My wife convinced me to buy a BBQ Guru DigiQ DX2

Discussion in 'WSM Owners (Weber Smokey Mountain)' started by noboundaries, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My wife is one Q-loving Texas woman and she always has an agenda.  She can cook quite nicely but she generally leaves the cooking to me.  With the exception of a 26+ year old 18.5" Weber Kettle I bought long ago, she has purchased every piece of outdoor cooking equipment we own; an early model 22.5" Weber Performer Kettle and a Kenmore 5 burner gasser.  She got me into smoking by purchasing a Smokenator for the Weber Kettle.  I was perfectly happy with that then last Christmas she said "buy any smoker you want."  A 22.5" WSM was added to the lineup.  She's never used any of it herself, but I've put them all through their paces.

    Father's Day I got bored watching the US Open while a 6 lb pork shoulder was smoking on the WSM.  I flipped on YouTube, started watching Q videos, and she walked by as I was watching a video on the BBQ Guru.  I'd researched the BBQ Gurus earlier in the year and talked myself out of buying one even though I had some bonus money burning a hole in my pocket.  The reason I talked myself out of it is that I generally smoke hot n fast because frankly I don't like babysitting the smoker for more than 8 hours.  Most of my smokes are in the 4-9 hour range.  The bad part about that is it takes up at least one day on the weekend due to the meats or combination of meats I choose.  That's okay, I love smoking.

    She asked a bunch of questions as she watched the video and I could see the wheels turning in her head by the questions she asked, all about low n slow.  "If you got that BBQ Guru you could set it for low n slow and smoke during the week, couldn't you?"  Yes.  "If you got the Guru we could do more on the weekend than smoke meat, couldn't we?"  Yes.  "You haven't bought yourself anything with your bonus money yet, have you?"  Correct.  "Happy Father's Day Dear!  Buy it now!"

    I didn't argue.        
     
  2. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yup.... them ulterior motives will get you every time! lol

    .... and it proves the wives are generally smarter than us to boot! [​IMG]
     
  3. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Added the DX2 to my "arsenal" last week and it sure makes it a pleasure to smoke with the WSM (22.5).  Tomorrow, the DX2 meets my Mini-WSM and spatch-cocked chicken.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
  4. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Congrats on the new Q addition Ray, that's a heck of a score man ! Ya know if Mama ain't happy.... Well... Ya know the rest.... Haha ! Be real interested in what ya think of it ! :biggrin:
    When ya gettin it & puttin er to the first test ? I'll be watchin & when ya get it be sure to do one of these man.... :yahoo:

    Justin
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
  5. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Oh, she is going to jump all OVER that one.  Once again, no argument from me!
    Dave, glad to know you enjoy the DX2.  My wife is a bit of a techno-geek like myself and she thought the combination of the technology and the hobby was cool.  Be sure to post pics here of your splatched chicken!
    Thanks Justin!  The DX2 is scheduled for delivery on Saturday, but I didn't think FedEx delivered on Saturday as standard practice, so I'll expect it Monday.  If it is here Saturday, woo hoo!  Basically that gives me until then to finally install and cure the gasket kit on the WSM, a kit that's been sitting here for months.

    What to smoke?  Just did a shoulder this past weekend.  Will probably start with something simple like SLC spares and a faux pastrami made out of a corned beef round I have in the freezer.  Pics will follow.

    Then I've been hankering for a fresh turkey too.  Found a place about 40 miles away that sells them year round.  Just might have to make that trip then use a low/slow initial smoke and a hot/fast finish just to put it through it's paces. 

    Will probably do a full packer before the turkey though.  Biggest I've done is between 10-11 lbs because that's all I've been able to find at a price I wanted to pay.  Noticed weekend before last that my local Costco finally had some nice Choice grade 14-17 lbs packers, first I've seen this year there.  Want to try one of those low and slow, Aaron Franklin style with butcher paper.

    So many choices.     
     
  6. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Installed the Weber Gasket Kit this morning.  Piece of cake.  Took longer to clean 6 months of buildup from weekly use than it did to install the kit.  A degreaser only went so far.  A handy glass scraper easily took off all the buildup so it was like new after one last clean with the degreaser and a swipe with acetone (nail polish remover).  It is obvious the kit will seal up the leaks.  I couldn't resist and put the door on briefly.  It looked completely sealed.  The gasket sticks out from around the door but that's fine with me.

    I just checked and the DX2 will be delivered today.  It is out on the truck for delivery!  Tomorrow, after the gasket finishes curing, I'll be smoking.  SLCs were on sale so they will be a low and slow 225F test for both the gaskets and the DX2.


     
  7. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds great Ray, lookin forward to seeing how this project of yours goes..... Can't imagine getting all that stuff off my WSM, good lord.... I've had my WSM for 5+ yrs & can't imagine doing that..... I'am lookin on my friend to see how this goes for sure...., :biggrin:
     
  8. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Happy Sunday Everyone!

