Author Topic: The Fireboard remote thermometer, with Bluetooth, WiFi and Cloud Support  (Read 6539 times)

DivotMaker

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I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to evaluate the Fireboard thermometer, and I'm impressed, so far!

Fireboard is another Kickstarter project, and is a Kansas City based company.  The Fireboard has ports for 1 box temp probe, and 6 meat probes (or 7 meat probes, if you don't need to monitor box temp).  It does used wired probes, and they are very good quality.  The probes that are used are certified accurate to +/- 0.4 C (.72F).  The probes, like the new probes from Auber, are water-resistant, but not waterproof.  As always, care in washing the probes is always good prevention!  They come with 6' cables.

When I received the Fireboard, the packaging was simple and clean.  The instructions were right on top, with the unit itself.  Below, I found the accessories (probes, clip and charger).  The charger is a standard micro-USB charger.

The unit is small, so not much of a footprint.  I was somewhat disappointed that there wasn't a way to mount it (like a clip-on stand that Maverick uses), but then I realized this was the early small-batch production run, for testing.  I understand there will be a magnetic strip included with the full-production models, and will recommend the clip stand.

I downloaded the Android app (also available for iPhone), hooked up the box temp probe and one meat probe.  When I powered the unit up, the Bluetooth connection found it almost immediately!  I then went into the settings and setup my secure WiFi connection, and it synced-up very quick.  So far, so good!  The unit also came fully-charged.  The Fireboard uploads to the Cloud, so you can monitor temps from anywhere with an internet connection (like the Anova SV cooker).  I find that pretty cool.  In the "Detail View" of the app, you can set alarms for temp or time, too.  They are working on app enhancements, especially with regard to graphing.  It also saves your sessions for later review.

Test Smokes:

Tomahawk Steak: 
The first smoke was a 3+ lb "tomahawk steak," from Sam's.  First time I've seen these there, and it was awesome!  Frenched-bone, and a good 2" thick Angus USDA Choice steak....it was a thing of beauty!  I went ahead a clipped the box temp probe to the shelf (I normally don't monitor box temp, but this was for testing), and put the meat probe in close to the 2D's meat probe.  They weren't touching, but were close.  I smoked the steak at 190, to a internal temp of 128, and then reverse-seared.  Unfortunately, I used a piece of mesquite, and made the mistake of foiling it (didn't need to...not sure what I was thinking).  So, I had a hard time getting much smoke! You'll see a couple of "dips" on the graph, for box temp, where I (gasp!) opened the door!  Long story...nothing to do with the test. :-[

During the smoke, the meat probes were about 1.5 different, with the Fireboard probe being hotter.  I need to check both with boiling water, as I haven't tested the Auber probe on the 2D conversion unit.  Real-time updating to the app was flawless, and it was nice to watch the smoke from in the house (I normally don't use the Maverick with the D models). 

Overall, very tasty results, and I considered this a success.  No issues, at all, with the Fireboard!

Pork Loin:  Sunday, I smoked a 9lb pork loin, cut in two.  Nothing special, just trimmed, coated with pure maple syrup and Famous Dave's Rib Rub.  I didn't brine this one, due to time and other obligations.  For this smoke, I didn't mess with the box probe, just 2 meat probes.  Smoked it at 225, with 3 oz. of ash wood (great on pork, by the way), to internal 145.

This test also went very well.  Absolutely no issues with the Fireboard.  I had two halves, and one was thicker than the other, which the SI probe was in.  By the time the SI probe read 145, the Fireboard probes read 150 and 152, for the thicker and thinner halves.  After slicing the thinner half, while good, I could tell that the Fireboard probe was more accurate, as it was not at 145.  Definitely need to calibrate the SI probes and enter an offset in the controller!  I'm convinced the Fireboard temp probes are accurate, as judged from the results.

