First time use of Lowe’s Series 4 Series 2 Model #PBV4PS2

Micbrody

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My first use of Series 4 version 2 from Lowe’s:

Weather: overcast, windy , 60 deg

At 225 setting and cap at 5 revolutions open:

The cabinet reads 225 and extra thermometer reads 197.(extra thermometer middle rack about two inches from glass)

I then tightened down chimney, temp of cabinet remained 225 but extra thermometer dived to 181.

I then reopened cap to 5 full revolutions. Cabinet temp plunged to 204; but extra thermometer started creeping up.

About 10 minutes later:

At cabinet 225: extra at 195



Cap unscrewed 2 more revolutions (total of 7)



After 2 hrs: 225 vs 207;

Temp raised to 300; extra temp 275.

Chimney extra two turns (total of 9)



I suspect that because cabinet thermometer near back, upper half of cabinet. When chimney closed, heat dome in upper half of oven - but bigger (wider) temperature gradient at thermometer relative to bottom of cabinet. When chimney open, more airflow and top of cabinet represents rest of cabinet (less of a temperature difference/gradient). Also: where I’m measuring temperature relative to the four vertical walls: close to glass should be the coldest (no vents from combustion chamber and only single pane glass insulation vs the back which is defacto insulated with metal-pellets-metal).



The bottom line: the PID controller worked great; it kept temperature rock solid after any changes or opening door to move meat.





Per the function of the wifi/bluetooth. It actually worked very well. There is some lag - but usually no more than 15 seconds. I went shopping miles away and app worked fine.

There was one time it seemed not to update when I was at home- maybe I just needed to wait another minute- but I just backed out of “live display” of control panel; re-entered and it immediately duplicated the unit display.



Per timer / recipe step. I didn’t use at beginning . But attempted to start an hour into process. There doesn’t seem to be a way to start timer unless you hold recipe button and make settings and start. But when I tried that, the temperatures plunged even though I had same 225 deg temp started. Maybe it resets the PID logic and it would take time to figure out the fan/auger rates. I didn’t want to greatly disrupt, so I didn’t use for rest of case (I shut unit off and then turned on to eliminate recipe.

Next time I will set up recipe at real initial startup.



Sorry for long diatribe but here are the salient conclusions:

  1. temperature controller rock steady
  2. Chimney ventilation is important as to attaining set temperature; and the amount of temperature variation within cabinet. With chimney open, temperature set point occurs faster and entire cabinet closer to set temperature. The only negative would be increased rate of pellets used- but I believe not a significant, expensive difference.
  3. App worked. “Maybe” sightly flakey; but it worked well for me except “maybe” one instant in 6 hours.
Last observation: outside of cabinet was warm. An insulation blanket would definitely make entire system more efficient (though less aesthetically pleasing). During summer less important; but probably big help during winter months.
 

Edchad

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Good stuff! (y)
I just finished posting myself just a bit ago. Same smoker and today’s first cook as well.
I agree. The function of mine was spot on. Even the app functioned well although I mostly monitored with it.
i can’t complain about the cooker. Wasnt thrilled with the lack of smoke flavor vs the tons this thing put out. But I suspect part of it was me. And I do realize there’s a learning curve. First pellet. But second Pit Boss. I commend your excellent write up!
 

Micbrody

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I just finished posting myself just a bit ago. Same smoker and today’s first cook as well.
I agree. The function of mine was spot on. Even the app functioned well although I mostly monitored with it.
i can’t complain about the cooker. Wasnt thrilled with the lack of smoke flavor vs the tons this thing put out. But I suspect part of it was me. And I do realize there’s a learning curve. First pellet. But second Pit Boss. I commend your excellent write up!
Thanks for your kind words. Per the lack of smoke: I believe that is a function of temperature. The lower the temperature, the more smoke. At 225 deg F, I had ample smoke (both visually and in taste of end product).
 

Edchad

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Thanks for your kind words. Per the lack of smoke: I believe that is a function of temperature. The lower the temperature, the more smoke. At 225 deg F, I had ample smoke (both visually and in taste of end product).
Thank you kindly. I was going by the two probes in the racks. They held around 215 - 240.
The pit running at 250 range. Possible I was going by the wrong numbers ?
I know the one maverick is spot on. Used it for ages. Hey thanks for the input. I’ll check that a little closer next cook. Goofy thing was, it was smoking as good or better than anything I ever used. Lol.
mar one point I was concerned about TOO MUCH smoke. Which I’ve been guilty a time or two. I still think the Apple didn’t help it.
thanks!
 