    Loaded the WSM this morning with two racks of beautifully prepped grocery store SLC spares and a 5.28 lb boneless cross rib roast.  I've never seen SLC spares trimmed square from the grocery store before, but these were perfect!  Nice sized too at 4.2 lbs.  I rubbed them with EVOO then a commercial Ol' Western BBQ Spice followed by a layer of turbinado sugar.  This morning when I went to get the sugar I couldn't pass up the $3.99 sale price on one of my favorite roast beef cuts so I got one big enough to eat on all during the week once the spares are gone.  Rubbed it with EVOO then Snider's Prime Rib and Roast Beef Seasoning. 

    The Weber Gasket kit easily sealed 80% of the lid and door leaks.  There was still a little bit of smoke coming out on one side of the lid and a little bit coming out of the door, but it definitely was a HUGE improvement.  Those leaks may seal up with time.  Honestly though, I don't think it makes any difference one way or another it is so little of a leak.

    The BBQ Guru DigiQ DX2 has been holding 225F rock steady for more than two hours now.  I have my Maverick 732 hooked up too, monitoring both chamber and food (the roast).  The DX2 and the Maverick are easily within 0-3 degrees of each other at any given time for both food and chamber.  There was up to a 20 degree high reading difference on the Maverick while the WSM pre-heating but once the DX2 got to 225F the Maverick dropped down and matched it.  

    I've always had to work pretty hard to keep this particular, leaky, WSM down to 225-235F. That's a non issue from now on.  Using the DX2 feels like setting the oven.  Man, this is no work at all!  I tried to take pics of the DX2 and Maverick together but the display on the DX2 doesn't show up on the pics.

    More pics later.  Below is the meat prepped for the smoker.


     
  9. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Lookin great Ray ! Looks like some good eats in your future ! Thumbs Up
     
  10. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Justin!  Roast is at 124F IT right now.  Will pull it off at 135F IT, wrap it, rest it, then stick it in the refrigerator to slice on tomorrow. If I'm not careful a piece or two might jump into my mouth.      
     
  11. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Its all your fault you made me join the group so I could follow this!

    First I want to know, how many days did you really have to sit in front of the monitor, at that site, before she passed by and noticed the drool? <Chuckles>

    I am really impressed. Looking forward to the maiden flight!
     
  12. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds good ! Funny how them pieces somehow, someway end up as some samples ! I mean it's gotta be someone's job to be the (OQI) official quality inspector ! Your just takin one for the team..... Haha ! :biggrin: Be lookin on for the rest of this, great thread ! Thumbs Up
     
  13. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Foamheart my friend, glad I could twist your arm!  Welcome to the bullet loaders!
    Sampling and quality control, the best part of this tasty job!

    Lots of leads and wires with this setup.  Love the techie gadgets!

    Plus, here's the meat load just before I pulled the beef roast off the WSM.

    Forgot to mention, spraying the ribs with 50/50 mix of apple cider and peach schnapps.  Thought I'd try something new.


     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  14. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Interesting results using the DigiQ DX2.  Talk about holding temps absolutely steady, this baby does it.  BUT, it is going to require me to adjust my final temps and times.  Using the DigiQ DX2  reminds me of cooking for the first time in a convection oven, which results in 10-20% faster cooking times compared to conventional.  I pulled the cross rib roast at the same internal temp I've always used in the past on the smoker, and it came out medium instead of medium rare.  I was going by the Maverick IT not the DiqiQ IT.  The DigiQ was reading 5 degrees higher.  Should have used that indicator.

    The ribs were off by about 30-45 minutes too, cooking quicker than I expected given their size.  When I checked them at 5.5 hours, there was very little draw up on the bone but the bend test indicated they were SOOOOOO done.  Ends were way dry; middle section decent but a little on the dry side.  Decent bite though and didn't fall off the bone.     

    So, for temp control, the BBQ Guru DigiQ DX2 is amazing.  Recovery after opening the lid to spritz took less than 5 minutes.  I've never held 225F for 6 hours in this WSM without any effort whatsoever.  The DX2 obviously results in faster cooking times.  Now I just have to adapt my timing and processes for the increased mixing of the air in the smoker.  That is an easy adaptation.    
     
  15. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Similar results when I used the DigiQ with my WSM.  Almost a set and forget.  WARNING:  don't tell anyone else how easy it is with the WSM, otherwise, the mystique is gone from the WSM.  Most of my Qing friends think because I have a WSM, I'm dabbling in the black arts........

    Now I'm trying to work out the interface with the mini-wsm and it's a whole different ball game.  Since I'm new to the mini-wsm game (less than a week), perhaps I need to go back to ground zero basics without the DigiQ.  Sorry for the slight thread hijack.

    ~Dave
     
  16. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Dave.  No apology necessary.

