Flame Boss Vs BBQ Guru: Which One is the Perfect Temperature Controller for Your Smoker?

You wouldn't want to stay glued to your smoker, opening its lid now and then to see how food is cooking. This can be tiring and even interfere with the cooking process.

How about carrying on with your other chores when your food is cooking, and the most you can do is guess what is happening in your cooker? Will you be at peace?

Now, you can be happy. Smoking food doesn't have to be a hectic process anymore. With an automatic temperature controller linked to your smoker, you just set and go!

This article will introduce you to the smoker temperature controller concept. 

I will show you how and where to use a temperature controller. We will also do in-depth reviews and comparisons of today's best temperature controllers, i.e., Flame Boss Vs BBQ Guru.

We cook food to get that great flavor and, most importantly, to keep off from foodborne illness that arises from uncooked or undercooked foods.

You will need a food thermometer to ensure that your food is cooking correctly or at the right cooking temperature.

And because you don't want to stay pegged to your smoker for hours monitoring the cooking temperature, you can always use a temperature controller (TC).

With a bbq temperature controller, you just set and go. The TC helps you monitor or change the internal smoker temperature from anywhere through a WiFi connection.

What to Look Out for When Buying a Temperature Controller

flame boss vs bbq guru


I know that what many people first look at when purchasing something new is its price.

However, what will happen if you buy a low-priced bbq temperature controller and later find it incompatible with your smoker? This won't feel good.

So, ensure you double-check your TC before purchasing to ensure it is compatible with your smoker.


A good bbq temperature controller is often expensive. So, ensure that you know the features you will need in your temperature controller beforehand. This will keep you from buying a very expensive TC with features you won't be using.


This is a common feature in most of the best temperature controllers. This feature allows you to view and change pit temperatures remotely. So, you can smoke and do your laundry all at the same time.


A bbq temperature controller is incomplete without meat probes. So, if you don't have some probes at home, then you can buy a temperature controller that comes with the probes.

You will find a few pitmasters saying that they don't see the need to have a bbq temperature controller since they already have meat probes. Now, probes work with a TC to provide added features like bringing the temperatures down when the food is nearing doneness. 

Open lid detector

Ordinally, you would expect the alarms to go off and fans to swing at full speed when you open the smoker lid. However, if the auto bbq temp control features an open lid detector, this won't be so.


Hopefully, you will not use these, but it's better to be safe than regret.

Yes, you are buying the TC to take away your worry and efforts, but there are those incidents that will be beyond the control of your TC. At this point, the TC will call on you for intervention.

Some of the cases that may cause your alarms to go off are when there is not enough charcoal or briquettes in the smoker firebox. The alarms will go off when the temperature exceeds a certain limit.

Temp ramp mode

Temp ramp mode is an amazing feature, especially for those temperature controllers that come with inbuilt probes.

This function is critical when the food is almost done. It causes the bbq temperature controller to bring the temperatures down since you wouldn't want to overcook your meat.

Power supply

Manual units don't need power input. However, you will use electricity or batteries for more advanced smoker temperature control.

If you are a camp chef or cooking in places with no electricity, you can buy a TC that batteries can power.

On the other hand, you can opt for a TC powered by electricity if all your smoking will be done in your backyard.

How Does an Automatic Temperature Controller Work?

bbq temperature controller

A temperature controller is a "small computer," for lack of better words. It runs one probe into the grill grate to monitor pit temperature, and another probe into your meat cut to monitor cooking progress and doneness.

The TC takes both the pit and food temperatures and calculates the time and optimal temperature required for food to reach doneness.

Besides being connected to food probes, a TC has a fan to fix at the bottom vent of the smoker. The fan can control the amount of air going into the lit coals.

The internal temperature levels will determine the speed of the fan. The aim here is to strike a consistent temperature to ensure that food is cooked correctly.

Now, your responsibility will be to set the right cooking temperature of the charcoal grill or smoker, the desired food temperature, and the appropriate cook time.

How about the alarms? When is a temperature control alarm expected to sound? 

