap and all has been well since.
Lastly if you haven't, a search for LHt/HHt Temp Control on the PG1000 will yield a LOT of information....
Hope this further helps with your journey and you come to love your pellet grill as much as the rest of us do.
@DaveBoyle - Keep us posted and like @mountainman says we'll all do our best to help you on your journey.
After rereading your original post, I have a couple other comments...
First, I don't think I have ever been successful with an LHT of 5. When I first got my unit I tried 5 a couple of times and ended up with flameouts. Situations seem very rare where that lowest feedrate can sustain a flame.
Also, try to minimize the variance between the 2 values. Part of your excessive smoke could be that your HHT drastically overshoots and then the LHT rate barely sustains the flame.
I pretty much run with theory 1 from the 1st link that mountainman listed. I initially set both values the same to determine the appropriate "pilot light" setting. Then add 5 to the HHT and let it be other than adjustments for significant changes in ambient conditions during the cook.
Another suggestion that I received from Cookshasck is to use heat sinks for testing (such as pans of water bricks etc. of the desired weight) rather than expensive protein.
Again good luck and keep us posted.