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tomlevine1

Temperature Controllers for the Kamado Joe, et al.

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HI All:

 

I am the proud owner of a Kamado Joe Classic II, interested and in the market for a temperature controller.  I've done some research, listed below, and interested in getting your opinions and experience:  What do you own, how do you like it, what do you recommend, and, am I missing any options?  that said, appreciate your input...here we go:

 

IKammand:  runs about $231 on Amazon, but has received mixed reviews, and actually, I just searched the Joe website, and it's not even on there.  only a splash page that links you to a support site.  

 

BBQGURU.COM:

partyQ, DigiQ, and CyberQ Cloud.  Price range $150 up to $319.  Party Q is cheap and easy, DigiQ does not have connectivity but seems to have gotten good reliability reviews across several sites (and I've seen it used on Ultimate Pitmaster...):  CyberQ is wifi only, seems to be server based (no app, you have to connect through the browser).  DigiQ runs about $219, CyberQ is $319.

 

FlameBoss:

FlameBoss100, FlameBoss 400WIFI, and FlameBoss500WIFI (currently on preorder): price range $149 to $349

The 400 is an interesting entry level to wifi running at about $220, but appears to require the use of the app, meaning, cannot run as a standalone (what if you lose connectivity, or the server goes down...is a minor concern).  An interesting option.    The WIFI500 preorder runs $350, will have 3 meat probes, over WIFI with app, and with an LCD dispay (unlike the 400 which has no display and is an integrated unit).

 

FireBoard Labs:

Fireboard thermometer with additional purchase of Fireboard Control Drive Cable and Blower:

Sidenote, read up, and for the Kamado Joe, the easiest method would be to buy the PitViper from BBQGURU and the Kamado plate, separate, and then purchase the fireboard with control drive cable.  They do sell a fan, but has limited information on converting it to fit onto a kamado Joe.

Approximate cost:  $359 for this setup (Fireboard, pitviper, fireboard drive cable), Fireboard Extreme edition with same setup, would run about $419.

Fireboard seems to have a strong following and good reviews regards to thermometer technology.  The fan drive control is relatively new, but exciting.  Seems to be the more ground breaking and innovative...also the most expensive option.  Will run bluetooth, standalone, and wifi.  also, believe it has a Lithium Ion battery and can run for upwards of 24 hours on a full charge (and up to 6 probes).

 

Thanks for reading!  Please let me know what you use, and what you think!  Sincerely, Tom

 

 

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1 hour ago, grill seeker said:

Here is a good deal on the guru classifieds

 

 

 

thank u seeker:

 

@tomlevine1 i only have experience with the flameboss and it has been a great experience.  i had tried the some blutooth models of pit/meat thermometers over the years but experienced difficulty with signal loss and no visibility if i had to run out, go to kids sports, etc.

so, to that end, i had found the addition of wifi invaluable.

 

as my cooking had advanced, i (like you and many others) had gained interest in the pit controllers and i had researched the heck out of it.  I had settled on the flameboss because of:  reputation amongst kamado and bbq folk, ease of use and set up and the look, feel and ease of their smart-phone app.  I've used the app on both iOS and Android platform and it performs and functions very well, graphs your cook, allows you to adjust temp settings, alarms, etc.  Most of all, its simple to set up and use.

 

Again, i have not used any of the other models that you have listed but folks who have used and posted about all of them seem to be happy with their purchase.

 

whichever model you choose, i recommend that you strongly consider a wifi model with smart-phone app, it was (and still is) the most-valuable feature..........  i feel that if the wifi feature is removed or you limit to blutooth, then its not a whole lot better than just adjusting the vents by hand or walking a few more steps to look at the dome temp.

 

good luck with your purchase, let us know what you decide.

 

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1 hour ago, Golf Griller said:

I haven't had any problem controlling the temperatures in my KJC using the vents. I may be too frugal to purchase a temperature controller.

