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Stoker or BBQ Guru??

drbrjb01drbrjb01 Posts: 39
edited 5:13PM in EggHead Forum
Is there a consensus here? Is there an advantage that one has over the other? THanks for any info.


  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,838

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Ton's of info on this can be found by doing a search.

    I have and use both the Stoker and DigiQ (q2). Both are great. If you are "only" going to monitor 1 meat and the pit it really doesn't matter which unit you get.

    If you take the time to read the manual on the Stoker it is as simple 2 use as the DigiQ (q2). If you are doing a second cook the same as the first, nothing needs to be changed on either unit. If you need a higher temperature on the pit and or a different meat temperature you need to push some buttons on either unit to get the new settings. Nothing harder than that.

    Beyond that, for me, the Stoker is a better choice. I can control multiple eggs and monitor multiple foods on almost any number of eggs at the same time. I can control all those items remotely on any device that has internet connectivity. The stoker can email and tweet the information if desired.

    If I have a temperature or pit probe go out for one reason or another on the Stoker I simply assign a different probe food or pit to control the blower. Ont he q2 you need to have a probe on hand or buy a new probe and wait for delivery.

    Service is great from both companies. It seems a phone call works best with the Stoker folks.

    Labor day I cooked brisket on the large egg using the Stoker and 2 Boston Butts on the medium using the q2. Obviously the q2 could only monitor 1 of the Boston butts. I then added 3 extra probes to the Stoker when went over to the medium egg and monitored the q2 cook. 1 probe for the pit and 1 probe each in the 2 Boston Butts.

    I then went into the computer and pulled up the Stokler program and monitored both cooks on the same screen. I could change any control settings on the stoker (the large egg) and monitor all probes with alarms on both eggs. The Stoker could not change the settings on the q2 obviously but it could monitor. My son turned on his Iphone and was also watching and could control the settings if needed. It turned out that I needed to bump the temperature on the brisket and that was done from my sons Iphone.

    If you think you will need to expand at some point in time and/or like techie stuff get the Stoker.

    I bought the q2 and then decided I wanted to play around with the temperatures via computer and ended up buying the Stoker. I haven't sold either one as of yet. For my use if I got rid of one of the controllers it would be the DigiQ.

    If you end up deciding you want the DigiQ then take a look at the Auberins controller. I have heard from several forum members who really like it. The overall cost was about $120.

    Another Low cost controller is the iQue 110 again recommended by forum members.

    Hope this sheds a little more light with your search.

  • cookingdude555cookingdude555 Posts: 1,423
    Hey Kent, great info, as always. I would only add another controller option that I purchased 3 or so months ago, the pitmaster IQ ( I have used it on my small and large eggs, as well as my bubba keg. It worked really well. Although I have noticed it uses more lump than just doing a 'normal' draft cook. I am not sure if that is the fault of the pitmaster, or controllers in general. My brother in law has a stoker and reports the same thing on his three cookers that he uses the stoker on (backwoods, bge, and big steel keg). But is sure is nice not to have the maverick waking you up to check temp swings.

    John - SLC, UT

     Webers, Eggs, Bubba Keg, Smokin-It #3, Blackstones

  • drbrjb01drbrjb01 Posts: 39
    ...this is exactly the type of response i was hoping to get...thanks!
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Hey, there you are. Hope all is well. I have a Buckboard Bacon Kit here for you.

    I though you were using the Aurber. I will take a look at the site and include it in the post.

    I am not sure how I would tell but I don't think I am using more lump when using the Stoker or q2. I am not sure how I could quantify that.

    The amount of heat for a given temperature is predicated on fuel and oxygen. I wonder if there would be any difference in the free air drawn into the lump bed as apposed to an allotted amount of forced air into the lump bed.

    The lump will go out using the Stoker by turning the unit off, I am guessing due to the 'flapper door' in the blower.

    The q2 allows free air to pass through the blower and I have to remove the blower or cap the adapter in order for the lump to go out.

    Both cases above the DFMT is left alone during the shut down.

    If you are still teaching at the redwood campus give me a call and stop by after class one evening.

