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[Amazon.ca] Inkbird BBQ (smoker) temperature controller (ISC-007BW) now $185

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Feb 1, 2008
3619 posts
602 upvotes
Niagara Falls, ON
hystavito wrote: I have a cheap offset style smoker and I never use it because it turns out I suck at maintaining fire/temperature :). Would this work for that style of smoker?
Offset is the easiest smoker to control. Had one for many years. I'd look into figuring out how to use it first. Grate resources and communities out there. Sorry, the answer is yes depending on your intake.
wiebecj wrote: if you close the top vent you can leave the bottom one open, it extinguishes fine. I have the signals and billows, but it's basically the same
Seems like a weird setup but if it works?
Sr. Member
Dec 5, 2015
526 posts
577 upvotes
Verdun, QC
b31770 wrote: The on or off comment would be mine. I'm doing another test burn right now and I can confirm the fan speeds are indeed variable... for some reason, my unit was acting up last time.

If you could rig the attachment to your unit (aka drill a hole) for the fan to blow air on the charcoal, I don't see why this wouldn't work with all units.

I wouldn't be hard on yourself... it doesn't matter what unit you have, or what price you paid for it. I bought my Akorn kamado for $199.99 and it's all about the journey, right?

So, I'm doing another test burn (aka cook) with the pork belly and nothing replaces brains. I placed a decent amount of unlit lump at the bottom, then placed a small amount of lit lump in the MIDDLE. I should have placed it to the edge as placing it in the middle caused too much of the lump to light and bump up my temps too much. Lesson learned. Again lol.

I set the temps to 225 F and the fan ran at variable speeds until it hit target temps. As previously mentioned, there was too much lump lit and the kamado was increasing temps VERY quickly naturally, but the fan just made the overall situation worse. Had the fan recognized the already quick increase in temps, it wouldn't have turned on at all. Alas, temps overshot 225 F and went to the 27X F range. I burped it a few times and shut the top vent to decrease temps. Put the pork belly on and it stayed mid 260 F for a while. Cracked the top vent to a sliver and i'm sure it'll stay in the 225 - 250 F range eventually. The dome thermometer read 200 F whereas the grate temp was 70 F above.

I'm testing 1/3 of a $16 pack of Costco pork belly. Easy and cheap test cook.

Note to self, add lit lump to edge of mound of lump.

EDIT: Hah, the fun never ceases. So I left the top vent with the smallest possible opening since it was reading mid 260 F. Came back after writing the post and it was down to 202 F with the fan at 100% so I opened the top vent all the way. Played chicken but the BBQ controller won as it apparently snuffed out the lump totally. So I had to remove the grates/drip pan/etc and add a piece of lit lump to kick start the fire. Another lesson learned, never close the vent too much as it WILL snuff out the fire even with the fan blowing. So now I know the absolute minimum to leave it open since the Akorn I guess is that airtight?

Edit 2: So there's either a quirk or bug. Just like yesterday where I swore the fan was variable, but then turned to an either on/off operation mode. Same thing happened today where the fan was variable then maybe an hour in, switched to an on/off mode again. I'm going to monitor it and see if it indeed is a bug.
I suggest you look into some good online resources about BBQ. There's so much info out there you'll surely find one that will work for you.

Chuckies are easy to do do. Put you favorite rub on it. Smoke at 225 till you hit the stall 160. Wrap it in foil and add some apple cider vinegar, or apple juice, or beer, etc. Let is get to 190 will be fairly quick. Pull it, keep in foil, wrap it in towels and into a cooler for about an hour. Then unwrap and enjoy. 190-195 for slices. 205 for pulled/shredded style.

Important steps:
-Make sure your BBQ is up to temp and the smoke is light blue. Not heavy smoke... It won't be good.
-wraping the foil air tight
-the cooler part is very important... The most important!

As for closing the top vent, my KJ is as about as air rights as possible but there is still enough "leaks" to keep the fire going. There no risk of it snuffing out. That said on the KJ the vent is under the pit to I don't know about the other BBQs.

I don't have the same blower but I thing on/off is pretty normal. They are designed to just Stoke the fire, over shoot a bit then turn off. That how they are designed.

BBQ'ing is a great hobby, the only problem is eating all that meat.
Sr. Member
Dec 5, 2015
526 posts
577 upvotes
Verdun, QC
hystavito wrote: I have a cheap offset style smoker and I never use it because it turns out I suck at maintaining fire/temperature :). Would this work for that style of smoker?