Initial Thoughts:

I know that I'm evaluating a first-production batch, and that changes will be made.  Ted Conrad, one of the founders, told me there would be additional enhancements to the app, in coming weeks.  Pricing seems on-par with the Meater, but will be available much sooner.

Fireboard vs. Meater:  Let me just say that I absolutely love the concept of wireless temperature probes, and I truly hope the Meater is a resounding success!  But, the "realist" in me believes that the Meater team will continue facing significant technical issues, with the probes.  I discussed this, with Ted, and he offered this:  "First, its going to be very difficult to protect all the electronics from overheating.  Even burying the components in the section of the probe that is cooler inside the meat might work to some degree, but if there are flare-ups or somehow the heat accidentally gets too high, the outer part of the probe can still be damaged."  I agree, and time will tell just how long the wireless probes last - totally new territory, here!  The wired meat probes, from Fireboard, are $15, vs. $59 for the Meater probe.  This issue of electronics (for temp & Bluetooth transmitter) being buried in a probe is the one reason I have hesitated to back the Meater, or pre-order.  Please, don't beat me up, Meater supporters - just expressing why I have not gone that route, and why I think a product like the Fireboard is more practical, and will probably last longer. 

I will continue to look for flaws, and report on what works/doesn't work, with the Fireboard.  But so far, if you are looking for a remote, multi-probe solution, with Bluetooth and WiFi, you might want to check the Fireboard.

The Fireboard
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
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old sarge

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Re: The Fireboard remote thermometer, with Bluetooth, WiFi and Cloud Support
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2016, 12:06:40 AM »
Tony - Great review.  I just checked pricing.  The extreme kit seems pretty reasonable considering all that it comes with. Looks real good.
David from Arizona
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SconnieQ

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Re: The Fireboard remote thermometer, with Bluetooth, WiFi and Cloud Support
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2016, 02:32:24 AM »
Tony, sounds pretty much like Tappecue, but with a couple extra probe ports, and higher quality probes. Are there any other differences? If I were replacing my Maverick, I think Fireboard or Tappecue would be good options.
Kari from Madison WI "77 Square Miles Surrounded by Reality"
SI Model #1 with "Libby the dog" poultry skin eating accessory
Weber Smokey Mountain (are we still friends?), Weber Kettle Grill (stop complaining WSM, I still have a chance)
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DivotMaker

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Re: The Fireboard remote thermometer, with Bluetooth, WiFi and Cloud Support
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2016, 06:32:18 PM »
Kari, I think it's on-par with the Tappecue, but better pricing.  I know, too, there will be improvements, like a water-resistant case and stand/hanger.  I love that you can probe 6 or 7 different pieces of meat!  I need to use it more, and check both of the probes (SI & Fireboard), but so far, I'm impressed.

As a sidenote - I'm also very impressed with the company; it reminds me a lot of Smokin-It.  Small startup, in Kansas City, with really good people running it.  I'm a sucker for small companies with the guts to attempt a startup!
Tony from NW Arkansas
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AlinMA

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Re: The Fireboard remote thermometer, with Bluetooth, WiFi and Cloud Support
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2016, 02:39:52 PM »
Tony, Great review!
Always on the lookout for new "toys"
Al from N'East MA
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DivotMaker

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Re: The Fireboard remote thermometer, with Bluetooth, WiFi and Cloud Support
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2016, 09:51:57 PM »
Thanks Al!  So far, I think it's nice.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the final package will be.
Tony from NW Arkansas
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Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
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NDKoze

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Re: The Fireboard remote thermometer, with Bluetooth, WiFi and Cloud Support
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2016, 05:35:11 PM »
Very good review. It definitely looks like a solid practical unit that should last a long time.

I went with The Meater and figure I am going for the Gold as it is probably a higher risk / higher reward type of proposition. If it works and the probes hold up, I am going to be very happy with my choice based on the features as compared to the Fireboard. But, I realize that I am taking somewhat of a gamble.

