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Stoke me...Stoke Me! (Got a Stoker)

SkySawSkySaw Posts: 502
edited 5:56AM in EggHead Forum
I received an early birthday present yesterday - a Stoker. It arrived in Ontario after being shipped from Calif. on Friday.

4059673250_887ac46de8_o.jpg

I wanted to get a draft controller in the hope that it will make using the Egg easier throughout the winter. With the cold, wet, dark, and snow, I'm hoping the Stoker will allow me to make fewer trips out to the Egg (since I will have fire and food temperature monitoring in the house) - and fewer cold blasts from the door, and fewer wet footprints in the house...

Another reason for wanting a draft controller is that my sleep is too valuable to me to go outside in the middle of the night to check temps. We get lots of rain and snow in the winter, so I want to be able to protect the control unit in a plastic case when in use. That rules out being able to look out the window to see the readout, so having a monitor indoors is ideal. With the Stoker, I can view the readout on my iphone, so all I have to do in the middle of the night is roll over and open up the Stoker page on the iphone.

Finally, my family likes to go for a walk, or to a park, or do some activity just before dinner. I like to put some chicken on the Egg at around 250-275, and aim for a 1.5hr walk. However, sometimes I don't have the tiime to get the Egg good and stable before going for a walk, and sometimes we either want to come home early or stay out longer. Now with the Stoker, I set it up, and on the walk I get actually control it from my iphone. Coming home early? Set the Stoker to increase the temp - staying out later? Drop the temp on the Stoker to keep the food from getting overdone, all from the park.

4058928947_ea63e84e92_o.jpg

I was worried about the hi-tech nature of getting all this web functionality from my Stoker. My computers are mostly Mac, too, so I was not sure how compatible it would all be. Well, to all you other Mac users out there, you DO NOT need to know your DNS from your DHCP, or your NAT protocols from Miss Manners to make this work. Here's what needs to be done to get set up in a home network:

You need a router like an Airport Extreme, and what they call a wireless bridge, which is just an Airport Express. I used the Airport Express that I was currently using to stream itunes to my stereo. However, I had to go through the Airport Express setup again (open the Airport Utility in Applications to do this). This setup is to put your Express into WDS mode, which in the setup process is just "connecting to an existing network". Apple does the rest. Then you use an ethernet cable to plug your Stoker in to the Airport Express, turn on the Stoker to read the ip address it got, and go enter that ip address into your computer or whatever on your home network. You now have wireless control and monitoring of the Stoker! The next step is to be able to access your Stoker from anywhere using the internet:

For this, you need to go into your router - the Airport Extreme (also using the Airport Utility on your computer in Applications). Click on the 'manual setup' button, and go into the 'advanced' tab. Click 'port mapping' and fill out the form to look like what in this post (by the way, the form fills itself out except for the ip address of your Airport Express) http://www.eggheadforum.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&Itemid=55&func=view&catid=1&id=736494

Now you wait for the Airport Extreme to reboot - write down the ip address of the Airport Extreme (yes the router), and now open an internet window, enter the ip address of the Extreme into the url bar, and bob's your uncle! You can now control/monitor your Stoker from any device that has internet access, anywhere. Now all I need to do is connect it to the Egg and cook something!

Mark
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Comments

  • The Stoker is a great cooking toy.

    Cool alarm lights!

     

    -SMITTY     

    from SANTA CLARA, CA

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,944
    Dude,

    Ya lost me after "my sleep is extremely valuable to me" :unsure:

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    Me TOO! :whistle: :huh: :S :unsure: :ermm:
  • BenCourBenCour Posts: 62
    Hello Mark,

    I'm about to write down my gift list to santa and currently my #1 gift is a draft controller. I'm still debating whether I should get a Stoker or a Guru. What made you choose the Stoker over the Guru? I currently own a large and I recently ordered a Mini and Small so controlling 2 pit is something I will be looking for in a controller. How did you order the Stoker, Web or Phone ? I also live in Canada (Quebec) and I'm wondering if you were hit hard by duty fees ? At last, which shipping method did you use ? UPS, USPS ...

    I'm really sorry about all the questions but since you already went through I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Cheers,

    Ben
  • SkySawSkySaw Posts: 502
    ok - after seeing the photos from Eggfest 2009, I see what you mean!

