As Americans, we love a good BBQ anytime, anywhere. Be it on the patio or by the pool, be it the Fourth of July or just another Sunday, be it with friends and family or just by yourself, a BBQ is the perfect way to wind down, forget about your worries and have a good time.
That’s probably why the grill and barbecue sales in the US reached almost $1.5 billion in 2016. But as much as everyone loves BBQ, there’s absolutely nothing fun about just sitting by your pit and continually monitoring and adjusting the temperature every once in a while.
Lucky for us, you don’t have to do that anymore if you own BBQ temperature controllers. Gone are the days when you would spend hours cooking your meat, only to find it dry and rubbery. With these temperature controllers, you can get the perfect, tender, and juicy steak every time. Although these BBQ meat thermometers are also quite handy.
But the BBQ temperature controller market can get quite confusing, especially for beginners. However, some brands and products perform better than others, like the Flame Boss 500. So, let’s see what it’s all about.
The Flame Boss 500 is available in two versions
Flame Boss 500 Universal Version vs Kamado Version
Click to jump straight to each topic:
1. Flame Boss 500-WiFi Smoker Controller (Ceramic/Kamado Kit)
Fits Kamado-style charcoal grills and smokers:
- Kamado Joe -- All Sizes Primo Grills
- All Sizes Saffire Grill & Smoker Grill Dome
- All Sizes Vision Grills Classic Broil King Keg
- 2000 & 4000 Char-Griller AKORN Kamado
- Big Green Egg All Sizes.
2. Flame Boss 500-WiFi Smoker Controller (Universal)
Fits Many Drum, Barrel, Cabinet and Offset Style Charcoal Grills and Smokers:
- Weber Smokey Mountain
- All sizes Char-Griller offset & barrel Char-Broil charcoal grills and smokers Most drum smokers
- Ugly and otherwise
Does not fit Big Green Egg or Kamado style smokers, gas grills or electric ovens.
Flame Boss 500 Overview
When it comes to BBQ temperature controllers, Flame Boss is definitely at the front of the game. Founded in 2013, Flame Boss is all about high quality and easy to use products that make sure your meat comes out perfect every time. They pride themselves on a small yet dedicated customer service team that is happy to respond to any customer queries.
Since its introduction, the whole of the Flame Boss series has been a hit. From Flame Boss 100, Flame Boss 300, to Flame Boss 400, the brand has built up quite a reputation. It has even been compared with the likes of BBQ Guru, which is a leading brand in the BBQ temperature controller market.
Moreover, Flame Boss have proven themselves once again with their latest temperature controller: the Flame Boss 500.
Flame Boss 500 Key Features
The Flame Boss 500 has all the best qualities of its predecessors and more. It has retained all the classic features like the easy to use WiFi enabled app, multiple meat probes, and easy to set up unit. Let’s look at these features in more detail.
The Flame Boss 500 boasts of its latest temperature controlling technology. It has patented software that ensures precise temperatures are maintained throughout for the best output.
Whether it’s the pit or the meat, the Flame Boss can keep the desired temperature constant during the whole cooking time. Moreover, you can also easily lower or raise the heat any time according to how much time is needed and your judgment.
Furthermore, another unique thing about Flame Boss 500 is its variable speed blower. The variable speed blower plays a significant role in ensuring the temperature stays level while you’re smoking the meat. The fan automatically regulates its speed to maintain the set temperature inside the smoker.
Although if you’re still having trouble getting perfectly smoked meat, you might be making these smoking mistakes.
As with some of the other temperature controllers, the Flame Boss 500 also comes with a cool WiFi interface. The WiFi-enabled temperature controller is one of the main reasons why the Flame Boss 500 is the best and most convenient tool to have around. This feature allows you to connect the Flame Boss controller with your phone, tablet, PC, or your smart devices like Alexa and Google Home, over the WiFi connection.
This feature truly feels like a blessing when you don’t have to constantly get up and check your meats and coals. You can just set the temperature once on the controller and then all you have to do is monitor it from your phone while you comfortably lie in bed.
Moreover, as long as you have a WiFi connection, you can check the status of your temperatures from anywhere, be it your home, office, or the local supermarket. What’s more, there’s even a dedicated Flame Boss App for Android and iOS that you can install on your phone for even easier temperature control.
The controller can also send alerts and notifications when the temperature falls too low or when your meat is done. If you’ve set a timer on your controller, you will be alerted of that too on your phone.
