The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke
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Pit Controllers

New DigiQ DX2

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As threatened I picked up my second pit controller, the Big Green Egg branded BBQ Guru DigiQ DX2. Some folks who hear that I got a second pit controller for backyard use think I am crazy. Others who heard I bought the BGE branded version which costs more money think I am crazy. I will attempt to explain my logic on both counts. I will also discuss why I elected to go with the DigiQ DX2 this time around and how it is similar to and different than the CyberQ WiFi. This may help some folks trying to side between the two. Read More...
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I Don’t Need a Pit Controller, I Need Two

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If you are going to be wrong, at least be wrong in a way where the right answer is an improvement. Historically I have not felt the need to use a Pit Controller. When I owned my Chargriller Smokin’ Pro horizontal offset barrel smoker, the Yankee in me couldn’t see spending more for a Pit Controller than I had for the smoker itself. When I got the Big Green Egg and saw the stability possible with a ceramic grill, I dismissed a pit controller for a backyard griller like me as an unnecessary toy. My first smoke on my first BGE had gone over 9 hours before I had to tweak the dampers. This served to reinforce my thinking on the matter. Also working from home allowed me to do many cooks during the day that I would have done overnight before. Then I started having a change of heart late last year and bought a BBQ Guru CyberQ WiFi. I have already written a series of blog entries on that topic, which I will link to at the bottom of this entry. In a remarkably short time, I have gone from a skeptic to a total convert. I am actually toying with the idea of getting a second CyberQ. This blog will describe what has caused such a big switch in my line of thinking, and what I have come to love about using a pit controller with my Big Green Egg. Read More...
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CyberCook - CyberQ WiFi Software

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One of the reasons I was excited to be getting my CyberQ WiFi was I had discovered there was some 3rd party iOS software out there for it. The software allowed you to access the CyberQ WiFi remotely and made it easier to use. What excited me the most is some of this software was said to add features such as graphing and logging your cooks. I used to log my cooks manually by going out to the Kitchen and taking readings from my Maverick ET-72 remote read thermometer every 15 or 30 minutes. This software for the CyberQ did all of this for you, even while you were away from the house or sleeping. The first 3 apps I tried were rather disappointing for any one of several reasons. Then I stumbled onto CyberCook (iPad) and CyberCook Mini (iPhone). It had all of the features I was looking for and then some. It had a nice clean interface which was nice to look at, but the “eye candy” does not take precedence over the functionality. The App is extremely well thought out. CyberCook is now my GoTo app for controlling my CyberQ WiFi on both my iPad and iPhone. After this review I think you will see why. Read More...
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Everything Is Under Control-Part 6

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When I started writing this blog item about the CyberQ WiFi, I expected it to be a longish single entry. It has taken 5 other parts to get to this point, where I get beyond planning and setup and actually use the CyberQ to help me cook some food. If you are interested in what was covered in the preceding 5 entries, scroll down to the bottom of this entry for links to the other sections. This entry will discuss my first few uses of the CyberQ and my first impressions. I figured getting the CyberQ on the network was the hardest part and I got it on the first try. It turns out my problems had just begun. I had some networking issues that had nothing to do with the CyberQ and everything to do with my router dying off. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me begin at the beginning. Read More...
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Everything Is Under Control-Part 5

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This blog entry on the CyberQ WiFi has taken on a life of its own. I originally was thinking a single entry was all I needed. But there is a lot to talk about and it is now going to take up 6 entries. So far PART 1 of this 6 part entry about the CyberQ WiFi has discussed pit controllers and why you might want one. Next PART 2 discussed the specific unit I bought and why I chose it. PART 3 discussed setting the CyberQ up on a WiFI network and the two possible methods of doing this. It also covered the first method: Adhoc Pairing in more depth. The second method, called Infrastructure Mode, was the subject of PART 4. This entry will discuss attaching the unit to my Big Green Egg. I should note that the procedure is quite similar for all pits. The main difference would be in the adapter unit used to attach the blower fan to the brand grill/smoker you have. PART 6 will discuss some of the first cooks I’ve done with the CyberQ WiFi and what I have learned about it so far. Read More...
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Everything Is Under Control-Part 4