    Mark
  • SkySawSkySaw Posts: 502
    BenCour wrote:
    Hello Mark,

    I'm about to write down my gift list to santa and currently my #1 gift is a draft controller. I'm still debating whether I should get a Stoker or a Guru. What made you choose the Stoker over the Guru? I currently own a large and I recently ordered a Mini and Small so controlling 2 pit is something I will be looking for in a controller. How did you order the Stoker, Web or Phone ? I also live in Canada (Quebec) and I'm wondering if you were hit hard by duty fees ? At last, which shipping method did you use ? UPS, USPS ...

    I'm really sorry about all the questions but since you already went through I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Cheers,

    Ben

    Hi Ben,

    Both Guru and Stoker are built in the US, so there are no duty fees. When ordering anything from the US, always use USPS if you can. USPS has a flat $5 brokerage fee, whereas UPS and Fedex have variable rate, but always heinously, criminally high brokerage fees. All you pay is pst and gst and brokerage, in addition to the cost of USPS.

    I was initially interested in the Guru, but realized that I really wanted the ability to montior and control the temps from anywhere. Only the Stoker will do this. Also, I am a Mac user, and the Guru CyberQ requires a PC to use its software, as well as an ethernet cable. So, the Guru needs a PC connected to an ethernet cable, whereas the Stoker can use a wireless bridge (game adaptor, Airport express, etc) to go wireless. The Guru DigiQII has no such capability. To get temp readings from a DigiQII, you must physically read it form the unit, or use a remote thermometer. A Stoker costs about $35 more than a DigiQII, and is considerably less expensive than a CyberQ. So for me and for my needs, the decision was easy.

    Mark
  • Here is a simple diagram of what you said:

    Stoker%20Remote%20Access.jpg
  • Rib FanRib Fan Posts: 305
    I am with Steve on this.....I still have an an Atari if anyone is interested.

    Wayne
  • Well - sometimes the geek in me really comes out... I have to admit when I adjusted the temp of a turkey on my egg during cocktails at my friends house from my mobile phone on Tksgiving day, that I was off the deep end... Well it was a really good turkey so I don't really care..

    And to confirm my total geekness, here is a graph of the second half of a brisket cook coming from my stoker log:

    20091024-Brisket-Graph.jpg

    Well to me this is fun and I'm sticking with it.... :laugh:
  • SkySawSkySaw Posts: 502
    Jerry, your posts were among the best information I could get about the Stoker on a Mac when I was searching.

    I'm hoping that my post will mean something to those who are searching the site for information on how to set up a Stoker, or if it is even feasible.

    Mark
  • Hi Mark,

    Well email me if you would like to post something on my website about using a Stoker on a Mac... That would probably be a really useful link for some people.

    All the best.
  • SkySawSkySaw Posts: 502
    Thanks Jerry, that's a nice offer. I am looking forward to getting to Home Depot some time over the next few days to get the materials for a container like the one you have built for your setup.

    Mark
  • RGBHVRGBHV Posts: 1,317
    Hi Mark:

    So you put the thing a ma jig in the the whatcha ma call it and presto - it works.
    Of course, everything works on a Mac!

    I replaced my PC with an IMAC a few weeks ago and one day I too might buy one of those new fangled devices for many of the reasons you listed - fewer trips out side, etc.

    Glad to know that the stoker is the right one for a MAC.

    I probably would have searched all kinds of posts, read all kinds of material and said - "I don't know - I'm so confused". Since you've done all the research, I can now pretend that I conducted a lot of research and made an educated decision.

    Cheers !


    BTW - any decisions on the group lump buy?

    Michael (RGBHV)
  • AvocadosAvocados Posts: 465
    My little stoker is busy running three of my large eggs tonight (all loaded up with boston butts) for a work party :P
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 5,193
    Mark, congrats on your new birthday toy! I've been thinking about getting a stoker with dual blowers. For a Small I figure 5 CFM blower would suffice, what about Large, did you get the 5 or 10 CFM? Did you also get the meat probes? Agree with you 100% on avoiding UPS, they are daylight robbers when it comes to brokerage fees :evil:
    -Gary
    canuckland
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 5,193
    Avocados, do you use 5 or 10 CFM blowers for your Larges? Also, when you have multiple butts in an egg, do you just use one meat probe (in the smallest butt)? Thanks for any advice you can share.
    -Gary
    canuckland
  • AvocadosAvocados Posts: 465
    I have a combination of 4 and 5 cfm blowers. There was a shortage of the the 5's a couple years ago and Rock offered to replace the 4 cfm with 5's when they came in but the 4 has had way more than enough capacity for me so I never did.

    I've got 6 meat probes and will put one in each piece of meat sometimes, but when using all three eggs or on a big cook I tend to just put one in the smallest butt in each egg and then check with my therma-pen towards the end of the cook.

