My latest contributing writer, Jon Solberg, has written an honest review of The Flame Boss 300 Wifi Enabled Smoker Controller- read all about Jon in his bio on my contributor’s page. Thanks for the awesome review Jon!…..
As a heavy-duty back yard cook I’ve been waiting a long time to for the right Wi-Fi thermometer /temperature controller to come along.
“What’s that?” you may be asking. When cooking on a backyard grill or smoker, monitoring the temperature both the meat and the cooking environment is the number one thing on my to do list. Maintaining the correct temperature is where the controller side of this equation comes in. A controller comes in a few variety. Most use a small fan and a thermostat to turn the fan on and off at certain temperature. This regulates the airflow to you charcoal allowing the temperature to go up or down as needed. Being able to monitor these temps remotely allows you to multi task and accomplish another thing while you’re cooking. This concept is not new. Bluetooth remote thermometers have ruled this world for while. They work well but their range is limited. Controllers have been around as well. The world of Wi-Fi enabled devices has been a hodgepodge of difficult to manage, crowdfunded, eclectic devices. That is until now.
Okay so what my point here? Let me tell you about The Flame Boss and the Flame Boss 300.
Flame Boss started in the Wi-Fi controller game back in 2013. They did this on their own dime. No crowdfunded “this might work if you help us”. They started producing personal controllers and worked out the issues. The Flame Boss adapts simple across multiple grills/smoker with a simple ¾” NPT fitting available at any hardware store. This is a big plus if like me you have a few different cookers. All the information and controls are available to you on a straight forward, web based user interface. Flameboss also just launched an app that can be downloaded on Apple ios, and Android is coming soon! You can monitor and adjust the temperature no matter where you are on your mobile device via the web app, or on your computer. With all this going for it I decided it was time for me to jump in!
I started to look at the latest offering, the Flame Boss 300. This unit comes with 1 meat probe and 1 to monitor the ambient temperature of you grill/smoker. Additional Y-Connectors and probes are available for purchase so you can add 2 additional meat probes giving you a total of 3 meat to 1 ambient. The High Temperature Meat Probes are of a industrial platinum resistance design and rated to 575˚f. The fan is a 15 CFM variable speed 12-volt beauty! The brains! Well let’s just say its got some got some. A PID controller (proportional–integral–derivative) which means it’s smart. It even knows when you open the lid and shuts the fan off temporally so you don’t over stoke your fire. Each of your cooks is charted out in an easy to understand graph that you can view on your computer or phone. Meat alarms, pit alarms, text notices. All the coolest tech. Use as much or as little of that as you like.
The order process from Flame Boss was simple and straight forward. Once I had the 300 in hand I ripped into that like a rat on a Cheeto. I wanted to get this baby on my Wi-Fi so I plugged in the probes and powered it up. I went the “typical guy” route and skipped reading the instructions first. The entire set up and connection took me about 15 minuets INCUDING setting up my online account at MyFlameBoss.com! It would have been faster if I could remember my Wi-Fi password. Did I mention I did this without looking at the manual? I honestly don’t recommend this approach BTW but is just that simple.
It’s time to get this baby on a cooker. I choose to get this up and running on a Weber 22”. Flame Boss has a short video on how to install the mount in a kettle. You can find that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g7cbmQQZnQ
This is most difficult part of setting up the Flame Boss. BUT if your using the Flame Boss on a Smokey Mountain or a ceramic type cooker you won’t need to do this step. Flame Boss has adaptors for those cooker. Really drilling holes in your Weber is not that bad. It’s just a “brain” thing. Just try and remember that it’s about the best BBQ possible. Perhaps soon a short write up on cooker hole drilling is in order. I drill lots of holes in cooker for cables. I like to call it “porting” the cooker. Just sounds fancy is all.
From there it’s easy. Plug in the Flame Boss connect your probes. Go to your MyFlameBoss.com and set up the temp you want. Load up your kettle with your fuel of choice. Fire it up. Close the bottom vent all the way. Open the top just a touch and you’re off! Add your meat and install the probe on the grate and in the meat and for the most part you’re done. I didn’t even wait for the cooker to reach temp. The Flame Boss handled it.
I’ve run three cooks with the 300 so far. Boston butt, chicken and ribs. I even had a chance to cook in the rain and that’s really where the rubber meets the road. Cool damp weather is where controllers shine. The Flame boss didn’t disappoint.
If it sounds like I’m a fan of the Flame Boss it’s because I am. I went into this very open minded. In the past, I’ve had my share issues in the Wi-Fi thermometer world. I’ve been waiting a long time for someone to get all the elements together in an easy to use package. The Flame Boss has gotten it done.
Be sure to check them out: Flameboss.com