` The BBQ Guru DigiQ II -- Naked Whiz Ceramic Charcoal Cooking

The BBQ Guru DigiQ II
Temperature Controller


The BBQ Guru DigiQ II is the latest offering from the folks at The BBQ Guru. It is a replacement/upgrade for the very popular Competitor model which preceeded it. The BBQ Guru has become a household word amongst the BBQ community, but if you haven't heard of them, they make devices that monitor the temperature of your cooker and then adjust it and control it by controlling the airflow through the cooker. Airflow is controlled by means of a blower attached to your cooker. By turning the blower on and off as required, the DigiQ II can keep your cooker within a few degrees of a set temperature as long as there is fuel to keep the fire going. In addition, the DigiQ II monitors the temperature of your food and alerts you when the food is done.


Features And Comparison

Here is the list of features as listed in the DigiQ II owner's manual:

  • Digital high intensity “Blaze Red” LED display
  • Rugged, armored high-temperature pit and food (meat) probes
  • Controls your pit and monitors your food (meat) temperature
  • All new full-time adaptive control algorithm learns your pit to control better stability / accuracy
  • Open lid detect senses when the pit’s lid is open to minimize the temperature disturbance and recover quickly to the setpoint, can be turned on /off (default is ON)
  • Exclusive low and slow ramp down feature (cook and hold) ramps your pit down on rising food (meat) temperatures, so your food (meat) never overcooks
  • Scrolling display messages tell you status and what has been selected
  • Exclusive magnetic mount
  • Audible alarm sounds on food (meat) done (default is ON, intensity = 4)
  • Adjustable deviation alarm sounds when your pits temp goes either too high or low by a user settable value
  • Real time blower status indication and blower display blink helps you to measure fuel use, like a fuel gauge
  • Display in degrees F or C
  • User adjustable beeper intensity setting
  • 32 to 475 deg F range with +/- 2 deg F accuracy
  • Runs on 100-240VAC (for worldwide use) or 12VDC for automotive supply use

Plus we'll add a few more of our own:

  • Available in an array of colors (helps to distinguish units and of course, can match your bag and shoes)
  • Custom engraving is available for a $20 charge (get your phone number or name put on it)


A lot of discussion has been about what's new with the DigiQ II, is it worth it or should you get a Competitor, and should you upgrade. Well, here is a side-by-side comparison between the new DigiQ II and the Competitor:

BBQ Guru DigiQ II BBQ Guru Competitor
Pit Temp Range 32 - 475 F 175 - 400 F
Food Temp Range 32 - 250 F 105 - 210 F
Temperature Display High intensity scrolling LED display LED Graph Display
Display Backlight n/a n/a
Scrolling Temperature Display (note 3) n/a n/a
Temperature Units F or C F
Data Input Method Buttons and display Two dials, one for pit temperature, one for food temperature
User Calibration Yes No
User Upgradeable Software No No
Blower capacity (note 2) 4, 10 and 25 CFM 4, 10 and 25 CFM
Damper Manual Manual
Adapters Available for many popular cookers Available for many popular cookers
Adapter connection Blower presses into tube on adapter. Blower can be removed, adapter can be left attached to cooker and closed with provided kill plug. Blower presses into tube on adapter. Blower can be removed, adapter can be left attached to cooker and closed with provided kill plug.
System unit/blower connection Not at this time. Yes, system unit can be attached to hook on blower.
Blower "on" indication Yes, right-most dot blinks when fan is running. Temperature display alternates between bright and dim to show blower % Yes, LED on front panel
Audible alarm Yes Yes
User selected alarm volume Yes No
Configurable High/Low Alarms Yes, high or low, ±20-125 F No, preset at the factory
Alarm disable Yes, by setting intensity to 0 Yes, Good Neighbor Feature disables all alarms
Audible blower alarm No, visual indication instead Yes
Temperature probes Stainless steel, stainless steel armored wires Stainless steel, teflon coated wires
Probe wire length 6 feet 4 feet, longer lengths are optional for a small charge
Max probe temperature 700 degrees F 450 degrees F
Number of temperature sensors 2 2
Separate probe plugs Yes, pit and food are separate No, pit and food are wired into single plug
Probe accuracy (note 4) < 1 degree < 2 degrees
High temperature probe No No
Pit Temp Accuracy Low (note 5) + 5.5 degrees + 11 degrees
Pit Temp Accuracy Med + 3.5 degrees - 2 degrees
Pit Temp Accuracy High + 3.5 degrees - 4 degrees
Pit Temp Swing Low (note 5) ± 0.5 degrees ± 1 degree
Pit Temp Swing Med ± 0.5 degrees ± 0.5 degrees
Pit Temp Swing High ± 0.5 degrees ± 0.5 degrees
Clock No No
Countdown Timer No No
Power interruption recovery Yes, all settings retained Yes, but Ramp Mode will be enabled if off, Good Neighbor feature will be disabled if on
Ramp Mode Yes Yes
Low temperature smoking Yes, just set the pit temp. Yes, with variation of Ramp Mode, down to 105 degrees.
Multiple cooker operation No No
Open Lid Detection Yes No
Adaptive Control Yes No
Internet connection No No
Control via web page No No
Wireless control No No
Dimensions 2.5"w x 3.5”h x 0.6”d 5.5"w x 3.2"h x 1.1"d (1.7" including knobs)
Available in colors Yes No
Custom engraving available Yes, for a $20 charge (see our unit in photo above) No
Power supply 12 volt brick, 100 - 240 VAC 12 volt brick, 120 VAC
Cigarette lighter Yes, with optional accessory plug Yes, with optional accessory plug
Stand Included Optional accessory
Price (note 1) $243 $221

