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Controllers

I read with interest the recent 'Best Controller' thread. I have a more general question: if one typically cooks at 350 and up, is a controller a value-add item? I read that @Mickey doesn't even use the DMFT, relying totally on the bottom vent; if I were to do that my bottom vent would barely be open.

One of the reasons I ask is that I have ruined a couple of cooks when the temp crept up to 400 without me realizing it soon enough. I have a Smoke (which replaced a Maverick that died) but the egg is far enough away that the remote loses connection with the base, so I have to go out to check. And I didn't. A controller would address this issue.

If I were to buy a controller I'd probably go with a Smobot. My wifi does not extend out to the patio: is the mySMOBOT feature an essential one?

Kevin

Beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, CA
XL BGE, Woo2, AR


Comments

  • DobieDobie Posts: 2,584
    I only use mine for smoking under 275
    Not playing well with others in Jacksonville FL
  • mEGG_My_DaymEGG_My_Day Posts: 788
    I never use mine above 300 or so and only on indirect cooks 
    Memphis, TN 
    LBGE, SBGE, Hasty-Bake Gourmet, Akorn (still in the box)
  • BBQ Guru CyberQ Cloud....easy peasy.
  • BBQ Guru CyberQ Cloud....easy peasy.
    I agree with Smitty. I use mine at 300+ but not often as I just don't usually cook above that temperature. It totally takes having to go out and check things out of the picture.
    Tampa Bay, Florida
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 11,765
    I say skip the controller if cooking at 350+ most of the time. 

    They are more useful for long low n slow cooks. Playing around with temp control for a 6 pack or more will help figure it out. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 8,384
    BBQ Guru CyberQ Cloud....easy peasy.
    I agree with Smitty. I use mine at 300+ but not often as I just don't usually cook above that temperature. It totally takes having to go out and check things out of the picture.
    Why encourage spending the big bucks on a WiFi controller when he stated his WiFi does not reach his grill?
    Just because it works for you does not mean it’s rifgt for all.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • GrillSgtGrillSgt Posts: 2,248
    edited November 8
    I'm not sure of your situation but look into a wifi repeater, they are cheap and will extend the distance for reception.

    In the last 6 months I have done more and more baking/roasting of dishes that typically would be cooked in an oven. I use my smobot because it's foolproof. I don't have to feel tethered to the egg even if it's just a 45 minute cook.
    Woodford & Barren Co. KY

    LBGE, XLBGE, Smobot, 2 Weber Genesis, Weber 22" kettle

    I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

  • I use my Flameboss 300 on turbo butts, running 350 for up to 8 hours with no problems.  I think the issue is the probe cables don't like >400 degrees.

    You don't need to set a Flameboss up for WiFi if you don't want to, as the controller can communicate directly to your phone (if you are cooking at the lake or park). It just won't store the history on the cloud, which is no big deal.

    Land of OZ-Hays Kansas

    BGE XL++Flameboss 300 WiFi++Blackstone 36"++Custom Gravity Feed cabinet smoker++2 Weber Kettles

