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Stokers Failure

bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,161
edited July 2012 in EggHead Forum
I bought my Stokers for Christmas 2011. I loved everything about it. I had it hooked up to my access point until the wifi patch was solid. I took it to a rib competition a few weeks ago and had my target temp set. It went 100° over target and fan was still running. I then went home and re-connected to my network. With my web based Stokers Log, it showed my pit temp would go 200° then 50° then 220° the 60° ect. My Stokers display would be on then the display would go out then back on ect. With all this, I know I had a problem. I called Stokers, packaged it, wrote a detailed letter and sent in for warranty. UPS delivered June 28th. I called July 9th and re-explained what I wrote in my letter. They didn't see anything going wrong but wanted to test another night. I called July 10th and again I had to explain everything again and they didn't have any idea what could be wrong nor felt anything was wrong. I told them electronics don't just heal and I didn't have a free UPS slip and felt like shipping them a working unit just because. He again didn't know what to say. I told them they can keep the unit until they find a problem as I now will need to buy another (different brand) controller as this one will fail again and I will need a back-up.
Very sad that after spending $450 (Stokers, fan, 3 pit temp probes and 3 meat probes) and wanting the best out there, this is the kind of service I get.

Big Lake, Minnesota

2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,337
    Bummer.  Glad I bought a BBQ Guru.  Other than one of the probes failing (probably because it gets beat up by the lid), I've loved it.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • OMG EggsOMG Eggs Posts: 118

    Wow, that sucks.  I haven't had any problems with my stoker and still think it's got some better features vs. the guru, but a lot of this really comes down to customer service.

     

    I guess I'm about to find out for myself, I tried to pull the pit prob out of the stoker this weekend and half of the connector remained inside the unit... yikes.  I immediately plugged the remaining piece of the prob back into the unit and it worked fine, but I imagine this will be problematic over the long term.

  • BadongBadong Posts: 126
    I have been thoroughly pleased with my Stoker wifi.  Sorry you had a bad experience.
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 9,058
    I have been thoroughly pleased with my Stoker wifi.  Sorry you had a bad experience.
    I couldn't agree more.

    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,161
    I agree but what are my options? I can take back my Stokers and wait for it to fail again with a couple of pork shoulders on and company planned when it acts up, send it back again, hope it will fail for them and still be covered by warranty or move on to something new. I can't trust this one anymore.
    The part I have a hard time with is I didn't buy something cheap. The attitude of it's working for us today and we aren't going to do anything for you is what I find upsetting. I guess buying from China or buying from Stokers is the same thing??

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • cazzycazzy Posts: 9,058
    Have you asked to speak with a manager or owner? Hopefully you an touch base with someone who is a little more understanding.
    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,337
    The company should switch your flakey unit out with a new one.  You may want to mention it would be good for their reputation and possibly future sales (as opposed to this thread).
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,337
    I just emailed rock@rocksbarbque.com - they should have every opportunity to make things right.

    Subject FYI: http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1141412/stokers-failure#latest

    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • JWBurnsJWBurns Posts: 341
    Bummer.  Glad I bought a BBQ Guru.  Other than one of the probes failing (probably because it gets beat up by the lid), I've loved it.
    Mine came via UPS just today.

    Can't wait to set up my Wifi Guru and get to cooking!

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,337
    My DigiQ DX2 seems to be built like a tank.  It's been rained on half a dozen times, seems like the case has a gasket, or maybe I'm just lucky.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,293
    It is stories like this and "my XXXXX gadget messed up during overnight cook" that have kept me from investing in one.  

    I can screw up enough on my own with just the vents :D 
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,161
    Have you asked to speak with a manager or owner? Hopefully you an touch base with someone who is a little more understanding.
    Any chance anyone know who is the owner so I can just ask for the person? Direct phone number?

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,337
    His name is "Rock", at least he used to be the owner. 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • OMG EggsOMG Eggs Posts: 118
    It is stories like this and "my XXXXX gadget messed up during overnight cook" that have kept me from investing in one.  

    I can screw up enough on my own with just the vents :D 

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,222
    +1 with NibbleMeThis.  And when I hose it up at least it is a quick phone call to the company :)
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,337
    You Luddites realize you're using computers, right?
    :))
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i use what is necessary. whether it's a computer or not.
    whatever gets the job done with minimum effort/stress and expense, greatest benefit.

    as soon i have lost enough sleep (lost sleep=stress) and meat  (meat=expense) to offset the cost of a powered draft unit, i'll be next in line to order.

    but for now, knowing that fires go out with them too, and that they have their own issues, i'll stick with the >>> whizeroo-guru

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,337
    The weak link in any low-n-slow isn't the equipment, it's the human operating it.  Stokers and other powered draft units give you one advantage - temperature consistency.  Period.  You still have to load the firebox correctly, light it correctly and make sure the air flow is adequate for the temperature set point you desire.  Even if the power goes out, if the stoker is set up correctly, the fire will still keep burning, although at a lower temperature.  When the power comes back on,  it'll pick up where it left off with the same setpoints (at least mine does).  I have a standby generator anyway, and power goes out very rarely. 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    all i know is that when i went looking for a smoker that required minimum fuss to peg to a certain temp for 20+ hours, the only one out there was the BGE.  i used it for years before learning i needed a powered draft unit to maintain steady temps.  which confused me. :))

    for now, it works for me to set the vents for 250, and hit the sack.  had two fires go out.  >shrug<

    there's no guarantee the powered draft devices would have kept them going, since fires go out with them also.

    so, if i sleep soundly trusting a thousand-ish year old technology, not sure i need to drop half the cost of the grill on a fan and controller.  but i will, the second that older technology fails

    not sure those things give you more consistency, of temp, by the way.  the lower vent (and/or daisy) keep things pegged just fine.  steadiest cook i think i ever had was during a literal blizzard.  kept checking every two hours and the thing was 225 all night.  winds, blowing snow (0 to 27 inches by the end of the cook). 

    that was the last time i ever bothered checking during an overnight.


