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John Setzler

FireBoard 2 Drive - Demo/Review

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I bought the FireBoard Labs FireBoard 2 Drive control system back at the end of June. I have been playing around with nearly every day for the last three weeks. I have been letting it run my grill for almost every cook I do. I have been super impressed with the results.

 

I bought mine from Atlanta Grill Company:

 

https://atlantagrillcompany.com/colle...

 

I bought the FireBoard Drive 2 and the The FireBoard Drive 20CFM Fan. First of all, here is a link to the cooking data I mentioned in this video:

 

https://share.fireboard.io/87C19B

 

You can see all of the data and how it is displayed through a 'share' in this link. This is not quite as detailed as you can see it from your own smart phone or PC control point during the cook, but I included some screenshots at the end of the video that will help see a little more of that.

 

I'm not going to list pros and cons of this unit because I like almost everything I see about it so far. The ONLY thing I don't like is that with this nice large LCD screen on the FireBoard, it needs to be mounted in a stand where you can see that screen from wherever you are standing. That stand should have a swivel mount on it where you can adjust it for viewing from any angle.

 

In the video I also mentioned the "Drive Programs" that I didn't actually discuss in the video. This was an after thought for me because it's a function I would not likely use myself. But it IS worthy of discussion because it can be a great tool. This controller offers you the ability to make a program that gets executed step by step based on either time or temperature events during your cook. For example, I might want to start out a cook at a lower temperature and then ramp things up after a certain amount of time. With the programs function, I can monitor my meat temperature OR the amount of time the grill has been running and trigger a temperature change based on those values. You can have multiple events triggering changes at multiple stages of the cook. Maybe I want to have my grill temperature ramp down after my meat reaches a certain temperature to hold the food for a later service. That is certainly an option with this system.

 

This product definitely makes the Man Cave Meals Really Right Stuff list...

 

#FireBoard #AtlantaGrillCompany #MCMReallyRightStuff

 

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John, first of all, thanks for the video. Best full break down and review ive seen of it. secondly, did you use it at all to get your KJ up to temp? I am new to the KJ, had mine for about 2 months. I try and do 2-3 cooks a week on it. Not going to lie though, I am a little jealous of a friend that got a pellet grill and can have his grill going in 10-12 mins. But im happy with my KJ so far and have been following the FB 2 for possible purchase.

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42 minutes ago, TrentR said:

John, first of all, thanks for the video. Best full break down and review ive seen of it. secondly, did you use it at all to get your KJ up to temp? I am new to the KJ, had mine for about 2 months. I try and do 2-3 cooks a week on it. Not going to lie though, I am a little jealous of a friend that got a pellet grill and can have his grill going in 10-12 mins. But im happy with my KJ so far and have been following the FB 2 for possible purchase.

 

I do use it to get to temp.  You can have a Kamado grill up and running just about as fast as you can a pellet grill if you have the grill setup and ready to go.  

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Hey John, 

 

Thanks so much for the review.  I have one of these coming and hope to be able to share my experiences with it in the coming weeks.  Out of curiosity, I think I’ve seen in other posts that you’ve been setting your max fan rpms to around 20%.  In the video you mention 30%...  Are you changing it depending on the application?   Or do you find 20% feels right for pretty much all low and slow?  
 

Thanks for all you do!

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11 hours ago, riffraff said:

Hey John, 

 

Thanks so much for the review.  I have one of these coming and hope to be able to share my experiences with it in the coming weeks.  Out of curiosity, I think I’ve seen in other posts that you’ve been setting your max fan rpms to around 20%.  In the video you mention 30%...  Are you changing it depending on the application?   Or do you find 20% feels right for pretty much all low and slow?  
 

Thanks for all you do!

 

I did say 30% in the video because I made that segment of the video before I had ever hooked the unit up to the grill.  30% might be OK but I haven't actually tried it.  I just started at 20% and have kept it there.  I think 20% is ok for most low and slow applications.  If I was gonna cook at 350 or higher, which I do frequently, I would possibly set it to 40 or 50% but I can't really imagine ever wanting to go higher than that.

