Author Topic: Programming the PID for Auto Tune  (Read 722 times)

Duke0486

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Programming the PID for Auto Tune
« on: July 01, 2016, 03:29:37 PM »
Hello all,

This is my first post to the forum, but I've been a lurker for a few months.  I'm super impressed by the community here! 

I have a 3D that I plan on auto tuning to get it as "dialed in" as possible.  I read the auto tune instructions PDF, and it recommends I program the PID to 140 degrees for .5 hour, then 225 for 2 hours, and finally 140 degrees for 1 hour.

However, my understanding is that I must set up the 3D to simulate actual cooking conditions when auto tuning.  Because I normally smoke at 250 degrees (without gradually ramping up to 140 first, then 250), I planned on using the following PID settings:

C01: 250, E01: t, t01: 4.0
C02-C06, zeroed-out, set to time for the "e" step. 

Does this sound like a good plan? 
I've heard auto tuning can take a few hours, which is why I was going to set the PID time for 4 hours.  Is this too long? Too short?

Thanks and happy 4th to everyone!
Scott from Grand Rapids, Michigan
SI 3D

DivotMaker

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Re: Programming the PID for Auto Tune
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2016, 07:51:21 PM »
Welcome, Scott!

If you are set on smoking at 250, your tuning is fine.  But, I would urge you to try some of the recommended temps we use, before just being fixed on 250.  These smokers are a whole other animal than "traditional" smokers.  I suspect you do a lot of extra things to your meat, when smoking at 250 on a traditional, like spritzing/mopping/foiling/unfoiling/etc...  What you will find, is that the "low and slow," in a very tight, moisture-retaining environment, like the SI, will alleviate the need for all of that.  We call it Lazy Q for a reason! ;)   But, there are no "wrong" answers, in BBQ!  If that works for you, by all means go with it!  I would just encourage you to keep an open mind and realize that the differences in the smoker call for different techniques, and methods.
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!

Duke0486

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Re: Programming the PID for Auto Tune
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2016, 10:19:29 PM »
Thanks Tony!

I formerly had a Cookshack electric smoker.  I made the switch to SI because I think it's a superior product, but I used 250 degrees with my Cookshack (which was a pretty tight, moisture-retaining environment too) with pretty good results. 

That said, I'm open to trying other temps and techniques to see what works best for me.  I might auto tune separately for 225 and 250 and keep both in my records.
Scott from Grand Rapids, Michigan
SI 3D

DivotMaker

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Re: Programming the PID for Auto Tune
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2016, 09:31:51 PM »
Good to know your background is CS, Scott.  Dave (Old Sarge) was a longtime CS user, before getting his 3D.  Spend a little time perusing around the boards.  You'll see there's lots of opinions, but definitely some pretty strong trends on what temp to use for particular smokes.

I'll give you my personal short list:

Pork butts (bone-in Boston butts):  235 to 190 IT.
Brisket:  225 to 190ish.  I am intrigued, though, by Brian's (Pork Belly) post about using 210 on brisket. 
Baby back or spare ribs:  235, until done (5-7 hours, depending on the ribs)
Pork loin:  225 until 145 IT.
Tri-Tip roast, sirloin roast, or prime rib:  200 until 128 IT, then reverse-sear.

Check out the Guide to Smoking Times, Temperatures and Woods.  Hopefully, this will broaden your horizons!
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!