Thats me too, I got my 1st KJBJ 6 years ago and have never had a problem controlling temps and I have done countless over night cooks with zero issues

 

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I agree that learning to control temps with the vents only is the best way to understand a grill. Probably 90% of my cooks are done that way.

But sometimes I get comfort in having a little insurance.

As simple as it is, a Pitmaster IQ110 has served me well for several years. It's not "connected" to anything but the grill. 
I rarely use it except on overnight low & slow cooks for peace of mind..
Good luck with your decision.

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I've used a Rock's Stoker for years.

  • It controls temperature at about ± 2° by adjusting air flow
  • It has six control ports, each can be subdivided
  • It can simultaneously control more than one cooker
  • It's WiFi so it can be monitored and controlled via the Internet
  • It has several alarm settings
  • It provides real time graphing of smoker and meat temperatures
  • Graphs can be annotated

y4msK_G4ZQAMw8D5jJGP6GALfjPn719zTSEmRtYh

 

https://rocksbarbque.com

 

NOTE:  The above graph was a pellet pit not controlled by the Stoker, it was only used for monitoring and graphing.

Edited by pmillen
Added link and Note.

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Just went through this research as well as I just picked up my KJ Classic.  I initially picked up a CyberQ setup with fan and adapter plate when they were on sale back in December.  When I got it I got it connected and started playing around with the web page settings, etc. it seemed a little clunky to me IMO. 

 

Before I had cooked with it (the CyberQ) I had discovered the Fireboard - after some further research in terms of capability and the overall 'experience' with the app I decided to return the CyberQ control unit in favor of moving to the Fireboard.  Ultimately the CyberQ would do the same job as the Fireboard (save for additional features like 6 probes, Bluetooth and wifi, higher temp capacity probes, etc) but the app on the Fireboard is just so much nicer to use IMO.

 

I kept the Pit Viper fan and adapter plate in case I want to pick up the fan control later, but after logging 6+ hours with the fireboard this past weekend I'm sold - what a nice unit! After seeing how easy it is to hold temp with the vents manually I probably won't rush to buy the fan controller cable, but ultimately curiosity will probably get the better of me. ;)

 

Andrew

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Three to look at that I've used in the past or still use:

Auber Instruments, like it only resonates I changed was the desire for Wi-Fi capability that wasn't offered by them at the time.

HeaterMeater nice unit, built it with my son.  Have used two different fan setups on it and currently use the microdamper.

https://tvwbb.com/forumdisplay.php?85-HeaterMeter-DIY-BBQ-Controller&s=6dcbe0ab987cb089e8f576594d0f9095

SMOBOT was interested because it doesn't use a fan, it has a adjustable top damper.

http://www.smobot.com

 

I still currently use the last two listed. 

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12 hours ago, freddyjbbq said:

 

thank u seeker:

 

@tomlevine1 i only have experience with the flameboss and it has been a great experience.  i had tried the some blutooth models of pit/meat thermometers over the years but experienced difficulty with signal loss and no visibility if i had to run out, go to kids sports, etc.

so, to that end, i had found the addition of wifi invaluable.

 

as my cooking had advanced, i (like you and many others) had gained interest in the pit controllers and i had researched the heck out of it.  I had settled on the flameboss because of:  reputation amongst kamado and bbq folk, ease of use and set up and the look, feel and ease of their smart-phone app.  I've used the app on both iOS and Android platform and it performs and functions very well, graphs your cook, allows you to adjust temp settings, alarms, etc.  Most of all, its simple to set up and use.

 

Again, i have not used any of the other models that you have listed but folks who have used and posted about all of them seem to be happy with their purchase.

 

whichever model you choose, i recommend that you strongly consider a wifi model with smart-phone app, it was (and still is) the most-valuable feature..........  i feel that if the wifi feature is removed or you limit to blutooth, then its not a whole lot better than just adjusting the vents by hand or walking a few more steps to look at the dome temp.

 

good luck with your purchase, let us know what you decide.

