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Stoker System vs. BBQ Guru


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#1 gary notley

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 08:10 AM

Does anyone have any opinions on these systems. I really liked the "Kettle Guys" Stoker set up they had at Victorville. I looked at the Guru system on the internet, and it looks to be a nice system as well. Price is having me lean towards the Guru. Looking for pros and cons of both systems.

It will be used on my WSM

The stoker comes with a 4-5CFM fan and the Guru comes with a 5-10 CFM fan.

Edited by gary notley, 24 June 2007 - 08:12 AM.


#2 Thom Emery

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 11:37 AM

Gary I have cooked on a WSM many times without either.
Are you sure you need them?

#3 gary notley

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 12:09 PM

no, I dont needone, but it would be nice to have one.
Im into the digital control aspect because of my occupation. Im reserching them right now, and wanted to try a system out. The Gurus are almost half the price of the Stoker.


View PostThom Emery, on Jun 24 2007, 07:37 PM, said:

Gary I have cooked on a WSM many times without either.
Are you sure you need them?


#4 Bram Britcher

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 07:54 PM

I have not tried the Stoker though I hear great things from the Stoker users.
I have the Guru Pitminder. It's simple (one dial to set temp) and cheaper of course.

Guess it depends what you need and what your budget is. Pitminder is fine for simple, single-pit control. If you need multiple pit control or like the tech bells and whistles, Stoker may make you happier.

For small cookers, smaller CFM is better IMO. Less ash, less firebox hot spot, better duty cycle for control purposes.

-Bram

#5 Peter Benac

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 07:03 AM

View Postgary notley, on Jun 24 2007, 04:09 PM, said:

no, I dont needone, but it would be nice to have one.
Im into the digital control aspect because of my occupation. Im reserching them right now, and wanted to try a system out. The Gurus are almost half the price of the Stoker.

Actually it's the other way around. A single Stoker will control multiple cookers. It is web enabled and allows you to set the controller from any network attached PC. This is the feature that sold me.

I have seen both in action, but my opinion if you need to control multiple cookers the Stoker is the better value. As for the fans that little 5 cfm fan does a fine job on my XL Egg. It will be fine on a WSM.

Edited by Peter Benac, 25 June 2007 - 09:01 AM.


#6 Ben Lobenstein

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 07:43 AM

Stoker creator is a CBBQA member, does that count for anything?

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/productreviews/st...stokerguru1.htm

#7 Bentley Meredith

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 09:09 AM

Peter is obviously a good source of info, I know Ric was saying how he had a Stoker and he could cook for 10 hours AND keep his temp. within 1*...Well I think you can imagin the rashin of you-know-what that I gave him last weekend, he did not fire his pit up so it is all conjecture now! Thought he might weight in, but he said he was having trouble getting in!

#8 Peter Benac

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 09:25 AM

View PostBentley Meredith, on Jun 25 2007, 01:09 PM, said:

Peter is obviously a good source of info, I know Ric was saying how he had a Stoker and he could cook for 10 hours AND keep his temp. within 1*...Well I think you can imagin the rashin of you-know-what that I gave him last weekend, he did not fire his pit up so it is all conjecture now! Thought he might weight in, but he said he was having trouble getting in!

I had the Stoker at both Danville and Tryon. Went to sleep with two eggs at 220. Woke up 4 hours later with two eggs at 220. They both stayed that way till I pulled the pork and brisket off at 11 am. Brisket went on at 10PM and the Pork at 11:30.

The ceramic mass of the egg probably did help, but I slept well knowing I'd wake up with both eggs cooking away.

Edited by Peter Benac, 25 June 2007 - 09:26 AM.


#9 gary notley

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 10:25 AM

thanks all. I found some good comparisons on the net (nakedwhiz and the weber fourm) I can get a killer deal on a GURU off a guy on Ebay. But I really like the stoker and its features. The whole automation aspects fascinates me (as that is part of my daily job, and I love building automation systems)
I like the fact with a stoker you can have multiple units on it.

We shall see what the birthday fairy brings me.

#10 Peter Benac

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 10:45 AM

View Postgary notley, on Jun 25 2007, 02:25 PM, said:

We shall see what the birthday fairy brings me.

That's really Bentley in a Tu-Tu... Not a pretty picture..

#11 Glen Stanley

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 03:53 PM

Gary,

I have no experience with either one. However, I saw John (the creator of the stoker) do a demo at Q-fest. It was quite impressive. Looking at his laptop and watching a live graphical representation of the temps was very cool. That thing sure maintains the temps well with very little fluctuation. I think you even have the ability to capture the information for future reference.

When I took the Dr. BBQ class in San Jose, I went over to visit with john at his shop. He is a super nice guy, and spent over an hour shoot'in the sh** with me. He really cam across as someone who cares about putting out a great product at a reasonable price, and I think he would stand behind his system 100%.

I also like the fact that he's a CBBQA member, supporter, and competitor.

#12 John Kelly

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 02:41 AM

Which controller is better, the BBQ Guru or the Stoker? Are there any other controllers available?

#13 Thom Emery

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 05:22 AM

Both work fine
Stoker John is a regular here and a biz member

#14 Benny Adauto

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 05:49 AM

I had a choice many years ago to choose between the two and selected the Stoker System. I've never regretted that choice. I started out with only one fan for an offset smoker. After I sold the offset in favor of WSMs, I now am capable of running 3 WSMs using the same controller, something I don't belive the Guru products permit. Along with the wifi capabilities, the ability to add fans and probes to an existing controller is the reason to go with Stoker.

#15 Jerry Aguilar

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:03 AM

I chose to go with the stoker too, they are in California and can provide quick service.

I know of a couple of others, the pitmaster IQ, and the Auber (found at auberins.com under smoker controllers) - both of these run around $130 - $140. I believe these do not display the actual temp, just the target temp, so you may need another device like a maverick to see what pit temp or meat temp actually is.

#16 Kevin Barteaux

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:33 AM

Here is a link to a comprehensive side-by-side comparison:

http://www.nakedwhiz...stokerguru1.htm

Of it does not list the advantage of the Stoker being local and offering great service, and that the team often competes in California contests.

#17 Bill Bain

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:35 AM

All the different controllers work as designed but if you want the best and one made in CA by a CBBQA member who you can talk to at most contests then Stoker is the winner hands down.

#18 Stephan Franklin

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 04:39 PM

I just bought a month a or so ago. I went with the Stoker due keeping in our local BBQ community and because he is business member here. Additionally, I bought it because a lot of the teams need to beat use Stoker! :shiftyninja:

#19 Dale Ginos

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 07:21 AM

STOKER hands down. as mentioned multiple device capabilities, CBBQA member, easy to use, very durable. I have had the same stoker for 6 years now. I run multiple probes and fans off the one control unit. The only problem I have ever had is when it got wet in a rain storm, but I am sure this is true with all electronics. The cool thing is when it dried out it works fine.

#20 harry stewart

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 08:12 AM

I even use mine for commercial use on briskets and pork butts, we can monitor 8 individual meats with pinpoint accuracy as well as using The Stoker log due to the fact I don't use electric assist and cook 100 % wood fired in my J and R 250 RFS,
By keeping door shut and only have to open when a specific piece is finished, cook times are optimized by maintainig smoker chest temp.
I go thru a few leads but I am using this system 6 days a week 52 weeks a year. I don't know of anyone else that does this.
Toss in wireless and smart phone capabilities, hard system to beat.




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