What Are Automatic Barbeque Temperature Controllers? The Complete Buyers Guide

The secret to Low ‘n Slow cooking is being able to hold a stable 220°F temperature over many hours. If you own a charcoal or wood smoker, you would know this can be a challenge sometimes, especially if there’s a change in weather. A strong gust of wind can destabilize your smoker and dry out your brisket. Automatic barbecue temperature controllers solve this problem and will turn your normally unpredictable charcoal smoker into a set-and forget pit to rival a pellet grill or electric smoker.

Barbecue temperature controllers integrate with your smoker to regulate the airflow, helping your grill/smoker to reach and maintain the target temperature. Most fan control units will contain two main parts; a fan and a controller. The fan attaches to the intake vent of the smoker and provides constant airflow. This removes the dependence on natural wind flowing through the vents. Since the fire won’t fluctuate as it would with wind, the heat will stabilize.

Key Points

  • Automatic barbecue temperature controllers help regulate the airflow in a smoker to maintain a stable temperature over many hours.
  • They consist of two main parts: a fan that attaches to the intake vent of the smoker and a controller where the user can set the temperature and attach thermometer probes.
  • The controllers usually have at least two thermometer probes: one to monitor the temperature of the cooker and another to track the internal temperature of the meat.
  • They are typically designed to fit popular smokers such as Kamados, Drum Smokers, Offset Smokers, and Kettle Grills and are heat-proof and weather-proof to operate outdoors.
  • While fan controllers are considered luxury items, they can help improve the consistency and efficiency of meat smoking.
  • Prices for barbecue temperature controllers vary, with basic models costing around $200 and more advanced models with WiFi technology selling for around $400.

Total Control

I first became curious about automatic temperature controllers when watching world barbecue champion Harry Soo on the television series Barbecue Pitmasters. In competitions, Harry always uses the same fan controller on his trusty Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal grill. Harry says the reason he uses a fan is that he cannot afford any room for error. A fan controller attached to his WSM provides Harry and other pitmasters like him with stable airflow so they can concentrate on other aspects of the cook.

All units have a controller where the user can set the temperature and attach thermometer probes. A controller should have at least two thermometer probes; one to monitor the temperature of your cooker and the other probe to track the internal temperature of the meat. Most temperature controllers come with adaptors to fit all the popular smokers, such as Kamados, Drum Smokers, Offset Smokers and Kettle Grills. Barbeque fan control systems need to be heat proof and waterproof to operate outdoors. The fan component that connects to the smoker are heat resistant up to about 200F, so the unit will can remain close to high-heat as long as it isn’t directly touching the hot coals. Fan controllers are all enclosed in a casing, making them weather proof.

Are Fan Controllers Necessary?

Fan controllers definitely fall into the luxury item category, and you can absolutely survive without one. An automatic blower is one of those attachments that will take your barbecue to the ‘next-level’ help you become a more efficient pitmaster. If you take meat smoking seriously and do a lot of backyard cooking, then a fan controller might be something to consider.

How Much Are BBQ Temperature Controllers?

The cost varies depending on the level of technology. The newer temperature controllers are equipped with Wi-Fi technology and are managed via an App, whereas the older models are straightforward, which is reflected in the price. A basic automatic temperature controller will cost about $200, and the more expensive hi-tech models sell for about $400.

The 7 Best Automatic BBQ Temperature Controllers

Here are the 7 most popular automatic temperature controllers on the market. The temperature controllers on this list vary from expensive high-tech controllers to simple, more affordable options. Depending on your budget and level of tech that you are comfortable with, this list should cover all bases. The lineup includes:

The DigiQ:

  • It is designed for use with the Weber Smokey Mountain smoker
  • Has a large LCD screen displaying cooker and meat temperatures
  • Has a fan control to regulate the airflow in the smoker

ThermoWorks Billows:

  • It is a fan-only temperature controller
  • Can be used with a variety of different smokers
  • Has an LED light that changes color to indicate the fan’s speed, and a user-adjustable delay to prevent the fan from kicking on and off too frequently


  • A wifi-enabled controller
  • Connects to the Smartfire app to monitor the cook and adjust temperature settings remotely
  • Can be used with a variety of different smokers

Pitmaster IQ120:

  • Has an LCD screen that displays the temperature of the cooker and meat
  • Has a fan control to regulate the airflow in the smoker
  • Can be used with a variety of different smokers

CyberQ BBQ Guru:

  • Has an LCD screen that displays the temperature of the cooker and meat
  • Has a fan control to regulate the airflow in the smoker
  • Can be used with a variety of different smokers

Flame Boss 500:

  • A wifi-enabled controller
  • Connects to the Flame Boss app to monitor the cook and adjust temperature settings remotely
  • Can be used with a variety of different smokers

FireBoard 2:

  • A wifi-enabled controller
  • Can monitor up to 6 probes and track multiple cooks at once.
  • Connects to the FireBoard app to monitor the cook and adjust temperature settings remotely

This is a selection of some popular Automatic barbecue Temperature Controllers, there may be other brands and models that you might consider. Some of them have different functionalities, compatibility and price ranges.

1. The DigiQ From BBQGuru

If you’re looking for an automatic temperature controller without all the bells and whistles of modern technology – then look no further than the DigiQ from BBQGuru. The DigiQ attaches to any smoker with a mount that’s included, and will control the temperature of your charcoal smoker so you won’t even have to adjust the vents.

Set your target temperature then kick back and let the blower do the work. The unit has two probe inserts which allows you to monitor the temperature of the meat and the other probe can track the ambient temperature of your pit.

The DigiQ has a lot of features to boast about, without becoming overly complicated or confusing for users. There’s no app as there are with more modern options, so you don’t have to deal with technology problems. And whilst what it doesn’t have is a bonus for many old-school BBQ pros, here’s what it does have:

The DigiQ is an automatic barbecue temperature controller that has a lot of features for monitoring food and smoker temperature. It comes equipped with RTD (Resistance Temperature Detector) probes that can handle high temperatures of up to 500F, LED display for easy reading in any light, two alarms to measure the temperature inside the smoker and when the meat reaches a certain temperature, Pit Viper fan for regulating airflow through the intake vent of the smoker and open lid detection that shut off when the lid is opened to prevent false temperature readings.

It also has a high temperature range of up to 450°F on Ceramic Kamado smokers and a cool down feature that lowers the ambient temperature of the smoker when the meat is almost done to prevent it from getting overcooked. Pros of the DigiQ include its versatile Pit Viper fan, easy set up with clear manual, simple and intuitive design and no need to constantly monitor the smoker as the DigiQ’s results are reliable. The cons are limited features compared to more advanced and tech-y options and only two RTD probes which may not be sufficient for some users.


RTD probes for monitoring food and smoker temperature: This is great because they are platinum probes and so can stay in the hot temperatures of a smoker for longer. They’re actually safe to use at 500 F. This means that you get accurate readings over time, which is perfect for those dishes that require you to cook them low ‘n’ slow at a stable temperature.

LED display makes for easy reading in any light.

Two alarms: One for measuring the temperature inside the smoker – you can set a range of the temperature and if your smoker goes above or below this, the alarm will sound so you can fix it. The second alarm will sound when your meat reaches the temperature set by you.

Pit Viper fan: Included with the DigiQ is the Pit Viper fan that attaches to your smoker and blows air in through the intake vent on your smoker.

Open lid detection: No longer will your temperature fluctuate massively when you open the lid, so you won’t get false readings as is quite common with older barbecue automatic temperature controllers. Now, the DigiQ simply shuts off when the lid is opened.

High Temperature Range: The fan has three temperature ranges, and the high range can reach up to 450°F on Ceramic kamado smokers.

Cool down feature: When meat is almost done, the ambient temperature of the smoker will be cooled so your meat is never overdone.


There’s a lot to write home about here, and many of the features listed above could all be added into this section too, but we’ll try to keep this part fresh. Here are some more pros:

Pit Viper fan: The adapter will work different for every model of smoker, but it’s versatile and can be used will almost every smoker, so you’ll get the most out of your DigiQ.

Set up: This is straightforward, and the manual is clear to follow. The six-foot cables on the RTD probes make everything much smoother too, as many smoker users have complained about fiddling around with shorter cables on probes in the past.

Simplicity: This is the DigiQ’s biggest claim to fame in our opinion. The design is intuitive, straightforward, and really easy to follow. Even the most technophobic smokers out there will get their head around this one!