 

That's great feedback!  Thanks for insight on the FlameBoss line!  As for Bluetooth issues, testify, testify!  You are describing me and my Igrill, 30 feet out, for sure.

thx, t

 

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11 hours ago, Rip said:

I agree that learning to control temps with the vents only is the best way to understand a grill. Probably 90% of my cooks are done that way.

But sometimes I get comfort in having a little insurance.

As simple as it is, a Pitmaster IQ110 has served me well for several years. It's not "connected" to anything but the grill. 
I rarely use it except on overnight low & slow cooks for peace of mind..
Good luck with your decision.

Thanks Rip...I forgot to mention it in my post.  Looks to be a good down and dirty non connected, basic option out there.  Checked their website, and it is similar to the BBQGURU PartyQ.  PitMaster currently running $140.  Not too bad!

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11 hours ago, pmillen said:

I've used a Rock's Stoker for years.

  • It controls temperature at about ± 2° by adjusting air flow
  • It has six control ports, each can be subdivided
  • It can simultaneously control more than one cooker
  • It's WiFi so it can be monitored and controlled via the Internet
  • It has several alarm settings
  • It provides real time graphing of smoker and meat temperatures
  • Graphs can be annotated

y4msK_G4ZQAMw8D5jJGP6GALfjPn719zTSEmRtYh

 

https://rocksbarbque.com

 

NOTE:  The above graph was a pellet pit not controlled by the Stoker, it was only used for monitoring and graphing.

That's pretty awesome!   Great share, thank you!   I went to the site, and I believe it has been discontinued.  if you find otherwise, lemme know.  But I did read reviews of this thing, and it seems to have a strong following!

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7 hours ago, gorilla83 said:

Just went through this research as well as I just picked up my KJ Classic.  I initially picked up a CyberQ setup with fan and adapter plate when they were on sale back in December.  When I got it I got it connected and started playing around with the web page settings, etc. it seemed a little clunky to me IMO. 

 

Before I had cooked with it (the CyberQ) I had discovered the Fireboard - after some further research in terms of capability and the overall 'experience' with the app I decided to return the CyberQ control unit in favor of moving to the Fireboard.  Ultimately the CyberQ would do the same job as the Fireboard (save for additional features like 6 probes, Bluetooth and wifi, higher temp capacity probes, etc) but the app on the Fireboard is just so much nicer to use IMO.

 

I kept the Pit Viper fan and adapter plate in case I want to pick up the fan control later, but after logging 6+ hours with the fireboard this past weekend I'm sold - what a nice unit! After seeing how easy it is to hold temp with the vents manually I probably won't rush to buy the fan controller cable, but ultimately curiosity will probably get the better of me. ;)

 

Andrew

Hi Andrew:  Yup!  the other reviews I've read, are just like yours, regards to Fireboard:  People love this thing, the videos I saw of the graphics are really stunning, and as far as thermometers go, if you are into precision, I would venture a guess that the Fireboard folks are as State of the Art as they come, perhaps.  Thanks for sharing!  Your review is especially interesting, given that you have messed around with the CyberQ, and have been able to compare the two.  

 

hey, let me know if you buy the drive cable and turn it into a pit stoker!  (you should, you're one cable away, go for it!)

 

Thanks! t 

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I use the SmartFire https://smartfirebbq.com and love it. It hasn't been without issues. They got a bad batch of probes from their supplier and mine arrived with a DOA fan. Fault was diagnosed and a new fan sent out on the same day. Probes have been replaced and unit is working brilliantly. It does help that I can track the manufacturer down at our local bbq competitions if necessary.

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11 hours ago, tomlevine1 said:

That's pretty awesome!   Great share, thank you!   I went to the site, and I believe it has been discontinued.  if you find otherwise, lemme know.

You are correct.  I didn't know that it's no longer offered.  I periodically order additional probes, fans and such but I don't go to the controller page where the notice is posted.  Thanks for the tip.

 

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