Notes:
  1. The price we have listed is as of October, 2007 and based upon what we consider to be a "standard" system. This includes a BGE large door adapter, standard length probe wires, and a 10 CFM blower.

  2. 4 and 10 CFM blowers are adequate for ceramic cookers, 25 CFM available for larger metal cookers.

  3. By "scrolling temperature display" we mean the ability to scroll through the temperatures being measured by multiple probes.

  4. Temperature probe accuracy was measured by placing multiple probes in boiling water. Value indicated is the difference between the lowest-reading probe we tested and the highest-reading probe.

  5. Pit temperature swing was determined by observing the low and high temperatures recorded as the device controlled the temperature of the pit, once stability had been reached. The pit temperature accuracy value is the difference between the target temperature set on the device and the average of the high and low temperatures recorded once stability was reached. These readings were done three times (Low, Medium, High) at the low, middle, and high ends of the devices control temperature range.


The Basic System

Here's what makes up a basic system:

  • The DigiQ II system unit and stand
  • 4, 10 or 25 CFM blower
  • Pit/food temperature sensors
  • Blower adapter door
  • Power supply
  • A piece of foil tape for sealing leaks
  • A small probe cleaning pad
  • A kill plug so you can remove the fan and plug the door adapter
  • A package of over 20 Curl-Eez for organizing probe wires
  • Condensed Users's Guide (full version downloadable from the web)
When you order your system, you specify the size of the blower that you want and the type of door adapter you need. New with the DigiQ II is the ability to order different colored system units, and custom engraving.

BBQ Guru DigiQ II basic system
The basic BBQ Guru DigiQ II system


The System Unit and Stand

The system unit is a small box about 2.5 x 3.5 x 0.6 inches in size. It is housed in a rugged aluminum case and it feels solid in your hand. The housing is water resistant, and it appears that as long as the unit is kept upright, it should survive pretty wet weather. Here we show various views of it:

Front view of BBQ Guru DigiQ II
Front view
Side view of BBQ Guru DigiQ II
Side view
Back view of BBQ Guru DigiQ II
Back view
Bottom view of BBQ Guru DigiQ II
Bottom view


All the controls are on the front panel, while all the plugs for power, blower and probes are on the bottom. And while your unit won't say "Naked Whiz" on it, we are pretty sure that the picture of Shotgun Fred is mandatory! Also notice how the back of the unit is etched with all kinds of useful information. Important displays, the menu system and meat temperatures are all there.

The stand which comes with the DigiQ II is a new concept. It comes as a flat sheet of stainless steel which you can then bend to suit your needs. Here are photos of the sheet before bending and then after we bent it the configuration we prefer:

The BBQ Guru DigiQ II stand before bending
The stand before bending
The BBQ Guru DigiQ II stand after bending
The stand after bending
The BBQ Guru DigiQ II stand after bending
The system unit afixed to the stand

Notice that the two tabs on the back of the system unit can slide into any of the slots cut into the stand, depending on the configuration you choose.

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