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The automated pellet smoker powered by an industrial Raspberry Pi


Perfectly cooked food without stress while using the RevPi Core 3+? A team of barbecue enthusiasts and budding technicians shows how this is possible within their semester project. In 1400 hours of work, they created a pellet smoker that fully takes over the cooking process.

The automated pellet smoker

The automated pellet smoker

All the operator must do is to connect the appliance to the power supply, fill in the pellets and switch on the device. The type of meat and the desired cooking state are selected via the graphical user interface on a 16.5-inch touch screen. The operator chooses from 8 types and the cooking stages rare, medium and well. Special requests regarding the temperatures in the cooking chamber are also fulfilled: In manual mode, the temperatures can be set manually on the monitor. The smoker then starts the cooking process automatically.

Graphical user interface of the smoker

Graphical user interface of the smoker

The brain of the Pellet Smoker: The RevPi Core 3+

The installed electronic components such as the air and core temperature sensors are controlled by a Revolution Pi Core 3+, extended by the DIO and AIO modules. While choosing the controller, flexible programming was particularly important to the project team. Exactly what the RevPi family offers through its open-source basis and modular application. Now the RevPi is installed as a modular controller in the control cabinet of the smoker, is supplied with 24 volts DC and executes algorithms written in Python3.

Control cabinet with the RevPi Core 3+ system

Control cabinet with the RevPi Core 3+ system

The fully automated cooking process

Once the cooking process has been started, everything runs automatically: the pellets pass through a screw conveyor into the combustion pot. There, they are sparked fully automated by an igniter. The prevailing temperatures are continuously recorded by several sensors on the flame and in the cooking chamber and evaluated with the help of the RevPi Core 3+. An algorithm written in Python3 calculates the corresponding combustion stage, the amount of pellets required and the air supply. Based on the calculated values, the latter is regulated independently. The fresh air supply required is ensured by an industrial radial fan, so that the temperature in the cooking chamber is kept constant.

So you can sit back and relax while the pellet smoker keeps you informed about the cooking process on its monitor.

The successful project team

The automated pellet smoker resulted from the semester project of Thomas Hahn, Patrick Körber, Jonas Zirlik, Michael Pröll and Christian Räder during their advanced training to become certified technicians in the field of mechatronics. Within seven months, the project team from the Rudolf Diesel Technical College in Nuremberg implemented the mechanics, electronics, and software of the pellet smoker. As a sponsor, we congratulate them on the successfully completed project!

More about the project (in German):

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