runaway temperature

smokester

New member
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3
Grill(s) owned
  1. Deck Boss 590
hello so today is my 3rd time using my 590. the 1st time the temperature ran up 65deg above the 225 setting. the second time it dropped by 85. today i shut it off twice while smoking a brisket when it exceeded the 225 setting by 65. new grill, new recteq pellets, firmware version 5.0.6 any thoughts? regrettably the only time i have to use it is on sunday. if i could only remember to call recteq during the week! the fan is short cycling. 5 seconds on 3 seconds off etc.
 
hello so today is my 3rd time using my 590. the 1st time the temperature ran up 65deg above the 225 setting. the second time it dropped by 85. today i shut it off twice while smoking a brisket when it exceeded the 225 setting by 65. new grill, new recteq pellets, firmware version 5.0.6 any thoughts? regrettably the only time i have to use it is on sunday. if i could only remember to call recteq during the week! the fan is short cycling. 5 seconds on 3 seconds off etc.
I can’t offer very much with just a few details. You aren’t in a high altitude city (like Denver, or the mountains) are you? Also, have you probed the unit with RT and a 3rd party probe? As a tip, set the 3rd party probe as close to the RT internal probe as possible or there may be different readings. Try to record the temp profile and post it so we can take a look. Also, let the smoker come up to temp and sit for at least 15 minutes before you start collecting data. I have seen posts on fluctuations when people are at any of the weather extremes (e.g., over 103F or under 30F) and when they were above 5,000ft causing inconsistent temperature profiles.
 
I can’t offer very much with just a few details. You aren’t in a high altitude city (like Denver, or the mountains) are you? Also, have you probed the unit with RT and a 3rd party probe? As a tip, set the 3rd party probe as close to the RT internal probe as possible or there may be different readings. Try to record the temp profile and post it so we can take a look. Also, let the smoker come up to temp and sit for at least 15 minutes before you start collecting data. I have seen posts on fluctuations when people are at any of the weather extremes (e.g., over 103F or under 30F) and when they were above 5,000ft causing inconsistent temperature profiles.
thank you for responding. i live in ga at 850' elevation. temp yesterday was in the 80s and wind was minimal and the sky clear. i do not have a 3rd party probe only the two from recteq. the unit will promptly hit 225, with and without a probe plugged in, and continue to climb. as far as me sending you a temp profile it would be WAY EASIER to send you a round air trip ticket. regrettably such technology is well beyond my pay grade. as a point of reference, i learned how to use a slide rule in middle school. i bought the smoker as it is advertised as being quite exacting on its own without any required tweaking. i called recteq at 10:30 and 3:30 today. both times, after being on hold a few minutes, my call was automatically transferred/forced to a voicemail box. hopefully i will get a call back. for what its worth, the brisket was phenomenal even with the herky jerky performance of the smoker. can you offer a hip shot as to what is going on? is the fan short cycling normal?
 
“Hip shot” here; as @SmokeZilla asked, are you letting the grill come up to temperature and stabilize before starting your cook? It is not unusual for the grill to cycle past the set point and back a few times before settling down. And, yes; it can run +/- 60 degrees a few times. I try to let my grill stabilize at least 20 minutes after it initially reaches the temp set point.

Oh, and what pellets are you using? Could they be extra long and bridging in the auger tube?

Edit: just saw your original post said “Rectec pellets.” I have had issues with the RT Ultimate Blend pellets bridging and no longer use them.
 
thank you for responding. i live in ga at 850' elevation. temp yesterday was in the 80s and wind was minimal and the sky clear. i do not have a 3rd party probe only the two from recteq. the unit will promptly hit 225, with and without a probe plugged in, and continue to climb. as far as me sending you a temp profile it would be WAY EASIER to send you a round air trip ticket. regrettably such technology is well beyond my pay grade. as a point of reference, i learned how to use a slide rule in middle school. i bought the smoker as it is advertised as being quite exacting on its own without any required tweaking. i called recteq at 10:30 and 3:30 today. both times, after being on hold a few minutes, my call was automatically transferred/forced to a voicemail box. hopefully i will get a call back. for what its worth, the brisket was phenomenal even with the herky jerky performance of the smoker. can you offer a hip shot as to what is going on? is the fan short cycling normal?
Smokester,
I have seen temp fluctuations on RecTeq units before. Especially those with the smaller capacities as they cool quite significantly when opened. Absent a 3rd party probe, I would give it the old water in a bowl test. Get an old pot or heat resistant bowl and set the temperature to 200F. Let the smoker stabilize for about 15 minutes and see if it starts to boil when you see the temps jump the ~60F you have observed. If that happens, the water should be at its boiling (which occurs at ~212F. If it doesn’t boil I would increase the temp to 225F and see what happens. In theory, if it remains above 212, it should continue to boil. I would then set it to 190F it should be flat. If the water starts to boil, then you know you have exceeded the 212F mark. To check if it is dropping below 200F, there should be a big difference in the rate of boiling that is taking place (actually, it should stop but that depends on the carryover from the thermal mass of the container). To validate your temps, use a household kitchen turkey or similar thermometer (don’t tell your wife) and you should be able to spot the differences. I have noticed even on my unit that the RT built in probe doesn’t give me the same temps as a 3rd party probe unless they are right next to each other. I would also recommend placing the RT probe into the water and see what it registers on the app using your stovetop and a pot of water. Please be you do not fully submerge the probe’s connection point (where the wire is crimped into the probe’s body. THEY ARE NOT FULLY IMMERSIBLE IN LIQUIDS!!! The other tip I received from RT Tech was that the controller is set up to “anticipate” temperature drops and take aggressive action to throttle up which may lead to the overcompensation you are seeing in the readings. Don’t know if that is true but it won’t hurt to keep working with RT for a solution. Let us know what you discover.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, check your built in probe to make sure there is no debris on it and that it is not touching any metal surface inside your cooker. It should actually not be touching anything except for where the base mounts to the gill.
 