  • DobieDobie Posts: 2,584
    Photo Egg said:
    BBQ Guru CyberQ Cloud....easy peasy.
    I agree with Smitty. I use mine at 300+ but not often as I just don't usually cook above that temperature. It totally takes having to go out and check things out of the picture.
    Why encourage spending the big bucks on a WiFi controller when he stated his WiFi does not reach his grill?
    Just because it works for you does not mean it’s rifgt for all.
    CyberQ creates its own WiFi in ad hock mode, no external WiFi needed if your staying home during the cook. 
    Not playing well with others in Jacksonville FL
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 8,384
    Dobie said:
    Photo Egg said:
    BBQ Guru CyberQ Cloud....easy peasy.
    I agree with Smitty. I use mine at 300+ but not often as I just don't usually cook above that temperature. It totally takes having to go out and check things out of the picture.
    Why encourage spending the big bucks on a WiFi controller when he stated his WiFi does not reach his grill?
    Just because it works for you does not mean it’s rifgt for all.
    CyberQ creates its own WiFi in ad hock mode, no external WiFi needed if your staying home during the cook. 
    But your grill still needs to be within range, that's the point. So still will not work if your phone wifi will not reach the controller on the grill from inside his house.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • DobieDobie Posts: 2,584
    Photo Egg said:
    Dobie said:
    Photo Egg said:
    BBQ Guru CyberQ Cloud....easy peasy.
    I agree with Smitty. I use mine at 300+ but not often as I just don't usually cook above that temperature. It totally takes having to go out and check things out of the picture.
    Why encourage spending the big bucks on a WiFi controller when he stated his WiFi does not reach his grill?
    Just because it works for you does not mean it’s rifgt for all.
    CyberQ creates its own WiFi in ad hock mode, no external WiFi needed if your staying home during the cook. 
    But your grill still needs to be within range, that's the point. So still will not work if your phone wifi will not reach the controller on the grill from inside his house.
    My ATT home WiFi will not reach my grill either, but the CyberQ does from my living room. 
    Not playing well with others in Jacksonville FL
  • dstearndstearn Posts: 1,228
    55Kevy said:
    I read with interest the recent 'Best Controller' thread. I have a more general question: if one typically cooks at 350 and up, is a controller a value-add item? I read that @Mickey doesn't even use the DMFT, relying totally on the bottom vent; if I were to do that my bottom vent would barely be open.

    One of the reasons I ask is that I have ruined a couple of cooks when the temp crept up to 400 without me realizing it soon enough. I have a Smoke (which replaced a Maverick that died) but the egg is far enough away that the remote loses connection with the base, so I have to go out to check. And I didn't. A controller would address this issue.

    If I were to buy a controller I'd probably go with a Smobot. My wifi does not extend out to the patio: is the mySMOBOT feature an essential one?
    How far is your patio from your router and which model router do you use.

    If your WIFI does not extend out to the patio it could be the location of the router, the strength of the signal especially if it is an older router.
    You could look into a mesh network to help boost the the wifi signal.

    Another option is to just set the temp manually on the control device but you will not be able to check remotely.
  • 510BG510BG Posts: 155
    caliking said:
    I say skip the controller if cooking at 350+ most of the time. 

    They are more useful for long low n slow cooks. Playing around with temp control for a 6 pack or more will help figure it out. 
    Well said. I've been having issues cooking low and slow. I'm starting to cook everything in turbo mode. 
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,966
    I think it would help some, but it wouldn't be a sure fire cure. The most important factor IMO is monitoring the internal temperature of the food. For example, even if the temp is holding steady at 350 sometimes things just cook way faster than we anticipate. You could go out to check your turkey and have 180 degree breast meat (ruined!). 

    Since you already have the smoke- perhaps consider the Wifi bridge for the smoke:
    https://www.thermoworks.com/Smoke-Gateway

    This just enables wifi connectivity to the smoke, so you still have the problem of getting Wifi coverage to the smoke gateway. According to the specs the gateway can be within 300 ft (line of site) to the smoke base, so theoretically it could serve to extend the range. Basically if your wifi coverage gets you within 300 ft of the smoke base then it should work. 

    (Router)----wifi----->(Smoke Gateway)---rf--->(Smoke base)

    If the Wifi won't reach the Smoke gateway then as others mentioned you could add a WiFi extender/repeater.


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • DobieDobie Posts: 2,584
    I think it would help some, but it wouldn't be a sure fire cure. The most important factor IMO is monitoring the internal temperature of the food. For example, even if the temp is holding steady at 350 sometimes things just cook way faster than we anticipate. You could go out to check your turkey and have 180 degree breast meat (ruined!). 

    Since you already have the smoke- perhaps consider the Wifi bridge for the smoke:
    https://www.thermoworks.com/Smoke-Gateway

    This just enables wifi connectivity to the smoke, so you still have the problem of getting Wifi coverage to the smoke gateway. According to the specs the gateway can be within 300 ft (line of site) to the smoke base, so theoretically it could serve to extend the range. Basically if your wifi coverage gets you within 300 ft of the smoke base then it should work. 