No more babysitting: Of course, it’s the job of every barbecue temperature controller to take care of things for you, but the DigiQ results are so reliable across so many users’ tests, that you can be confident with just sitting back and letting the DigiQ do the work for you.


There are a couple of cons that we have to point out, because we know that not every smoker user has the same likes. So here are the problems we found:

Limited features: If you’re looking for something tech-y this one isn’t for you. We like that it’s simple, but not everyone will.

Only two probes: Some people prefer more for more accurate readings. We couldn’t find any instances of the DigiQ underperforming on accuracy though.

Price Comparison

If you compare it to the more modern barbecue temperature controllers, then you’re going to see that the DigiQ is a steal. Of course, you don’t get the same amount of features, but with this sitting at somewhere around the $200 mark from most retailers, you really can’t complain! Check the latest price here.

The Verdict

Overall, we loved the DigiQ. It’s not packed full of complicated features, but we love that! For us, barbecuing and smoking shouldn’t involve high-tech gear you struggle to get the most out of. Smoking meat is all about time and temperature, which is what DigiQ does well. For us, it’s about simplicity, and DigiQ excels at that. You’re still in control with a DigiQ, it just acts as a reassurance that your meat is cooking how it should be and your smoker’s temperature is at the right spot. We loved it, and we think you will too!

2. ThermoWorks Billows

Billows is a temperature control fan that only works with the Signals BBQ Alarm.The Billows fan sells for about $70 and the Signals BBQ alarms is around the $200 range. By itself, the Signals BBQ alarm is an exceptional thermometer, and one of the market leaders.

Paired with Billows, the automatic temperature controller, the combination is a game changer. There are some great temperature controllers on the market, but ThermoWorks is the most trusted name in the food industry for producing high-quality thermometers. The Signals alarm uses wireless technology to alert the user of temperature changes via an app on a smartphone or tablet.


  • 3 Cooking Probes
  • 1 High Temp Air Probe
  • Grate Clip
  • 12V USB Power Adapter
  • 8 High Temp Silicone Color Probe Rings.

ThermoWorks Billows is a barbecue temperature controller designed to make it easier to maintain a stable temperature in your smoker. It is a standalone unit that comes with a single RTD (Resistance Temperature Detector) probe, that can also be compatible with additional probes.

It allows you to monitor and control the temperature of your smoker with a range of -58 to 572°F (-50 to 300°C), and an accuracy of ±1.8°F (±1°C). The device features an LCD backlit display, which makes it easy to read the temperature in any lighting condition.

Also, it also has an audio and visual alarm which alerts you when your smoker temperature goes above or below the set temperature range, which is customizable. The controller also allows you to fine-tune the temperature with a control range of ±15°F (±8°C). The Billows is built-to-last, sealed, and weatherproof, it also has a long battery life of up to 12 hours of continuous use with alkaline batteries.

Billows Cons

The Billows fan will only work with the Signals BBQ alarm and not any other Thermoworks thermometer, or any other BBQ alarm. Some automatic temperature controller fans are compatible with different temperature controllers, however, the Billows will only work with Signals.

3. Smartfire BBQ

The Smartfire BBQ is one of the modern App-controlled temperature controllers that allows you to manage your brisket from anywhere.The Smartfire App displays useful temperature graphs to help you easily track the cook. The App allows you to raise or lower the temperature of your smoker remotely on your tablet or smartphone.


  • Celsius and Fahrenheit
  • 4 Probe slots
  • wireless probe capability
  • Probe length 1.5M / 5’
  • Probes operating range -40C to 350C / -40F to 660F
  • Operating range 14F to 131F ( 10C to 55C)
  • Controller 110mm L x 51 W x 72 H / 4.4″ x 2.04″ x 2.84″
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth

Smartfire is a barbecue temperature controller that connects to your smartphone, and lets you remotely monitor and control the temperature of your smoker, using a mobile app. It consists of two main parts: a temperature probe, which measures the temperature inside your smoker and a control unit, which regulates the airflow and temperature of your smoker.

Smartfire uses advanced algorithms to accurately predict and adjust the temperature of your smoker in real-time, ensuring that your food is cooked to perfection. With Smartfire, you can easily set your desired temperature and cooking time, and it will automatically adjust the airflow to maintain the temperature, even in adverse weather conditions. You can also monitor your cooking progress, and receive alerts when your food is ready.