Smokester,
I have seen temp fluctuations on RecTeq units before. Especially those with the smaller capacities as they cool quite significantly when opened. Absent a 3rd party probe, I would give it the old water in a bowl test. Get an old pot or heat resistant bowl and set the temperature to 200F. Let the smoker stabilize for about 15 minutes and see if it starts to boil when you see the temps jump the ~60F you have observed. If that happens, the water should be at its boiling (which occurs at ~212F. If it doesn’t boil I would increase the temp to 225F and see what happens. In theory, if it remains above 212, it should continue to boil. I would then set it to 190F it should be flat. If the water starts to boil, then you know you have exceeded the 212F mark. To check if it is dropping below 200F, there should be a big difference in the rate of boiling that is taking place (actually, it should stop but that depends on the carryover from the thermal mass of the container). To validate your temps, use a household kitchen turkey or similar thermometer (don’t tell your wife) and you should be able to spot the differences. I have noticed even on my unit that the RT built in probe doesn’t give me the same temps as a 3rd party probe unless they are right next to each other. I would also recommend placing the RT probe into the water and see what it registers on the app using your stovetop and a pot of water. Please be you do not fully submerge the probe’s connection point (where the wire is crimped into the probe’s body. THEY ARE NOT FULLY IMMERSIBLE IN LIQUIDS!!! The other tip I received from RT Tech was that the controller is set up to “anticipate” temperature drops and take aggressive action to throttle up which may lead to the overcompensation you are seeing in the readings. Don’t know if that is true but it won’t hurt to keep working with RT for a solution. Let us know what you discover.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, check your built in probe to make sure there is no debris on it and that it is not touching any metal surface inside your cooker. It should actually not be touching anything except for where the base mounts to the gill.
ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! the culprit has been caught red handed! or perhaps red feed tube. i finally reached someone at rt today. on a side note they had over 800 calls yesterday. i worked with a fellow for quite a while to establish a base line of operation and then changes. i'll make a real long story very short. the firmware update i did at the end of my second to last smoke, nearly doubled the feed rate! so with a bit of tech phone support, twisting knobs and pushing buttons it's purring like a kitten. or should i say smokin like a bull! thank you for the helpful tips.
 
ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! the culprit has been caught red handed! or perhaps red feed tube. i finally reached someone at rt today. on a side note they had over 800 calls yesterday. i worked with a fellow for quite a while to establish a base line of operation and then changes. i'll make a real long story very short. the firmware update i did at the end of my second to last smoke, nearly doubled the feed rate! so with a bit of tech phone support, twisting knobs and pushing buttons it's purring like a kitten. or should i say smokin like a bull! thank you for the helpful tips.
Smokester,
Glad you got it sorted. Don’t you hate when you become software quality assurance for a company that makes thousands of products. I hope your future cooks make up for the initial stress you received. Smoke on!!!
 
That fan cycling was your grill trying to (unsuccessfully) cool the unit down being so far above the set temperature.

Glad you got it worked out.

I’m a retired cybersecurity guy and as a general rule would always want the latest firmware and/or OS updates. However, I’ve heard nothing but problems from some great BBQers on this forum about the problems they’re having after firmware updates. So I’ve stayed away from it.
 
That fan cycling was your grill trying to (unsuccessfully) cool the unit down being so far above the set temperature.

Glad you got it worked out.

I’m a retired cybersecurity guy and as a general rule would always want the latest firmware and/or OS updates. However, I’ve heard nothing but problems from some great BBQers on this forum about the problems they’re having after firmware updates. So I’ve stayed away from it.
You know this term all to well I am sure, and it sux. “Spiral development”. Killing many industries.
 

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