New Navigator 550 long to cook and Temp Issues

fisherboy444

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Greetings from New Zealand! I am new to smoking and I decided to purchase a Navigator 550G, I have used my smoker 4 times and noticed that my meat takes ages to cook compared to recipes and videos on youtube. I decided to investigate my ambient temperature by placing an Inkbird thermometer and Pitboss Probe thermometer in the middle of the grill for comparison and found that I am 30degrees out from what the PB actual temp is measuring on the display. Is this discrepancy normal or is there something wrong with my unit? I have a Thermopro handheld thermometer which measures similar to my Inkbird, the PB probe thermometer is always 4deg higher. I have attached photos for reference, measured in 2 different occasions. Hoping for some help and advice. Thank you.
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Welcome!

There is a "fix" to help that. If you look your temp probe on the left that the controller runs off of has a gap under it. The heat can run up the underside of the deflector and hit the probe. This seems to be the root of the temp differences. This gap can be plugged with foil or there is a "kit" you can buy.

Www.Smokeslikeaboss.com
 
Welcome from SC. Looks normal to me. You are measuring grate temp vs the control temp probe that does get some extra heat from the way they designed the grill. I use foil to block that but I also drive my grill by what my extra grate temp probes show. So if I have my grill set to 250 and my grate temp is only at 200. I'll set grill temp to whatever it takes to get grate temp to 250.
 
Greetings from New Zealand! I am new to smoking and I decided to purchase a Navigator 550G, I have used my smoker 4 times and noticed that my meat takes ages to cook compared to recipes and videos on youtube. I decided to investigate my ambient temperature by placing an Inkbird thermometer and Pitboss Probe thermometer in the middle of the grill for comparison and found that I am 30degrees out from what the PB actual temp is measuring on the display. Is this discrepancy normal or is there something wrong with my unit? I have a Thermopro handheld thermometer which measures similar to my Inkbird, the PB probe thermometer is always 4deg higher. I have attached photos for reference, measured in 2 different occasions. Hoping for some help and advice. Thank you.
View attachment 4856View attachment 4857View attachment 4858
Absolutely normal for all pellet smokers … Unless your oven thermometers or meat probes, the latter specifically not meant for measuring air temperatures, were positioned EXACTLY like this (see photo) touching the digital temperature probe, your personal temperature reading comparisons are totally invalid for comparison to the “Actual” temperature shown on the controller. Your grate temperatures are never going to match the actual temperature shown on the controller.



The PitBoss controllers algorithms are set to create a temperature environment throughout the barrel ... not that exact temperature readings at every point across the grates.



If you’re interested in the grate temperatures, you’ll have to get a secondary probe specifically designed to measure that. Usually they have squared off or blunted tips and always come with grate clips.



The digital temperature showing on the controller is the temperature probe mounted on the left side of the barrel at that specific position ... it’s not “the grill” or “grate” temperatures. Your grate and lid probes are going to be different and probably higher or lower due to their placement in the barrel.



Watch your digital, as it controls the controller, and keep an eye on your grate temperature but the IT on your meat probe is the one that’s the most important.



The “probe problem” is that folks don’t know enough about their PitBoss smokers design to know that the digital temperature shown on the controller and the grate temperatures are almost never going to match.



Remember, your PitBoss has a controller with an awesome algorithm that runs the smoker. After you’ve used it a few times you’ll realize that it works and works well. Relax... put your temperature probes in the food where they belong and let that awesome smoker you bought do the work for you. Smoke On!IMG_2645.jpeg
 
Hi Guys,

Thanks so much for all the feedback and advice. I have taken all this into consideration especially blocking off the gap on the left side of the deflector. I really want to get the stainless steel blocker from Smoke Like A Boss, however, the shipping cost to New Zealand is very expensive, I wish they have alternative shipping cost options. I have blocked the gap with an aluminum foil and I am now 15degress off from the PB temperature. @Freedbyjc thanks for the in-depth explanation on how the thermometer works, it gives me a better understanding on the PB smoker. I look forward to doing plenty of smoking this summer (December) in NZ.

My new concern at this stage are the pellets not dropping properly on the auger, I filled up the hopper to full capacity, started smoking at 12midnight. Woke up early morning and had an error on the display. It turned out the pellets did not feed into the auger even if there’s plenty left in the hopper which was concentrated on the left side and did not fall even if it was on a slope. On my next smoke, I’ll just make sure to even it out every few hours but I wish there was a fix to this.

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Hi Guys,

Thanks so much for all the feedback and advice. I have taken all this into consideration especially blocking off the gap on the left side of the deflector. I really want to get the stainless steel blocker from Smoke Daddy, however, the shipping cost to New Zealand is very expensive, I wish they have alternative shipping cost options. I have blocked the gap with an aluminum foil and I am now 15degress off from the PB temperature. @Freedbyjc thanks for the in-depth explanation on how the thermometer works, it gives me a better understanding on the PB smoker. I look forward to doing plenty of smoking this summer (December) in NZ.

My new concern at this stage are the pellets not dropping properly on the auger, I filled up the hopper to full capacity, started smoking at 12midnight. Woke up early morning and had an error on the display. It turned out the pellets did not feed into the auger even if there’s plenty left in the hopper which was concentrated on the left side and did not fall even if it was on a slope. On my next smoke, I’ll just make sure to even it out every few hours but I wish there was a fix to this.

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Flameouts can happen for many different reasons ... temperature or P setting set too low, pellet void, hopper not full, pellets not stirred, firepot full of ash, dials turned up and down too fast, stacks not wide open and holding heat in the barrel, misaligned heat diffuser/drip tray and partially open sear plates.

That tunneling is absolutely normal… with the smaller hopper you might want to consider an extension of some kind.

Try this … Turn it off, CLEAN it out (firepot at least) and restart it. See what happens.

 

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Welcome from Arizona USA.... All good advice above, especially on the flameout from @Freedbyjc ...
Glad you got the first issue figured out from the help on this forum. All great folks on here! :)
Good Luck! Smoke On!!! :)(y)(y)🇺🇸
 
InkBird

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