I have read/skimmed this thread seems like most people have much higher end vertical or "egg" smokers so I don't know if this would work for mine. The smoker I have although it is cheap I know can produce good results because my friend has the exact same one and his food has been great. The problem is my lack of skill, and I wonder if this device could fix that. I did see one person saying this device seemed to always be either on or off rather than slowing the fan, so overshoot might be an issue with my smoker since it isn't going to hold heat anywhere near as well as the ceramics and such.
I suggest you skip buying this device and keep your money to by a better BBQ. The difficulty of using a "cheap" BBQ if to keep the temp steady with all the unsealed gaps. With a ceramic egg it's really easy and it goes for hours once you get the hang of it. The blower if more for very long cooks like briskets... If you are doing 5 hours or less and have a good cooker you'll be good without this device.
Deal Addict
Dec 24, 2008
2723 posts
671 upvotes
Belle River
tark514 wrote: I suggest you skip buying this device and keep your money to by a better BBQ. The difficulty of using a "cheap" BBQ if to keep the temp steady with all the unsealed gaps. With a ceramic egg it's really easy and it goes for hours once you get the hang of it. The blower if more for very long cooks like briskets... If you are doing 5 hours or less and have a good cooker you'll be good without this device.
All I really want to do is long stuff, brisket, pork shoulder, stuff like that but I might try ribs sometime if I was ever good at maintaining temperature. So I would usually be looking at 8hrs minimum.

The thing is like I said my friend does just fine with the exact same smoker, he is the reason I got it, I'm just terrible with maintaining the temps so I gave up and it's been sitting for ages, just gets used once in a million for direct grilling. I did a couple tweaks like adding 2 more temp gauges, putting in a better seal, it's still not going to hold heat or smoke like an expensive one, a ceramic, etc., but even accounting for that I think the problem really is me.

I researched a lot online, had my friend try to help me, I'm just bad at it. A device like this alone probably won't be enough to fix that but I was wondering, and the food my friend produces, super delicious :) so it tempts me. About fitting it to the intake, any kind of adaptation needed shouldn't be a problem I have a couple friends that can make something, and I could drill holes and such myself.

Anyway thanks to everyone that replied.
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
14585 posts
7489 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
hystavito wrote: All I really want to do is long stuff, brisket, pork shoulder, stuff like that but I might try ribs sometime if I was ever good at maintaining temperature. So I would usually be looking at 8hrs minimum.

The thing is like I said my friend does just fine with the exact same smoker, he is the reason I got it, I'm just terrible with maintaining the temps so I gave up and it's been sitting for ages, just gets used once in a million for direct grilling. I did a couple tweaks like adding 2 more temp gauges, putting in a better seal, it's still not going to hold heat or smoke like an expensive one, a ceramic, etc., but even accounting for that I think the problem really is me.

I researched a lot online, had my friend try to help me, I'm just bad at it. A device like this alone probably won't be enough to fix that but I was wondering, and the food my friend produces, super delicious :) so it tempts me. About fitting it to the intake, any kind of adaptation needed shouldn't be a problem I have a couple friends that can make something, and I could drill holes and such myself.

Anyway thanks to everyone that replied.
There's a good chance that your particular smoker might have issues with the assembly where too much air leakage happens so you can't control the temperatures manually well enough. In theory, this BBQ control should improve things as it works on temperature and not airflow so as long as the temperature probe is in the right spot, it should be able to cut down the temperature variations. One thing I would do is to look at all of the places where extra air can get in (ie if you can see light, you have excess air coming in) and seal them. Once the smoker is tight, you will have a better smoke.

As for the comment about a better smoker, yes it will help but not that much as people have built smokers out of old oil drums and had great results (as long as the oil has been cleaned off of the drum of course) so it's not about cost but how well-sealed the smoker is. The higher-end smokers are generally better sealed out of the box so that you will get a good result to start with but there is nothing to say that you can't seal a cheap smoker well if you work at it.
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2012
1157 posts
820 upvotes
VANCOUVER
tark514 wrote: I suggest you look into some good online resources about BBQ. There's so much info out there you'll surely find one that will work for you.

Chuckies are easy to do do. Put you favorite rub on it. Smoke at 225 till you hit the stall 160. Wrap it in foil and add some apple cider vinegar, or apple juice, or beer, etc. Let is get to 190 will be fairly quick. Pull it, keep in foil, wrap it in towels and into a cooler for about an hour. Then unwrap and enjoy. 190-195 for slices. 205 for pulled/shredded style.

