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Combustion Inc Wireless thermometer probe by Chris Young


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https://combustion.inc

 

Anyone got thoughts on this?

 

I can see the control freak or Vollrath or even the Anova oven deploying technology like this in the near future. 

 

I was looking at the array of probes and thermometers for American barbecue in the summer and wondered when they'd start going cable free. 

 

think I want one, anyone else?

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“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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will it work with induction is my question. 

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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I don't think you would want to be measuring the temperature of the cooking vessel, but rather what's in the vessel, in which case I can't see a problem.

 

p

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@adey73 

 

that's an interesting question 

 

I don't know if there are ferrous parts in it

 

nor how far up from the stove top the magnetic field

 

from the stove top effectively reaches.

 

I recall a discussion some where that the ' ammeter ' units did not work well at all

 

but if that's so

 

maybe this company has worked it out.

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there’s a lot of interesting stuff here. a lot of marketing fluff too, but whatever, every company does that (like, my current probe isn’t as thick as a pencil, sorry).  

 

so it has bluetooth and wifi built in, which is handy, but it looks like he learned from joule and gave it a physical interface too so that it still works, which is the number one reason i never bought one. 

 

what’s most interesting to me personally is that it looks like they’ll be doing some funky modelling for cooking like “put your roast in a 500°F oven and we’ll model the rate of change to tell you when to take it out, incorporating the standard overrun, etc” that might otherwise make your food over cooked.

 

i am a little curious at their discussion of sous vide (do they mean actual sous vide or are just rewriting the definition to mean precision cookery like anova does?). 

 

pretty interested to know just what it’s 30% off of, though. 

Edited by jimb0 (log)
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if this is their first product, I can easily see a wireless fan/billows like thermoworks and others have for BBQ.

 

and that leads to the battery life per charge of the probes, as people do overnight cooks. 

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“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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9 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Does wifi work well inside an oven?  Or a pressure cooker?

 

 

well, the wifi is presumably only in the base station which sits on the stove. i didn't see it anywhere, but i'm assuming the protocol is some kind of BLE implementation mostly because i dunno what else they're gonna use that offers anything approaching reasonable battery life. your point remains, though; i expect it'll work pretty much fine for an oven; there's enough glass, metal support meshing aside, that it's probably fine. i dunno about pressure cookers but i imagine sitting the base station on top would be okay. do they mention whether it's compatible with a pressure cooker, though?

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there are several thousand existing variants of "wireless oven/smoker thermometers"

so the 'fund me in advance' is aahhh, seriously,,,, like "can we talk?" questionable.

 

vapor variety software promising to measure / predict t,u,w,x,y,z,,,,, thanks, but I'll wait.

 

how do electronics survive oven temps?  -  well, that's another question.

what happens when the battery dies mid use?  - well, that's another question.

does it have a battery indicator:  "Your battery will die before the roast is finished." - well, that's another question.

if one sets the alarm for 135'F, how does the device know you're using a 60 watt light bulb and it will take 20 hours to reach that temp vs a 550'F broil oven and it'll take 20 minutes to reach that temp, hence the battery life is "good"

 

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1 hour ago, AlaMoi said:

there are several thousand existing variants of "wireless oven/smoker thermometers"

so the 'fund me in advance' is aahhh, seriously,,,, like "can we talk?" questionable.

 

vapor variety software promising to measure / predict t,u,w,x,y,z,,,,, thanks, but I'll wait.

 

how do electronics survive oven temps?  -  well, that's another question.

what happens when the battery dies mid use?  - well, that's another question.

does it have a battery indicator:  "Your battery will die before the roast is finished." - well, that's another question.

if one sets the alarm for 135'F, how does the device know you're using a 60 watt light bulb and it will take 20 hours to reach that temp vs a 550'F broil oven and it'll take 20 minutes to reach that temp, hence the battery life is "good"

 

i have similar questions but as to the last it’s got several temp sensors in it so it knows the temp in the middle, the temp at the surface, and the temp of the cooking environment. presumably it assumes the latter will be static. 

 

edit: i see that @ChefChrisYoung is browsing the thread so perhaps he’ll chime in 🙂 

 

edit edit: fun 404 image on their site (which, incidentally, is well done). 