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As I have been writing this blog entry on my recent purchase of the CyberQ WiFi pit controller, it has taken on a life of it’s own. There was a lot more to cover than I first imagined. In PART 1 I discussed in general terms what a pit temperature controller is and why someone might want one. PART 2 went onto discuss why I chose the specify unit I bought. PART 3 covered WiFi Networking in general and setting the CyberQ WiFi up for Adhoq Mode, which is a simpler but more limited way of using the unit with WiFi. This entry will cover the setup process for using the CyberQ WiFI in the Infrastructure Mode. This mode puts the unit on your home WiFi Network and gives you more capabilities which is the good news. The bad news is you must go under the hood of your router and change some network related settings. This really is not a task for a total beginner with no computer networking experience. PART 5 will cover the physical setup involved with installing the unit on my grill. PART 6, if I live long enough to finish writing this blog entry, will cover my initial experiences cooking with the CyberQ WiFi. Read More...
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Everything Is Under Control-Part 3

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PART 1 of this 6 part blog series about my recent purchase of the CyberQ WiFi Pit Temperature Controller discussed in general terms what a pit temperature controller is and why someone might want one. PART 2 went on to discuss why I chose the specific unit I bought. This entry will discuss the Networking/WiFi setup of my particular unit in a Big Picture fashion. Plus I will also discuss the simplest, but most limited method of connecting via WiFi called Adhoq mode. PART 4 will cover the more advance and sadly more difficult method of connecting to WiFi, called Infrastructure Mode. Parts of the setup process are shared among all pit controllers and there are certain aspects of the setup, such as the WiFi setup which are more unique to this unit. If you are considering a Pit Controller that does not have WiFi capabilities, you could skip this entry & Part 4 and move on to PART 5. This is where I will also describe physically installing the unit on my BGE. The physical installation of the unit on the smoker is pretty similar between various pit controllers & various smokers. The differences are mostly due to the differences between the smokers and how the blower fan is attached to each model smoker. PART 6, the final part of this blog, will discuss my first impressions after several uses. Read More...
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Everything Is Under Control-Part 2

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In PART 1 of this blog entry I discussed pit temperature controllers is general terms. What they are, their basic components, why you would want one, why I specifically DIDN”T want one and why I changed my mind. This entry will describe the actual model I purchased, discuss why I chose it, and finish up with some unexpected difficulties relating to the ordering and delivery process. PART 3 will describe WiFi Networking in general and setting up the simpler Adhoc mode. PART 4 will describe setting up the more feature laden, but more difficult Infrastructure WiFi mode. PART 5 will cover installing and setting up the CyberQ WiFi on your smoker. PART 6 will give my first impressions using it. It was an “interesting” initial purchase to say the least. There were some initial problems that made things difficult, although I must say none of them were the direct fault of the pit controller itself. I will cover them because they may be things that effect other people. But lets begin at the beginning with the model I selected. Read More...
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Everything Is Under Control-Part 1

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We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog entry…I had planned to continue posting my blog entries about the changes made for Thanksgiving 2014, but something very exciting happened at the ned of the year, just before Christmas, and I will write about that here and go back to the Thanksgiving blog entries shortly. What happened was as much of a surprise to me as anyone: I bought a pit controller for my Big Green Egg. Specifically I bought the CyberQ WiFi pit controller from the folks at BBQ Guru. A pit controller controls the cooking temperature of your smoker automagically. Additionally the WiFi capabilities of the unit I purchased gives you the ability to control your smoker two ways. The simplest, called Ad Hoc mode is done via a direct WiFi connection to one WiFi enabled computer, smartphone or tablet. The second method, called Infrastructure Mode, is where you can add the CyberQ WiFi onto your home WiFi network where multiple devices can control it. In Infrastructure Mode you can actually control the device remotely from anywhere you can access the internet. There is also some third party software available for smartphones & tablets that adds additional ease of use features and capabilities to your use of the device. This blog will discuss the big picture regarding pit controllers: What they are and why you might want to use them. PART 2 will discuss the specifics of the CyberQ WiFi model I purchased, PART 3 will describe WiFi Networking in general and setting up the simpler Adhoc mode. PART 4 will describe setting up the more feature laden, but more difficult Infrastructure WiFi mode. PART 5 will cover installing and setting up the CyberQ WiFi on your smoker. PART 6 will give my first impressions using it. I will write a companion first impressions blog entry about the CYBERCOOK software I am using to enhance my use of the CyberQ. Read More...
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