Also, the WiFi capabilities allow you to create an online dashboard as well. With this, you can see and analyze graphs of your cooking time and temperature, which can help spot mistakes or just make general improvements in your method.
The Flame Boss 500 is designed to be compatible with Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa device. This makes it a good option if you are looking to create a smart home, as you don’t even have to get up to reach your phone with this device. You can simply adjust the temperature through voice commands.
Flame Boss 500 has a strong and durable body. It is slightly larger than its previous counterparts with dimensions 7.82 x 4.5 x 11.38 inches. The controller is designed to operate and withstand normal weather conditions. However, it is not recommended to be used in wet outdoor locations. This doesn’t mean you have to grill indoors, but if you do decide to, you can choose one from here.
The controller has six ports:
- Three for the meat probes
- One for the pit probe
- One for the blower
- One for the power cord
The temperature probes are also of high quality. The heavy-duty platinum resistance probe can rate up to 475-degree Fahrenheit. It also has a six feet stainless steel shielding so that you can safely use it inside your pit.
Another modern feature of the Flame Boss 500 is the larger LCD. The display has four lines that can show the set temperature, pit temperature, and the three probe temperatures. The screen is also clear and easy to read.
Easy to Use
Flame Boss 500 is one of the most straightforward and easy to use temperature controllers. Its slogan is that it’s ‘cruise control for your grill and smoker’ so you can just set it and forget about it. The whole controller is quite easy to install. In fact, it even has a magnetic base so that you can easily position it anywhere without any complications.
The controller doesn’t have a complex structure or design. Even beginners can use it easily. Moreover, the kit comes with a detailed user manual which explains everything from the WiFi set up to the adapter installation. Additionally, Flame Boss has an excellent customer support team that is always available to help with any problems.
The Flame Boss 500 is available in two versions. One is the Flame Boss 500 – WiFi Kamado, and the other is the Flame Boss 500 – WiFi Universal. The Kamado version can support most kamado-style grills like the Big Green Egg, Primo Grills, Grill Dome, and a lot more.
The universal version is also compatible with most grill and smoker types, such as the Weber Smokey Mountain and Char-Broil charcoal grills and smokers.
The Flame Boss 500 kit includes the temperature controller, one high-temperature meat probe, one high-temperature pit probe, blower, power supply, grill adapters, probe cord organizers and a user manual. The controller comes with only one meat probe so additional probes can be bought separately if needed.
- Simple set up
- Easy to use
- Precise temperature control
- Can support multiple meat probes at a time
- Convenient app and WiFi features
- Responsive customer support team
- The app does face issues sometimes
- A little on the expensive side
On its own, the Flame Boss 500 seems pretty great. But how does it stack up against the competition in the market? Let’s see how the Flame Boss 500 compares with the CyberQ Cloud BBQ Temperature Controller from BBQ Guru.
Flame Boss 500 vs CyberQ Cloud BBQ Temperature Controller
Straight off, the CyberQ Cloud has a smaller LCD, which can become a hassle when you always have to scroll up and down. With its ShareMyCook website, it offers a detailed temperature graphing tool that monitors and analyzes your whole cooking experience. Moreover, it allows you to add notes and comments so that you can look back and analyze your own BBQs.
Along with alerts and texts, CyberQ Cloud sends out email notifications as well. The universal CyberQ Cloud is compatible with most grills, including the ceramic ones. Whereas, the Flame Boss 500 does not support ceramic kamado grills. Furthermore, CyberQ Cloud has better quality temperature probes and an exclusive ramp mode, which further ensures perfect temperature.
Other than that, the Flame Boss 500 and CyberQ Cloud are pretty much the same with similar features.
Despite the CyberQ Cloud’s slightly more advanced features, the Flame Boss 500 seems better on the whole. Not only does it share most of the features but also is easier to use and set up. This means it’s a better choice for beginners who have just gotten into BBQs but are still lacking expertise.
While the Flame Boss 500 is a little on the expensive side, it has plenty of features that make up for the price. Flame Boss already has an excellent reputation for providing quality products, and we can expect the same from the Flame Boss 500.
The accurate temperature control and the very convenient WiFi interface makes grilling and smoking a breeze. The controller is simple and easy enough to be used by anyone. All in all, it is a must have for any BBQ enthusiast.
Video: Flame Boss 500 Unboxing & Catering Use
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