Important steps:
-Make sure your BBQ is up to temp and the smoke is light blue. Not heavy smoke... It won't be good.
-wraping the foil air tight
-the cooler part is very important... The most important!

As for closing the top vent, my KJ is as about as air rights as possible but there is still enough "leaks" to keep the fire going. There no risk of it snuffing out. That said on the KJ the vent is under the pit to I don't know about the other BBQs.

I don't have the same blower but I thing on/off is pretty normal. They are designed to just Stoke the fire, over shoot a bit then turn off. That how they are designed.

BBQ'ing is a great hobby, the only problem is eating all that meat.
I do read and watch a ton of BBQ content but sometimes it doesn't always translate in real life lol. But it has been fun.

Cooking a chuck is like cooking a brisket then. To be honest, I prefer roasts at medium rear versus at 180 sliced like a brisket or 200-210 pulled. The brisket I made the other week was a whole lot of meat and we're not big meat eaters despite eating meat daily.

The cook today went awry. I left the house semi-confident that with the top vent nearly shut, and with a BBQ controller running, it would maintain a +/- 10 F range. When I left, temps were at 218 F with the fan only running at 40%, which is strange because if it was under target temps, the fan should have revved up long ago. Stupidly, took the kids out for 90 minutes and came back to 273 F. Luckily, the roasted pork was at the desired temps so I took it out and turned up the temps to sear the fat.

This controller has been the farthest thing from set it and forget it. I swear, I could maintain temps better manually. But because I love tinkering, I'll find workarounds to make it work. I'll install the app on an old phone to grab some grapsh.
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
14585 posts
7489 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
I was looking at the Amazon.com website. They list the same unit but it states that this unit comes with a damper - there's no such mention of a damper on the Amazon.ca copy. A damper is typically available on the higher-end BBQ controllers where it closes off the air supply when the fan isn't running allowing for even finer temperature control - ie no extra air gets in if the fan isn't running.

When I received mine today, I looked at the unit and it doesn't seem to have any such damper. I was hoping that it would be included. I sent Inkbird a message asking about the differences of the US and Canadian models.
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
14585 posts
7489 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
InkBird got back to me. They seem to be a very responsive company but they do need to learn a few things about smoking.

They consider those bits of metal spacers in the kit as the damper. I'm going to have to explain to them that's not what a damper is.

As for battery power, they said that the product needs 2,000 mA. I'm assuming that since there are very similar models marketed by other vendors in the US, Inkbird probably doesn't make this so they are just going by what's on the adapter. The system is basically a 12V squirrel fan (average consumption on one of these fans is under 0.25A) and a controller...
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Nov 22, 2012
1157 posts
820 upvotes
VANCOUVER
craftsman wrote: InkBird got back to me. They seem to be a very responsive company but they do need to learn a few things about smoking.

They consider those bits of metal spacers in the kit as the damper. I'm going to have to explain to them that's not what a damper is.

As for battery power, they said that the product needs 2,000 mA. I'm assuming that since there are very similar models marketed by other vendors in the US, Inkbird probably doesn't make this so they are just going by what's on the adapter. The system is basically a 12V squirrel fan (average consumption on one of these fans is under 0.25A) and a controller...
Good to hear that they're responsive.

Going to research and maybe buy a battery bank with the correct charging port.
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
14585 posts
7489 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
b31770 wrote: Good to hear that they're responsive.

Going to research and maybe buy a battery bank with the correct charging port.
I'm going to go out and buy the plug so I can connect it up to my bench power supply in order to see how much current the unit actually draws. I already measured the voltage coming out of the AC Adapter and it's 12.5VDC with the positive in the centre of the connector. If you want to create a very basic battery bank, you can probably just get that thing I linked to earlier and a cigarette lighter adapter with the same size plug and positive in the centre of the connector and it should work.
[OP]
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Feb 10, 2003
1063 posts
685 upvotes
Calgary
Grate temp, Probe 2 and Probe 3.png

Temp graph from a quick spatchcock chicken and sausages tonight. Threw in a small chimney of lit coals over 1/2 chimney of unlit. Target temp of 325°, pit struggled to get up to temp after I loaded the meat - in hindsight, I should've let it heat up a bit longer before putting it in.
It hovered around 285° until the sausage was done (the drop in probe 2 is when I pulled it out of the sausage and stuck it in the chicken leg). Temps popped up and stayed consistent around target +/- 10° after I took the sausage off.
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Nov 22, 2012
1157 posts
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VANCOUVER
Strider wrote: Grate temp, Probe 2 and Probe 3.png


