smartfire bbq temp controller

  • So, I finally bought this. Thought I'd throw my thoughts up for anyone else doing research in the future. I'll add to this if I discover anything new in the future. It does feel a bit weird spending this much when the bbq itself was only $400 but I figure it'll still be useful if I upgrade the kamado. Someday I'll see a bge or primo second-hand at a steal...

    I fired it up on Tuesday just to try it out, but I didn't have anything to roast with it (I did grill some lamb chops at the end so the charcoal wasn't a total waste). During the initial test I turned it on with the pit at about 75C, and set the target temp to 115C. It overshot it by about 15C and slowly came back down. I then increased it to 180C but in a few incremental steps. I was able to hit 180 spot on so that's the workflow - if turning it on early, aim lower and it'll be fine.

    Yesterday we cooked another duck so I used it then. Because the duck was hanging there was no grate to clip the pit temp probe to so I just dangled it through the top vent. It held temp better than I expected, not varying more than half a degree for the whole cook (except opening the lid of course). In the screenshot below you can see the fan spinning at 4% power at 0.4 degrees below target.

    The case is great. I like how (once the cables are put on the 4 winders) there's room for extra things like a battery pack, usb charger and, tbh I'm not sure what else I'd want to put in there but there is room.

  • I have the previous version V4 and it’s just as good.

    The black version of your model is also now being sold under the branding of Primo pit controller.

    Mark Terrill the owner of Smartfire (from Melbourne) cooks on a XL and obviously did a deal with Primo for a JV.

    Enjoy your "Q"

    Primo XL, Primo Jr, GMG Davy Crockett, Char-Broil Grill2go and Ziggy Portable.

  • I have the previous version

    I've done a few cooks with it now. It's been solid. It's definitely important to get the top vent set right, but not difficult.

    One cook the graphs still had the previous night's data, along with 24 hours of zero. That was annoying but it hasn't happened since.

    i feel as though I'm missing a view in the software (a fullscreen graph). No real problem, it's just the nerd in me wanting to play ^^ At some point I'll join the bookface group and figure out the things I'm not understanding.

  • From memory if you turn your phone onto its side I think it shows the graph. Not 100% sure.

    It does overshoot if you use it to get up to temp. Generally I let the XL get close then stick it in and let the Controller take over.

    I have also turned off open lid mode.

    Enjoy your "Q"

    Primo XL, Primo Jr, GMG Davy Crockett, Char-Broil Grill2go and Ziggy Portable.

  • Has anyone gone from a tiptoptemp to one of these? Hard to justify (for me) considering the price I paid for my akorn.

    I went from a TTT, similar kamado to yours. Like you, the $375 price tag was difficult to swallow, especially as I got the kamado on sale at $400.

    I like the TTT, and will still use it for some cooks (once the novelty of the smartfire wears off a bit haha). I really just wanted a bit more confidence for an overnight cook and I figured that the smartfire would still be useful on the next bbq, whatever and whenever that is. Another thing that was competing for the money was the thought that I could buy the Louisiana Grills vertical pellet smoker on sale at Costco for $500. Use it for the overnight cooks and keep the kamado for hotter/shorter cooks.

    I like lots of smoke flavour though and I enjoy faffing about with the fire, so in the end the smartfire won out.

    There's an inkbird version that is cheaper, though you have to hunt around online and the price varies a lot. I saw it just under $200 at one point, but last time I looked it was closer to $300.

  • I can't recommend SmartFire enough. It's not "cheap" but is great value and it's such a fantastic product. The way it manages temp and the info it gives has taken my BBQ to a whole other level and It's so well put together and so professionally packaged (see for example the case and winders for storing the probes).

    I had my WSM for about 18 months before getting my SmartFire and I'm glad I waited because I was forced to learn how to control temperature in my pit first. Now I can just set the SmartFire to the temp I want and as long as I don't leave the lid open too long when spritzing, the SmartFire keeps the temperature pretty much on target. On longer cooks, it can start to drift when the charcoal starts to run down or when the outside temperature changes significantly but other than that it's pretty solid.

    There are full-screen graphs in the new app and to see them you need to first set which graphs you want and then turn your phone on your side to see them. Not as easy as the old version but I can see how the extra options for the graphs are useful to some people.

    I got a Meater for my Birthday this year and I pair that with the SmartFire too - find it really useful for things like resting meat as you can leave the probe in and wrap the meat without having to fiddle with wires etc.

    WSM 18' Smoker (since Christmas 2019 = certified "L" Plater) / Everdure Cube / Gas 4 burner / Metters' Dover No. 7 Wood Stove

  • Ive got the Inkbird ISC007 which is the one referred to above. The app is nowhere near as impressive as the smartfire by the looks, its still easy to use but not as many bells and whistles. I'm a simple guy though, I really only use it to monitor pit temps and occasionally marvel at the long flat lines on the graph, I monitor meat with a javelin. I can't fault the operation of it though. I set mine to a 10deg swing either side of the target temp and it keeps it where it needs to be. Wifi works great, can keep an eye on it while im not home, and comes in a nice case.

    Not bad for sub $200.

    Homemade Ugly Drum - Weber Go Anywhere - Hark Texas Pro Offset - Weber Kettle x2 - Weber BabyQ - WeberQ3200 - Fire Pits - Rotisserie

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