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BARDSLJR

BBQ Guru?

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Hello all, would love your feedback and recommendations on using a BBQ Guru and which one ...? After this weekend's troubling brisket cook (see separate discussion) I am strongly leaning towards one. I presume the fan motor is fitted to that little aperature on the lower right side of 32" KK?  I am leaning toward the Dyna Q with the Pit Viper fan- I don't need any more meat temp probes, have a nice separate unit that bluetooths to my phone for that. So, suggestions and testimonials would be welcome......

Jim in Denver

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One "approximately" doesn't need one, as many will tell you. The Devil is in that "approximately". I like to sleep through the night if I can, or run errands during the day. With practice the KK doesn't drift much, though with a BBQ Guru it doesn't drift at all. I'm a multitasker, I like that.

I used to have their simplest unit with an actual oven dial. Rotary, mechanical. I wore it into the ground. I now have two Digi Q's. One's a spare, I'll cook for 80 where it would be embarrassing not to show up. It's all I need, I just want to set a temperature.

I have both the Pit Viper and a Pit Bull for a 23" KK. The Pit Viper is plenty for low & slow, and the Pit Pull risks letting too much air through with the fan not running. (Guru 101 is to realize these things can't stop passive flow, it's up to you to step down their opening and nearly close the KK top hat damper.) Nevertheless, I can run my pit probe outside into the hole for the TelTru thermometer, and read the KK pit temp without exposing any wiring to fire. Then I can actually control a 450 F fire for bread. Not that I do this often, I'm around more for bread, shorter cook, and paradoxically it's easier to stick 450 F than 225 F. Cut back the air; plenty of folks here have trouble even reaching 450 F. The Pit Bull works fine at 225 F, and has no trouble supplying enough air for 450 F.

So yes, you don't need one, but a Guru sure is handy!

 

 

Edited by Syzygies
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Take a look at a Fireboard as well Jim. I recently got a Fireboard 2 and I've been impressed with the quality and functionality. You can use your own fan with it as well. It's a more polished product in my view. If you're starting from scratch, you'll need a Fireboard 2 Drive.

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I have been using the BBQ Guru digiQ since ~2008/9, don't precisely recall.

I use it for low-n-slow cooks to set and forget. 

Start the fire, get it close to target temp, setup guru, let run to target, settle, put meat on, forget about it.

If I were to look for something today, there are many out there that have a variety of functions; happy hunting.

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I'm using a BBQ Guru Competitor, have since 2002/2003ish, echo everything here as far as set and forget. When this thing dies, I will end up with what ever version of DigiQ is around at that time as I don't need internet access, just a simple reliable fan controller.

With the competitor, I used it all the time with my POSK, have only used it once with the KK when I had a deadline and couldn't afford any issues. All of the other briskets I've done on the KK I've just set the top and bottom dampers and come back when the temp probe tells me it's done.

Regards.

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As noted, there is a trick or two with using the Guru to keep air inflow sneaks from messing with your temperatures, especially on a windy day. Once your temps get above the target setting on the Guru, it's pretty well dead in the water at that point. That said, the best way to maintain control is let the Guru do all the work. The Pit Viper fan is more than adequate for the task. 

First, just barely bump the top vent off the seat - just until you see a bit of smoke emerge. If you start to see smoke escaping from the temperature probe hole (or anywhere else besides the top vent for that matter), bump the top vent a tad more until the side leak stops. The Guru has slightly pressurized the inside of the KK and the air needs to find somewhere to go - path of least resistance and all that. 

Second, there's a damper on the output side of the fan, choke that down to less than half open. This will minimize the air inflow during periods when the fan isn't running and prevent the temps from drifting up on you. 

This approach has worked well for me. YMMV

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I run a fireboard with a guru fan.  I really like the competition probes as they are much thinner.  It works really well and the new fire board 2 seems to be somewhat improved.  Although I have no issue with the original

It certainly adds consistency to the cook

 

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I run the ultra q with the pit viper fan. Do I need it, nope but is it nice for overnight cooks, yep. I ran it for 15 hours starting at midnight and no fuss. I really only use it for brisket though and otherwise I just use the out probe.

If you love WiFi, don’t bother. It barely works and the charting capabilities are terrible compared to other units like signals.

I like charts so I can tell how my stall is going. For the price, these are easy fixes but I not expecting it.

As a blower it’s really spot on. I just close the bottom and leave the top open a 1/8 turn. Never need to touch it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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21 hours ago, Oldsman said:

One other thing to add, I really like the competition probes from fireboard, they are much smaller diameter than std probes

Thanks


Dave

I wonder if this would adversely affect their durability? 

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