New Flame Boss product: Flame Boss 400 WiFi Universal Smoker Controller
When you speak of bbq automatic temperature controller, the first thing that comes to mind is the BBQ Guru®. The BBQ Guru has for many years been the leading brand of automatic temperature controllers that are able to provide consistent temperature and even heat distribution to smokers.
Many other brands of automatic temperature controllers such as the Pitmasters IQ range and Stoker tried to duplicate the BBQ Guru but did not even come close.
Since its introduction to the market, Flame Boss has continuously worked on improving their automatic temperature controller line. Flame Boss has continued to strive to make their automatic temperature controllers as user-friendly and precise as possible.
All the efforts of Flame Boss brought about an overwhelming increase in brand awareness and sales as well as the capacity to meet the BBQ Guru head-on with the Flame Boss 200. The Flame Boss 200 comes with an easy to use WiFi interface and is the only automatic temperature controller in the market with a variable speed fan.
A few months after making the Flame Boss 200 compatible with the Alexa app of Amazon, Flame Boss launched the Flame Boss 300. The Flame Boss 300 vs 200 show no difference in capabilities. The Flame Boss 300 however can accommodate up to 3 meat probes.
With its simple operations and hi-tech features Flame Boss 300 reviews are one is saying that this automatic temperature controller is the closest substitute to the BBQ Guru.
Just two months after the release of the Flame Boss 300, BBQ Guru introduced the CyberQ Cloud upgrading and updating the interface and connectivity of the CyberQ.
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Flame Boss 300 review
- Features: 9.5 /10
- Performance: 10 /10
- Build Quality: 9.0 /10
- Ease Of Use: 9.5 /10
- Value For Money: 8.5 /10
- Works incredibly well
- Very simple to set up and use
- The variable speed fan is fantastic
- Quite expensive
The Flame Boss 300 is available as the Flame Boss 300 Kamado Temperature Controller and the Flame Boss 300 Universal Temperature Controller. The Kamado model is for the Kamado Ceramic Grills KamadoJo’s Big Joe 18 and 24 Primo and all sizes of the Big Green Egg. The Universal model is for most smokers and charcoal grills including all sizes of the Weber Smokey Mountain, Char-Griller offset and barreasl as well drum smokers.
The Flame Boss 300 has several great features designed to produce the rich and smoky taste you desire from smoked meat without having to constantly monitor the cooking process. Whether you are smoking meat for a small family or for a huge get together, the Flame Boss 300 set up will do everything for you.
The Wifi Interface of the Flame Boss 300 kit allows you to control and monitor every step of the cooking process from a web browser of your smartphone, PC or tablet. You can also access this automatic temperature controller through the Flame Boss app.
With the Flame Boss 300 WiFi set up you can view the online dashboard of the Flame Boss 300 which includes graphs of everything that is going on in your smoker. You can monitor and change the pit and meat temperature as the need arises from anywhere, whether from some other area in your home or from your office.
You can also control the meat alarm and make it automatically lower the temperature inside the pit to “keep warm” once the set temperature for the meat has been reached.
Design and Construction
The Flame Boss 300 is made from solid and durable plastic of about 4¼ inches x 1⅛ inches x 3⅛ inches which can withstand some moisture. The case is attached to a metal bracket of which you can adjust for a better viewing angle.
The case houses the electronic components including the display and control buttons. No power switch is included as this device automatically turns on when connected to the power supply. The probes are of heavy duty platinum that can withstand high temperatures.
The Flame Boss 300 comes with one pit probe and one meat probe. These probes are made from stainless steel and contain a platinum designed RTD sensor that can rate up to 575°F. The probes have a temperature accuracy of +/- 1.5°F.
The major improvement of the Flame Boss 300 from the 200 model is the capability to use up to two more meat probes with the use of Y-cables. With the Y-cables you now have 4 sockets of where to plug the temperature probes (1 for the pit probe and up to 3 for the meat probes).