Micbrody

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Thank you kindly. I was going by the two probes in the racks. They held around 215 - 240.
The pit running at 250 range. Possible I was going by the wrong numbers ?
I know the one maverick is spot on. Used it for ages. Hey thanks for the input. I’ll check that a little closer next cook. Goofy thing was, it was smoking as good or better than anything I ever used. Lol.
mar one point I was concerned about TOO MUCH smoke. Which I’ve been guilty a time or two. I still think the Apple didn’t help it.
thanks!
I used Pit Boss Competition Pellets. Smoke flavor was good
 

Edchad

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I used Pit Boss Competition Pellets. Smoke flavor was good
That’s good to know! I have a new unopened bag in the garage and will be used next. I’ll probably empty the remaining Apple and put em in ziplock containers to keep dry. Maybe use them in The AMAZEN tray and the tubes I have coming. For the gas grill and other things.
I was wondering how yours was. Taste wise. Thanks for the info.
 

MikeInFla

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Also, I might point out that even though I have a different vertical smoker (Copperhead Series 3) I always start off on the smoke setting for at leas 45 minutes regardless of what I am cooking because in smoke mode you'll get a lot more smoke. It can add an hour or more to the cook time but that's ok. Then I'll bump it to 225 or 250. The higher you go the less smoke you get.

Low N slow, that's why it's fun!

As for containers for pellets I use 5 gallon buckets with a lid and keep them in the shed. a 20 pound bag fits perfectly in a 5 gallon bucket. Just be sure to label the bucket because before too long you might have 3 or 4 buckets then not remember which one is which!

There is someone here (I can't remember who) that cuts off part of the label and tapes it to the bucket. I get a piece of masking tape, stick it to the lid and write what blend is in the bucket.

I even had a bucket that was 50/50 charcoal and competition blend. I wanted to try those 2 out and see how they worked blended together (honestly I could not really tell a difference).

One of the fun things about having a pellet smoker is trying different pellets out and then seeing what works for you. Try all the blends and different brands.

I have tried the Cuisinart Bourbon Pellets with their Bourbon rub and the ribs I did turned out excellent. So many brands to try, so little time and $......................
 

GeauxTigers

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Did my first smoke on my new PBV4 S2 as well. I had read quite a bit here on the smoke issues and basically followed what the manual and folks here had said earlier and the burn off and subsequent start up the next day went pretty well. Had some of the same worries while watching the temps, smoke, etc and various temps with other probes that I used to see the temp profile in the smoker. I did leave on smoke for the first hour, then moved it to 225 and later 250, 300 deg as the temp variations in the smoker were lower than the set temp (the PID seemed to lock in on the set temp and never move, which makes me suspicious). However, the good news my first smoke of 2 racks of ribs and a tri tip (2.8 lbs) came out awesome. Overall both were on the smoker for ~6-7 hours (ribs 3-2-1, tri tip wrapped at 160 F, finished at ~200 F, then cooler for an hour). Smoke may have seemed a bit lite but take a look at the smoke ring on the tri tip, wow....

I am worried about the controller and the lack of better control temps allowed after 250 deg, I see there is a new firmware update for other PB smokers but not the PBV4 S2?? Any word on this being updated as well? I'm sure I will have a controller fail before warranty is out and maybe i can get a replacement with an updated firmware in the future?

Will see how next smoke and control goes for Fathers Day......but I can't complain about the performance and taste and what about that smoke ring (I'm not that good!!!)
 

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mixed up

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im a first time owner of PB 4 my finding on smoke flavor is cook it lower temp and longer I used apple at first but as they say on web apple is mellow on flavor switch to hickory and found much better flavor just cooked a brisket over weekend with competition blend and my favorite is still out on pellet choice of hickory or competition blend .
 

mixed up

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also I tend to use the low and slow and go by meat internal temp not by cabinet temp I have done ribs my last one I cooked 8 hr did not wrap them cooked at 225 basted them ever hr with cider vinegar and water use the method of shaking the rib to see if done if meat cracked between bones came out very good and had very good smkring and flavor
 

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