So below is the results of the testing (Hell) I put it thru.
Out of the box initial reaction and setup.
When I got the package and unpacked I was surprised at how compact the unit was compared to the Smoke and Maverick. Packing was compact with minimal wasted space. I was really impressed at the temperature probes. They are built like a tank. Below in the second picture the probe is sitting next to my thermapen probe for a comparison
The setup instructions were minimal as well and I was a little concerned at first wondering if this would be another device that you had to figure out on your own. But that wasn’t the case. Setup took about 10 minute’s total. This included registering an account on fireboard.com, setting up the wifi connection, and tinkering with a few things. The instructions were very clear and it worked as it was supposed to work which was very nice.
Range of Bluetooth and Wifi
A big downfall of a lot of the units is the range of use and disconnects. I tested the unit just on Bluetooth and went over 300’ strait line of sight and it stayed connected the whole time. I also went about 230 feet with our house in between me and the unit and it stayed connected with no issue. I kept it at this distance for well over an hour. As for wifi that is dependent on your router. I had the fireboard over 500’ away from wifi and it maintained connection. This really impressed me as I haven’t been about to get these type of results from the other units I have owned.
Accuracy and response time
Out of the box I tested the probes in boiling water and ice water. They were within .3 degrees of my thermapen which made me pretty happy.
Response time varies on what you are putting it into at the time. For example if you are putting it in a Turkey that is sitting one the counter just out of the fridge it took 15-20 seconds to get all the way down to temp. It got close to the temp within 10 seconds but took a bit extra to get leveled out. Now when I put it into a pork butt that has been on the smoker for several hours it took about a minutes to level out at 170 degrees. Again it jumped close to the temp within 30 seconds but slowly climbed the last few degrees within the minute. All in all I found it to be similar to the other units I have tested but just a tad faster.
As I stated in the beginning I have had this unit well over a month and have put it thru the ringer.
I have used it on my charcoal grill while doing a top round roast to make pit beef.
I put it in my deep freezer (controller and probe) for 24 hours. It maintained its connection to wifi no problem and performed flawlessly. I pulled it out of the freezer and put the probe into a hot oven and it too about a minute for the temp to equalize.
I tested it on my gas grill and it did well until the grill got over 800 then it was too high for the probe to read.
I tested the waterproof claim of the probes. I had them submerged in a brine for over 24 hours.
The battery life is over 24 hours then you plug it in or buy the extra battery pack for extended use.
I decided to run it for a long time so I have had it plugged in and monitoring room temp for over a month and it has worked great.
After a month of continuous work I checked the accuracy of the probes again and they were still within .3 degrees of my thermapen.
So to review I have used it on the following:
In a Brine
To Monitor Room Temperature.
Over all I am very happy with this unit and the fact that the probes are waterproof. I am eager to test the fan controller feature that is currently being beta tested by Fireboard.
You would think that I would be done by now but Im not. So the app that controls the unit from your phone is AWESOME. You can custom name each Channel. You can custom name each session. You can setup multiple custom alarms. Now here is the cool part. These alarms can text you and email you when said threshold has been met.
Now here is the coolest part. The app works from anywhere as long as the fireboard is connected to wifi and your phone has cell/internet connection. So you can be on the lake fishing and can check monitor app as long as you have Internet Service from your cellular provider. So you can check it from the store or while cutting the grass. In addition say you don’t have access to your phone you can go to fireboard.com from any computer or smartphone and login and see your active session and your archived sessions.
The 1 thing I don’t care for and it’s really not a big deal and I might not be doing something right is that it will only allow a session to run for a max of 24 hours then it start another session. Granted it’s not often that your smoke sessions will last more than that I would still like it to be longer.
Now if you are like me you like to have lots of data. Well you can download the data logs and it will download in a csv format to be edited in Excel. You can download it so that it shows every data read which is every 5 seconds or tell it you only want every 1 minute or 5 minute format.
Some people will balk at the price and I can understand the initial response. But think about how many people have 2-3 Mavericks or Smokes. Well 3 Mavericks is close to $200 depending on which one you get. Then you have 2-3 control units to worry about and the connection issues with Bluetooth that a lot of them have. With the Fireboard you can control 6 probes at once with 1 app. That in its self makes it worth it to me.
Knowing that they are developing fan controllers that will run off of the same unit is another bonus. Also they sell probes that can be threaded directly into your smokers existing thermometer holes. This is nice so that you don’t need to drill new holes for the wire to go thru. They are developing other accessories for this unit as well which is awesome in my opinion. Most companies just leave them alone after release. Fireboard seems committed to makings this unit one of the best units on the market.
In the end you have to figure what its worth to you. This unit can be for everyone from the weekend warrior to the comp teams to the daily business. This is hands down one of the best units I have ever used.
Please let me know if you have questions as I may have missed something in the review or check them out at www.fireboard.com