Smartfire can also be configured to work with most types of smokers, including kamado grills, offset smokers, pellet grills, and electric smokers. Smartfire is considered as one of the advanced tech-y controller with variety of features and flexibility, it offer Wi-Fi capability to connect with your mobile app.

Setup and Installation

Once you have downloaded the Smartfire App, you will be able to read through the various detailed user guides to help you through the installation, as well as some useful tips.

Setting up and installing Smartfire is a pretty straightforward process. Here’s a general overview of what you need to do:

  1. Unbox your Smartfire controller and take out all the components. You should have the control unit, temperature probe, and power supply.
  2. Install the batteries in the control unit (if it requires batteries), or plug it in using the power supply.
  3. Connect the temperature probe to the control unit, making sure the connections are secure.
  4. Turn on the control unit and place it on your smoker. You will see a blue LED light flash, which indicates that the controller is powered on.
  5. Download the Smartfire app on your smartphone from the app store. You will need to create an account if you don’t already have one.
  6. Once you open the app, it will prompt you to add a new device. Press the button on the control unit to enter pairing mode, and follow the instructions on the app to connect it to your home Wi-Fi network.
  7. Once your Smartfire controller is connected to the app and your Wi-Fi network, you can begin using it to control your smoker. You can set the temperature, monitor cooking progress, and receive alerts when your food is ready.

It is important to note that this is a general outline and you should refer to the instructions manual of your specific device as the instructions may vary among different models.

Connecting Smartfire to Your Smoker

The Smartfire connects to your smoker using a female adaptor that is compatible with different smokers, such as Kamados. Smartfire is also compatible with the popular BBQ Guru adaptor, which is great if you are upgrading.

Connecting Smartfire to your smoker is an important step in using this temperature controller to regulate the temperature of your smoker. Here’s a general overview of the process:

  1. Determine the type of smoker you have, and identify the location of the intake vent and exhaust vent. These vents are typically located at the bottom of the smoker, and are used to regulate airflow.
  2. Attach the Smartfire controller to the intake vent. There are different ways to do this depending on your smoker, but most Smartfire controllers come with a hose that can be clamped or screwed onto the vent. Make sure the controller is securely fastened to the vent.
  3. Connect the temperature probe to the Smartfire controller. The probe is usually inserted into a port on the controller, and then screwed into place. Make sure the connections are secure.
  4. Position the probe inside your smoker, ideally close to the meat but not touching it.
  5. On the Smartfire app, set your desired temperature and you are ready to go.

It’s important to keep in mind that different smoker types and models may require different setup steps and settings. So, it is always recommended to consult the manual of your specific smoker and temperature controller device and make sure to follow the instructions carefully.

Power Source

A 5V battery powers the Smartfire, making it compatible with most power banks that are commonly available. The unit is powered via a USB socket on a regular phone charger, which makes it universal and eliminates the need for conversion adapters. However, if you want to use the Smartfire without using mains power, all you need to do is plug it into a power bank.

Smartfire Cons

No power adapter included but takes a USB wall wart. Smartfire ships universally, but it should charge when plugged into a regular phone power supply.

The need for a power bank. If you want to use the Smartfire away from the mains power, you need to plug the unit into a USB power bank. If you are smoking a 15 hour brisket, you will need a power bank capable of lasting 15 hours. Often, power banks are unreliable when not fully charged, and will therefore cause the Smartfire to give irregular temperature readings. Always use a power bank that has twice the battery life than required. A long smoke such as brisket can take up to 10 plus hours, so use a power bank with a 30 plus hour battery.

Not Completely Water Proof. The Smartfire is water resistant enough to handle light rain if the unit is positioned correctly in an upright position. The fan controller has several holes for airflow, so water will get into the unit if not positioned correctly. For this reason, it’s best to use the Smartfire in an undercover area such as a patio or Alfresco. On the Smartfire Facebook group, users have come up with solutions to make the fan controller waterproof by cutting a hole in a plastic tupperware container.

