Top 7 BBQ Temperature Controllers of 2022 [Automatic & Manual]


Read reviews and shop the best temperature controllers from top manufacturers like BBQ Guru, Pitmaster, Flame Boss and more.

Reviews of the best automatic temperature controllers for grills
Buying a grill controller is the best way to keep your smoking temperatures consistent throughout the day.

After hours of testing, we’ve found the best BBQ temperature controllers for your upright, offset, or drum smoker .

This guide will show you everything you need to know about features, performance, and ratings so you can cook your meat to perfection every time.

At a Glance: Our Best Smoker Controllers

The challenge many people face when using a barbecue smoker is controlling cooking temperatures from start to finish. In some cases, dying can mean being around for hours. Let’s face it, nobody wants to do that.

Additionally, BBQ temperature controls offer the opportunity for a cooking style that’s more “set and forget” so you can enjoy your time knowing your food is in safe hands.

These controls work by regulating the airflow in your smoker and keeping the heat in your smoker constant. That’s the way it is. That means no hot spots, no sprouts, and no spoiled meat.

Help take the guesswork out of setting up your smoke vents and allow you to focus on more important (and fun) things. How to make food or if you’re like me… beer.

Here are 7 of the best controllers to up your grilling game.

Flame Boss 500 WiFi Smoker Controller

Flame Boss 500 WiFi Smoker Controller

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Flame Boss by name, Flame Boss by nature. This is simply the best WiFi car controller on the market.

In terms of accuracy, Flame Boss is one of the best (if not  the best) controllers out there. The degree of temperature control means you guarantee precise and consistent temperatures. This makes it very easy for you to use and gives you the freedom to be as practical as you want.

What also makes the Flame Boss very effective is its multi-speed fan. This allows the internal fans to run at different speeds, making temperature control very effective.

Rather than simply adjusting vent settings, these fans contribute directly to airflow in your smoker, meaning Fire Boss can regulate your smoker or grill’s oxygen flow better and to a greater extent than many manual temperature controls.

It allows you to monitor and control temperatures from your phone or laptop, so you can put it down and do your thing.

I think a lot of people think tools like this are hard to use. This is not the case with Flame Boss. It’s easy to read and adjust as the controller “learns” from your smoker so its performance improves over time. That means the first few uses will be a bit of a learning curve, not only for you but for the Flame Boss as well, but once you get over that things get better.

Just remember that if you have a Kamado style smoker you will need the Flame Boss Kamado Controller and not the Universal Flame Boss. I think it’s not  really  universal.

However, if you have other models, such as B. the Weber Kettle, Universal will work fine.

In terms of usability, it’s a fantastic controller. It’s a great display that shows you everything you need to know: the desired temperature, the current pit temperature and the internal temperature of the food. Everything WILL be displayed on a large and clear screen.

  • WILL NOT FIT Big Green Egg, Ceramic or Kamado Smoker, Gas Grill or Electric Oven*…
  • EASY TO USE – Simple device setup paired with unparalleled customer support guaranteed…
  • LATEST TECHNOLOGY: Proprietary software and variable speed fans ensure precise temperature control…

Pitmaster IQ120 BBQ Temperature Regulator Kit

Pitmaster IQ120 BBQ Temperature Controller Kit

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If Fire Boss is beyond your budget, then this Pitmaster device is definitely the most affordable automatic temperature controller.

Temperature controllers don’t come cheap so it’s great that brands like Pitmaster are offering budget models to give users a good entry point for controllers.

It’s also great to have a simplified model for users who don’t intend to use things like data logs and ventilation systems.

Despite being a “budget” model, the Pitmaster still offers fantastic temperature control within degrees F.

I’ve already written about the importance of dual temperature probes and Pitmaster has it. It has 2 6 inch probes: one for the ambient temperature of your grill or smoker and the other for the internal temperature of your meat.

Encourages airflow through a hose instead of a fan. It has a small LED display and a built in alarm that will alert you if the well temperature is much higher or lower than your target.

It can be set up very quickly, but needs to be connected. This may be a small inconvenience to consider when setting up your smoker or grill.

It’s true that it doesn’t have the WiFi capability, smartphone sound or big digital screen of others, but it’s still up to the task and still a much cheaper option.

It is also a bit of a concern that the plastic tube that carries the air to the camera is made of plastic. This seems a bit of a hassle to me since plastic isn’t a fantastic heat shield. This can make setup cumbersome, or at least mean it will eventually melt and you’ll have to source a replacement. A more durable material would have made much more sense.

