The DynaQ BBQ
Temperature Controller


The item(s) contained in this review have been provided gratis by The BBQ Guru. This was done with the understanding that the manufacturer may request correction of any factual errors, but may not otherwise dictate the content of this review. We keep the donated items for the purpose of any future testing, and for our occasional personal use. No other condsiderations, financial or otherwise, were given.


Introduction

BBQ Guru is probably the biggest and oldest name in electronic BBQ temperature controls. The first BBQ temperature controller we ever reviewed was the BBQ Guru Competitor back in 2006. It was a basic controller with one pit probe to control your cooker and one food probe to monitor your food. Now here we are 14 years later with the BBQ Guru DynaQ. Again, a basic controller with a pit probe and a food probe. The big difference is now that you control the DynaQ from your phone using Bluetooth rather than with knobs and buttons. Instead of looking at a strip of diodes to see how much below or above your target you are, you can see the exact temperature on your phone. And then there's this light ring. So let's see how well the DynaQ functions as a modern day basic BBQ temperature controller.


Features

Here is a list of features and specifications for the DynaQ unit from the DynaQ User's Guide:

  • Connects to your Bluetooth® enabled device for direct access to temperatures using the BBQ Guru App
  • Patent pending 15 multi-colored LED Q light ring indicates real-time pit and fan statuses at a glance
  • Smart Cook full-time adaptive control algorithm learns the pit for better stability and accuracy
  • Armored, dishwasher-safe, high-temperature pit and food probes
  • Controls your pit and monitors one food temperature
  • Open Lid Detect senses when the pit’s lid is open to minimize temperature disturbance
  • Patented low and slow Ramp Mode lowers the pit temperature as food temperatures approach the done setpoint so the food does not overcook
  • Temperatures displayed via the BBQ Guru App display in F° or C°
  • 32°F to 475°F (0°-246°C) [control] range with ± 2°F accuracy
  • Included patent pending 5-in-1 magnetic control mount allows viewing from any angle
  • Runs on 110-240VAC for worldwide use or 12VDC for automotive supply use


Here is a list of other features and specifications:

  • Automatically and constantly controls your grill cooking temperature with oven-like precision
  • Ships with 1 six-foot pit probe and 1 six-foot food probe
  • Ships with 12 volt - 3.5 amp 42 watt power pack
  • Power pack supports 100-240 VAC, 50-60 Hz
  • Pit Temperature Probe - Type T thermocouple probe with 72" stainless steel-braided cable.
  • Food Temperature Probes - Type T thermocouple probes with 72" stainless steel-braided cables.
  • Probes good up to 500°F (260°C)
  • Probes/cables smoke and moisture resistant, now dishwasher safe.
  • Timer-based temperature hold or alarm
  • Power Glitch Safe - Continues running at the saved set temperature when power returns.
  • Food Temperature Alert - Lets you know when your food reaches your target temperature.
  • Pit Temperature Alert - Lets you know if your pit temperature strays too far (configurable), from your target.
  • Unit dimensions: 4⅛" x 4" x 1¼" / 105mm x 101mm x 32mm
  • Unit weight: 6.2 oz / 175 grams
  • Food Alarm Temperature 32°-475°F (0°-246°C)
  • 1-button keypad for resetting visual alerts and peforming a factory reset of the DynaQ.
  • 10 and 25 cubic feet per minute (CFM) blowers with damper available.
  • 23 different blower adapters available for connecting to a world of cookers.


Compared To Other BBQ Temperature Controllers

Like most other temperature control systems, the DynaQ system is blower-based, controlling airflow through the cooker with a blower. Of course, as a basic controller, there is no display or keypad, much like the Flame Boss 400. However, features like the number of temperature probes is comparable to other basic controllers. And of course, the new "Q" light ring is a BBQ Guru exclusive. The DynaQ also provides a complete set of features like Open Lid Detect, Ramp Mode, and timer-based actions that are missing from some other controllers. And like many other temperature controllers, the DynaQ system now comes with an App for monitoring your cooks on a smart device without having to use a web browser.

We previously reviewed the BBQ Guru UltraQ, so we thought we'd include a short comparison between the DynaQ and the UltraQ showing only the differences in features:

DynaQ UltraQ
Food Probes 1 Up to 3
LED Temperature Display No Yes
Display Scanning No Yes
Audible Alarms No Yes
Food Done Alarm No Yes
Email and Text Notifications No Yes
Wi-Fi and ShareMyCook No Yes
Voice Control No Amazon Alexa


The Basic System

The basic DynaQ package comes with the following items:

  • The DynaQ control unit
  • 12 volt power supply and power cord
  • 1 Type T thermocouple food probe
  • 1 Type T thermocouple pit probe with alligator clip
  • 5 in 1 Magnetic Control Mount
  • Quick Start card (User Guide is available at the BBQ Guru Knowledgebase.

If you have purchased a temperature controller from BBQ Guru before, you may already have a blower and adapter. If not, when you order your DynaQ, you must also purchase:

  • Pit Viper 10 CFM blower or Pit Bull 25 CFM blower
  • Blower adapter for your cooker


A Few Observations About The Components

The DynaQ innards are housed in a plastic case that is moisture resistant. In other words, keep it protected from hard rain, and don't submerse it. The power supply should also be protected from large amounts of water and submersion.

The temperature probes all have braided stainless steel insulation, are protected from smoke and moisture, and are now dishwasher safe. The Pit Viper blower is described as "moisture resistant." The new plastic case on the Pit Viper certainly will better resist the intrusion of moisture into the blower than the original blower's stainless steel plate. And with the air intake on the new blower being more covered, there should be less chance for splashing rain entering from below in a heavy rainfall. In general, everything feels sturdy and well built.


The System Unit

The DynaQ unit is a small plastic box about 4⅛" x 4" x 1¼" (105mm x 101mm x 32mm) and weighing 5.5 ounces (160 grams). The case houses the electronics and has a control button on the left side. The unit also contains the white ring around the face of the unit and the little white tail at the bottom right. The ring and tail light up to give visual indications of various things. There is no dedicated power switch, per se, as power is turned on and off by plugging and unplugging the power cord. The back of the unit has a square recess that mates with the new 5-in-1 magnetic control mount. The unit has connections for power, the blower, a pit temperature probe and one food temperature probe.


Controls

The left side of the DynaQ unit contains one button:

This button can be used to do two things. First, pressing it briefly will reset visual alerts on the unit. If pressed continuously for 4 seconds, a factory reset is performed.


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