usbbqsupply

» Support TQJ

» Log in

User Name:

Password:

Not a member yet?
Register Now!

» Online Users: 45

7 members and 38 guests
Most users ever online was 2,553, 02-17-2020 at 12:48 PM.

» Stats

Members: 3,108
Threads: 14,364
Posts: 157,536
Top Poster: PigCicles (10,055)
Welcome to our newest member, Mienshao
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 43

Thread: Stoker or Guru?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    102

    Default Stoker or Guru?

    OK smoking brothers, I need your opinions.
    I never thought I'd get to a place where I didn't want to babysit my smoker, but here I am. I'm too busy to sit all day with my smoker, so needless to say, I haven't smoked as much as I'd like. So I'm thinking of adding either a Guru or a Stoker. Then hopefully, I can get some things done while smoking, and only have to add wood once in a while.
    Both have great features. They both share some of the same features, but both have different, unique features as well.
    As far as cost goes, both are pretty close for my application. The Guru with the 25 cfm fan upgrade is 643.00 for the ProCom 4. The Stoker would be 520.00 with the 25 cfm fan upgrade for the Dual System Loaded, and that would come with another 5 cfm fan which I could use for a smaller smoker.
    My smoker has a 2X2X2 foot firebox and the smoke chamber is 5 feet long and 2 feet deep. So I think the 25 cfm blower is in order.
    Some features I like about the Stoker is the capability to control multiple smokers, automatic damper and the computer interface. The Stoker can be controlled from a laptop, desktop or a cell phone.
    The Guru has a long reputation and wireless controllability.
    I invite you to check out the websites and reviews for both and give me your thoughts.
    Guru ProCom 4 http://secure.thebbqguru.com/Product...&idproduct=156
    Stoker Dual System Loaded http://rocksbarbque.com/Systems.html
    Reviews for both can be found at http://www.nakedwhiz.com/productreviews.htm
    Tom

    Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything. --Wyatt Earp

    Smoker:
    Homebuilt using 150 gallon side water tank from concrete truck.

  2. #2

    Default

    This group has had a lot of discussion on both, though they talk more about the stoker than the guru:
    http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/frm/f/9270072103

    Not a lot of discussion on Q'ing, so the talk may not be what you are looking for.

    While I've never used either one, I've done quite a bit of research on temperature control systems. Here's the basics I've come up with: If the ability to connect to the control system with your computer is big, go for the stoker. Otherwise, go with the guru. The benefits of the guru is that is seems to hold up to the weather a bit more. It also has the optional remote, which I could see coming in handy.
    Josh
    AKA: Geek with Fire


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    4,976

    Default

    I can't comment on the Stoker since I only have experience with the guru, and I Haven't used the pro comm/ I just use separate digiQ 2s.

    My thought it that they won't give you your money's worthif you intend to burn wood fires. If you wanted to build a charcoal basket and add wood chunks, I would think it would be a totally different story. I just think that your smoker will want mor than 25 CFM in order to burn right.

    The other thing to consider is air tightness. Most stick burners aren't really air tight enough for a draft controller to operate correctly. What I know of the Guru, and what I surmise to also be the case for the Stoker is that in order to work correctly, the only air supply source must be directly thrpugh the fan. If you have anywhere else for air to getinto the smoker, the controller will not function right.

    BHope this help Tom.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    102

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Geek with Fire View Post
    Here's the basics I've come up with: If the ability to connect to the control system with your computer is big, go for the stoker. Otherwise, go with the guru. The benefits of the guru is that is seems to hold up to the weather a bit more. It also has the optional remote, which I could see coming in handy.
    You can monitor the Stoker from a cell phone. Although it seems most of the problems Stoker owners have are related to wireless connections. What I do like is the ability to control so many smokers and monitor so many cuts of meat with one unit. As I understand it, the cold weather issues have been resolved. But I like the reputation of the Guru. That may make my decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokyOkie View Post
    If you wanted to build a charcoal basket and add wood chunks, I would think it would be a totally different story.
    That's just plain blasphemy. Shame on you!!!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by SmokyOkie View Post
    I just think that your smoker will want more than 25 CFM in order to burn right.
    I could however, upgrade the second fan to a 25 cfm also. That would give me 50 cfm total.

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokyOkie View Post
    The other thing to consider is air tightness. Most stick burners aren't really air tight enough for a draft controller to operate correctly. What I know of the Guru, and what I surmise to also be the case for the Stoker is that in order to work correctly, the only air supply source must be directly thrpugh the fan. If you have anywhere else for air to getinto the smoker, the controller will not function right.
    I worked tirelessly to seal my smoker up this last summer. I installed a rope gasket to the firebox door, and high temp oven gaskets to the oven door and the smoker doors. If air squeaks past the vents, I could always weld them up.
    Tom

    Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything. --Wyatt Earp

    Smoker:
    Homebuilt using 150 gallon side water tank from concrete truck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    4,976

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    That's just plain blasphemy. Shame on you!!!!!

    Might be blasphemy, but if you want computer draft control you will need to forget burning sticks cuz you will have to have a more uniform burn raqte and level of heat generation than wood affords.

    Yeah, you and I both know that I'm an old stick burner at heart, but that's what goes with the territory. You want to burn sticks, it's an unprecise science, and computer draft control is precise science.

    Think of it this way Tom, as a good stickburner, you are an artisan, with computer draft control, you're not.

    I could however, upgrade the second fan to a 25 cfm also. That would give me 50 cfm total.

    It doesn't work that way. You would only control each fan separately, and I still question whether or not 50 CFM would be enough to sustain a good flame. it might be, but I would guess it wouldn't be.