 

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55 minutes ago, Rick in Ontario said:

Thanks John, I have been waiting for this review.

 

I have also been trying hard to convince myself I don't need this even though I want it.

 

It's always about want over need in the world of cooking :)  I definitely can get by without a temp controller, but my tag line below sums up my opinion of them.

 

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3 hours ago, John Setzler said:

 

It's always about want over need in the world of cooking :)  I definitely can get by without a temp controller, but my tag line below sums up my opinion of them.

 

 

Oh, I know. It is a bigger decision on this side of the border though, the Fireboard 2 Drive with blower is $470.00 CDN shipped to my door so it is a bit tougher to decide.

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43 minutes ago, Rick in Ontario said:

 

Oh, I know. It is a bigger decision on this side of the border though, the Fireboard 2 Drive with blower is $470.00 CDN shipped to my door so it is a bit tougher to decide.

 

Educate me here... I paid $308 for my FireBoard 2 Drive and the 20cfm fan... Converting that to CAD is about $413 CDN.  Is that additional $57 shipping?  I have never understood the cost differentials between here and there unless it's taxes.  

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1 hour ago, John Setzler said:

 

Educate me here... I paid $308 for my FireBoard 2 Drive and the 20cfm fan... Converting that to CAD is about $413 CDN.  Is that additional $57 shipping?  I have never understood the cost differentials between here and there unless it's taxes.  

 

Ya, it looks like the tax is the difference, I don't know what taxes you pay there? Shipping is included

 

The links below are the Canadian distributor that is listed on Fireboard's site.

 

Drive kit, $329.00 - https://smokerbroker.ca/shop/bbq-accessories/fireboard-2-drive-kit/

 

Blower $88.00 - https://smokerbroker.ca/shop/bbq-accessories/drive-blower-20cfm/

 

That comes to $417.21, then add our tax @ 13% which is 54.21, all of that adds up to $471.21.

 

 

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Thanks for the review John, I do have a couple of questions.  1. Why did you not use the slo roller?  2. Does the Fireboard Drive power the fans as well, or is there separate power for that?  Looks like you are powering the Fireboard with a portable battery.  Would a normal USB phone charger work with it?

 

Thanks for your time!

 

Allan

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18 minutes ago, Pigfqr said:

Thanks for the review John, I do have a couple of questions.  1. Why did you not use the slo roller?  2. Does the Fireboard Drive power the fans as well, or is there separate power for that?  Looks like you are powering the Fireboard with a portable battery.  Would a normal USB phone charger work with it?

 

Thanks for your time!

 

Allan

 

I didn't use the sloroller because I wanted to use a drip pan that wouldn't fit if I did.  

 

The fireboard does power the fan.

 

A usb battery will work fine.  

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23 minutes ago, John Setzler said:

 

I didn't use the sloroller because I wanted to use a drip pan that wouldn't fit if I did.  

 

The fireboard does power the fan.

 

A usb battery will work fine.  

 

Thanks John.  

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One thing to note is that the internal batter on the Fireboard 2 Drive will EASILY power the fan for at least 12 hours if you are using a Kamado.

 

As our heat retention is so good, once you are up to temperature, the fan hardly has to run at all - and even then only at a fraction of it's full power.

 

I have done overnight cooks with it now at 225-250F and it has still had 75% of internal battery left even after 12 hours.

 

If it's fully charged, I have no qualms about letting it run all night on the internal battery. If you have less thermally efficient cooker than a Kamado, then your mileage may vary!

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Thanks adm.  I have an extension cord available if I would need it, and an external usb battery power source as well.  It sounds like the internal batter will do fine, or maybe a boost from an external battery pack for long cooks.  I am just glad I won't have to use the extension cord.  I am always afraid the dogs will pull my Flameboss off the grill as they run over the extension cord at full doggy steam.  I imagine a 65 pound Vizsla at 35-40 MPH would fling a temp controller far and wide if he hit the extension cord. 

IMG_20190123_220645.jpg

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