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    You should find out what they both do and then decide based on their features. I have reviews of all the major temperature controllers on my website here:

    Product Reviews

    Basically, I think the BBQ Guru products are simpler to use, but if you want to monitor the device remotely or have more than one cooker going, the Stoker is better.
    Good luck!
    The Naked Whiz
  • my brother had a stoker and it broke and when he called the company the guy was really nasty to him so he got rid of it and got the guru which he really says he likes. He uses it all the time.
    Smokin' in the beautiful Oley Valley (in PA.) 
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    From my experience that is very unusual. Two years out of warranty, I flashed the unit. It reported successful but was actually bricked.

    Called Stoker explained the problem and said I had a copy of the screen shot with the flash procedure. No questions I was asked to send it in.

    Stoker sent me out a new unit - again this was out of warranty and no fault of Stoker, something on my end.

    Earlier I had a probe reading wrong. I went through the calibration process and it wouldn't correct. Once again Stoker replaced the probe (newer model) without question.

    Never a penny out of my pocket.

    My experience, their service is top notch.

    One though, I didn't approach the problem angrily or rudely just a fact there was a problem.

  • cookingdude555cookingdude555 Posts: 1,423
    What do you think about lump usage between either controller and just using the vent settings to control your temp? Do you think that there is more lump used with the controller? It hasnt been a big deal, just kind of something I have noticed. I plan on getting the stoker someday, but the pitmaster works for now. I have other toys I want in front of the stoker first :laugh: .

    I do have a class at the redwood campus tomorrow, I can stop by if your home in the afternoon. I have a firebox basket idea I want to run by you too.

    John - SLC, UT

     Webers, Eggs, Bubba Keg, Smokin-It #3, Blackstones

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Logically there shouldn't be any difference with or without a blower. I don't think I use any more. In my large I have the turbograte and am think that uses more lump, however, using the same logic the turbograte shouldn't use any more either.

    I'll be here tomorrow and I have something for you to put on your wings/chicken.

    Give me a call before you head this way 967.7696 the car won't be in the drive - I cleaned out the garage enough to get it in there when the wife doesn't have it.

    I watched the video of the iQue 110. other than the funky air tube it looks pretty neat. The price is right though for a pit controller. How's the bubba holding up and are you still liking it?

  • Fire WalkerFire Walker Posts: 241
    Two words customer service, Guru has it hands down.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Sorry to hear you have had poor service with Stoker, it would be interesting to learn of the details of your experience.

    I've got both the DigiQII and the Stoker. Have had problems with both units. Both companies have fixed the problems with out any hitches other than shipping time back and forth. DigiQII was in warranty, no cost other than the Shipping/Handling. Stoker, out of warranty no cost what so ever.

    Both units do a great job. Both basic units on both cost about the same, last time I checked. Love the bright LCD on the DigiQ(q2), just ok on the stoker for these old eyes.

    Well, I never need the Stoker LCD as I can monitor & make changes from any device that has browser access to my LAN or anywhere in the world if I open the port to the WWW.

    q2 is great for one egg and one meat probe and that is the maximum capability capability of the q2. Simple and easy to use.

    I have seen the Stoker control 6 eggs and 6 meat probes all at the same time cooking. I have had the Stoker control 2 eggs and monitor 6 cuts of meat on the two eggs.

    For a basic 1/1 setup it really wouldn't matter which one purchases. The q2 has a smaller food print and alarms are visual access to the q2 or audio alarm from the control head. Stoker has those options also as well as control & monitoring from virtually anywhere. For versatility, Stoker.

  • I have never used a Guru but I have had my Stoker for over two years and have had no problems.....I have had some questions and they were answered always in a timely manner

    Now with the videos online on their website, you can get the answers to most of your question, right away

    The fact that the Stoker has so many more features, made it an easy choice for me to choose which temp control to buy
  • aemaem Posts: 115
    I don't think you ever get consensus on something like this. FWIW, I picked the DigiQ DX because I wanted something small and easy. I decided against something that was internet connected because I would become obsessed with monitoring and analyzing the data from all my cooks. I wanted something I could plug in, set, and forget. The DX gave me that. I also use a Maverick ET732 to allow me to check on the temps without going outside. I've only used it twice, once overnight, but it did exactly what I wanted it to do.

    One of these days I'll get up the nerve to try ramp mode.
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