The clear and easy to read 2” x 6” LCD Display shows the set and current pit and meat temperatures as well as the current speed of the fan. If you are using multiple meat probes, the display will scroll to show the current temperatures of the different meat probes.
The LCD display comes with three buttons: menu, arrow up and arrow down. The up and down buttons are used to adjust the pit temperatures. An asterisk beside a temperature means said temperature still has not been stored on the controller’s memory. The asterisk disappears once temperatures have already been stored.
The LCD display comes with a “LCD Contrast” feature so you can adjust the brightness of the display.
Variable Speed Fan
The Flame Boss automatic temperature controllers are the only ones with variable fan speeds in the market to guarantee precise temperatures. The fan adjusts to the right speed to enable the smoker to reach and maintain the set temperature. It comes with a 6.5 CFM adequate enough for home-used smokers.
The fan and adapter do not have an airtight connection and is just inserted into a tab and hole in the adapter to keep it from falling off. These allow more air to enter the smoker even when the fan is not running.
The Flame Boss 300 features an automatic learning PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) controller to regulate temperatures and other process variables. This means that this automatic temperature controller has the capacity to learn how your smoker is currently functioning to allow quick and smooth control of the temperature.
Alerts and Alarms
The Flame Boss 300 comes with multiple alarms and alerts to keep the cooking process simple and safe. Alarms and alerts are sent to your smartphone as text messages.
The pit temperature alarm notifies you whenever the temperature inside the pit gets too cold or to hot so you can make the necessary adjustments. The meat temperature alarm notifies you when the meat has reached the set temperature so you can monitor if the smoker has shifted to “keep warm” or you can also already turn the smoker off. The timer alarm sends a notification to remind you that you need to do the next cooking step in your recipe.
Open Lid Detection
The open lid detection feature knows when the lid of the pit is opened causing a sudden drop in temperature. This feature allows the fan to temporarily turn off to prevent the fire from over-stoking.
Power Glitch Safe
The power glitch saving feature of the Flame Boss 300 allows the saving of set temperatures in the controller in the event of a power cut causing it to turn off. All pre-set data will still be in the controller when it is plugged back.
Ease of Use
The Flame Boss 300 comes with only one mode – automatic. All you need to do is attach he fan inside the pit, attach the pit probe, plug in the device and set the temperature. The controller comes with only 3 buttons so it is not so overwhelming to use. The device comes with an easy to read and understand Flame Boss 300 manual, too.
The Flame Boss 300 functions perfectly to maintain a consistent low temperature in the pit and meat. The software and the variable speed fan work hand in hand to ensure precise possible increases and decreases in temperatures needed for long hours of cooking. The technology included in this automatic temperature controller allows it to be a set it and forget it device.
Flame Boss ensures that all their products are free of any manufacturing defects both for materials and workmanship. The Flame Boss 300 warranty is for a period of one year from the purchase date.
How the Flame Boss 300 Works
The Flame Boss 300 has the capability to monitor one pit temperature and up to 3 meat temperatures. Monitoring and control of the pit and meat temperatures can be done remotely through your WiFi enabled smartphone, PC or tablet. Text notifications are sent when pit and meat temperatures go above or below set temperatures so adjustments can be easily made.
How do I use the Flame Boss 300?
This controller comes with a two-step set up process: one-time set up of the WiFi feature and the setup for actual cooking.
- WiFi Setup
Setting up the Flame Boss 300 universal WiFi controller is not a daunting process. The Flame Boss 300 instruction devotes 5 pages to cover how to go about the process complete with illustrations. Make sure you have a WiFi network to connect to. In summary, this is how it goes:
On the Flame Boss 300: WiFi Menu >ON > Access Point
On your Smartphone or Tablet: WiFi Settings > Network > Flame Boss 300 ID
To connect to a WiFi network, you could either download the Android or Flame Boss 300 iOS app or simply just connect through any web browser.
- Cooking Setup
This you need to do each time you use your Flame Boss 300 Universal WiFi Controller:
- Attach the blower on the air vent of the smoker.