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Phoenix824Phoenix824 Posts: 243
    Man I did not even know I owned a Wizeroo Guru but I have one and have been using it.   Thanks for pointing it out Stike
    Steve Van Wert, Ohio XL BGE
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,337
    Like I said, the powered draft devices give you temperature consistency.  The feedback loop between the thermocouple, controller and draft fan constantly adjust for any number of conditions where you'd have to make damper adjustments manually - humidity, ambient temperature, rain, evaporation of the food, atmospheric temperature, etc.  I set mine at 225, and it says dead on, all the time and never had a fire die.  I can't complain.

    Now, that said, most roasting you see egg-ers perform is done to a food set point. The temperature isn't that important as long as it's in a general range.  That's why you see "turbo" recipes and hear about bbq competition winners cooking briskets at 350F.  Hotter and it'll cook faster, lower, slower.  No one really does a time-temp cook for meats, or they shouldn't - they should cook to setpoint. 

    There's a whole other type of technical cooking - baking, where temperature is very important - breads, cakes, souffles.  Mostly stuff that is time/temp/weight formulated.  Having the consistency and accuracy of a thermostatically controlled oven is especially nice for that.

    What I like most about the electronic controls is I can start up the egg and go back in the kitchen and keep cooking, or back in to my shop without worrying about it.

    But, each to his own, and I respect anyone being able to master the manual temperature control of their grill. 
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • AleBrewerAleBrewer Posts: 555
    edited July 2012

     i'll stick with the >>> whizeroo-guru

    As someone who works in the industrial instrumentation, automation,  and controls field.....I really like using the whizeroo-guru myself on the egg. I enjoyed the tour of the whizeroo as well.

    I have a PID controller on my home heating system, and it works very well....I just haven't convinced myself that I "need" one for my Egg.


  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i guess i was saying that the egg also gives you consistency.  >shrug<

    225 is 225. or 250.  set it, forget it.  type 'As' may want to check every hour,but they don't need to.

    fwiw, an electric oven (where most people bake, and where pastry chefs and bakers take great pains to cook at specific temps) do NOT exhibit consistency.  their elements cycle on and off maintaining an average temp.  the egg, when set properly (with or without a guru type device) does not fluctuate up and down.  it will either rise or fall if the operator hasn't done the set up correctly, but it'll also stay pegged if he (or she) has.  this hardline consistent temp may be desirable, and in the egg it's obtainable with and without a powered draft, but it isn't required.

    the vents fix the draft, and limit the temp. 

    i'd frankly say the majority of people holding a fixed temp are doing so without a powered draft unit.  insurance, sure.  maybe.  but not necessary at all for 'consistency'.  just clarifying.

    i haven't ever said anything bad about the powered draft units, or those who like them and use them.  but i'll always raise my hand to 'remind' anyone who cares that they aren't needed, and don't perform any better than a properly set egg. doesn't make me a luddite.

    like driving a car. we can hold 75 without looking down every ten seconds at the speedo.  we don't need cruise control.  but some like it. the fact that they use it doesn't mean the rest of us are more primitive, or operating with a deficiency


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,161
    **Update**
    I got a phone call from the owner (John) and he is replacing the internals and sending it back. Talking with John, he is very personal/ passionate and cares what others think of his products. As I said in my first post, I want the best. I know things can happen and after talking with John, I feel I do have the best out there.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • cazzycazzy Posts: 9,058
    I'm a new egger and I got the stoker purely as a crutch since i'm still learning about my eggs everyday.  I wouldn't be able to sleep if I didn't have it as i'd be nervous and checking the egg every 30-60 minutes.

    I'm also a geek so I was drawn to the ability to control my temp and monitor meat temp remotely.  I'm happy :)
    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 9,058
    **Update**
    I got a phone call from the owner (John) and he is replacing the internals and sending it back. Talking with John, he is very personal/ passionate and cares what others think of his products. As I said in my first post, I want the best. I know things can happen and after talking with John, I feel I do have the best out there.
    That is great news man!  Happy to hear they're standing behind their product.

    Hmmm...I wonder if @nolaegghead 's email sped up the process?

    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,337
    Maybe...he replied just recently:

    Hi Carey,

    Thank you for the heads up.

    Regards,

    Kevin Grundell
    Rock's Barbque

    On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 1:45 PM
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 6,158
    I know this is an old thread.
    One of my food probes had been acting funny like @bigguy136  's
    OMG Eggs 's
    Now the whole unit is toast (all lights stay on and nothing registers), probably because the broken piece is short-circuiting.  It's over 5 years old but used infrequently.  Sent an sos email with photos to Rocks, to their credits they replied right away and told me to remove the broken piece - already attempted that, not so easy.  




    canuckland
  • GregWGregW Posts: 1,673
    In my experience using temp controllers is they do take the skill and guess work out of loading the charcoal. As long as I only use one piece of fire starter and light it in only only place in the charcoal and It works great. The trick is to never let the temp overshoot. Close the lid with the daisy wheel only open 1/8 on an inch. I let the temp slowly come up and stabilize before adding the meat.

    The great thing about the combustion fan is it self compensates for the changing draft characteristics of the egg as the charcoal burns down. Without this fan and temp control I would need to be very vigilant in adjusting the draft door and daisy wheel to keep the temp regulated.

    It can be done without a temp controller, however it is great to be able to put the butt on and go to bed without worry. I never open the dome until the temp sensor says the meat is done. 
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