BBQ Guru DigiQ worth it on a WSM?

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by sfprankster, May 20, 2016.

  1. As the title says, I'm close to pulling the trigger on a DigiQ for my WSM

    Using my WSM has been a blast. All except for the overnight smokes. I just don't get any sleep worrying about temps and having enough fuel to finish the smoke and ruining a large chunk of meat. Having a 20 lb brisket and a 16 lb pork butt in the freezer at work, doesn't help matters. I've been putting off smoking either one due to work/travel and the lack of sleep from the overnight smoke. With the DigiQ, I could smoke both and not interrupt my work/travel schedule.

    Any comments, good or bad, to help me to tip the scale one way or the other?
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You know my vote It is Great

    sfprankster likes this.
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I've had one for about 6 years on my WSM.

    I highly recommend it.

    They are very accurate & well built.

    In 6 years I've never even had a bad probe wire.

    sfprankster likes this.
  4. Thanx for the input!!
    Yup, I already knew!!! [​IMG]
    6 years on the probes???

    I rarely make the Maverick ones last 6-8 months.

    I have this weekend to think about it. I've already had one in the site's checkout cart. I didn't want it delivered when no one was at home. I haven't had any packages delivered here yet. If it's like our last place, UPS and FedEx just leave it at the end of the driveway. [​IMG]
  5. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    I have one and absolutely love the darn thing. Get will not regret your decision. I hemmed and hawed about it for a few months a couple years back and finally pulled the trigger. Haven't missed a wink of sleep since. 

    There are a lot of threads on this very subject.

    Be warned....your smoker will look like a science experiment in progress with everything hooked up. After making sure the temps were spot on I quit using the maverick all together to monitor my grate temps.

    Last edited: May 20, 2016
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  6. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    My charcoal smoker is not a WSM, so the comparison is not exact...but I love the DigiQ for my gravity fed charcoal smoker!  Just like Damon said, once I figured out how rock solid the temps stayed with the Guru, I stopped worrying about hooking up my Mav.  I've run my smoker for up to 14 hours without the temp ever varying more than 5*, thanks to the DigiQ.  It almost feels like cheating, cuz once you get it dialed in, you just don't ever have to mess with it.

    Like the others said...if you get it, you won't regret it!

    sfprankster likes this.
  7. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    SF... you said using your WSM has been a blast... it won't be anymore once you get the Digi Q... takes all the fun/satisfaction out of dialing it in manually as it will hold rock steady for hours ...
    sfprankster likes this.
  8. I agree with everyone so far.  I have had mine for several years and it is truly awesome!  A little bit pricey, but worth every penny.  Wonderful for overnight cook and I love the meat probe alarm.  You can set it to any temp you want.  Hope that helps.
    sfprankster likes this.
  9. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Going on 10 years with my Guru and yes it has the original probes.

    I bought mine mainly for those overnight pork butt smokes as I was doing 4 at a time in a 18.5" WSM.  Prior to the Guru, I used a Maverick to try an monitor the temps while I tried to sleep.  More than once, I lost signal due to distance from the WSM to the bedroom and the Maverick never alarmed (this was the old model, not the current ones).  Fortunately I did not mess up the smoke, but knowing this had happened made it hard to get any sleep when the WSM was running all night.

    Enter the Guru.  Took me about 2 smokes to become confident it was reliable.  I finally stopped using the Maverick to tell me the temps after a while as the Guru was rock solid and dependable to repeat the process smoke after smoke.  At one time I was doing 4 butts at least once a month for the office for retirement parties and other functions.  So my WSM and Guru have seen a lot of hours together.

    Once I figured a process out this is how the smokes went.  Plan was to have the meat hot and ready to pull at the office no later than 11AM with food service at 11:30AM.  My target time usually fell between 6:30am and 9:00am depending on the meat and the stall.  Never missed a food service time though.  The plan was to fire the WSM with a 95% full ring of unlit topped with about 1/2 a chimney of lit (minion top light method).  There would be fist sized chunks of hickory and pecan or apple mixed in with the unlit. I usually lit the WSM at around 12:30pm or 1:00pm the day before the food was to be served. Ran the Guru from the start.  Top vent 100% open and one lower vent blocked except for guru port with the other 2 lower vents closed.  This put the Guru in charge of the show.  Button up the WSM and close the Guru vent about 90% to let the coals stabilize and the guru would lightly stoke them to a steady 225* setting.  While the WSM stabilized, I trimmed and rubbed the butts.  Load 2 large butts on each food grate and button up the WSM.  Yes the temp would drop and the Guru would start puffing to counter the cold mass of the meat, but I still left the Guru vent mostly closed.  Once it was stable at 225* again I never touched the Guru or WSM until my reload of charcoal around 11PM.  Yes I know the Guru can run a lot longer than 10-12 hours, but charcoal is cheap and I like my sleep. Around 11PM, I would lift the body of the WSM with meet and top dome in place and push the remaining lit into a pile on one side of the fire ring (yes it's very heavy when fully loaded, but doing this kept the pit temp up for the 60 seconds it took me to reload the fire ring as the blanket of heated air remained trapped).  Fill in the rest of the fire ring with unlit (filled about 70-80%).  This gave me a modified minion relight.  I found just dumping the unlit on top of the lit gave me a period of acrid white smoke as the pit stabilized again.  The push to side method did not.   So now I'm in bed by 11:30pm and up around 6:30am to check the pit.  Usually found it in the 180* range stalled.  Depending on what the temp was I knew how much time I had to shower, cook breakfast, etc... Once it started moving up again I would hit it with the spritz around 190* spraying every half hour or so until it hit at least 195* but often I ran to 200* (depending on where I was with time).  This method gave me the flexibility to deal with a long stall.  Pull and foil the butts and put them in a mid sized Coleman ice chest with dead air filled by a folded towel. 20 minute drive to the office and I'm ready for the hungry hoard.  I held them 4 hours like this one time and they were still too hot to pull by hand (still smoking!).   I've done 4 butts like this dozens of times and the Guru never let me down.

