I have lately been researching about temperature controllers for Kamados. Several alternatives are out there and each of them have their fan base. A lot of the information available is based on feeling and intuition, which is great. However, I miss a repository of information based on factual data of the controller's performance provided by users. This is the intention of this thread and hopefully, it will serve to educate the audience, firstly on how to make the choice when buying a temperature controller and secondly how to best use them.
I have put together a set of questions for the people to answer that will help fellow BBQers immersed into the temperature controllers world.
Thank you all in advance for supporting this research project!
1. What Kamado cooker you are using?
2. What temperature controller do you have?
3. What are your vent and fan settings on your Kamado? (Pictures when available)
4. Where do you place your ambient probe for temperature control? (Pictures when available)
5. At what point on your cook you let the controller to take over
6. Please share the graph from your temperature control with eventual fan output
7. What do you love about your controller?
8. What would you improve about your controller?
9. Anything else you want to share
10. And last but not least, share pictures of your cook
Made a Costco pack of pork shoulder (15lbs) on Saturday, this was actually my first really long cook with my Akorn, turned out great! Used Meathead's rub recipe, and dumped on some Pig's ### sauce (nice surprise how good that was!) after it was pulled. Otherwise just let it go almost 12 hours with some hickory thrown in with the lump pulled them off around 197 degrees. The shoulder I thought was larger got done about 45 minutes quicker, really loving having multiple probes with the Fireboard. I think the wind was swirling a bit as I had a little harder time than usual maintaining pit temps, I was aiming for about 240 at the grill, but I did let it climb a bit at the end trying to push through the stall. Also the first time I really noticed a stall, so I'm thinking that my other ways I've done pulled pork before I had a kamado were running hotter than I thought and I didn't have a good way to monitor it. Had some happy family and friends with the end result and I had fun cooking anyway, also made some cheesy hashbrowns to go with.
My inner geek is tweaking once again. I ordered one of these Fireboard thermometer systems from All Things BBQ yesterday...
I have been reading a lot of good things about this unit in the Yoder groups. It has six probe ports where you can run any combination of ambient or meat temp probes. Its all wifi cloud controlled and you can name each probe descriptively, graph, and save any of the collected data from a cooking session.
I have not seen a lot of stir about this product in the kamado community, probably because it is not a pit controller. When I spoke to the guys at ATBBQ about it, they told me that this was their top seller to ceramic owners. I asked them about the Flame Boss since i see a lot of great feedback on that device. They told me that they have a hard time selling that one.
I am looking forward to testing and reviewing this unit. My reviews will mostly be on the Yoder YS640 where i am more likely to cook multiple large cuts of meat at the same time but I will review it on the Kamado as well...
UPDATE ********** 10/20/2017
The Fireboard 'drive' cable is now available. You can use the Fireboard to control a fan and control your pit temperature. They want $89 for the proprietary cable that will let you attach a fan, which is an additional cost of $50 if you get it from Fireboard.
In my opinion, not worth the money to anyone who knows how to control their pit. If you need electronic help controlling your pit/fire then, by all means, give this one a go.