Overall, this is a written and repeated entry point for users who are new to this type of tool. Although it has fewer features than other more expensive models, it’s still extremely effective when it comes to monitoring and controlling temperature.

  • The IQ120 Pit Controller accurately regulates the cooking temperature in a charcoal pit to…
  • The digital display also shows the actual cooking temperature and the temperature of the food! The button is actually…
  • Programmable: change the cooking temperature automatically based on the temperature of the food or based on a time delay!…

BBQ Guru DigiQ DX3

BBQ Guru DigiQ DX3

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The DigiQ from BBQ Guru is also at the budget end of the scale.

It also has no WiFi and cannot be monitored or controlled from your phone or laptop.

It features two probes, one to measure the internal temperature of the meat and the other to measure the ambient temperature of your smoker or grill.

The controller is easy to start up and can be used with most smokers (although YOU should always check compatibility with your grill or smoker before purchasing).

It is a very durable model and has been proven to be accurate in tests. Their probes are made of platinum RTDs, which generally allow for stable and accurate probe readings.

It’s an intake fan, although it works automatically and you can’t directly control it manually. However, this intake fan can get high (CFM), which is particularly good for taller smokers.

The DigiQ helps avoid temperature spikes by spinning every time your grill or smokehouse is opened. On other models, the fans would actually ramp up their output to try to compensate for the temperature drop, actually making the internal temperature unstable once you close the lid. By shutting down until the camera is closed, the DigiQ manages to prevent this.

  • Solve the problem of unstable temperature changes that lead to tough, dry meat with this grill…
  • This grill temperature controller is easy to install and use, and automatically tracks the…
  • You can multitask while cooking – this grill temperature controller will sound an alarm if…

BBQ Guru CyberQ Cloud BBQ Temperature Controller

BBQ Guru CyberQ Cloud BBQ Temperature Controller

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One of the best features of this excellent BBQ Guru controller is the multi-probe thermometer. While many other models feature a dual probe, the CyberQ has an impressive four probes. One is for your chamber’s room temperature, while the other three are for food. This allows you to cook several dishes at the same time, which saves a lot of time and convenience.

Not only that, all four can be connected to and monitored or controlled from a smartphone or device, and since it’s WiFi you’re never out of range as long as you’re on the same network. It’s extraordinarily comfortable.

The CyberQ also “learns” how your smoker responds to damper settings, so the controller’s performance improves over time the more you use it.

You need to enter target temperature and alarm settings so you always know how your grill is doing.

It’s also great for larger chambers, as it’s equipped with a Pit Viper fan that can control temperatures in larger areas much more easily.

Like other more advanced controllers, it has a logging feature that can give you detailed, graphical feedback on how your kitchen is performing. This WILL help YOU improve your grilling skills over time as you can see the adjustments made to your chamber’s airflow reflecting the pit environment.

All in all, it’s a fantastic investment for barbecue fans of all levels.

Auber Instruments WiFi Grill Controller

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This unit won the Platinum Medal Award for 2018. Great praise.

What is the difference to other run-of-the-mill fountain controls?

The Auber instrument is a unit that is controlled via your smartphone and offers stable PID control that is stronger than many of its peers.

What we love about it are its three main fan modes. Impulse, proportional and manual.

The pulse WILL be staggered between turning the fan on and off, while being proportional to a constant fan speed held at low speed. Manual is exactly what it sounds like.

It WILL come with a 6.5cfm fan but can come in a variety of sizes if you want something more powerful. However, this 6.5 cfm will necessarily be fine for most grills or smokers.

Auber’s probes use PT1000 RTD sensor technology, which is pretty much the gold standard for sensors like these. The PT1000’s resolution is higher than many of its competitors, meaning it can read temperatures with greater accuracy. In return, this means a much better grilling experience and, of course, a much better meal.

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Flame Boss 400 WiFi Smoker Controller

Flame Boss 400 WiFi Smoker Controller

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If you love data on your smoking performance, the Flame Boss 400 could be the smoking controller of your dreams.

The Flame Boss 400 offers variable speed that helps control temperatures in adverse conditions (think rain, snow, wind) as well as any quirks or specific characteristics of your cooking unit. This is what differentiates elite models like these from standard controllers.

You can control it via your smartphone, but connectivity doesn’t just depend on a WiFi connection. If you have a smart home setup, it can also be linked to your Alexa or Google Home controls. Unless you’re a technophobe, this is a controller that’s firmly seated on this side of the 21st century.