- Plug the universal blower to the controller.
- Attach the pit probe to the grill grate of the smoker.
- Position meat / meats inside the pit.
- Plug the meat probe/s to the controller and insert other end to the meat (the instructions on the manual has a detailed instruction on how to set up the meat temp on a Flame Boss 300).
- Refer to the Product Manual on Flame Boss 300 setting pit temperature.
- Set the desired pit and meat temperatures as well as required time on the controller.
Go about with your usual activities. Using Flame Boss 300 allows you cook slow and low while doing other more important things instead of staying close to your smoker and waiting for your meat to cook.
- Easy to setup and us
- Monitor multiple meat probes at one time
- Remotely monitors pit and meat temperatures through an app
- Sends alerts when temperatures go above or below set temperatures and when meat id done.
The Flame Boss 300 comes with great WiFi features including graphs to monitor temperatures. This device may be a bit expensive but it will allow you to do more important things while smoking is ongoing saving you a lot of time and money in the long term.
This device allows you to perfectly create moist and tender meat through precise and consistent low and slow temperature.
Flame Boss vs BBQ Guru
For many years the BBQ Guru has been considered by meat smoking enthusiasts as the best temperature controller. They continuously improve their hi-tech products to permanently seal their position as a market leader. Flame Boss continues to attempt to give BBQ Guru a run for their money in the automatic temperature category.
Today Flame Boss and BBQ Guru are the most reliable and popular automatic temperature controllers in the market. How do these both compare?
Flame Boos is an Apopka, Florida based company founded by Roger Collins 2013. He is a computer engineer and an avid smoked barbecue enthusiast. Using his background in electronic engineering and his frustration in having to constantly check on the temperature of his smoker, he worked on creating an automatic temperature controller that would eliminate the need to take frequent trips to the smoker to check on the temperatures.
BBQ Guru is a Warminster, PA based company founded by Shotgun Fred Pirkle in 2003. He is the same founder of ThermoOmegaTech®, manufacturer of thermal actuators, control valves, rail freeze protection valves and safety showers.
Flame Boss is only engaged in the manufacture of temperature controls providing a few models for universal and kamado type smokers.
The Flame Boss product range include the Flame Boss 100 series which requires you to be in close proximity to your smoker so you can hear the alarms for cooking progress, when food is cooked or for any problems. Both the Flame 200 and 300 series have WiFi features allowing you to monitor temperatures remotely over a network.
The 300 series come with 12-volt battery pack, Y-cable for additional meat probes, 6 feet thermometer probes, blowers and adapters. The Flame Boss 300 can monitor up to 3 meat probes.
The BBQ Guru product range consists of the PartyQ, a portable temperature controller which runs on AA batteries and monitors only pit temperatures. The DigiQ which needs to be plugged in an electrical outlet monitors both pit and meat temperatures.
The CyberQ model needs to be plugged in an electric outlet and can monitor up to 3 meat probes and comes with WiFi capabilities.
Flame Boss 300 vs CyberQ Cloud
In the onset the Flame Boss 300 and CyberQ Cloud are more or less exactly the same. Both automatic temperature controllers will make smoking meat a lot easier. The choice between which temperature controller to go for largely depends on what you really want from an automatic temperature controller.
Generally, here are the similarities of the Flame Boss 300 and the CyberQ Clould:
- Designed by avid barbecue enthusiasts.
- Designed by seasoned engineers.
- Efficient to use with charcoal smokers.
- High quality and hi-tech products designed to control and maintain smoker and meat temperatures.
The Flame Boss 300 vs BBQ Guru CyberQ Clould are generally different in these aspects:
- You may find more and better Flame Boss 300 deals than with the CyberQ Clould.
- the Flame Boss 300 is easier to set up than the CyberQ Clould
Getting more into the specifics, here is how the Flame Boss 300 compares with the CyberQ Cloud.