I do agree that The Meater probably has a greater possibility to have issues. If I planned on using it for more high temp grilling I may have been more worried. But, for the low temp smokes that I do, I am not too worried about heat or temp spikes ruining the electronics.

My personal opinion is that the Fireboard is still a little clunky looking compared to The Meater. But, that is purely a subjective opinion and really doesn't mean a hill of beans for how well it will do its job.

So, all in all, I hope they both end up being strong units that people can review and purchase the one (or both :)) that best fit their needs.

Thanks for the review and I look forward to seeing more test results as well as some day putting some of my own Meater results up.

Smoke On My Friends!
Gregg - Fargo, ND
Smokin-It #3 that has now replaced the Masterbuilt XL and 10+ Year-Old Big Chief. I also have a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, Weber Little Smokey at home and a Chargriller Deluxe (stick burner) and Camp Chef Three Burner Stove with Grill/Griddle out at the lake place.

SconnieQ

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Re: The Fireboard remote thermometer, with Bluetooth, WiFi and Cloud Support
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2016, 06:28:46 PM »
Very good review. It definitely looks like a solid practical unit that should last a long time.

I went with The Meater and figure I am going for the Gold as it is probably a higher risk / higher reward type of proposition. If it works and the probes hold up, I am going to be very happy with my choice based on the features as compared to the Fireboard. But, I realize that I am taking somewhat of a gamble.

I do agree that The Meater probably has a greater possibility to have issues. If I planned on using it for more high temp grilling I may have been more worried. But, for the low temp smokes that I do, I am not too worried about heat or temp spikes ruining the electronics.

My personal opinion is that the Fireboard is still a little clunky looking compared to The Meater. But, that is purely a subjective opinion and really doesn't mean a hill of beans for how well it will do its job.

So, all in all, I hope they both end up being strong units that people can review and purchase the one (or both :)) that best fit their needs.

Thanks for the review and I look forward to seeing more test results as well as some day putting some of my own Meater results up.

Smoke On My Friends!

I'm with you on that one Gregg! Fireboard is another version of technology that already exists, maybe at better quality and price, but Meater is a whole new ball game. If it works, it will revolutionize BBQ thermometers. And I'm sure if the technology is not perfect in the beginning, it will improve, and eventually replace all wired units. Until then, we'll all need awesome wired units with Wifi and graphing like Fireboard or Tappecue, but I think their days are numbered.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 06:35:02 PM by SconnieQ »
Kari from Madison WI "77 Square Miles Surrounded by Reality"
SI Model #1 with "Libby the dog" poultry skin eating accessory
Weber Smokey Mountain (are we still friends?), Weber Kettle Grill (stop complaining WSM, I still have a chance)
Anova WiFi Precision Cooker (sous vide)

DivotMaker

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Re: The Fireboard remote thermometer, with Bluetooth, WiFi and Cloud Support
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2016, 08:01:01 PM »
Valid points, Kari and Gregg.  I, too, really hope the Meater wireless technology works - and lasts!  After a little more research, I think their main problem will be finding consumer-grade components (price-wise) that hold up to the heat, whether it be 200-300 in our smokers, or on a grill.  There is military-grade components that certainly can, but not anywhere near the price point they need to be at, to be realistically competitive.  I really do wish them success, because they truly are innovating the field! 

You are right - until the technology is perfected, and widely-available, we are going to be tethered to our probes.  Personally, I don't mind that so much - been doing it for a long time, and if one goes bad, it's $15 to replace, vs. $59.  I, too, can't wait to see some comparisons!
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!

SconnieQ

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Re: The Fireboard remote thermometer, with Bluetooth, WiFi and Cloud Support
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2016, 10:59:55 PM »
How well the Meater withstands temp remains to be seen. And concern over longevity is a good point. They seem pretty darn thorough with all of their testing, so I'm hopeful.

