Like many of you I get a real personal satisfaction that stems from cooking, particularly smoking and grilling. I am always looking for ways to improve on the process and make it easier in the long run. My main smoker at this point is my homemade UDS and it is perfect for my purposes. It really is set it and forget it but I always monitor the grate temps via remote thermo to keep everything in check. Once it is up to temp and the meat is on, it is really really good about maintaining consistent temps with minor adjustments. Since I usually target larger cuts of meat like 12+ lb pork butts and briskets, I was looking for an easier way do longer cooks without having to worry about temps in the smoker hence my purchase of the BBQ Guru and the 10cfm fan. Sometimes I need to run to the store or whatever for a few minutes or just get some sleep.
For my first trial of the Guru, I did an 8lb pork butt. The Guru got the smoker up to temp quick and once the meat was on, I didn't take the lid off for 12 hours. The smoker fluctuated in temps but no more than 5-8* in either direction over the 230 set point (I had the Guru pit probe and my wireless one going at the same time). I did use a water pan on the bottom rack to keep the meat moist and act as a heat diffuser (temps were within 10* across the grate). The Guru did exactly as advertised and worked perfectly. I never once made any adjustments to the smoker intake since the Guru is the only source of air by design. I did notice around 11 hours or so that the fan was on more and more. After reading the book, it indicated that the coals were getting low but I used the same amount as I do for longer cooks. I ended up pulling the butt off after 12 hours of cooking and at 178* internal temp. I foiled at that point and finished it in the oven at 300. There was only a little bit of coals left in the smoker.
Over the course of 12 hours plus startup time, the smoker burned up all of the charcoal that I put in there which was about 10-12lbs. My basket was not quite 3/4 full but I didn't think it would use that much. The only negative thing that I have noticed is the increased fuel consumption which is not a problem at all, I just didn't expect it. Next time I will fill the whole basket up and not worry about it. I am now ready to do some worry free over night smokes without worrying about temps. This is a great product and I would recommend it to anyone on the fence about a temp controller. This is pretty general but if anyone has any questions I'll answer them.