BBQ Guru DigiQ DX2 Review
The DigiQ DX2 is the mid-range offering from BBQ Guru’s automatic BBQ temperature controllers. It’s one of the best selling temperature controllers available today and has even been used by people such as Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg. In our DigiQ DX2 review we take a look at what makes it so popular, whether it’s worth your money and if there are better alternatives out there.
What’s Included with the DigiQ DX2
- DigiQ DX2 Controller
- 100 – 240V AC Power Supply
- Medium Pit Viper Fan
- Six-foot pit temperature probe
- Six-foot meat temperature probe
- Grill adaptor for your specific grill/smoker
- BBQ Guru protective bag
- Multi-purpose mounting bracket
- DigiQ DX2 manual and recipe book
There is a huge range of adapters that BBQ Guru offer for the DigiQ. These will work with almost any smoker on the market. A lot of homemade ugly drum smokers or adapted offset smokers will also work with the DigiQ. The most popular adapters are the Weber Smokey Mountain and the Big Green Egg.
Make sure whichever version of the BBQ Guru DigiQ you buy will fit your smoker.
The DigiQ DX2 has a main control unit that is made completely from aluminum and comes in three different colors: Black, Green and Pink. The pink version is called the PiggyQ edition as there is a nice little smiling pig on the front. The control box also features a high intensity screen. This display is powered by LEDs which makes it viewable even in bright sunlight.
The controller comes with two probes. One of the probes has a clip at the end that is used for measuring the ambient temperature inside the smoker, by clipping it to the grill grate. The other is a food probe that you put inside the piece of meat you’re cooking to get a temperature of the inside of the meat.
The DigiQ comes with two built in alarms. One of these will allow you to set a temperature range at which the ambient temperature will aim to be held at. If the temperature of the pit strays outside of the range then it will set off the alarm. For example, if set the range to be ± 25˚F with a set point of 225˚F then if the temperature goes lower than 200˚F or higher than 250˚F the alarm will sound. The controller’s temperature range goes from 32˚F – 475˚F with ± 2˚F accuracy. Enough to cover almost every smoking temperature range going. The second alarm is a bit simpler. It will notify you when the inside of your food has reached the set temperature. The sound intensity of both alarms is adjustable.
One of the major problems with the cheaper BBQ temperature controllers is that if you open the lid it causes the inside of the pit to quickly get much colder. This causes the controller to speed up the fan and over stoke the fire. With the DigiQ this has been fixed with the open lid detection system. It senses when the cooker is open and can minimize the temperature disturbance. This quickly recovers your grill to the desired cooking temperature and stops any major temperature changes.
Another feature that the DigiQ DX2 offers is the ramp down feature. This lowers the ambient pit temperature when meat temperature rises close to the done temperature. This is to make sure the meat doesn’t overcook.
The DigiQ features a full-time adaptive control algorithm that is said to learn how your pit behaves for better stability and accuracy on longer cooks.
Like with all temperature controllers, the DigiQ will make the fire burn a more precisely. This means your charcoal burns more efficiently, lasts longer, and saves you money.
The user can change between Celsius and Fahrenheit.
Build Quality and Design
The design of the DigiQ is generally really good. It looks good, it has a very clear and easy to read display and it’s got a very simple interface. It has four buttons, two to increase and decrease the temperature value and two to choose the pit or food temperatures. These are responsive and feel durable. It’s also quite small and compact and isn’t an inconvenience by constantly getting in the way. This is helped by the included mounting bracket. The mounting bracket is well designed and sturdy. It allows for many different ways of mounting the DigiQ and is very simple to use.
In addition to being well designed, the DigiQ is also built well. The main body is made from aluminum and is rigid and feels strong. It has a nice finish and is well painted. Generally, the build quality of the main controller box is very good.
Both probes have stainless steel braided covers which help strengthen and insulate them from the high temperatures that they’ll be exposed to. A few people have had problems with the probes not working after a while. This tends to be the main problem with a lot of BBQ temperature controllers, but is usually easily fixed by replacing the probes.