The stated maximum temperatures for Meater are:
Internal temperature sensor range: 212F (100C)
Ambient temperature sensor range: 527F (275C)

The components that were chosen can go beyond these maximums. The meat insulates the internal sensor (where the electronics are), and unless the meat has absolutely no moisture left at all, it's almost impossible for the internal temp to exceed the boiling point of water. It will need to be inserted far enough into the meat to protect the electronics. There is an etched line indicating this location. If Meater starts to come close to exceeding the maximums, there will be a warning in the app.
Kari from Madison WI "77 Square Miles Surrounded by Reality"
SI Model #1 with "Libby the dog" poultry skin eating accessory
Weber Smokey Mountain (are we still friends?), Weber Kettle Grill (stop complaining WSM, I still have a chance)
Anova WiFi Precision Cooker (sous vide)

DivotMaker

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Re: The Fireboard remote thermometer, with Bluetooth, WiFi and Cloud Support
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2016, 10:03:50 PM »
Kari, I hope it works well - I have my fingers crossed for the Meater!  Until the wireless technology is proven, this is a good option.  Still looking forward to the "real world" trials!
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!

kcfb7152

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Re: The Fireboard remote thermometer, with Bluetooth, WiFi and Cloud Support
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2016, 02:02:39 AM »
Thank you @DivotMaker for taking a look at this and for your review.

I'm the creator of FireBoard if anyone has any questions I'm happy to chime in.  Thank you!
--------------------------------------------
Ted
www.fireboard.io
Kansas City, MO

DivotMaker

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Re: The Fireboard remote thermometer, with Bluetooth, WiFi and Cloud Support
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2016, 08:13:59 PM »
Welcome to "Club Lazy Q," Ted!  When you have time, head over to the Introductions section and maybe tell us a little about your BBQ background.  Be careful, though!  If you hang out here enough, you'll probably be ordering a Smokin-It smoker! ;)   I'm sure folks will have some questions for you!

***************

Just a note for everyone, about "forum etiquette."  Ted did not just join us, and start spamming us with his offering.  He contacted me, weeks ago, and we had several conversations about his product.  Fireboard reminds me a SI; small entrepreneurs creating a product they believe in.  I asked Ted to join in the discussions, and introduce himself.

Now that Ted is here, y'all ask him all the questions you want, and I believe you will get honest answers!  He would not have asked me to review the Fireboard if he didn't want honest feedback (that was my "conditions" upfront)!
Tony from NW Arkansas
"Official Smokin-It Test Pilot"
Smokin-It Model 1, 2D conversion, and 3D
Auber PID, NexGrill 896 6-burner, CharBroil Big Easy, Anova Precision Cooker w/WiFi
Wife, Son and One REALLY Big Dog!

old sarge

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Re: The Fireboard remote thermometer, with Bluetooth, WiFi and Cloud Support
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2016, 11:13:42 PM »
Ditto what Tony said. Welcome from SE Arizona. I went through your site when Tony first wrote up the review. I rarely use a remote therm but I did get do have to say that your FireBoard has me thinking I have to have one.  Looks more like a serious tool rather than a gadget. I am impressed.  It should go nicely with SI.
David from Arizona
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aswails

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Re: The Fireboard remote thermometer, with Bluetooth, WiFi and Cloud Support
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2016, 03:21:45 PM »
I'm new to the forum.  Had my model #2 for about a month with great results.  Really enjoyed using it.  I'm very curious about this thermometer.  I do need a new one or at least tell myself I do.  I've been getting by the last few weeks on simple thermometers I already had, but would like to upgrade to something with remote capabilities, multiple ports, etc.  I'm curious on everyone's thoughts.  Is this something I should wait on for release and production and bide my time with what I currently have, or should I just put down for a Maverick 732 or 733 and call it a day.  I guess I could always upgrade down the road, but not really wanting to spend a ton of money for multiple thermometers.  Plus the wife will start asking why we have 4 or 5 different ones when we currently have 3.  Appreciate any direction.
Adrian
Houston, TX