The CyberQ Cloud wins in the compatibility category as this automatic temperature controller can be used with almost all smokers available in the market. Whether you are using an ugly drum smoker or a lesser known brand of smoker, the CyberQ Cloud will definitely work on it.
The Flame Boss 300 automatic temperature controller with universal adapter claims to work with many smoker models. It has a Kamado model though for other smoker models not compatible with the universal model.
Synching both the Flame Boss 300 and the CyberQ Cloud to you WiFi enabled device (smartphone, laptop, PC… ) is quick and easy. Many users though say that it is simpler and quicker to set up and deal with the Flame Boss 300 WiFi issues than with the CyberQ Cloud.
It is not to say however that you need to be a high tech person to be able to set up the WiFi features of the CyberQ Cloud. The instructions in the Product Manual is easy to understand and follow but there are just more steps to do than with the Flame Boss 300.
Once connected to a WiFi network, the CyberQ Cloud will blink to signify a successful and continuous connection. Continuous WiFi connectivity with the Flame Boss 300 can be a guessing game because there is no blinking light that shows that it is.
While both WiFi Interfaces of the Flame Boss 300 and CyberQ Cloud show real time temperature graphs of pit and meat temperatures as well as send email and text alerts, the website of the CyberQ Cloud is more thorough and advanced.
Both the Flame Boss 300 and the CyberQ Cloud are able to reach and maintain low and slow precise temperatures. Many users though have written in their Flame Boss 300 review that this automatic temperature controller is slightly able to deliver a more precise temperature.
Many users say that the more precise temperature of the Flame Boss 300 may be because its fan comes with variable speeds. Incidentally, the fan of the Flame Boss 300 also has a quieter operation than the Pit Viper of the CyberQ Cloud.
The difference in temperature accuracy between the Flame Boss 300 and the CloudQ Cloud against your desired temperature is somewhere between 10F to 30F which is in fact just a tiny bit of fluctuation.
The temperature probes of the CyberQ Cloud are more superior and durable than that of the Flame Boss 300. The probes of the Flame Boss 300 are more prone to heat damage and breakage.
Both the Flame Boss 300 and the CyberQ Cloud each come with one 6 feet pit probe and one 6 feet meat probe. 8 feet and 10 feet probes are available for the CyberQ Cloud.
Both automatic temperature controllers allow you to use up to two additional meat probes. With the Flame Boss 300 you will need to purchase separately y-cables to use two additional meat probes. The CyberQ Cloud comes ready for up to 3 meat probes.
Design and Construction
The Flame Boss 300 comes with a stand giving it a solid and stable look. The stand allows the automatic temperature controller to be tilted either up or down for a better view. The stand also includes holes so it can be permanently screwed to a table. The LCD screen in green is easy to read and the menu and arrow up and down buttons are easy to use. Preset and actual temperature settings for the pit and the meat as well as fan speed can be viewed at one time.
The CyberQ Cloud at first look does not look like a serious device because the logo and name draw more attention than the blue LED Display. Only two settings can be viewed at a time and you will need to scroll up and down to view the fan speed and pit temperature.
The ports of the CyberQ Cloud are clearly labeled making them easy to connect to the temperature probes and fan.
What’s in the Box
Flame Boss 300
- The Flame Boss 300 Wifi Automatic Temperature Controller with stand
- Universal Blower
- (1) Pit temperature probe
- (1) Meat temperature probe
- AC Power Adapter, 110-240 Volt
- Mounting adapters for Blower
- Product Manual
- The CyberQ Cloud WiFi Automatic Temperature Controller
- Pit Viper Fan
- (1) Pit Temperature Probe
- (1) Meat Temperature Probe
- Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Adapter
- Carrying case
Choosing between the Flame Boss 300 vs CyberQ Cloud is a matter of preference. They are both efficient in delivering the main objective of automatic temperature controllers – to control and maintain low and slow temperatures without the need to be physically near your smoker at all times. Many users though say that the Flame Boss 300 is more user-friendly than the CyberQ Cloud.