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About 40 pellets missed fire pot on first cook. Cookshack sent me a strange bracket to somehow prevent pellets bouncing over pot. Since my pellets were hitting before fire pot, I bent chute sides out to angle chute upwards. 2 pellets missed pot of over next 10# of pellets burned. Much better!

Next Problem: left door does not shut completely & I can not see why not. Hinges, door & spacing seems OK but it will not close flat.

Third problem: smoker is not stable @ 170 with Cookshack mesquite pellets & grill detonated, blew door & drawers open. First we thought kids had played, left door open. Had to dump hopper to get rid of fire in augur tube. Augur tube is now burned near black. Theory is fire died, fire pot filled, ignitor was switched on, fire started in pot near full, smoke density became combustible, fire grew to extend above pot, smoke burned explosively. We will not again leave this thing on without people watching it always.

Fourth problem: smoker is not stable @ 230 set point. Temperature ranges from 139 to over 360, again with Cookshack mesquite pellets. Set at 230, smoker was still feeding pellets above 300 F. That is a sorry controller. This would have been a sorry controller 30 years ago, worse today.

Yes I could set controller to compensate for current batch of pellets, then it would do near as well as a $15 controller of 1990. Maybe. FWIW, PG500 temperature indication does track my Maverick ET7 within 6 F when temperature is not rapidly changing.

I may put a $40 Chinese PID controller in my $1479 smoker as an upgrade.

Setpoint is still 230, temp is 191 falling, low temp augur run is 15, may see the door blown open again soon.

I do hope your PG500 experience is safer than ours. Brisket still just 152 F.
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Sounds like you need to work on adjusting your LHT and HHT settings to dial in your temps better.

This is for the Pg1000 but theory is the same:

LHT and HHT settings

What were your settings with the situations your described above?

My guess is with the setting of 170 you were running the fire too lean (LHT too low)... and with the big swings you probably had a big gap in your settings (LHT low and HHT high). If you move them closer together, temp swings will be less dramatic.

Best way to monitor any pit for peace of mind is to put a remote thermometer like Maverick ET732. Have an alarm set at a low temp that the pit should never hit. ie 140-150 degrees. If it hits that, alarm will go off and you know your fire is likely out. You can also do that for high temps.

I'm not going to get into the PID vs whatever argument, however the big advantage of this controller is you can adjust the settings to account for variables such as different pellets, ambient temp etc. Different brands, flavors, mixes etc of pellets have different BTUs and honestly may need different settings. I'm also a firm believer that reasonable swings (not like what you were experiencing) helps produce smoke and overall a better product.

Give CS a call... or keep posting here and we will try to help you work through the issues you're having...

I agree with Nordy about your temperatures. For temperatures less than 220 degrees on my PG1000, I typically use a LHT of 5 and a HHT of 25. I get some swings (which I consider unavoidable in any circumstance) but no extreme swings. Closely observe the results of varying the LHT and HHT until you obtain the optimum settings for your smoke.
This is the first I've ever heard of a "boom" with the grills. It's a know problem because of expanding gasses in the Electrics and the VERY small vent hole.

You sure it's not just cold stainless expanding and "popping".

And welcome to the forum.

ABSOLUTELY, if you're worried about a fire (I'm not) then call CS.

The pellets you mention bouncing won't combust unless the smoker is set to a very hot temp, say 400+. I always suggest cleaning out any "bouncers" before hi temp cooks.

Given how big a fire is at 400+ a LOT of bouncers wouldn't be a problem either. The fire will be roaring at that temp.

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