What is a Smoker Temperature Controller and Why do you need one?
Okay, let’s talk about the Flame Boss Smoker Controller and how it will ensure you have a perfect cook without having to stand next to your grill ALL DAY.
I’m always excited to see a new package arrive at the door. I get even more excited when that package is from Flame Boss. Flame Boss is a company that started back in 2014 with a mission to “bring joy to cooking through connecting devices that make life easier.” They do this with their line of temperature control devices.
A temperature control device is a bit like cruise control for your smoker. It uses temperature measuring probes to monitor the temp of the cooker and employs a small fan to deliver (more or less) air to maintain that desired temperature. They also typically have a probe to measure the temp of what you’re cooking.
Today, Flame Boss sent me the Flame Boss 400 Wi-Fi Smoke Controller with Kamado Kit. It comes with everything you need to add this to your kamado-style cooker. The Flame Boss 400 is a similar product as the Big Green Egg Max Genius that is made specifically for the Big Green Egg. I’ll be using this 400 on my Big Green Egg. Flame Boss also makes a universal adapter kit, which allows you to add the 400 to whatever charcoal cooker you own.
What makes this controller different?
Most controllers come with the cooking probes, a fan, and a control unit (PCB) that talks to the fan and the probes. What Flame Boss did here is combine the fan and the PCB. Having both of these units together does a few things, like lowering the cost without affecting the quality (only $219 as of April 2019). It also greatly simplifies the process of using the 400, as you have one less thing to connect. This convenience does come at a small price. I’ll explain that in a minute, but first, let’s take a look at the Flame Boss 400.
The Flame Boss 400 Wi-Fi Smoke Controller with Kamado Kit consists of a:
- 12 CFM blower fan
- (1) High-temperature meat probe to monitor what you’re cooking (72” long rated to 475°)
- (1) High-temperature pit probe to monitor the temp of your cooker (72” long rated to 475°)
- Power supply
- (3) Adaptor plates that allow you to easily add the 400 to whatever kamado you have. These plates simply set into the draft door opening; no modifications are required for kamado users.
All of the controls and readouts are done via the Flame Boss online dashboard using your phone, tablet, or computer. As with all Flame Boss products, all of your cooks are graphed out and stored on the Flame Boss cloud while using the Cloud Connect mode. You can easily change the temperature of your cooker both up and down. Just set the dashboard to notify you by text when the meat heats the desired temperature. It will even lower the temp of the cooker when your meat hits the desired temperature to keep it warm for you. All this is done with your browser or Flame Boss app.
Settings and connecting
Setting up the Flame Boss 400 was fast and straightforward. I use the app on my phone. Keep in mind you can do this directly from any device with a browser as well.
Earlier, I mentioned that the convenience of having the brain (PCB) and the fan comes at a small price. By combining these two components, there is no LED readout on the unit, so you need to use a phone or tablet to keep an eye on things. So what if you don’t have internet available? Flame Boss has you covered with three other ways to connect to the 400:
Cloud Connect: This is where your 400 and your phone connect via the Flame Boss servers.
Local Connect: In this case, you can connect your device to the 400 via your home internet router. You can view and control your Flame Boss in this mode but cannot view your account page, history, graphs, or receive text alerts, as those features require being connected to the Flame Boss server.
Direct Connect: If you have no access to the internet or a local router, you can connect your device directly to the Flame Boss 400 to view and control your cook. Like the Local Connect mode, you can’t view your account page, history, graphs, or receive text alerts, as those features require being connected to the Flame Boss server with Cloud Connect. I do have it on good authority that Flame Boss is working behind the scenes to get those features added into the direct connect mode in future firmware updates.
The Flame Boss 400 Wi-Fi Smoke Controller is a highly functional and affordable temperature control devise. It is well built and simple to set up. It also comes with a one-year warranty and a 30-day customer satisfaction guarantee. I love this simple-to-use controller! I think you will too.
Till next time,
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