I love weekends in the warm spring and summer months. It means I have a chance to get my smokers out and smoke anything I can get my hands on. Chicken, salmon, turkey, sausages… They are all delicious. But I have a special place in my heart for smoked brisket. It’s one of the greatest things to eat and it’s really a labour of love. My go to recipe can be found here. The only thing is, smoking a couple of briskets can take anywhere from 8 to 13 hours. Not a small undertaking.
I’d love to tell you that I light up my smoker, settle back into a lawn chair with a bucket of cold beers and spend the day relaxing. But alas, I have a wife, 3 kids, a job, a house, and a dog. All of thes are vying for my attention and sitting in the backyard for an entire day is really not in the cards. For those of you who’ve never had a chance to own a smoker, it’s all about cooking food low and slow. The smoker temperature has to hover around 225 degrees for the duration of the cooking. This is traditionally done by opening and closing air vents. Let more oxygen in to swirl around your glowing coals and the temperature rises; limit the air in the smoker and the temperature drops. It’s not rocket science, but it does require some monitoring and babysitting. Smoking also requires keeping a close eye on the temperature of the meat being cooked. Cook it to too high of a temperature and you risk drying out your prized smoked meat. This can be complicated as different cuts of meat on different levels of the smoker will cook at different rates.
This past weekend was a game changer. I got to take the CyberQ BBQ Guru for a spin with my Weber Smokey Mountain smoker. The BBQ Guru takes all of the guessing game out of smoking, reduces the variables, and makes the whole thing SO much more about enjoying the day and less about babysitting the smoker. Here’s how:
- Accuracy. The BBQ Guru monitors the temperature of the smoker, AND the temperature of up to 3 foods that are cooking on the smoker. This means that at any given time you can see exactly what the status is of every part of your smoke. No more guessing.
Mobility. The CyberQ has a great display unit that sits near the grill – but the game-changer is that it synchs to your mobile device via WiFi. That means anywhere you go in or around your house you can easily check the status of your smoke.
Alerts. Food temperatures can be set and alarms will sound when you get to the desired temperature. Smoker minimum and maximum alarms can also be set so that you know as soon as your temperature drops or spikes. Critical in inclement weather.
The deal breaker. The guts and glory of the BBQ Guru is an external fan that connects to one of the vents of your smoker. If the temperature of the smoker lowers, the fan kicks in, increasing oxygen flow to your coals and bringing the temperature up. If the smoker temperature rises too high the fan cuts out, dropping the temperature of the smoker. The BBQ Guru takes all of the hands-on tinkering out of the equation. All you need to do is kick back, relax and reel in the compliments when it’s all said and done!I’ve been smoking meats for nearly a decade. The CyberQ changed the rules of the game – all for the better! If you’d like a chance to win your own CyberQ send me a message on twitter (@gavmartell) and let me know the favourite thing you make on your smoker. Contest closes August 19th. Retail value ~$329US.