    So for me if the WSM is lit, the Guru is running the show.  Once you use one it's basically set and forget simple.

    I do have one of the new Maverick units that I use mainly to keep track of the meat temp, but for butts I still go with the above method more by time.
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
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  10. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'm sure it works just like everyone has described, which is a good thing. I've checked them out in the past, almost pulled the trigger couple of times, but I'm still Guru-less. So far I've always done my overnight smokes on my weekends where I stay up late anyways. We all know how well the WSM holds temps..... I set the high and low chamber temp alarms and IF need be I'll get up and tend the fire. I don't have these overnight smokes often so, again, I'm still guru-less. Yes, I'd like to have one, but sometimes I also like checking on my butts in the middle of the night to see if they're still there, lol. You know, the butt thieves! And that hunk of meat, smoking under the stars, always seems to smell better than during the day. I'm happy with the way things are for now...
    sfprankster likes this.
  11. Thanx for all the replies!!! I appreciate the info!!!

    I didn't have time over the weekend to check any of the replies until I just now. 

    Looks like there is going to be a Guru in  my future... [​IMG]
    Butt thieves around here are the raccoons. I wake up imagining them standing up and shaking my WSM to tip it over. [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  12. erikz

    erikz Newbie

    I have the PartyQ, and besides it being a battery hog, I love it.  I use the regular air vents for the initial lighting and the first hour or so of my smoke in order to avoid having the fan blow for an extended period., and then I plug in the PartyQ.  In the colder weather I had some issues with temps and coals holding all night.  I have since added gaskets around the lid and door, and tried a different minion method in warmer weather and the sucker held rock solid for 14 hours overnight with at least a few more hours left.  I usually pull off my pork butts and wrap them when I get an alarm because I have to mess with the coals anyway, but it never happened!  I woke up at 7:30am thinking something was wrong and it was still chugging along right at 235. 

    The only issue I've seen... besides battery usage... is that the temp probe can be off sometimes.  I still use my maverick, and just set the partyQ to whatever I need it so my maverick reads correctly.  It holds temp within a couple degrees, but it just always seems to be different than my maverick.  Nothing a new probe wouldn't fix, but it's not that big of a deal.  
    sfprankster likes this.
  13. I have a power outlet within a few feet of my WSM. So I'm only looking at the DigiQ and CyberQ models. If I do decide to take it somewhere, I'll end up getting the auto adapter. 
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  14. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    luckily.. I found a member that was selling a NIB unit at half the price... I still haven't used it yet as I have not finished my build (120Gal. RF)
  16. Good find!!!

    I paid $219 + shipping for the WSM 18.5" kit today. Supposed to be an "on sale" price, down from the original $282. If it gets me a better night's sleep on the first overnighter, it'll be worth it.

    Lately I've stopped doing the longer smokes, since it interrupts my sleep and makes work the next day or two(or three) a PIA!!! [​IMG]

  17. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    The first time I used my Guru it was during the day....I hooked everything up as required along with a grate temp probe and let her rip. This was a trial run to see if it worked as advertised.....The answer was YES! Every long smoke since then has been done over night and I haven't missed a wink of sleep while the Guru has been in charge.
  18. Almost all of my smokes start around noonish(or so)... [​IMG]

    Those few overnighters are not ones I look forward to... [​IMG]

    It was fun the first few times, not anymore... [​IMG]

    I've been looking at a 20+ lb brisket and a 14 lb bone in butt in my freezer for too long... [​IMG]

    It's time to thaw them out, whack off a section of the brisket to brine for pastrami, and smoke the rest... [​IMG]  

    That's what the guru is going to be for... [​IMG]  
  19. Tracking info sent from BBQGuru... [​IMG]

    Now the real wait begins... [​IMG]

    ...and the planning of what to smoke first... [​IMG]  

    Pastrami is going to need to be in the brine for a few weeks...

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm... [​IMG]

    Brisket or butt...

    Brisket or butt...

    Brisket or butt...

    Brisket or butt...

    The $20,000 question... 
  20. Received a delivery notification from my mail service this morning... [​IMG]

    Rushed over to pickup my new Guru... [​IMG]

    Deliveries were air and cabin filters for my car, that I forgot I ordered... [​IMG]

    So much disappointment... [​IMG]  

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