Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg to Experience our World of Flavor™ at:
Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #BigGreenEgg.

Want to see how the EGG is made? Click to Watch

Flameboss question

Options
I'm looking at the Flameboss 400 and 500. Is the 500 worth the extra $100?

For those that have either one, do you use it a lot? Pros/cons please.
«1

Comments

  • alaskanassasin
    alaskanassasin Posts: 7,733
    Options
    I really like the smobot fwiw. Never had a flame boss but the smobot has nailed every time I used it.
    South of Columbus, Ohio.


  • lkapigian
    lkapigian Posts: 10,842
    Options
    I have the 500, no regrets , the ability to work without internet , making adjustments on the unit would be worth it to me, I don’t use it on my egg, but really excels on the gravity feed 
    Visalia, Ca @lkapigian
  • CGS
    CGS Posts: 71
    Options
    skip the 400, it's limited to 1 meat, 1 pit, EGG Genius for couple buck more gives you multi-meat capability with Y Cables. 500 does not need Y cables to run 3 meats, direct connect. 500 also gives you grill side control without having your phone, very nice upgrade. 

    t
  • stlcharcoal
    stlcharcoal Posts: 4,688
    Options
    500.  I like having the screen.  I don't know my way around routers and wifi anymore.  So just in the case where I can't get the network going or my sketchy rural internet is down, I just set it on the display and walk away like the old days.  I also like the ability to monitor multiple meat probes, especially for poultry.  
  • WeberWho
    WeberWho Posts: 11,061
    edited March 2023
    Options
    I've owned a couple Guru's, Party Q, Auber Instruments PID controller, and a couple Stokers. The Flame Boss 500 has been the best Wifi controller I've owned. The Auber Instruments is super basic but I've never had an issue with it. Years later I gave to my brother-in-law and now he uses it. You can't kill it. 

    I've owned the Flame Boss 500 for a year or so now and zero issues. I've only used it on my gravity feed smoker but it holds it rock steady. 
    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • JohnfromKentucky
    Options
    Is the flame boss not battery powered?
    That would be a con as my power supply is not near where I cook and I don't want to run an extension cord
  • lkapigian
    lkapigian Posts: 10,842
    Options
    Is the flame boss not battery powered?
    That would be a con as my power supply is not near where I cook and I don't want to run an extension cord
    Is not battery power, but you can get the battery supply as an accessory , it comes standard with the 12 Volt Adaptor , I have the battery supply as well and it works perfect 
    Visalia, Ca @lkapigian
  • stlcharcoal
    stlcharcoal Posts: 4,688
    Options
    Is the flame boss not battery powered?
    That would be a con as my power supply is not near where I cook and I don't want to run an extension cord
    It's 12V, so you can attach it to any 12V power supply.  I use a CCTV plug, then attach to jump start pack or an old lawn mower battery.  
  • CGS
    CGS Posts: 71
    Options
    For battery, I like the car jump battery packs with the indicator that displays how much power remains available. they last many cooks but with the indicator, you can check power vs run time. It's almost easier running off a pack than plugging it in at times. 

  • JohnfromKentucky
    Options
    I really like the smobot fwiw. Never had a flame boss but the smobot has nailed every time I used it.
    I did a search on here for that. Very interesting and wow...it opens a whole new set of questions. 
  • JohnfromKentucky
    Options

    @CGS
    when I did a search on here, some of the accusations (for lack of a better word) about the flame boss was that it cycles the fan, so your temps can go down. Is this correct or bad info?
    I'm hoping to do more low/slow cooks as (so far) everything I have cooked seems to take 1/2 the time. Temps tend to run a bit hotter or cooler but I rarely get it on point the whole time.
    I just watched this video and have realized that I have been controlling my temps the wrong way
    https://youtu.be/KyVuEL_4hc4


    And his other video, I have always been lighting my charcoal on top when i want to do slow cooks..

    so I'm hoping that with this device, I can start it and then engage this and forget it until I am ready to put the meat on