Partially Heat Resistant. The Smartfire is heat resistant, however, care needs to be taken to keep the unit away from direct heat. The fan controller case is resistant to 130C / 266F. The electrical components located inside the unit are heat resistant between 65C / 150F. The manufacturer advises users to place a wire barrier or a water pan to prevent charcoal being too close to fan adaptor.

Check the latest price of the Smartfire here.

4. Pitmaster IQ120 BBQ Temperature Regulator Kit

The Pitmaster IQ120 is something I’ve got a little experience with, so I know how great this barbecue automatic temperature controller is. If you saw my last post about the DigiQ, then imagine the Pitmaster IQ120 as a perfect alternative to that. But before we worry about comparing this product with any others, let’s just shine a spotlight on the Pitmaster IQ120 itself.

Specs & Features
Ambient and food probes: Capable of monitoring the ambient temperature of the smoker with an alligator clip for the grates, and monitoring the internal temperature of the food too.
Simple display: LED display tells you everything you need from the set temperature, actual temperature, whether the fan is running, and any alarms that are going off.
User controls airflow: Allows the user to directly influence the temperature fluctuations.
Airflow manifold: Fits securely over the lower vents of any smoker, and supplying air to cool down the smoker is a simple task.

The Pitmaster IQ120 BBQ Temperature Regulator Kit is a device that can help regulate the temperature of your smoker by controlling the airflow into the smoker. It consists of two main parts: a fan and a controller. The fan attaches to the intake vent of the smoker and provides constant airflow, while the controller allows you to set the desired temperature and monitor the temperature inside the smoker.

Some key features of the Pitmaster IQ120 include:

  • Digital temperature control: The controller allows you to set the desired temperature and has a digital display that shows the current temperature.
  • High temperature range: The Pitmaster IQ120 can handle temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Probe ports: The controller has ports to connect temperature probes, which can be used to monitor the temperature inside the smoker and the internal temperature of the meat.
  • Easy to use: The Pitmaster IQ120 is designed to be user-friendly, with simple controls and an easy-to-read display.
  • Compatibility: The Pitmaster IQ120 is designed to work with a variety of smoker types, including offset, kamado, and drum smokers.
  • Alarm: The Pitmaster IQ120 has an alarm function, it will let you know if the temperature inside the smoker goes above or below your desired setting.


It’s no secret that I love the Pitmaster IQ120 for its simplicity and user-friendliness, but there are plenty more pluses to add to its checklist of outstanding features:

Accuracy: This has to be one of the most accurate budget-friendly barbecue automatic temperature controllers I’ve ever come across. It can hold your smoker’s heat within a range of plus or minus 1 degree of the temperature you set. That means it should only fluctuate by a maximum of 3 degrees F – that’s seriously impressive.

Delay features: Temperature delay features mean you can change the temperature as you cook, so you can set up your entire cooking process at the start without needing to come back to change anything at all. It’s a simple case of set it and forget it!

Adjustable air damper: With settings from 0 to 4, you can easily control the amount of airflow that is allowed into your smoker, 0 is the most basic, and 4 the most powerful, which means all smoker sizes can be accommodated with the Pitmaster IQ120.


There are a couple of problems with this product, I’ll admit, but they aren’t anything that would stop me from picking it up if I’m being honest. But just in case they are big problems for you, here they are:

Connector hose is plastic: This is a serious problem because melting it is a risk. If you can’t use your temperature controller at high temperatures in your smoker, then it rather defeats the object. Replacing the hose is possible though, and considering how affordable the Pitmaster IQ120 is, it’s not such a big deal.

Instruction manual: It’s a shame, but the instruction manual isn’t as complete as I’d have liked. There wasn’t a diagram explaining the features to follow, which I think would have made understanding _every _feature much easier. Sure, you can play around with it and work it out yourself, but you shouldn’t have to.

Price Comparison

Similar to the DigiQ product we talked about last time, you can usually pick up the Pitmaster IQ120 kit for $200-ish. It’s kind to your bank balance, has amazingly accurate readings, and is so simple to use without all the complications of app connectivity and wi-fi that anybody can use it. For the price, I’d say it’s well worth the purchase! Check the latest price here.

Pitmaster IQ120 Verdict

I love it. I really do. I think that anybody using it for the first time will be able to do so with ease. If the user manual was clearer, then I’d be 100% satisfied, as this would mean every user could get the most out of the features right from the off. Still, I think for the price you pay; you get a top-performing barbecue automatic temperature controller for a fraction of the price of more modern options. If you need a new temperature controller for your smoker, consider the Pitmaster IQ120 – it won’t let you down.

