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.
Here is a list of features and specifications for the DynaQ unit from the DynaQ User's Guide:
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:
The basic DynaQ package comes with the following items:
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:
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 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.
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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