The Flame Boss is compatible with most grills, including kamado and dome cookers.

  • LATEST TECHNOLOGY: Proprietary software and variable speed fans ensure precise temperature control…
  • EASY TO USE – Simple device setup paired with unparalleled customer support guaranteed…
  • Fits Kamado-style charcoal grills and smokers: Kamado Joe – all sizes, Primo grills – all…

PartyQ BBQ Temperature Controller

PartyQ grill temperature temperature

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The BBQ Guru PartQ is one of the best budget smoker controllers on the market today. This lightweight controller may look simple on the surface, but don’t let that fool you. You can still do a great job.

It’s compatible with most grills or smokers, including Big Green Eggs, and it’s one of the easiest-seeming. Your probe sits on the grill grate and you simply set the desired temperature.

Its simplicity means YOU can’t monitor your progress or log cooking data via an app, but that’s not a key criteria for all teachers these days.

A great budget option for users who aren’t obsessed with data or kitchen metrics.

Do you have burning questions about temperature controllers? Here are my quick questions and answers to help you find what’s right for you.

Why Should you Buy a Temperature Controller?

When it comes to grilling, the biggest factor that can make or break your grill isn’t the food preparation, meat selection, or fuel choice.

It’s his temperature control.

If YOU don’t control the vents, your smoker’s internal temperature will fluctuate, making it almost impossible to cook properly.Those BBQ Guru graphicsshows how much this can vary compared to smokers with proper temperature control:

uncontrolled temperature changes
Precise temperature control


Learning how to adjust YOUR smoker’s vents to control temperature is crucial. However, it is not easy. It can also be a lot of work and prevent you from leaving your kitchen alone for long periods of time.

However, this is impractical in many ways, but most importantly, cooking times in excess of 12 hours are not uncommon for certain types of meat. However, slow, slow-cooked meat is best, so we don’t want to resort to those long cooking times.

Monitoring the chamber temperature with a good grill surface thermometer is crucial, but learning how to monitor that temperature is just as important.

Your smoker’s vents must be constantly adjusted as the velocity fluctuates as air flows through the dampers, resulting in the several hours of cooking time required.

It’s a challenging skill that puts many users off.

However, using an automatic temperature controller is a great way to regulate the internal temperature of your smoker without having to worry about it all day. This gives you the confidence to let your smoker work its magic.

How do Automatic Temperature Controllers Work?

One of the main sources of fuel for your fire is oxygen, so it is very important to regulate the flow of air both in and out of your smoker or grill box.

Air enters the chamber and exits through the grille openings, with the inlet port at the bottom and the outlet port at the top.

The temperature controller helps control this flow by installing a fan in the inlet door, which then interfaces with its central control system. Statistically based on the temperature probe readings, the ventilator adjusts the oxygen delivery to maintain the desired temperature.

Temperature fluctuations are common to all grills and smokers and can occur for a variety of reasons, not just airflow. It’s inevitable. How they respond to this is crucial, however, and temperature controls are one of the best ways to do this.

The most modern models even have WiFi, which means YOU can control from your phone and adjust to the desired internal temperature. If you’re a statistics fanatic like me, it even creates cool charts that detail your grill or smoker’s temperature records.

Fan control and smoker inlet flap


If you try to manually adjust the vents, you often overcompensate and send a low temp all the way to the other side or vice versa. This isn’t good for slow, low cooking where temperature stability is so crucial.

A controller monitors temperatures and over time learns how your grill or smoker responds to adjustments in airflow, meaning it becomes a much more efficient means of maintaining a consistent temperature in the pit.

How to Install an Automatic Temperature Controller

For most basic controllers, the setup really is. Most kits come with an adapter that mounts to the bottom vent of your grill. On larger grills or smokers, you may have more than one inlet hatch where you install it on one and close the others.

The adapter bracket appeared largely independent of your model, as instruments vary from brand to brand.

Difference in Fans

Most fans controlled in control systems are simple on/off fans. As the name suggests, this can only be toggled on or off, there’s nothing in between.

For many systems, this is perfectly fine. More recently, however, some models have incorporated a range of fan speeds to try and better control temperatures. For example, newer Fire Boss models (like the 500, number one on my list) have this setting.

I personally don’t think these settings will make much of a difference to the overall temperature of your grill. However, where it helps to keep temperatures consistent after you open the grill lid.

Didn’t find what you like? Take a look at our Savannah Stoker Pellet Grill Controller review .

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