 

image.png.0210b3a6d6dea441b570ccbf7159ce8a.png

Edited by jimb0 (log)
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As i mentioned :

 

I don't think the Us.Meater worked out we

 

@JoNorvelleWalker 

 

Id not be too interested in what's going on 

 

in an iPot.  push the button

 

wait

 

and readjust the tie

 

next time

 

now in a blast chiller

 

different Kettle

 

and fish might be involved.

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10 minutes ago, rotuts said:

As i mentioned :

 

I don't think the Us.Meater worked out we

 

@JoNorvelleWalker 

 

Id not be too interested in what's going on 

 

in an iPot.  push the button

 

wait

 

and readjust the tie

 

next time

 

now in a blast chiller

 

different Kettle

 

and fish might be involved.

 

Vesta blast chiller has a probe.  And when I want data recording from the Vesta I hook up the Therma WiFi.

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/153479-blast-chillers/?do=findComment&comment=2242627

 

 

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2 hours ago, AlaMoi said:

there are several thousand existing variants of "wireless oven/smoker thermometers"

so the 'fund me in advance' is aahhh, seriously,,,, like "can we talk?" questionable.

 

vapor variety software promising to measure / predict t,u,w,x,y,z,,,,, thanks, but I'll wait.

 

This isn't a Kickstarter; they're not asking to be funded in advance. Waiting is the only option.

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26 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

 

This isn't a Kickstarter; they're not asking to be funded in advance. Waiting is the only option.

 

yeah, exactly. it's coming out regardless, and there's no way to pay in early. 

 

i actually went and signed up for their email list (https://cutt.ly/wlKiSZ6). they're doing a common schtick wherein you get people to sign up and save progressively more off the purchase of the item.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, jimb0 said:

 

edit: i see that @ChefChrisYoung is browsing the thread so perhaps he’ll chime in 🙂 

 

from what he's  just said on instagram I think he's waiting to be allowed to post on here.

 

in response to my induction question, also from Instagram.... 

 

"I’ve used mine on my GE induction cooktop and had no issues with RF interference or goofy readings that can sometimes happen with thermocouple systems on induction (we don’t use thermocouples)."  

 

So that's thumbs up from me.

 

Whether he can speak to the per charge battery life of the probe or it's range if it's in preproduction I don't know. 

 

Edited by adey73 (log)
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“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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On 2/28/2021 at 3:07 AM, adey73 said:

https://combustion.inc

 

Anyone got thoughts on this?

 

I have not studied this device thoroughly just a few casual comments:

 

1. I don't like any "smart" device that tells me how to perform simple tasks.

 

2. I am not sure how this can be accurate in measuring temperature. Metal conducts heat much faster then meat. Inserting a metal pin into meat will change the meat temperature around the metal. In physics, that is called "The Observer Effect". The act of observing changes the condition of the object you are trying to observe.

 

3. I am not sure there is a battery inside the pin. Batteries do not last long, especially in heat. Possibly it uses a super capacitor for energy storage. Capacitors do not use chemical changes to store power.

 

4. This device may not work inside a pressure cooker. The construction of a pressure cooker is similar to what is known as a "Faraday cage". In any case, there is never a need to measure food inside a PC. Food inside a PC will only cook food at one temperature.

 

dcarch

 

Edited by dcarch (log)
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i don’t think this is telling anyone what to do; it’s about giving more information to a cook. the device itself doesn’t seem to be too smart without use of a phone which afaict is entirely optional. 

 

a capacitor would be a good solution to this given the temperatures involved. the meater folks insist they use a heat-rated battery, and the slow nature of its charging leads me to believe they do; seems like a cap would be a ballyhooed feature to tout. 

 

i think the risk in a pressure cooker is less the metal construction tbh than it is the pressures involved and i expect them not to support it mostly for that reason. 

 

long use of probes can affect heat transfer inside of meat but i expect this not to be too much of an issue. at its worst it would be only a few degrees: and that’s in a high heat environment with most of the probe sticking out; the water inside of the meat will pretty quickly transfer heat away before the delta gets very large. you can model and predict this effect and account for it, and you can also minimize it with smart probe construction.

 

the extent to which it does any of this, of course, will remain up in the air until it ships. 

Edited by jimb0 (log)
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This video from Chris hints at some of the techniques that may be emphasized by Combustion Inc. and the smart app that will be paired with the device.