  • Canugghead
    Canugghead Posts: 11,643
    Options
    ^^^ wow, at around 9:50 mark '...simply close the top vent, close the bottom vent, give it about 10, 15 minutes or so, your coal should be completely out'  :s
    canuckland
  • Photo Egg
    Photo Egg Posts: 12,110
    Options

    @CGS
    when I did a search on here, some of the accusations (for lack of a better word) about the flame boss was that it cycles the fan, so your temps can go down. Is this correct or bad info?
    I'm hoping to do more low/slow cooks as (so far) everything I have cooked seems to take 1/2 the time. Temps tend to run a bit hotter or cooler but I rarely get it on point the whole time.
    I just watched this video and have realized that I have been controlling my temps the wrong way
    https://youtu.be/KyVuEL_4hc4


    And his other video, I have always been lighting my charcoal on top when i want to do slow cooks..

    so I'm hoping that with this device, I can start it and then engage this and forget it until I am ready to put the meat on

    The Flame Boss uses a variable speed fan that spins faster or slower as needed. Will it stop at times? Yes, it certainly could. But the Egg is insulated so well that temp fluctuations are so minor compared to your home oven that probably swings at least 20 degrees and more.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • stlcharcoal
    stlcharcoal Posts: 4,688
    Options
    Photo Egg said:

    when I did a search on here, some of the accusations (for lack of a better word) about the flame boss was that it cycles the fan, so your temps can go down. Is this correct or bad info?
    The Flame Boss uses a variable speed fan that spins faster or slower as needed. Will it stop at times? Yes, it certainly could. But the Egg is insulated so well that temp fluctuations are so minor compared to your home oven that probably swings at least 20 degrees and more.
    This is correct.  They're the only ones that use a variable speed fan, so it's usually running a a very low speed.....but if the pit temp goes too high, then the fan will shut off.  That's why it's good to have the chimney cap closed a little further than than it normally would be for the same temp--so it chokes the fire.  Then you use the fan to push the air through the cap.

    But the pit temp are not going to "go down"......as soon as it's below the set temp, the fan kicks on and stokes the fire.  And to maintain, the learning algorithm will find whatever speed/frequency it needs to maintain the fire.  So it may vary a little bit, but remember, the probe is only measuring 1 cubic inch of air under the dome.  Like Damien said, it's going to vary at least 20 degree, and I'd say upwards of 50 degrees in a XL or 2XL.  Meat temp is what really matters, so as long as you're watching that, you'll be ok.
  • 6baluts
    6baluts Posts: 276
    Options
    Do not want to stir anything up but FireBoards newer fan is variable speed. The original fan that FireBoard used made by Auber Instruments was not variable speed.
  • GoldenQ
    GoldenQ Posts: 570
    Options
    I have the 300 and agree with stichcharcoal on liking to just use the screen
    I XL  and 1 Weber Kettle  And 1 Weber Q220       Outside Alvin, TX-- South of Houston
  • JohnfromKentucky
    Options
    @CGS
    thanks! That is a lot to digest. I'll give you a call sometime, I love learning new stuff.
  • Photo Egg
    Photo Egg Posts: 12,110
    Options
    @CGS
    thanks! That is a lot to digest. I'll give you a call sometime, I love learning new stuff.
    Tom, at Ceramic Grill Store, is a wealth of information and a long time Egghead. If you’re ever in the Dallas Texas area stop by his place for a visit.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • alaskanassasin
    alaskanassasin Posts: 7,733
    Options
    I really like the smobot fwiw. Never had a flame boss but the smobot has nailed every time I used it.
    I did a search on here for that. Very interesting and wow...it opens a whole new set of questions. 
    Works like the egg normally works, set the bottom vent where you normally would to achieve a temp throw it on top and it meters the top like you would. Just makes sense to me.  I know the other ones do this too but it’s awesome to be able to adjust your pit temp from anywhere.
    South of Columbus, Ohio.


  • JohnfromKentucky
    Options
    so a local guy says that he's not too happy with his FB. He says that it has been quirky and not very accurate. Though admittedly he hasn't used it much, just a couple of times.