Now, the alarm alert you to take action whenever:

● There are extreme temperature variations in comparison to your temperature settings

● It's time to baste, turn or manage your food in your desired way

● There are power issues

● The food is done

You can get alarm notifications through email or text messages. It's also possible to monitor your cooking progress on smartphones, tablets, or computers.

Something else to note is some temperature controllers are social devices; you can share pictures of your cook results or recipes with other grill fans. The TC also allows you to keep records of your past cooking sessions.

If you are an Amazon Alexa user, you can connect your bbq temperature controller for timely updates on cooking progress or change the settings of the TC using Alexa Skills.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using a Temperature Controller

I know that you got yourself a premium smoker for that great smoke flavor in your food. But, your smoker on itself can't deliver optimum results. You will need a temperature controller.

Here are some pros and cons of the bbq temperature controller:


  • Even cooking temperature during the entire cooking session
  • Easy monitoring of the food being cooked and grill temperature
  • Remote monitoring
  • You can easily know when food is cooked without guesswork


  • Price a bit on the higher side

Where Will You Use an Automatic Temperature Controller?

Can you use a temperature controller on any smoker? No.

Temperature controllers are meant for charcoal smokers only. However, there are some attempts to use TCs on wood cookers.

Other types of cookers, e.g., electric & gas smokers and grills, don't need a temperature controller. These cookers come with built-in probes, which are easy to set up.

Now, we have two TC brands compatible with either a kamado smoker (e.g., Big Green Egg), Water Smoker, a Weber Kettle, or other grills. Let's see these temperature controllers in detail.

auto bbq temp control
bbq guru temperature controller

Flame Boss Vs BBQ Guru

So far, we have seen what a temperature controller is and how to control temperature on a smoker using the TC. Let's now see the product offerings here.

Now, there are several temperature controllers brands in the market today. However, there are only two brands that stand out.

These two brands have been around longer than all others, which means their performance has been thoroughly tested and approved.

So, which are these two unique brands am I referring to? I am speaking about Flame Boss and BBQ Guru.

Let's now go deeper with these two temperature controller brands!

Flame Boss

The Flame Boss corporation was established in 2013 by Roger Collins in Apopka, FL. Rodger was a computer engineer and a great fan of smoked barbeque.

He developed Flame Boss when he was fed up with the night trips to his charcoal smoker. He needed a smoker automatic temperature control; his friends needed this too.

Rodger held a consultation session with his brother Michael to meet this demand, and both started what became their second-largest business. 

BBQ Guru

Shotgun Fred Pirkle founded BBQ Guru in 2003 at Warminster, PA. Fred also founded ThermoOmega Tech, specializing in manufacturing thermo actuators, control valves, rail freeze protection valves, and safety showers.

Fred, a thermodynamic engineer, was challenged by a friend to create a control valve for grills; and this is how he came up with BBQ Guru.

His love for barbeque also contributed to his commitment to providing people with exceptional controls for their grills and smokers.

Flame Boss and BBQ Guru – Product Range

Each of these brands has several products that vary in features and price. Let's see a product review of each.

Flame Boss Products

The Flame Boss only specializes in temperature controls for kamado cookers and universal temperature controllers.

Here are the Flame Boss temperature control versions:

100 Series

These are introductory models. You will need to be near these controllers when cooking to hear the alarms notifying you of the cooking progress, problems, or when food has reached doneness.

flame boss android app

300 series

The 300 series allows you to use a maximum of three meat probes and one pit probe at a go. These controllers allow you to monitor food and pit temperatures from a phone, tablet, or computer.

Flame Boss 400 and 500 series

This temperature control series allows you to control internal temperatures remotely using the WiFi capability.

Flame Boss 400 Vs 500

Here are some of the differences between Flame Boss 400 and 500:


Flame Boss 400 comes in a single unit; thermometers and WiFi systems are featured in the blower.

On the other hand, Flame boss 500 comes with two units. One unit holds the power supply, digital meat thermometer cables, and display, and another unit (the blower) is fixed at the smoker vent.


Flame boss 500 has more features than flame boss 400, thus making it more expensive than the latter.

BBQ Guru products

BBQ Guru produces various products than the flame boss, which only specializes in temperature controllers.