5. CyberQ BBQ Guru

The CyberQ from BBQ Guru is one of the more modern barbecue temperature controllers that I’ve come across, and although it has more modern technology than some of the other temp controllers I’ve looked at so far, I’d say it’s still pretty easy to use once you get your head around it. Before I jump into the pros and cons of this product, though, let’s take a quick look at what it has to offer. 

The CyberQ temperature controller is a device used to control the temperature of a barbecue or smoker. It uses a probe thermometer to measure the temperature inside the cooker and a computerized controller to regulate the temperature by adjusting the airflow to the fire.

The controller can be programmed with specific temperature profiles for different types of meats and can also be controlled remotely using a smartphone or computer. It has features such as pit temperature and meat temperature monitoring, and can alert you when temperature is fluctuate beyond set range, some models also comes with WiFi and Cloud capabilities, which will allow you to monitor and control the temperature of your cooker from anywhere using your smartphone or computer.

It is a great solution for pitmasters and BBQ enthusiasts who wants to achieve precise temperature control and perfect cooking results.

CyberQ Specs & Features

In terms of the specs that you can expect to see, the CyberQ boasts quite a lot. You might be able to notice a few differences between this product and BBQ Guru’s other major offering the DigiQ. I’m not here to say which is better, but you might find that one of them suits you more than another. Here are some of the CyberQ’s features:

Four probes: One pit probe for the temperature of the grates in your grill/smoker, and three food probes. That means you can cook three separate pieces of meat at once, and monitor all of their internal temperatures. 

Powerful Fan: Users say how strong this fan is, and setting the cooking temperature is easy to do. I’ve found that after setting the temperature, you don’t have to wait long for the CyberQ to kick in and keep the temperature within a few degrees of the heat you want.

App Compatible: I know I’ve said before that I’m not a fan of tech when it comes to temperature controllers, but CyberQ walks the line perfectly. The app is easy to use, and you have all the info about your smoker/grill right at your fingertips. 

Compatible With Other Devices: You can use products with Amazon Alexa, for example, to tell CyberQ to change the temperatures of the smoker/grill if you need to, so it’s actually very simple to use and I like that it’s compatible with other things so you don’t just have to rely on BBQ Guru’s app if you don’t want to.

CyberQ Pros 

Here are the best things about the CyberQ BBQ Guru device: 

Email and SMS Alerts: You can set up your CyberQ to send you a message if the pit temperature, food temperature, or timer is needing your attention. This is great because it means you don’t have to sit around and watch your smoker/grill, because the CyberQ is monitoring everything for you and will let you know if you need to do anything.

Mounting Fan Is SO Simple: The adjustable mount is easy to fit on to almost any smoker, and it’ll stay there securely throughout the entire cook.

Bustling Community: Purchasing a CyberQ BBQ Guru will open up a community of fellow CyberQ users where you can share cooks, recipes, and discuss different smoking related things through their app.

CyberQ Cons 

There is just one major con. Using the CyberQ in the rain is not recommended, and the waterproof nature of the device has been called into question various times on different smoker forums, etc. So, if you are somebody who likes to smoke and grill in all kinds of weather, then look for a different temperature controller. 

Price Comparison

Picking this up will set you back around $250, but that’s pretty good considering the DigiQ (with far fewer features) will cost around $200. This is a great price point for a temperature controller that walks the line between traditional and modern temperature controllers very well. Check the latest price here.

CyberQ Verdict

I like the CyberQ. Its features are cool, but I would say it’s only worth picking up if you’re actually going to use them. If you’re not, opt for a DigiQ or cheaper, more traditional temperature controllers that will suit your style of smoking and grilling more.

6. Flame Boss 500 WI-FI Temperature Controller

The Flame Boss 500 is packed full of gadgets and features that I couldn’t possibly test all of them. I know my way around technology, but this one has so much that I struggled. Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing – the Flame Boss 500 Wi-Fi temperature controller has a lot to offer, but it may not be right for everyone. 