    So, what questions could I ask him to get more information on why it is acting the way it is?

    Does the FB require it to be set up?
  • caliking
    caliking Posts: 18,746
    Options
    so a local guy says that he's not too happy with his FB. He says that it has been quirky and not very accurate. Though admittedly he hasn't used it much, just a couple of times.

    So, what questions could I ask him to get more information on why it is acting the way it is?

    Does the FB require it to be set up?
    Make an offer, and take it off his hands. You'll be happy with it. 

    And, don't worry about small swings in temp. I'll wager that its hard tell a cook that progressed with 20°-50°F swings now and then vs. a cook that went rock steady at a set temp throughout. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • stlcharcoal
    stlcharcoal Posts: 4,688
    Options
    so a local guy says that he's not too happy with his FB. He says that it has been quirky and not very accurate. Though admittedly he hasn't used it much, just a couple of times.

    So, what questions could I ask him to get more information on why it is acting the way it is?

    Does the FB require it to be set up?
    They are as quirky as their owner.  

    We've had that many times here for all controllers......people saying their controller went wild.  Yet they post the graph and the second the pit temp went above the set point, the fan was at 0% until an hour later when it came down below the set point (i.e. they had a air leak, vent open too much, pit probe in the wrong spot.)  Also a pit probe going bad can mess these things up, but it is easy to diagnose.

    Again, you're running a fan based of 1 cubic inch of air it's sensing under a big dome with all kinds of evaporation taking place.  Temps are going all over the place under there regardless if you have a controller.

    Don't over think this, it's just meant to be cruise control, not an autoclave.
  • blind99
    blind99 Posts: 4,971
    Options
    i'm still rocking a FB 200; I don't use it often, only when I've got a lot going on and doing a long cook.  These things work really well.  Here's a plot of a middle of winter brisket cook: https://www.myflameboss.com/en/cooks/9992

    it does work well, also, for getting the egg to temp prior to the cook.  sometimes i'll want to do a low slow cook starting in the early morning.  i'll start the fire before bed and set it at 250, and i'll be ready to go the next morning.
    Chicago, IL - Large and Small BGE - Weber Gasser and Kettle
  • wps456
    wps456 Posts: 91
    Options
    Love my 500. After reading CGS's post, I'm glad I've been doing it right. That's pretty much the same way I do my cooks too. The only thing I don't like about the FB (I'm guessing it's the same with other temp controllers too) is that there is usually a big difference in grid temp probe with the dome temp...sometimes about a 50 degree difference at first. It balances out over the cook but I never know which one to trust in the beginning of the cook.
  • Yno
    Yno Posts: 529
    Options
    I still have my FB 300 but bought a 500 when it came out. I do know how to control temps with the vents, but I like the insurance of a controller. Any problems I have ever had with cooks have always been traced to user error. Some things I always do. Light the lump and let it get well started before closing everything down. Let it get to about 50 or so degrees below target before starting the FB. And I clip the FB pit probe to the dome thermo. Most recipes use dome temp, so I don't care about the grid temp. The dome and FB temp are not always perfectly in sync but very close.
    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. And a new Flame Boss 500.
  • JohnfromKentucky
    Options
    Thanks all. I have asked him if he's willing to part with it. 
  • MaskedMarvel
    MaskedMarvel Posts: 3,159
    Options
    I will say I had used the hell out of my fb500 when I suddenly had Bizzaro fan issues, and FB evaluated and exchanged both my fan and controller. I was down for a few weeks - but that CS means something. And the replacements have been spot on. 

    Big BIG supporter of the FB500, here. Probably 100+ cooks in
    Large BGE and Medium BGE
    36" Blackstone - Greensboro!


  • Mr1egg
    Mr1egg Posts: 372
    Options
    The only problem with the flameboss is once u use it once you will never cook without it. 
  • Canugghead
    Canugghead Posts: 11,643
    Options
    Mr1egg said:
    The only problem with the flameboss is once u use it once you will never cook without it. 
    was thinking of you when I saw a liquidation place here selling a FB500 Universal kit for $150 recently
    canuckland