    (Router)----wifi----->(Smoke Gateway)---rf--->(Smoke base)

    If the Wifi won't reach the Smoke gateway then as others mentioned you could add a WiFi extender/repeater.
    Most controllers monitor the food temp also with multiple probes and have alarms for it also. 
    Not playing well with others in Jacksonville FL
  • 55Kevy55Kevy Posts: 149
    I think it would help some, but it wouldn't be a sure fire cure. The most important factor IMO is monitoring the internal temperature of the food. For example, even if the temp is holding steady at 350 sometimes things just cook way faster than we anticipate. You could go out to check your turkey and have 180 degree breast meat (ruined!). 

    Since you already have the smoke- perhaps consider the Wifi bridge for the smoke:
    https://www.thermoworks.com/Smoke-Gateway

    This just enables wifi connectivity to the smoke, so you still have the problem of getting Wifi coverage to the smoke gateway. According to the specs the gateway can be within 300 ft (line of site) to the smoke base, so theoretically it could serve to extend the range. Basically if your wifi coverage gets you within 300 ft of the smoke base then it should work. 

    (Router)----wifi----->(Smoke Gateway)---rf--->(Smoke base)

    If the Wifi won't reach the Smoke gateway then as others mentioned you could add a WiFi extender/repeater.
    I thought about doing this, but have read some really bad reviews of the Gateway and Thermoworks execution of the wifi integration.  Does anyone here have a Gateway and if so what has been your experience?

    And thank-you all for your feedback! This is a great forum.

    Kevin

    Beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, CA
    XL BGE, Woo2, AR


  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,472
    IMO, a controller is not a "value-add" item with the cooks you describe. I'm with @Mickey (turbo everything, no controller, no DFMT). I turbo cook "lo n slo" things at about 320° and short duration cooks at maybe 350-500°. It's a fairly simple matter to reliably maintain these temps on an egg. 

    I have a DigiQ2 controller and never use it. I used to, until I started turbo cooking. I also have a Maverick, but the only time I use it is for a reverse seared steak. And sometimes, not even then. I just walk outside when I think things need checking.

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

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • 510BG510BG Posts: 155
    IMO, a controller is not a "value-add" item with the cooks you describe. I'm with @Mickey (turbo everything, no controller, no DFMT). I turbo cook "lo n slo" things at about 320° and short duration cooks at maybe 350-500°. It's a fairly simple matter to reliably maintain these temps on an egg. 

    I have a DigiQ2 controller and never use it. I used to, until I started turbo cooking. I also have a Maverick, but the only time I use it is for a reverse seared steak. And sometimes, not even then. I just walk outside when I think things need checking.
    Lo n slo at 320 is the new movement 😎
  • YnoYno Posts: 125
    When I had DSL my WiFi signal was too weak to reach the back yard, so I bought a cheap extender that just plugged in to an outlet. Went I went to cable the signal is much stronger (and faster!) and doesn't need the extender.

    I learned how to control temps manually on my XL and twelve hour cooks were very stable. I didn't trust an over-nighter though. So I bought a Flame Boss 300 and use it all the time. I know some people think it unnecessary, and I could live without it, but I live without a lot of things that some people here seem to think are indispensable. And I LIKE cooking at 225*. Different strokes for different folks. I also like to go online and see a history of past cooks. This way I don't have to take notes, which is good, since my memory gets shorter as the years pass by...
    XL BGE in San Jose, CA. Also a Pit Barrel Cooker, a Cal Flame P4 gasser, and lots of toys including the first ever Flame Boss 300 in the wild.
  • reinhart36reinhart36 Posts: 190

    @55Kevy ; - Thanks for your questions.

    No sir, connectivity to mySMOBOT isn't needed for proper controller operation - Just for remote monitoring, data logging, alarms, etc.

    There are apps available in Beta now, incidentally..  They're very nice.

    The WiFi doesn't really add much cost to the controller, so I wouldn't regard it as a wasted component of cost, incidentally.


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