Flame Boss 500 Review
Flame Boss are one of our favourite recent companies and their automatic temperature controllers really take away any of the uncertainty of smoking. You need never worry about ruining a cook in front of your neighbours if you have a quality temperature controller. And Flame Boss produce just that, with some products even challenging some of the more ‘go-to’ products such as the BBQ Guru CyberQ Cloud and other BBQ Guru products. They’ve brought some interesting innovations to the automatic barbecue temperature controller market that we believe are here to stay. For example, the Flame Boss 300 brought the variable speed fan, the Flame Boss 400 came with a huge range of addition online features now Flame Boss have released the 500. In our Flame Boss 500 review we’ll take a look at some of the new features of the latest Flame Boss flagship model and we’ll test the performance to see if it’s worth the relatively high price tag.
Check the lastest price on Amazon.
What’s Included with the Flame Boss 500
- Flame Boss Controller Module
- Flame Boss variable speed blower
- Power Adapter
- Pit temperature probe
- Meat temperature probe
- Probe cord organizers
- Grill Adapters
- Product manuals
Like many of the previous models of automatic BBQ temperature controllers from Flame Boss, the 500 comes in 2 different models. There is a universal model that has an adaptor that can fit virtually any standard grill and is perfect for something like the Weber Smokey Mountain. Then there’s the Kamado version that is ideal for Kamado cookers such as the Kamado Joe, the Big Green Egg, the Char-Griller Akorn and many more. When you buy make sure you get the correct version so it fits your grill!
The Flame Boss 500 features many of the same features as the last models such as the web and app integration. The integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Home units. You can also set alarms for times and internal meat temperatures and even receive text messages to your phone when your cook is done. The web interface and mobile app also provide virtually real time data to track your cook and also allow the control unit to update itself automatically every time it’s turned on. It also has a very similar blower that has the Flame Boss patent.
The differences come mainly from the redesigned and improved control unit that not only has a much sleeker design but also features a larger screen, more screen space and additional controls. You can also have 3 probes on the go at once without the need for a y-cable splitter.
Build Quality and Design
The design of the Flame Boss 500 is very similar to that of the 300. It takes many of the features and similar stylistic aspects but brings them into a more modern overall experience. There are additional button for precise control, a larger screen with 4 lines that can show more information and make the menus easier to navigate.
The build quality of all of the components are very good. The main control unit feels solid and despite not being certified as weatherproof still fends off any adverse weather if you forget to cover it when it rains… The blower is the best on the market. Not only does it provide a lot of power but the variable speed aspect of it allows for superior temperature control. You will not find a more precise automatic temperature controller than the Flame Boss 500.
The probes are also high quality and do exactly what you would expect. We have seen a few complaints of probes slightly breaking during the washing process but we would suggest sensible washing with a damp cloth rather than full submersion in water. If you take care of the probes then you shouldn’t have a problem with them breaking. Flame Boss are also well known for having a great customer service and have regularly replaced any broken probes so you know that you won’t be left in the dark if something does go wrong.
Ease of Use
Overall, the Flame Boss 500 is a pretty simple device to use. The most difficult part of the product is the setup with your wifi. This can be slightly troublesome depending on your router but the process is simple enough and if you closely follow the instructions you shouldn’t have a problem.
Once you have the device set up then it all becomes a pleasure to use. The mobile app and web browser do exactly what you’d expect and the amount of information and options they give you is staggering.
Setting up the actual controller on your smoker is also very simple. Depending on which version you buy and which smoker you have will change the process but they are both pretty easy. On a Weber Smokey Mountain the setup was just a couple of minutes.
Flame Boss 400 vs 500
So now that both the 400 and 500 are released you may be wondering which one is the better version for you. Firstly, we would recommend reading our full review of the Flame Boss 400 to give you an in depth look at the differences between the two models.
The main differences are that the 400 is cheaper and it has the control unit inside the actual blower. This makes the setup even simpler but also gives less information and a little less control as you’re missing the actual control unit. However, the 400 still works well, we had a lot of success with it and felt as though it did a great job at a good price.
So it depends what you’re looking for. If you want complete control and are looking for the best of the best then the Flame Boss 500 is the way to go. Just don’t expect to get it cheap. If you want more of an introduction into the automatic BBQ temperature controller world and think that a ‘lite’ version would be sufficient then the 400 should do you nicely. If we had to choose it would be the 500 and it would seem that Amazon reviews and other around the web would agree.
Despite the high price tag the Flame Boss 500 is a great upgrade to the 300 that it’s replacing. It takes what Flame Boss does best and give you some incremental improvements across the board. Having the web and app interface being constantly updated is a fantastic feature that shows that Flame Boss are invested in the product and the company as a whole. I wouldn’t have any worries about buying one and think that this is probably the best automatic barbecue temperature controller on the market right now.
Check the lastest price on Amazon.