BBQ Guru provides temperature controllers, including PartyQ, UltraQ, DigiQ, and CyberQ. You can also buy grills, smokers, and their accessories from this company.

Now, let's see some descriptions of the four BBQ Guru temperature controllers.


This controller is powered by two AA batteries and only monitors pit temperature. PartyQ bbq temperature controller is suitable for small to medium smokers.


UltraQ helps in eliminating guesswork when you are grilling or smoking food. This bbq temperature controller allows you to view the progress of your cook through a Bluetooth and or WiFi-enabled IOS or Android App.

bbq guru cyberq wifi


DigiQ temperature controller plugs into a vent and pit. What's more? It monitors pit temp and uses meat probes to monitor food temperature. 


With this bbq temperature controller, you can monitor temperatures for up to three cuts of meat. However, you will need to buy more probes to achieve this.

CyberQ comes with a WiFi capability that will allow you to track, control, and record cooks. Is that all? No.

The WiFi capability of this controller allows you to share cook pictures on social media and socialize with other smokers. With the bbq guru cyberq WiFi, you receive cooking progress notifications through email, text, and Amazon Alexa.

Flame Boss and BBQ Guru – Product Similarities & Differences



Engineers develop products

BBQ Guru makes different products besides its temperature controllers. The Flame boss only specializes in temperature controllers

Products created by barbeque fans

It's a bit simple to set up Flame Boss TC compared to the BBQ Guru TC

High-quality temperature control products


Efficient charcoal usage


Can use Amazon Alexa to monitor cooks and Alexa skills to change cook settings


Which Model is Perfect for You?

We have come a long way. By now, I know you already have your favorite brand in mind between flame Boss and BBQ Guru.

Now, here are my thoughts if you are still undecided between the two brands:

Both 500 WiFi smoker controller and cyberq firmware will be perfect for you if you are a tech fan who wants to explore Amazon Alexa and the cloud. 

However, if all you want is a good cook and don't mind checking your cooker often, then Flame Boss 100 and partyQ bbq guru temperature controller will be enough for you.

Common Temperature Controllers' Concerns and How to Handle Them

There will always be a few users who have issues with tech items. This is normal since everyone is abled differently.

Now, there are a few concerns raised by some users on temperature controllers. Most of these concerns are related to the user not being able to use the controller properly according to the manufacturer's instructions.

So, let me address one of these issues before introducing you to the best temperatures controllers I have lined up for you.

Excessive heat

How can a charcoal smoker have incredibly high temperatures with a temperature controller? 

Now, it's possible to have high heat in your cooker, even in the presence of your Tc. This is often not a problem with your bbq temperature controller but with your smoker.

Too much air leaking into your cooker can overwhelm your controller and cause it not to function correctly. 

So, check if the seal on your smoker is firm. If the seal is worn out, you can do a seal replacement. Also, check vent positions.

Top 3 Best Flame Boss Temperature Controllers Reviewed

One thing you look for when buying a smoker controller is its reliability. You want a TC that will provide you with accurate results and one that is durable.

In this Flame Boss review, we shall see three types of Flame Boss temperature controllers that have passed the suitability tests and how they compare.

Flame Boss 300 WiFi Smoker Temperature Controller

Flame Boss 400 WiFi Smoker Temperature Controller

Flame Boss 500 WiFi Smoker Temperature Controller

Flame Boss 300
Flame Boss 400
Flame Boss 500

Easy to use

Easy to use

Easy to use




One pit probe and one meat probe included in the package

The package consists of a blower, one pit probe, one meat probe, and a power supply

The package includes a WiFi controller with grill adapters and a blower, one high heat meat probe, one high heat pit probe, two temperature probe cord organizers, and a power supply

It can accommodate three meat probes using optional Y-cable and meat probes

It doesn't support the use of Y-Cable and multiple meat probes

It supports up to three meat probes which are sold separately

Reliable blower

Latest technology software and blower

Latest technology software and blower

Open lid detector, which turns the fan off temporarily when you open the lid

Online dashboard for internal temperature monitoring via an IOS or flame boss android app