Temp graph from a quick spatchcock chicken and sausages tonight. Threw in a small chimney of lit coals over 1/2 chimney of unlit. Target temp of 325°, pit struggled to get up to temp after I loaded the meat - in hindsight, I should've let it heat up a bit longer before putting it in.
It hovered around 285° until the sausage was done (the drop in probe 2 is when I pulled it out of the sausage and stuck it in the chicken leg). Temps popped up and stayed consistent around target +/- 10° after I took the sausage off.
The chart function seems useful! I have to get the app going soon. Are you saying the sausages were a heat sink?

My unit struggles to get up to temps too. Today, I pulled the tube off when the fan was at 100% and the airflow seems very weak. Maybe the fan is under powered?

Grilled some burgers with a direct/indirect method and the burgers turned out great! Set up the BBQ controller to maintain 375 F on the indirect side and it definitely overshot lol. Put the home made patty on the edge of the fire to create a light crust to firm it up, then repeated on the other side. Some indirect time at the cooler side to the desired internal temp, then about 10 seconds directly on the super hot lump per side for the perfect crust!

I think having the charcoal 4 inches under the grate with a slow and sear method is needed for a lot of my cooks. I want to get this but it's crazy expensive in Canada: https://www.amazon.com/Searing-Charcoal ... ast_sto_dp
Or perhaps fire bricks to create a true two zone cooking.

Edit: anyone know the power plug size? Is it DC5521? I don't know so I'm fumbling my way through this.
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
14585 posts
7489 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
b31770 wrote: The chart function seems useful! I have to get the app going soon. Are you saying the sausages were a heat sink?

My unit struggles to get up to temps too. Today, I pulled the tube off when the fan was at 100% and the airflow seems very weak. Maybe the fan is under powered?

Grilled some burgers with a direct/indirect method and the burgers turned out great! Set up the BBQ controller to maintain 375 F on the indirect side and it definitely overshot lol. Put the home made patty on the edge of the fire to create a light crust to firm it up, then repeated on the other side. Some indirect time at the cooler side to the desired internal temp, then about 10 seconds directly on the super hot lump per side for the perfect crust!

I think having the charcoal 4 inches under the grate with a slow and sear method is needed for a lot of my cooks. I want to get this but it's crazy expensive in Canada: https://www.amazon.com/Searing-Charcoal ... ast_sto_dp
Or perhaps fire bricks to create a true two zone cooking.

Edit: anyone know the power plug size? Is it DC5521? I don't know so I'm fumbling my way through this.
Supposedly, the type of smoker chosen either in the app or even on the device (a choice of two on the device) will control the max speed of the fan. Maybe, a different device will make a difference.
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
14585 posts
7489 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
I purchased a 2.1mm power plug from Lee's Electronics in Vancouver for $2 - https://leeselectronic.com/en/product/210410.html - and connected it up to my Fluke meter as well as the AC adapter. The controller draws about 0.1 A at idle (ie on but no fan) and about 1A when I manually turned up the fan to 100% using the controller's menu option. In other words, if the controller's fan is running at 100% for any long length of time (ie 12 hours of smoking), a fairly large battery would be needed as the draw is fairly high - for example, a standard rechargeable AA battery these days has about 2,000 or so mAH so 8 or 9 rechargeable AAs would be drained in about 2 hours with the fan at 100%. However, if you only use the unit for smoking (ie keeping low and slow), I'm thinking that the fan would be substantially slower in speed which would result in a much lower current draw (maybe in the 200 to 300 mAH range) but even then we would be looking at 6 to 7 hours of smoking time before the battery quit.

Note> I didn't link my controller to anything so the wireless portion is working so the power consumption might be higher with the controller regularly sending updates wirelessly.

Therefore, it might be best to connect this up to some sort of lead-acid battery (ie an old car battery or a SLA battery for an alarm that has 7 to 9Ah) in order to get some decent time out of it.
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Apr 8, 2005
681 posts
201 upvotes
Didn't have time to set up the blower, but the Bluetooth temp monitoring is very convenient. No more running in and out watching the thing.

It is annoying when the Bluetooth disconnects though.

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