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Review of the Fireboard

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    Review of the Fireboard

    I got a Fireboard Extreme BBQ Edition for Christmas. My wife knew I wanted one. She also, I'm pretty sure, is tired of me complaining about not having enough grill and meat probes. Well, now I have 2 grill probes and 6 meat probes. Although I can only use 6 of them at a time. But, I can see on my WSM where I would use 2 grill probes and 4 meat probes. It will be pretty cool when I am cooking 3-4 pork butts.

    My first observation when I unwrapped it is that the packaging is solid all the way around. I knew I was getting a high quality product. Much nicer than getting my system in plastic packaging that I have to cut open with a pair of utility shears. Instead, it came in a very nice box, with the Fireboard and set up instructions in a top compartment and the probes and charger in separate compartments in the box. It was like buying an Apple or Amazon product, in that sense.

    The next obvious thing is how much higher quality this is than a Maverick ET-732. You'll see in the pictures, that the Fireboard probes are much better than the Maverick probes. The Maverick probes are crimped to the cable, where the Fireboard probes have a spring to keep the cable from pinching, followed by a waterproof coupler to attach the cable to the probe. The Fireboard base unit is about the same size as the Maverick base unit. However, it is much higher quality plastic case, heavier (due to the internal battery) and feels better, more solid, higher quality in your hand.

    Set up was easy. I downloaded the Fireboard app from the Apple app store (since I use an iPhone). If you have any sort of Android based tablet or phone, Fireboard app is available in your app store. And, if all else fails, you can just login to the website and do it that way. Once the app was on my phone, I created an account. With bluetooth turned on, I quickly and easily found my Fireboard. I set up WiFi on it and changed its name. That took me all of two minutes. And I was ready to go.

    I did a few tests to confirm that this thing worked. My wife was cooking some brownies, so I stuck a probe from the Maverick and from the Fireboard in the oven. The oven said it was 350. The Maverick, which I know is accurate +/- 2F, said the oven was 338. And the Fireboard said it was 339.2. Pretty darn close. More than close enough. I also probed some boiling water .... Fireboard said 210.8 and Thermapen said 211. Great!!!!

    When it came time to cook, once you plug your probes in and turn the Fireboard on, it automatically creates a new cooking session. It was very easy to rename the cooking session, add some notes about ambient air temp, weather conditions, what I was cooking, what grill I was using, etc. Then I clicked on each probe and renamed them to be appropriate to my cook .... i.e. Probe 1 got renamed Grill, Probe 2 to Roast, etc. Then I was able to set high and low temp alarms and configured them to be sent to me via SMS text messages. Pretty cool!

    The Fireboard worked flawlessly during the cook. It was as easy to read temps and know what was happening with my grill and meat as the Maverick. Even better, configuring alarms was 1000 times easier than on the Maverick. Even better, all the data is uploaded to my Fireboard account every 5 seconds. I can download that data and put it in a spreadsheet, or just use the basic graphing and visualization tools that Fireboard provides for me. I'm an engineer by training and trade, so lots of data about my tools makes me very happy.

    An interesting observation, confirming what Meathead and his team have been telling us, is that opening the hood of the grill affects grill temp, but not meat temp. Not only that, the meat really just continues on cooking without any significant impact. According to the raw data, the meat dropped about half a degree over a 50 second time span and then returned to its original temp and continued right on cooking. A half degree impact for less than one minute is statistically negligible when we are looking at a 3 hour cook involving a temperature change of 100 degrees. In other words, opening the lid of your grill does not cause your cook to take significantly longer. It will have other impacts, of course. You will change the humidity and smoke of your cook chamber, which may be a much bigger issue to consider.

    Overall observations. This is a high quality tool. Having WiFi and a cloud based application makes this the tool I've been looking for. Not only can I remotely monitor my cooking, like I could with the Maverick ET-732 or Thermoworks Smoke, but I can retain the data, keep data for each cooking session, and monitor my cook from anywhere on earth. That's pretty damn cool.

    I'm really looking forward to my first long cook, either a pork butt or brisket, so that I can get my hands on a lot of data and see what it looks like.

    I know this is expensive. But it's not that much more than the Thermoworks Smoke, and it has the ability to run 6 probes. And it is cloud enabled right now. Smoke won't be until May. And will require an add-on unit. The basic Fireboard, base unit, grill probe and 2 meat probes, is $189. For Smoke to compete with all the features of Fireboard is going to require that Smoke Gateway add-on unit, so it will be about the same price. But still only have 2 probes. To get the same amount of probe capability, you will need 3 Smokes @ $99 each. Compared to a single Fireboard, with 8 probes (6 usable at a time) for $249. And we don't know how that Gateway is going to cost.

    If you are looking for something higher quality than the Maverick, with remote monitoring, multiple probes, cloud capability .... this is the unit to buy.

    I literally had no cons for this. It is the absolute best pit monitoring system for the backyard or competition cook, in my opinion. If I was designing it, this is what you would get.

    The box
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    Here's the contents of the box .... look at the quality of the packaging!
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    Roast Beast and Ham on the Hasty-Bake
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    Maverick probe vs. Fireboard probe
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    Maverick base unit, remote unit, and Fireboard base unit
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    Example graph of data from cooking a roast and a ham
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    #2
    Great write up! Thanks. This is now on my new wish list for this coming year.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks alot ecowper now you have me and myself arguing again

      Comment


      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        I was torn between the Fireboard and the Smoke .... not anymore. If that is the debate you are having, I say get the Fireboard.

      • DWCowles
        DWCowles commented
        Editing a comment
        I have the Smoke just haven't use it yet but I have had my eyeballs on the Fireboard since Danjohnston949 post his.

      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        It's pretty awesome in my opinion.