The Flame Boss 500 is a temperature controller for your smoker or grill. It helps you cook your food to perfection by monitoring and adjusting the temperature for you. It has a probe thermometer that goes inside your smoker to measure the temperature, and a controller that regulates the heat by controlling the airflow to the fire.

You can program the Flame Boss 500 with different temperature settings for different types of meats, and it can also be controlled remotely using your smartphone or computer. This means you can keep an eye on your cooking from anywhere, and make adjustments if needed. Some model also has WiFi and cloud capabilities that allow you to monitor and control your smoker from anywhere.

In simple terms, The Flame Boss 500 makes smoking or grilling easier, and it help you achieve the perfect temperature for your food, which leads to perfect cooking results every time.

Specs & Features

The Flame Boss 500 has a lot of features, but honestly, not any vast differences compared to their older Flame Boss 300 model. Everything is a little slicker now, I’ll admit, but if you already have a FB300 I don’t see why you would need to upgrade to the 500 unless you really want to make the most of the Wi-Fi elements. That being said, if you’re new to temperature controllers, and you want one packed with features, then the Flame Boss 500 is a great option for you:

Large LCD Screen: When I said the differences between the 300 and 500 were minimal, this is one exception. They have a much larger LCD screen now that’s much more user-friendly.

Precise Timer: Being able to set it at 15-second intervals makes the timer with the Flame Boss 500 Wi-Fi temperature controller one of the most accurate on the market. You can set it anywhere from 0 to 24 hours.

4 Alarms: Each alarm will trigger when certain temperatures are reached. One for the pit probe, and one for each of the three food probes. 

Compatible Across Wide Range Of Devices: It can connect to apps on smartphones, both iOS and android, but also to Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices, making it easy to implement into your smart home with whatever technology you have available. 


In terms of what I liked about the Flame Boss 500, there is actually quite a lot, and I’ll admit I was prepared to hate this one. Here’s what I really loved:

On and On+Keep Warm Food Probes: This has to be my favorite part of the food probe technology. You can either set it to ‘On’ which will sound an alarm once the meat has reached the correct internal temperature to say that it’s cooked, or you can set it to ‘On+Keep Warm’ which will lower the pit temperature once the food is cooked to keep it warm whilst preventing further cooking.

Powerful Fan: In tests, the fan was able to get the temperature up to around 280 in just five minutes. That’s pretty impressive, and it shows how useful the fan is on the Flame Boss 500. 

Accurate: Able to stay within around 4 to 5 degrees of that 280 mark for cooking low ‘n’ slow chicken. That impressed me because when you’re cooking at lower temperatures you need higher degrees of accuracy, and this definitely delivered. 


The biggest con (other than the amount of tech involved, which is a personal preference, so I won’t hold it against the Flame Boss 500) is the constant updates. If you want to just reach into the box and start using the Flame Boss 500 straight away, then you’ll have to keep dreaming, I’m afraid. Instead, it’s best to plug it in for around 10 minutes before every use, because sometimes the updates can take a while to load, and it’ll just automatically start updating in the middle of a cook. Lots of users have complained that this then wipes the data from the Flame Boss 500, so they have to set everything up again for their cook.

Price Comparison 

This is the most expensive one of the temperature controllers I’ve looked at so far, and it’ll cost you around $360. That’s a lot more than most, and when you compare it to something like the CyberQ for $250, it looks a little unreasonable. Yes, the Flame Boss 500 Wi-Fi temperature controller has A LOT more features than the CyberQ, but if you aren’t that bothered about them and just want a Wi-Fi temperature controller that you can monitor from an app very simply, then the Flame Boss 500 might just be a little too high tech for you. Check the latest price here.

The Verdict

Did I love the Flame Boss 500? No. Did I hate it? Also no. It wouldn’t be a temperature controller that was right for me, because I want nothing too tech-y. But I can definitely see why so many people love it, and if you are somebody who wants all the modern tech in your barbecue temperature controllers, then I can’t imagine you’ll find one that performs as well as the Flame Boss 500 does.

7. FireBoard 2 Drive and Blower

Of all the temperature controllers I have spoken about so far, the FireBoard 2 Drive and Blower is probably the most ‘professional’. By that I mean most at-home smokers and grillers won’t need something of this quality with the features that it has. But just because we don’t need something, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t want it. 