 

 

The technique he examines here uses two probes: one to measure the core temp of the protein and one to measure the temperature just below the surface. You start out with your oven at a relatively high temp (he uses 400F) and then turn the oven down to a much lower temp (like 225F) after the surface reaches the desired doneness. This technique requires the use of two thermometers, or requires you to use one probe that you move from the surface to the core when you turn the oven temp down. The Combustion Inc product should let you do this with a single probe with 8 sensors that can monitor the core temp of the meat, the surface temperature, and the oven temperature - and can track these across time in an app, and, say, give you an informed estimate of when the core temp will be reached. This should enable even cooking in a faster amount of time than just using a low oven the entire time. SV-like results in "turbo" fashion. But I wonder how much time is actually saved on your average roast. 

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Static measurement can be unreliable because thermal conductivity thru meat can be variable depends on:

 

1. Moisture contain in different areas.

2, fat layers have different conductivity.

3. measured parallel to fiber

4. measured perpendicular to fiber,

5. how close to bones.

6. Is the saltiness of the meat evenly distributed? 

 

To me, It seems poking around with a thermometer yourself can give a better idea.

 

 dcarch

Edited by dcarch (log)
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15 hours ago, dcarch said:

"how close to bones."

To me, It seems poking around with a thermometer yourself can give a better idea.

 dcarch

 

if Chris does turn up here, I'd like to know how the Wunderprobe and algorithm deals with, the, err, ahem, bone-in problem, say in a leg of lamb or rib roast.  

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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Hi folks, Chris Young here. It took me a little while to get validated. There are a lot of good questions here, and I'll try to answer them as best I can.

 

First, how does the predictive algorithm work? What about bones, fat cap, fiber orientation, salt, etc. I think the easiest way to answer this is that what it's doing is predicting how long it will take the coldest location along the thermometer to reach the target temperature that you set on the timer or in the app. So if you poke the thermometer in the wrong place and miss the geometric center of the food by a lot, it won't do a great job. That said, it's not really difficult to stick a thermometer in the thickest/deepest spot in the food. 

 

Heat comes from all sides and very well may reach the center faster/slower from different directions. But in practice, we find that the algorithm having even a rough idea of what the temperature is at the surface and immediately around the food gives it a huge advantage at predicting what will happen in the center later as the heat propagates. Sure, the surface is hotter under a fat cap or around a bone, but it's not wildly different. And so the algorithm can constantly check it's predictions and adjust as it goes, so that if the center is heating faster than it initially expects, it will adjust it's internal model and update the timer accordingly. And the closer it gets to done, the more accurate it becomes.

 

And by having some sense of how much heat energy has accumulated at the surface and beneath the surface, we can do a good job of estimating the amount of carry over cooking that will occur.

 

Second question, how do the battery and other electronics survive inside an oven? These components are in the front ~50mm or so of the probe, and are buried beneath the surface of your food. Because food tends to be wet, once they're even a few mm below the surface, the temperature they experience is below 100 °C / 212 °F and this keeps them from exceeding their operating limits. The other end of the probe only contains components that can survive at 300 °C / 570 °F.

 

Third question, doesn't heat travel down the meal probe and mess up the measurements. A tiny bit, but not much. The probe is stainless steel, which is a pretty terrible conductor as metals go. And it's very thin walled, so heat doesn't propagate far before it's absorbed into the surrounding food. So the sensors do a good job at only measuring the temperature immediately next to their location within the probe.

 

WiFi/Blueooth questions. The probe uses Bluetooth. Right now it support the BLE 4.0 and BLE5  (benefits of BLE5 are increased range and better battery life). The timer has both Bluetooth and WiFi and can repeat the Bluetooth signal to your phone if you're further away, or it can route the data over the internet with WiFi so you can get it via the app when you're out and about.

 

To be clear, you do not need to use your phone or connect any of this stuff to the internet with that isn't your thing. If you just want to stick the probe into some meat to measure the temperature, the timer will show you the temperature. And, yes, you can also just use the timer as a kitchen timer.

 


 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

welcome aboard @ChefChrisYoung

 

You've said elsewhere that each timer could take at least 8 probes, presumably we can name or colour code each probe, but will the app, when's it's finished be a data logger and be able display each probe's temp concurrently rather than skip through them like some of the bbq controllers do? (e.g. whilst using the app on a larger iPad/tablet screen).    

 

And can you speak to how the probe is powered, somebody asked about battery, if it's not commercially sensitive how do you power a small wifi probe for 24hrs: any nasties in the battery that could seep out?

Edited by adey73 (log)

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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