    I didn't think a 10CFM fan could make that much difference in air mixing, especially with a 22.5" WSM.  With 20-20 hindsight I should have recognized it when I was first firing up the smoker.  All the vents were wide open to bring the temps up quickly.  When the fan came on intermittently as the temps were rising smoke would flow out of the lower vents by 6-8 inches.  The mixing and overpressure would be significantly greater with a mini-WSM due to the much lower internal volume of the mini.

    It will be interesting in the morning to check the remaining fuel in the WSM when I dump the water and clean the water bowl.  I used KBB only due to the low/slow temp, my standard practice.  The makers claim fuel savings.  We'll see.    
     
  17. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here are the pics of the fuel burn with the DX2.  Took probably 35 minutes to come up to temp, 6 hours at 225F, then choked.  It was a relatively light load of fuel, just to below the top of the charcoal ring.  There was old fuel in the smoker, then I added wood, then charcoal then more wood.  I placed just less than 1/2 chimney of hot charcoal in the center of the pile.  The partially unburned wood at the 2:30 position was on top of the unlit charcoal.

    The DX2 10CFM fan definitely makes a difference in the fuel burn pattern.  You can see the fan deflector at approximately 4 o'clock in the picture.  The ash bowl was clean. Okay, not clean but empty before this smoke.  The air flowed along the bottom of the bowl and stoked the burning of the fuel first on the opposite side.

    Fun addition to the WSM.  Kind of like learning a new piece of smoking equipment but it is all familiar.  Will probably do hot n fast poultry next.

    The makers claim fuel savings.  After one smoke I'm going to have to agree with them.  The gasket kit probably had a lot to do with it too since it was another variable, but still.  The fact I could have ended this smoke up to 45 minutes sooner and seeing what is left after a 6h35m burn, I'll agree with the fuel savings claim.

     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  18. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Grats! Looks like the toys worked well [​IMG]

    I'm with WaterinHoleBrew.... I've "sealed up" my WSM with approx 6 or so years of build up....lol.
     
  19. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The charcoal burn pattern is keeping my analytical mind working overtime. I'm going clean a spot on the ash bowl then use some of the adhesive from the gasket kit. I'll cut up an aluminum roaster and put a deflector on the bowl to redirect some of the air up toward the unburned side of the charcoal pit, but leave enough flow to fan the other side too.
     
  20. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm so over worrying about burn patterns.  Now I'm just amazed at how little fuel I'm using.     

    The combination of gasket kit and BBQ Guru has made a HUGE impact on reducing the amount of fuel used.  I now have 5 smokes on the WSM with the new set up: 225F, 325F, 275F, 250F, and 250F/350F (6hrs, 2.5hrs, 3hrs, 1hr, and 8.5hrs respectively).  On the last smoke I ran 250F for 4.25hrs then wrapped the meat and ran it another 4.25hrs at 350F.  Although that is only 21 hours of smoking, don't think of it as one 21hr smoke.  It was five separate smokes, all using KBB.     

    I loaded the WSM with approximately 15 lbs of KBB for the first smoke shown above.  Prior to installing the gasket kit/Guru I would have added approximately 20-25 lbs more charcoal on the subsequent smokes due to the leaky nature of my WSM.  The choke period at the end of the smoke once all vents were closed was so inefficient I always burned through WAY more leftover fuel than was necessary.  I'd knock off the loose ash, clean out the ash kettle, and add more new charcoal to the ring. 

    Since adding the gasket/Guru I've not added any more charcoal to the ring other than 1/4 to 1/2 charcoal chimney's of hot briquettes on the subsequent smokes.  I still knock the loose ash off after every smoke and clean out the ash kettle each time but there is so little ash in the bowl.  I still do it because but I don't want old ash blown around using the Guru.  Prior to yesterday's 8.5hr smoke I felt like the charcoal load in my WSM was actually increasing just from adding the hot charcoal to start each smoke.   

    The WSM is now a truly set and forget smoker.  When I want to increase temps I just dial in the higher temp and off it goes.  The only difference I've noticed between the Guru and the Maverick for chamber temp was at the higher temps.  At 325F on the Guru the Maverick read a little low but eventually caught up.  At 350F on the Guru the Maverick settled in between 331F and 338F. I have the chamber probes right next to each other.

    Another advantage I've noticed is I no longer have to go through a period of waiting for white smoke to turn to TBS.  Basically I get TBS right from the start, which I found interesting.  The hot charcoal is pre-heating both the adjacent charcoal and wood, resulting in a cleaner burn.  I've noticed this on my drip pans too which have substantially less residue on the outside than before adding the gasket/Guru. 

    The learning curve was figuring out when to hook up the Guru and shut the lower vents while the initial chamber temp was climbing.  I now do it 40-50F prior to my target, quickly load the meat once the target is reached, and the Guru takes it back to my target quickly from the heat dump.  

    Fuel savings, set/forget, and absolute temp control.  I've gone from minor skeptic to completely sold on the gasket kit/Guru combo mod.         
     

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