      #4
      Wow, I'm sold on the multiple probes alone!! The fact it uses WiFi and the internet really knocks it out of the park for me. I gotta get one!!

      Comment


      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah, the ability to run 6 probes at once is awesome

      #5
      ecowper, I am glad to here that You are as Pleased as I am with Your New FireBoard! I Recieved mine just before Thanksgiving & used it for the TG Bird. Like You I found the ability set and Name individual Probes and the Alarms very useful! I am not very Tech Savy but [email protected] not only gave me a great deal of help, including contacting me on Thanksgiving to see how I and my Turkey were doing? 👍👍👍👍👍 In My Book!! The iPad App wasn't functional at T'sG'g, it has since been updated! My only Squaks currently are the need for a waterproof case and the unavailability of Straight Meat Probes & Spools or Reels for Probe Storage! FireBoard is Currently working on the case according to Ted (Owner-FireBoard)! DWCowles, I think you can jump off the log with confidence! ecowper said it all!
      Eat Well and Prosper! From a Backyard Cremator in Fargo ND, Dan

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      Attached Files
      Last edited by Danjohnston949; December 26, 2016, 03:32 PM.

      Comment


      • Hawkce541
        Hawkce541 commented
        Editing a comment
        Man, that turkey looks like it's about to go into surgery with all of those cords coming from it....lol

      #6
      Thanx for the great review.

      Comment


        #7
        What did that set up cost?
        Product looks fantastic.
        Great review.

        Comment


        • ecowper
          ecowper commented
          Editing a comment
          The Extreme BBQ Edition is $249 on their website. The standard edition is $189, but only has a single grill probe and 2 meat probes.

        #8
        Really great review ecowper ! Thank you!

        Comment


          #9
          Great review. I was so convinced that I went to their site and poked around a bit. Their product seems so well conceived (and from my hometown of KC!) that I wrote the owner and asked about the future of fan control as part of their product line. I was assuming that it would be a different product, but this was the response that I received:

          Hi Jay!

          Thanks, we are indeed planning on adding a fan controller and it will add on to the existing FireBoard via the auxiliary port.

          We had this in mind when we built it, so wanted to allow that capability.

          We’ve had lots of requests for this, so are trying to move this along.

          Thanks

          Ted

          That will be amazing: the ability to add fan control to an already killer temperature monitor. Wow. I ordered (backordered) the extreme package tonight. I figured I had a fan controller in my future, but needed a better solution than the Maverick now. I'm hoping fireboard will satisfy both needs. Sure, maybe they won't make good on their promise, but for now I'm going to give some $$ to some home-town folks for a great temp monitoring system. If they can add the fan-control to their existing product...killer! I thought this info might be of broad interest.

          Cheers,

          Jay

          Comment


          • tbob4
            tbob4 commented
            Editing a comment
            fauxQ - Thanks a ton! I think you and ecowper just made my mind up for me.

          #10
          That is wicked sweet considering a Datalogger and 2 probes would run me about $300.

          Comment


          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            Exactly. That price for what I got is amazing

          • Danjohnston949
            Danjohnston949 commented
            Editing a comment
            Jerod, Just like ecowper has said the FireBoard will do it All and the Plans are being laid for future expansions! I have a Maverick et-733 that I like very much! The iCloud Data Log Capabilities make the FireBoard Capabilities over the Top!
            From a Backyard Cremator in Fargo ND, Dan

          #11
          ecowper and fauxQ - I pulled the trigger on the Fireboard. It's on back-order. The deciding factors were: It was cheaper than a DigiQ. The capability of one day adding a fan was nice. I live on an acre and the BBQ area is back and around a corner a bit so I wasn't sure if the Smoke signal would go through walls. My Wi-Fi will reach it, though. My wife said - "Half the fun you have is checking on things and moving the wood around. If you buy the fan and don't ever have to do anything you may not have as much fun." Hopefully the notifications are loud enough to wake me up if I decide on a through the night cook.

          Comment


          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            I totally agree about fire management. And my wife would agree, too. She has said almost the same thing to me about my fun being in the fire management. They are supposed to have more units manufactured in mid January, I think?

          • tbob4
            tbob4 commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah - It says they will have a shipment on Jan 10th. I put the order in so I wouldn't change my mind and beat myself up about it. Does it have an audible alarm app for the phone?

          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            You set alerts on each probe and telll it send a text message, email, or both. Then, of course, you set your text/email to be audible

          #12
          Excellent review. While my cooks are not nearly as large as yours, I can definitely see one in my future.

          Comment


          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            Most of the time I am cooking 1 or 2 hunks of meat. So, normally the basic version of the Fireboard would be great. But several times in the summer, we have a big backyard shindig and I'm cooking 3 or 4 pieces of meat and, sometimes, running 2 cookers at once. Then I want all 6 probes.

          #13
          Let's see, Plasma donations get about $50 per week, so it will take roughly 2 months to get enough socked away to buy the Extreme edition... Guess I know what I am doing for the next few months...

          Comment


            #14
            I've had my Fireboard for a bit over a month now. Having to deal with 8 probes/cables spurred me to find a solution to keep everything untangled.
            The wires coil up nicely in these:

            https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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            The case I use to store everything in:

            https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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            Comment


            • ecowper
              ecowper commented
              Editing a comment
              I hadn't thought about that yet .... perfect.

            • ecowper
              ecowper commented
              Editing a comment
              Histrix do those headphone cases hold 1 or 2 of the Fireboard probes?

            • Histrix
              Histrix commented
              Editing a comment
              ecowper you could maybe squeeze two probes wires coiled up in one case. I'll give that a try sometime in the next day or so.

            #15
            That definitely beats tossing it all in the drawer like I do!

            Comment

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