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Pit Controller Recommendations

TexAg87TexAg87 Posts: 22
edited June 2012 in EggHead Forum
I'm a new BGE owner, and interested in a powered pit controller/blower to maintain temperature on a low & slow cook. What has your experience been with these devices? What brand/model do you recommend?


  • Goliath626Goliath626 Posts: 4
    edited June 2012
    I'm somewhat new to the EGG, coming from a Weber smokey mountain. I use to use a Pitmaster IQUE 110 on the weber so I tried it on the EGG last weekend. Overnight pork butt it locked in at 250 dome temp for 19 hours straight, and my remote thermometer only showed differences of <10 degrees max over the whole time. I would say tough to beat this for the money.
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    DigiQ 2

    I controlled it manually for years.  It isn't hard, in fact it is one of the great features of the BGE.  I sorta equate it to a car with a stick shift.  If you learn on one of those, you will always know how to shift gears.  If all you know is an auto transmission, then you can't drive a stick shift.

    Be a good idea to master the vent and Daisy Wheel, THEN decide if you want a controller.
  • Rich_ieRich_ie Posts: 268
    edited June 2012
    DigiQ 2

    I controlled it manually for years.  It isn't hard, in fact it is one of the great features of the BGE.  I sorta equate it to a car with a stick shift.  If you learn on one of those, you will always know how to shift gears.  If all you know is an auto transmission, then you can't drive a stick shift.

    Be a good idea to master the vent and Daisy Wheel, THEN decide if you want a controller.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,771
    Taking a different approach here-the basic BGE setup- lower vent and DFMT, can do a great job of holding temperature within a very stable range for long duration cooks.  I would offer that you should consider getting comfortable with the manual (installed) gear for controlling temperature before deciding if you need/want to go with the auto equipment.  At least you will have an appreciation of what can be done without electronic assistance.  After that exercise, your call.  There are many here who don't use the after-marktet controllers and do just fine but there are those who swear by them-your choice.
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • danv23danv23 Posts: 813
    Love my BBqGuru

    The Dude: This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you's. And, uh, lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder's head. Luckily I'm adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug regimen to keep my mind, you know, limber.

    Walter Sobchak: Nihilists! *uck me. I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos. 

    Cumming, GA

    Eggs - XL, L, Small

    Gasser - Weber Summit 6 Burner

  • 3MBBQ3MBBQ Posts: 26
    I also have the Guru (it was a gift!). It is great for overnight cooks. The range works from the back deck to my upstairs bedroom in the front of the house. I still tend to wake up and check the remote, but it holds the temperature rock solid. Prior to the guru, i did several overnight cooks with equally good results except for once when the fire went out (not enough lump). 

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    Tex, you may be interested in reading my product reviews of all the major models: Product Reviews  It's a lot of reading but you may be able to skim it and narrow down your choices.  (The review of the new CyberQ Wifi from The BBQ Guru is in progress.)

    You should ask yourself a few questions:

    1) Do you only want to control your cooker, or do you want to also monitor food temps?
    2) Do you want to be able to control more than one cooker at the same time?
    3) Do you want to be able to monitor the controller from a PC or smart phone?

    Figure out what you want/need and then compare the models based on those functions and price.  They all work very well.
    The Naked Whiz
  • crmiltcrmilt Posts: 115
    I am a fan of pit controllers.  I have the cheap one for Auber Instruments and it works great.  For low ans slsow  cooks not sure I would worry about learning to control with the lower vent and DFMT when the controller can do it for you.
    __________ Chris
  • TexAg87TexAg87 Posts: 22
    Thanks for the responses, all.

    Whiz, I'll be sure to check out your reviews. Thanks for the link.
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    Tex, feel free to email me if you have any questions.  Good luck!
    The Naked Whiz
  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 4,628
    Pretty interesting comments. I've done a few low and slow it's pretty much set it and forget. I wouldn't sleep all night or get too far away but I really enjoy being one with my egg. Ha funny I know. I want a pit controller but I kinda feel like it would take the fun out of it or just make it an oven. I will prolly get one eventually though to use for important smokes like planned functions, overnights or get the wifi stuff so I could run errands or something.

    There's a need for them, but I vote to play with your egg for a while if you want to.


  • xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
    because of the stability of the egg, I just wanted a little extra security but didn't want to shell out all the money for a full blown guru or stoker. Went with the ique110 and have been extremely happy with it.
  • BadongBadong Posts: 126
    I am really happy with my Stoker WiFi.  Easy set-up, well developed 3rd party software (BBQ Monitor app, and Stoker Log for Windows) and very versatile with 6 inputs.  I sleep like a baby on overnight cooks.
  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 1,053
    Love my digiq.  This weekend, I smoked 2 briskets for about 20 hours and then put on 2 chickens for another 4.5 hours and the temperature held at 220 the entire time.  I used my Maverick 732 to monitor from where ever I was in the house.  I filled the XL to the middle of the fire ring and after 24.5 hours still had over half my lump left.  Cooked on the leftover coals last night and should have enough for tonight and tomorrow too. 

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Waunakee, WI

  • I agree with the comments here - I think everyone should learn how to manage temps for various cooks first before getting a controller.  Knock on wood - I have never had a fire go out or my target temps get out of line on low and slow cooks so you really don't need controllers.  It ends up boiling down to convienience and piece of mind.  I have two Guru units and I am extremely happy with them.  I used the WiFi unit this past weekend and the three food probes came in handy smoking 4 chuck roasts at one time and being able to track the temps on 3 of the 4 roasts.

  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,674

    Agree with most that you should learn how to do it manually first. Never know when something might happen. power goes out or your controller quits working for some other reason.

    As far as which one, that depends on the features you want and how much you are willing to spend. I got the one from Auber as i wasn't looking for wi-fi or some of those other features. Just wanted a simple one and it works great.

    One benefit I think most people over look, I can set my controller to 150 (for smoking sausages) and not worry about the fire going out. Try doing that manually. I'm not saying its impossible, but I hear its damn hard.image

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings


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