    I like to spray with apple juice every 30 min the last couple hours of the cook so check the individual temps when doing that.

    In the past I even played with placing several pit probes in different locations of the large BGE during long cooks to see how the temperatures would vary (grill vs. dome, etc.) with a large loaded with 2,3,or 4 big boston butts or a brisket.

    Quite often I just enjoy cooking without the stoker but it is really handy for controlling several loaded eggs at once or for maintaining lower temps over long periods ;)
  • AvocadosAvocados Posts: 465
    I would think a 10 cfm might blow ashes all over everything.....

    The 5 cfm blowers will lightly "puff" for about 5 seconds every minute or two to maintain a steady 220 or 250 degree low and slow cook.
  • SteveinTNSteveinTN Posts: 225
    GREAT POST
    i love the ability to control from the iphone. it would be too much fun to take a sunday boat ride and know the ribs are doing fine.
    again great post
  • SkySawSkySaw Posts: 502
    Canugghead wrote:
    Mark, congrats on your new birthday toy! I've been thinking about getting a stoker with dual blowers. For a Small I figure 5 CFM blower would suffice, what about Large, did you get the 5 or 10 CFM? Did you also get the meat probes? Agree with you 100% on avoiding UPS, they are daylight robbers when it comes to brokerage fees :evil:
    -Gary

    A lot of good information about Stokers is available through the Weber forum, and I understand that the 5cfm fan has a hard time getting a WSM up above 300 degrees. I want to be able to control a turkey or a beef roast from my Stoker, so I want to be able to get up to 350-375 degrees. So, I asked this question not too long ago on this forum, and it seems that Large Egg users confirmed that a 5cfm fan is plenty to get a Large up to those temps. I got the 5cfm fan.

    I hope to find out for sure this weekend.

    I got a single meat probe and single pit probe. I figured that for multiple cooks, I would put the meat probe in the smallest piece, and use a thermapen to check the others as things get close to finishing. However, I plan to get another Egg for my cottage eventually, so I will be ordering an adaptor for that Egg, and will get more probes at that time if I figure I really need them.

    Mark
  • I got an extra fan so I can run my two larges on it. Best of luck on your cook.

    How many butts do you have on each?
  • Mark - This is great info. I'm also a Mac/iPhone user, and have wondered how hard it is to get this, and the CyberQ to work with the Mac/iPhone combo. I think this may tip me to the Stoker for my upcoming birthday gift.

    Thanks!
  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    I love mine, infact we pulling off meat from an all night cook right now! Great machine!!!
  • DeplesisDeplesis Posts: 215
    JerryD,
    Nice job on the websit, enjoyed the Pix. keep up the good work.
    Regards,
    RJ
  • why cant I draw pictures like that?
  • SkySawSkySaw Posts: 502
    RGBHV wrote:
    Hi Mark:

    So you put the thing a ma jig in the the whatcha ma call it and presto - it works.
    Of course, everything works on a Mac!

    I replaced my PC with an IMAC a few weeks ago and one day I too might buy one of those new fangled devices for many of the reasons you listed - fewer trips out side, etc.

    Glad to know that the stoker is the right one for a MAC.

    I probably would have searched all kinds of posts, read all kinds of material and said - "I don't know - I'm so confused". Since you've done all the research, I can now pretend that I conducted a lot of research and made an educated decision.

    Cheers !


    BTW - any decisions on the group lump buy?

    Michael (RGBHV)

    I don't think anyone regrets getting a Mac. If you would ever like to try a Stoker for a week let me know - I'd be happy to lend it out. If you don't have an Airport Express, I can throw that in too.

    As far as the lump goes, I'm hoping that you and Steve might be free one day during the week of Nov. 9-13. Does that sound workable to you?

    Mark
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,944
    Mark,

    Not sure but I think I am in Chicago that week. I'll e-mail you and Michael Monday.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Hi John,

    I'll email it to you.... Let me know how you would like it modified.

    Cheers...Jerry
  • I prefer the 5 cfm fan on the large.

     

    -SMITTY     

    from SANTA CLARA, CA

  • SkySawSkySaw Posts: 502
    I took the Large Egg to 350 using the Stoker yesterday. Platesetter was in (feet up), and I was doing about 2.5lbs of chicken, originally at 250. The Stoker had no trouble quickly bringing the Egg to 350, where it puffed away happily. Since at 350 it spent more time off than on, I figure that it would have no trouble at 375, or loaded down with a bunch of meat.

    It seems the 5cfm fan can easily handle the Large Egg.

    Mark
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