The FireBoard 2 Drive is an add-on accessory for the FireBoard 2 temperature controller. It is a blower fan that can be attached to the FireBoard 2 and used to control the airflow to the smoker or grill. By controlling the airflow, the blower allows you to precisely control the temperature inside the cooker, helping you achieve the perfect cooking temperature for your food.

It works by using a small fan that connects to the FireBoard 2 controller, which in turn can be controlled by the FireBoard 2 mobile app or web portal, to adjust the airflow to your cooker and regulate the temperature. Additionally, FireBoard 2 also have drive and blower combo, which means the package already include both controller and blower.

The FireBoard 2 Drive & Blower is a great solution for pitmasters and BBQ enthusiasts who want even more precise temperature control for their smoker or grill. It allows you to easily adjust the airflow and maintain a consistent temperature inside the cooker, resulting in perfectly cooked food every time.

Specs & Features

There are so many different features available with the FireBoard 2 Drive that I couldn’t list them all here. Because it’s of a professional standard, it just seems to ooze with quality. But here are some of the major points I felt compelled to cover: 

6 Probe Sockets: 6! That means you can use it to monitor multiple smokers or multiple cuts of meat depending on your needs. Like I said, you don’t need this as a smoker enthusiast at home, but if you are somebody who cooks for lots of people and want to show off your smoking skills, then the FireBoard 2 Drive and Blower will definitely help you there.

12 V Blower: This helps controls the temperature in a charcoal smoker and it’s very easy to put on to almost any model of smoker that you have. 

FireBoard App: Available on Android, iOS, Mac, and other computers depending on what you have. It’s quick and easy to set up and it can be set up in around 1 minute.

Change Temperature Automatically: You can use the app to programme a change in temperature when you start the cook. You may want to start the cook at a lower or higher temp and then change it at a certain time to continue the cook. You can do all of this via the app without needing to remind yourself to do it manually. 


There’s a lot to like about the FireBoard 2 Drive and Blower, but bear in mind that the blower is something you’ll need to pick up separately if it isn’t included in the bundle you purchase. Here’s what I loved about this combo though:

Quick Installation On Any Smoker: You may need a specific adapter if the ones that come in the box aren’t suitable for your model, but even so, attaching this temperature controller to your smoker should only require a Phillips head screwdriver and about two minutes of your time.

Voice Recognition: Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa helps make this Wi-Fi controller even easier to use for most people who might not want to scroll through apps and websites to change temperatures, etc. 

Weather Resistant: N0, it isn’t waterproof or weatherproof per se, but a lot of users have used this in typical rain, heat, wind, etc., and found no real issue with it. I think it can operate well across a range of typical weather conditions, but just avoid using this in extreme weather.


My main issue with this device is that it has absolutely no storage solutions. Most temperature controllers at least give you something for the wires to stop all the probes becoming tangled, but the FireBoard 2 doesn’t even have that. A case that you can store the unit in itself wouldn’t be a bad idea either, and I think it’s a shame that such a high-end item has forgotten this basic design feature that could have really made usability much better.

Price Comparison 

The unit alone will cost you $250, but that’s without the blower. Picking that up to will set you back another $60 or so. Whilst initially this might sound expensive, I think a total spend of $310 isn’t unreasonable for a temperature controller of this high quality. The 6 probe slots alone make the price worth it (but only if you have a need for it). When you add in all the cool features, you have a great high-tech, high-end temperature controller. Check the latest price here.

The Verdict

I don’t like tech with my smoker gear, as you know, but I could make an exception for the FireBoard 2 Drive and Blower, because I think it’s an excellent temperature controller. The features and Wi-Fi capabilities don’t feel overdone, but even if you stripped all that away, you’d still be left with a capable temperature controller that you can rely on.

Meat Thermometers – Your Most Important Tool

The Beginner’s Guide To Meat Thermometers

The Best Meat Thermometers Under $50 (We List the Top 8 Choices)

The Best Thermometers for Smoking Meat

Best Wi-Fi Meat Thermometers (We Review the 5 Top Models)

Best Instant-Read Thermometers for Smoking (Top 6 Picks)

What Are Automatic Barbeque Temperature Controllers? The Complete Buyers Guide

MEATER Wireless Thermometer – Is It Any Good?


Author and founder at Meat Smoking HQ

Recent Posts