Online dashboard for internal temperature monitoring via an IOS or android app

Temperature alarm text to notify you when food is done

Alarms and alerts

Alarms and alerts

Compatible with:
1. Kamado ceramic grills (All sizes)
2. Kamado Joe (Big Joe 18 and 24)
3. Primo Grills (All)
4. Big Green Egg (All sizes)

Compatible with:
1. Vision Grills (Classic series only)
2. Kamado Joe (All sizes)
3. Grill Dome (All sizes)
4. Saffire Grill & Smoker
5. Primo Grills (All sizes)
6. Char-Griller AKORN Kamado
7. Broil King Keg (2000 & 4000)

Compatible with:
1. Primo Grills (All sizes)
2. Saffire Grill & Smoker
3. Vision Grills (Classic series only)
4. Kamado Joe (All sizes)
5. Big Green Egg (All sizes)
6. Grill Dome (All sizes)
7. Char-Griller AKORN Kamado
8. Broil King Keg (2000 & 4000)

Weighs 1.58 ounces

Weighs 1.04 pounds

Weighs 2.22 pounds

Top 3 Best BBQ Guru Temperature Controllers Reviewed

Let's now see three BBQ Guru temperature controllers competing closely with the Flame Boss temperature controllers above.

BBQ Guru UltraQ

BBQ Guru CyberQ

BBQ Guru DigiQ

BBQ Guru UltraQ
BBQ Guru CyberQ
BBQ Guru DigiQ

Visual feedback

Detailed temperature graphing

Food ready alert

Remote cook monitoring and control via Bluetooth or WiFi

BBQ guru cyberq WiFi for complete control

Complete smoker control

Accurate internal temperature recordings

Precise temperature display

Accurate food temperature recording

Safe to wash digital temperature probes

Can monitor up to three food temperatures

A pit temperature probe and food probe are included in the package

Premium blower with a magnetic mount

Revolutionary fan

Revolutionary fan

Desired temperature management

Desired temperature management

Desired temperature management

Easy to set up and use

Easy to set up and use

Easy to set up and use

Exclusive ramp mode that lowers temperatures when food is approaching doneness

Exclusive ramp mode and Amazon Alexa voice control

Exclusive ramp mode

Compatible with:
1. Big Green Egg (Small, Medium, and XL)
2. Weber Smokey mountain and weber grills
3. Kamado Joe
4. Cypress grill
5. Primo grill (all models)
6. DragonFire grill
7. Vision classic and other ceramic grills

Compatible with:
1. Weber Smokey Mountain
2. Big Green Egg and other ceramic grills

Compatible with:
1. Weber Smokey mountain and weber grills
2. Cypress grill
3. Big Green Egg (Medium, large, and XL)
4. Kamado Joe
5. Vision Classic
6. DragonFire Grill
7. Primo Grills (all models)
8. Other ceramic grills


1. Why is my flame boss offline?

When your Flame Boss disconnects from the WiFi when in use, you will need to update the firmware of your temperature controller.

2. Are meat thermometers worth it?

A meat thermometer is essential if you want to eat perfectly cooked meat at all times. You also get to enjoy tender and juicy cuts of meat.

3. Can you use a meat thermometer on other foods?

Yes, you can use a meat thermometer to check the doneness of other types of meals. You can even use a meat probe to take hot water temperature.

4. How do you clean a BBQ thermometer?

A food thermometer usually gets dirty from grease and food debris. You can use a degreaser spray and a microfiber-free cloth to clean your thermometer. However, you can replace your thermometer if it doesn't get clean.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we have seen the leading product offerings of both Flame Boss and BBQ Guru. However, I know that you are looking forward to knowing which is the best bbq temperature controller recommended.

First, it's never easy to choose between products that offer exceptional services. But because you will just take one temperature controller home at the end of the day, I decide to narrow down my recommendation to cyberq vs Flame Boss.

Now, between cyberq and Frame Boss 500, I will recommend Flame Boss 500 due to its easy setup, WiFi capability, and minimal temperature variations from the set temperatures. However, it's good to note that the cyberq bbq temperature controller is just a blink of an eye away.

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