The Pit Viper fan is well designed and very versatile. It has an adjustable metal plate that changes the amount of air flow through the fan. This is ideal for people with multiple smokers as it allows you to change the amount of air let through depending on the size of your smoker and what you’re cooking.
Ease of Use
The set up of the DigiQ is very simple. Firstly, attach the control box to your grill or smoker, then plug in all the cords. Everything is labelled and the manual is clear and well put together so this shouldn’t be a problem. Then attach your adapter for the Pit Viper fan. This will be different depending on what smoker you have.
Here’s an installation video for the DigiQ DX2 Weber Smokey Mountain version:
Once everything is installed and connected the controls are very simple and intuitive. It’s very easy to set the temperatures to exactly what you need.
The power adapter has a water resistant plug which is very nice. But the length of the power cord is fairly short at around 2 ft, so you’ll more than likely have to use an extension cord. Not a huge problem but a longer cord would have made things easier.
How Well does the DigiQ DX2 Work?
The DigiQ DX2 works really well. The thermometers generally read fairly accurately, albeit a bit slow. The controller works well, it keeps the temperature fairly close to the chosen temperature, with minor fluctuations. It can easily manage longer cooks and will definitely make your life easier. There won’t be any need to constantly adjust the dampers and baby sit the smoker.
One thing we’ve noticed, is that that the controller display rounds the temperature to the nearest 5˚F when the actual temperature is within 5˚F of the set temperature. For most cooks, this shouldn’t be much of an issue but it does pose the problem of hiding any smaller temperature fluctuations. This is something that would be nice to be able to monitor and is something the higher end models, such as the CyberQ and the Flame Boss 300, do not do.
As the DigiQ is getting a bit older now, the price has come down a bit since it was first released. You’ll be looking at around $200 – $250. Whilst this is quite a lot of money we think it’s worth it and think that the DigiQ is one of the best value temperature controllers currently on the market. It will make your smoking and grilling easier than ever and will mean you’ll never have to baby sit your smoker again.
Setting it up and getting it to work well are straight forward and quick. It has generally very good performance with a few slight hiccups here and there, but no deal breakers.
After using some of the higher end models, such as the BBQ Guru CyberQ and the Flame Boss 300, we do feel like the lack of WiFi on the DigiQ is a sorely missed feature. But if you’re looking for a solid mid-range option then you can’t expect everything.
This is the best mid-range smoker temperature controller for the money and will save you a lot of time babysitting your grill.
Check the latest price on Amazon.
DigiQ vs PartyQ vs CyberQ
Which BBQ Guru temperature controller is the best for you?
Out of all of the BBQ Guru reviews we’ve done, our favorite product is the CyberQ Cloud. If you want the best BBQ Guru product then buy that. It has a huge range of features, including hybrid probes, the ability to read three meat temperatures at once and a brilliant WiFi integration with many online features. Read our full review of the BBQ Guru CyberQ Cloud for more information.
So, if you’re not looking for the best of the best which one do you buy? The DigiQ or the PartyQ?
The PartyQ is a decent low-budget temperature controller. It has a single temperature probe and a simple two-button control with a single number display. This is about as simple as you can get, the display shows the temperature that the probe is reading and that’s all. It does the job fairly well though. It will keep your smoker at the desired pit temperature competently. The problem is that you have a lack of options and barely any feedback to give you an insight to what is going on with the meat. There isn’t a meat probe included which you almost certainly need if you’re going to take smoking seriously. We’d suggest grabbing a standard digital meat thermometer as well so you have an accurate meat temperature reading. We recently did a rundown of the best smoker thermometers, so take a look at that if you’re considering a BBQ Guru PartyQ.
If your budget can stretch and you can pay the additional costs of a DigiQ, then we’d highly recommend that over the PartyQ. Everything that the PartyQ needs to be a great temperature controller the DigiQ has.
There are other options besides BBQ Guru. Read our list of the best automatic BBQ temperature controllers to find out more.
Whichever temperature controller you decide on buying we’d highly recommend reading our list of smoking times and temperatures. This is a cheat sheet of the required temperatures and rough times that almost every cut of meat is done at.