The Digi Q DX2 BBQ Guru is a control system for your Big Green Egg that, by monitoring both the temperature of your grill and the food, allows you to control the temperature of the Big Green Egg automatically. Essentially you set the temperature you want to cook at and the temperature you want the food to reach and then leave the Digi Q to take care of the rest. It will even ramp down the temperature of the Egg towards the end of the cook to match your the temperature of your food keeping it warm but not overcooking it.
Hang on a minute, the Egg’s so easy to cook on anyway, why could I possibly need one of these? It’s a very good question especially considering the price of the Digi Q at £350 in the UK. I was a sceptic too but that all changed with the very first cook using it. I’ll explain why shortly.
The Digi Q is designed to be used during indirect cooking or cooking at lower temperatures. It’s two temperature probes shouldn’t be used over direct heats exceeding 500F or 260C, I’d be wary of using them over direct heat full stop. So we’re really talking about cooking low and slow or controlling your Egg while baking or stewing. Where the Digi Q really comes into its own is when cooking joints for many hours, especially overnight where you don’t want to go and check the temperature of the Egg every 2 or 3 hours.
Out of the box
Unpacking the Digi Q is both satisfying and disappointing. The outer packaging is good but inside all the bits are in press sealed bags and lose. The manual is a printed with just a paper cover. However the Diqi Q itself feels weighty and well made and comes in a nice cloth bag to protect it.
I was a little disappointed to find an American power adapter, I’d really have liked a UK plug and 12V transformer that would have easily plugged into a standard UK weatherproof socket. Instead I have a Uk to US adapter with the transformer plugged into that, clunky.
BBQ Guru pieces
The first thing to do is slide in the BBQ Guru adapter door. This should be done from the left hand end of the track, leaving the normal draft door in place. To make it easier I removed the rubber cover of the stop tab (my older Egg doesn’t have a rubber cover).
You can then slide the normal door right up to or even over the adapter.
The adapter comes with a silicon bung allowing you to shut off the egg at the end of cooking without removing the adapter door which will be hot.
The Pit Viper part of the BBQ Guru can then be twisted into place. It’s got a rubber O-Ring to form a seal and hold it in place.
The Pit Viper is just a 12V fan that is controlled, varying the amount of air being blown into the Egg. There is a small sliding baffle that is used in one of three settings depending on what temperature you’re aiming to cook at. Its purpose is to restrict airflow when the fan is off.
The Digi Q DX2 is the control unit. It has a solid construction with 4 rubber buttons on front. These are all that’s needed to set and control the unit.
At the base of the unit there are 4 connection ports (from left to right):
- 12V power supply
- Fan (blower) connection that goes to the Pit Viper
- Pit – thermometer connection for the thermometer you clip to the grill
- Food – thermometer you insert into the meat.
On the back of the unit are the details of the settings you can change:
- Alarm deviation – the deviation of temperature you want to be warned about
- Ramp – On or Off. Whether you want the unit to ramp down the temperature of the BBQ when your food is approaching the required temperature.
- Beeper Intensity – How loud the alarm sounds are
- Open lid detect – Controls the fan when you open the BBQ lid so that it doesn’t blow extra air in.
- F or C – set your Digi Q to either Fahrenheit or Celsius.
My first real cook using the BBQ Guru was a low and slow cook of a beef rib-eye joint. I wanted the Egg to cook at 110C until the temperature of the joint reached 45C in the middle.
After lighting the Egg I added the plate setter, feet up, and put the stainless steel grid on top. I then clipped the pit thermometer to the grid over a plate setter leg to avoid the thermometer wire being subjected to direct heat. I closed the baffle on the Pit Viper to 1/3 open and set the daisy wheel on the Egg to almost closed, roughly where I would have set it for 110C anyway.
I then pressed the Pit button and used the up and down buttons to set the desired temperature of the Egg to 110C. I left the food temperature on the Egg table.
Within a few minutes the temp on the Digi Q was recording 110C exactly. Every so often the blower indicator light would flash to show is was turning on. To my amazement the temperature never wavered from 110C, not by even 1C. I’ve cooked a lot of low and slow meals and my standard thermometer shows the grid temperature varying a bit (around 10C). This wasn’t moving at all.
I then added the rib-eye joint with the food thermometer pushed in so the tip was at the thickest part of the joint. I closed the lid and left the Digi Q to recover the temperature of the Egg to 110C. It did this quickly by blowing air in. It didn’t overshoot 110C though.
I also used my wireless food probe so that I could monitor the temperature of the grill and food from my sofa. Again the temperature of the grill never wavered from 110C.
I had set the Ramp function to Yes. As the meat temperature was nearing 45C, the temperature I had set the Digi Q to, the grill temperature started to drop. Amazing.
At a food temperature of 45C the Digi Q alarmed to say the food was ready. It was cooked perfectly.
The BBQ Guru system allows you to control the temperature of your Egg as you would a standard domestic oven. Better than that, it knows what temperature your food is at and then adjusts the temperature of the Egg, dropping it to make sure your food is kept at a perfect temperature but not overcooked or dried out. You no longer need to keep popping to your Egg to check that it’s holding temperature.
Having cooked 75Kg of pork shoulder in 2 XL and 3 large Eggs overnight for 15 hours and then fed 250 cyclists and their families with pulled pork sandwiches, I wish I had had a BBQ Guru for each of those Eggs. Stress levels would have been way lower.
While it is expensive, very expensive, it really does enable you to produce great results. I’m so glad I have one of these.
As a Big Green Egg user your friends already think you area BBQ god, this just makes that even easier.