    The only folks I've ever known to use a guru on a stickburner use a charcoal basket with wood chunks.


    I worked tirelessly to seal my smoker up this last summer. I installed a rope gasket to the firebox door, and high temp oven gaskets to the oven door and the smoker doors. If air squeaks past the vents, I could always weld them up.
    I'm not trying to rain on your parade Tom, it's just a "new school/old school" type thing to me. I don't think the two are designed to coexist.

    If you do it and it works, please be sure to collect data and share it with all of us.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of Peculiar, MO
    Posts
    6,736

    Default

    The more I look at it the more I think I'm leaning toward the Stoker for my drum(s). Got some good info on it and some comparison between the Guru and Stoker. Plus some testimony from Stoker users.
    They both work, and work well.
    But I like the ability to control more than one pit with the Stoker and multiple food temp sensors. Also the easy expandibility and ability to wireless it to a computer if desired. And they offer a range of blower sizes.
    Very versatile.
    Now this is MY thought train. I'm SURE there are others (one I am POSITIVE of) out there. But this is mine.
    , plus change.
    "If you can't smell smoke it ain't a barbeque joint" peculiarmike

    TQJ Plankowner

    "Life's tough.....It's even tougher if you're stupid."
    - John Wayne

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    Posts
    410

    Default

    This is a review of Stoker v. Guru I got before I made my decision. Also I notice on the Rock Site they now offer up to 25 cfm fans; I would NOT order a large fan without talking to them first. 25 cfm would definitely overcome the worst of a leaking smoker; 25 cfm blowing on a fire could be a blast furnace from what I've experienced. They have done extensive testing on their equipment and know what they're doing so call and use their expertise; I've spoken with John Jackson many times, he's a great guy and very willing to help.


    Review of the Stoker


    Shipping and packaging:
    The Stoker was packed well, wrapped in bubble pack. Individual probes came in separate bags, as did the adaptor door / fan assy.

    Probe Quality:
    The probes have a fairly rugged, but relatively stiff thermocouple wire. The probe assembly seems fairly well built and utilizes large plugs. The wires are very short (~3’ long) and are only useful if the control is mounted to the pit
    The Temperature Sensors are 4 feet and can be extended with standard ¼ inch headphone cables..

    Controller Quality:
    The controller quality of construction is good, the case and connectors are fairly rugged, but the keys seem problematic. I had a problem with the up key getting stuck on my unit, but I was able to take it apart and fix it. The weather worthiness of the device is a big issue. The keys and connectors are not sealed and the unit’s internals can easily get damaged by water, debris or smoke.
    It would have made the Stoker very expensive to use waterproof connectors. We are working on a sexy rain shield that will be available soon. This is the only report I have had of a “sticky key” I have had no problems with “debris or smoke”


    Mounting:
    It is not clear how or where to mount the control. It looks like you can screw it down to a table top or set it on a table, but I don’t have a table next to my BGE.
    Two mounting brackets are available for the Stoker that make a versatile mounting system.

    Operation:
    The operation of the Stoker is confusing and the instructions are not much help. The device seems like it was designed for applications with many pits as you can add multiple sensors/fans, since each of the sensors and fans are on a bus type arrangement. This is nice, but it’s over sophistication makes getting the device up and running to do a simple cook confusing and will be intimidating to some users. Changing and viewing the set points and the pit temperature is not convenient, because they are buried in the menu system. I had to keep consulting the manual to remember how to do it. I had some strange occurrences that looked like software bugs related to the units selection. Storing the settings is not automatic and the user must commit each of them through a menu selection or the setting will be lost upon power loss or power down.
    The menu system on the Stoker is much like what you find on computer monitors. They can be a bit confusing at first once you get the hang of it is pretty easy. Unless I have more specific details about “strange occurrences” I cant even begin to comment. The need to commit setting to memory is fixed in our new sw.

    As for the charts below… we have a special mode to put the Stoker in to put out all of the temperature and control data. When we have someone with problems we ask them to put the Stoker into the special mode and send us the data for evaluation. I cannot figure out what happened on the tests below unless I had the data I am speaking of.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    Posts
    410

    Default

    I tried to continue the review but the chart fell apart. If you want the chart, PM me your email address and I'll send it to you, you'll be glad you did. In the mean time, I'll try and get the information posted.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    Posts
    410

    Default

    Sorry, no way to get the charts up but have pictures that show how easy the Stoker is to manage on your computer or wirelessly on a PDA. As well the Stoker will manage multiple smokers and in infinite number of food probes or additional monitor probes if you want to monitor multipal areas of your smoker.





    Two smokers being managed


    Stoker box on my desk managing two smokers on the computer screen


    Two smokers with 7 food probes

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    4,976

    Default

    What is involved with running it wireless?

    How do you use it if you don't want to use a computer or PDA?

    I have 3 Gurus that I use separately. If Ihad it to do all over again, I would've bought their multi unit wireless Pro Com 4, but @ $549.00, It's a bit tough to just step back and bite again.

    the Gurus work pretty much flawlessly with very little studying or "getting the hang of, but if you can buy a Stoker and easily control 4 or 5 pits at once for less $, it would get my vote.

    I don't like the idea of managing with a pute or PDA at a competition. too much chance for theft or damage. I also think lack of weatherproofing is a major lacking on the part of the Stoker.

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Guru Question
    By Butt Lover's in forum Anything Else?
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 10-31-2008, 03:26 PM
  2. BBQ Guru
    By Fatback Joe in forum Smokin Tech Style
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 09-09-2008, 12:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.0.1