A new toy arrived yesterday, but I'm not entirely sure how to feel about it. The Thermoworks Billows and Signals are advertised as a worry free method of maintaining smoker and charcoal grill temps precisely where they're needed. Right now there's a few racks of marinated beef jerky getting smoked at 165° and the temp surprisingly hasn't budged more than ±1°
Half the fun of running a smoker is the skill needed to keep temperatures exactly where you want. I love when the needle stops moving after continual slight adjustments to air flow. It's incredibly satisfying when smoke pours out the exhaust and you can smell the combination of various hardwoods smoldering in the air.
Automation eliminates that simple joy and reduces the hobby down to waiting and eating. Honestly the only reason I'm using these is because maintaining temperatures this low on a Weber Smokey Mountain is incredibly difficult. We'll see how well this session goes and decide if it's worthwhile for future cooks.