• Retired157 What kind of adapter on your ice chest for Anova? I’ve used sous vide for the last couple years but haven’t modified a cooler yet.

  • Bigtwin

    I used PVC… a small piece of 3" pipe & a cap was all it took to make a really nice mod in my opinion. After that it was just getting back to my roots in being a ‘back yard mechanic’… I just replied to ‘stephenmterry’ with a completed ‘How I did it’… are you able to see that reply? I am not sure how this site actually ‘works’ but I hope you can access that reply.

  • Yearling

    I use charcoal, wood, and beer. That way I can tell my wife I can’t do anything for the day except drink beer and monitor temperatures or the food will be ruined. LOL

  • KenfromMI

    Yeah, I suspect that many of us have come up with some ‘creative’ solutions for our ‘better half’ … some work; some not so much :)

  • Regular Contributors Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Team Blue Power User

    Retired157 wow, good work

  • Hey everyone… thought I’d give you an ‘update’ as to where I am now, Jan. 14th, in my effort to begin making Summer Sausage. First, I gave my ‘upgraded’ smoker a bit of a test run two days ago in the garage. I put it through an ‘empty’ test using the times & temperatures of the cooking/smoking schedule I plan on using. Dang guys & gals, that PID thing really does work as advertised. That said, I did ‘learn’ a couple of things during this test. One, the ammeter (the annalog one as pictured with the ‘swing arm’) I originally had installed really did not work the way I had envisioned it would. I subsequently changed it out for the other option I included in my ‘parts list’… the DROK Digital 500v - 200a unit. Just a note here, the change was very easily done and required almost no effort on my part or any furthering of my electrical skills or knowledge… yes; even a caveman can do it. The DROK was EXACTLY what I was wanting and needing; it fulfilled what I was looking to accomplish. It’s ‘fun’ watching everything now ‘working’.
    The next thing the test taught me was this; the damper (stack) that I installed on the door of my smoker is ABSOLUTELY a MUST. I learned very quickly that the PID ‘needed’ me to ‘move the air in & through’ the smoker so-as to allow the PID to maintain a ‘consistent’ internal box temperature. Once again, the ‘fix’ was soooo easy to incorporate into my procedure. All I did was grab a small fan out of my spare bedroom and locate it directly in front of the damper (about a foot away). Then, with a few adjustments of the damper’s ‘open & close’ lid, the PID using its internal ‘brain’ (don’t ask me), was able to in about 10 minutes get to and maintain any temperature I programmed in. Hey, I can see why those who have gone the PID route ‘swear’ by it!

    Yesterday I ordered all my spices & additives from Walton’s. So, where am I… dang near ready to take a swing at making SS! I did ‘discover’ something yesterday about ingredients and more specifically the ‘pork fat’ needed (I’m using deer/elk burger as my primary ‘meat’). I’ve read a lot of ‘posts’ about just ‘where’ to come up with pork fat. I spent some time yesterday driving around town checking with our local food chain stores and the two butcher shops here only to be disappointed. Bottomline, finding ‘pork fat’ is as close to impossible as I care to come! Not that I want to age myself, but as a kid, I remember my mom & grandma both using ‘Fat Back’ when cooking… I was on a mission now to ‘make it happen’. After a little research on-line, I came up with the solution! If you want REAL ‘Fat Back’, simply look up the site DeBragga out of New York. You can order the BEST (award winning) Fat Back directly from them. Yes, I ordered four packages (2lb ea) from them. They are easy to work with and lots of fun to talk to. Ask for Lydia… she’s a hoot and a full blown chef! Yes, there is a shipping cost involved… overnight FedEx @$49.95. To me… it’s the cost of getting the best. If I had another ‘smoker’; here in Great Falls, we could make one order and cut the shipping ‘in half’… something to think about.

    Ok, you are now caught up. I’ll send more pics of the changes I made to my smoker when I actually ‘run’ my first 10lbs of SS. I’m getting there!

    Thanks to everyone!

  • Regular Contributors

    Retired157 Thanks for the update.
    Can you elaborate on what you disliked about the original ammeter and what made the replacement unit an improvement?

    Also, with my smokers, I find the PID temperature control is very different when heating an empty smoker compared to a smoker full of product.

    When I do test runs, I usually put a container of water or something else with some thermal mass to simulate a load of meat product.

    Are you doing anything like this on your test runs?

  • processhead

    Yeah… the original ammeter with its ‘swing arm’ display wasn’t really ‘sensitive’ enough to ‘see’ what was going on. It was barely moving… not what I was wanting ‘to see’. The DROK, with its digital display to one position ‘right’ of the decimal point, gave me an easy ‘visual’ to see with respect to the amperage being used. Once again… is it required; maybe not. However, my goal was to be able to monitor this and with the DROK, I am now satisfied I fulfilled that ‘expectation’.

    Hey, I just did a ‘dry’ run… nothing at all in the box. I think you were the one who told me early on that ‘controlling’ the internal temps of the smoker was actually easier with the ‘product’ inside; during an actual cooking process. So, I figure it I am happy (totally) with my PID upgrade during a dry run test, it can only get better from there.

  • Team Blue Traeger Canning Regular Contributors Veteran

    Retired157 Thanks for the updates. I’m enjoying hearing about your journey. Let us know about the quality of that fat back.

  • Bob Stehlik

    Lydia says… “It’s flavor is to die for”

  • Ok, here’s a pic to show you how my DROK ammeter mod came out.

    /Users/Ron/Pictures/Ron’s Photos Library.photoslibrary/resources/renders/E/EF5E40CD-1739-4CA1-AF10-5BD9016A3ACF_1_201_a.heic

  • Well that didn’t work! Not sure why sometimes I can get a pic to upload and sometimes I get shut down…

  • Regular Contributors

    Retired157 sometimes mine take a bit to upload. Maybe you aren’t waiting long enough?

  • My keeps saying it’s the wrong format. I do it the same way each time but just sometimes it refuses a pic. Very frustrating.

  • Regular Contributors

    Jonathon Austin whats the .heic, is that the user’s device or is that Nodebb?

  • Yep… that appears to be the issue. .heic have no idea. I take a pic with my phone and that’s the format it seems to use??? looks like it wants a jpeg but how I get there from here I do not know. I’ll keep trying cause SOMEHOW I got all those other pics to work ???

  • Retired157

    2bbf34b4-df27-427b-a247-aa40cfa9daf0-9A22F3F4-975B-42AB-BE81-A56BF53742CC_1_102_o.jpeg /Users/Ron/Pictures/Ron’s Photos Library.photoslibrary/resources/derivatives/9/9A22F3F4-975B-42AB-BE81-A56BF53742CC_1_102_o.jpeg

  • Now see… went out took another pic and presto, it worked. I don’t know.

  • My dad use to tell me when I was working on my car to get something done and couldn’t, it was because I wasn’t ‘holding my mouth right’… he may have had a point!

  • Heic format is Apple’s new “efficient” format. One of the big ios upgrades switched the default from jpg. You can switch it back in settings. For existing, will have to search for an online photo converter. There are several and some are free.

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