FireBoard 2 Pro Review
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The FireBoard 2 Pro is a WiFi meat thermometer with Type-K thermocouple probes that can also operate a bbq blower fan.
It is one of the three models in the FireBoard 2 series of smart meat thermometers that also includes the FireBoard 2 and the FireBoard 2 Drive thermometers.
Of the three models, the FireBoard 2 Pro is the only one to use high-temperature Type-K thermocouple probes with a temperature range of up to 1202°F.
The FireBoard 2 Pro and the FireBoard 2 Drive are virtually the same thermometers, they just use different probes.
I consider both of them to be the best WiFi meat thermometer you can buy because they are at the top, or near the top, in features, usability, durability, and accuracy.
No other cooking thermometer comes close to the FireBoard 2 series thermometers’ multiple-screen digital display as well as their best-in-class mobile app.
Of all the WiFi meat thermometers I’ve tested, the FireBoard 2 Pro and FireBoard 2 Drive have the most stable WiFi and Bluetooth signal connectivity with a solid wireless range even through multiple walls.
This leaves the question of what is the benefit of the FireBoard 2 Pro’s Type-K thermocouple capabilities and why would you choose it over the FireBoard 2 Drive or FireBoard 2 thermometers?
In this review of the FireBoard 2 Pro smart meat thermometer, I will discuss its features, usability, accuracy, durability, and price, as well as why you would choose it over other WiFi thermometers.
FireBoard has just released their first instant-read thermometer, the FireBoard Spark!
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FireBoard 2 Pro (FireBoard FBX2K Thermometer)
The FireBoard 2 Pro (FBX2K) is a cloud-connected smart meat thermometer that you can connect to via WiFi or Bluetooth or use as a standalone unit with its three buttons on the side.
The FBX2K unit has the FireBoard Drive technology integrated inside the device that can power and control a blower fan for your smoker.
This integrated drive technology allows you to connect the newer FireBoard blower fan through the 2.5mm Barrel plug drive port, or through the 8 pin auxiliary port if you have the original Fireboard fan with drive cable.
You can then use the FBX2K to power the fan using its own power. I’ve used the FireBoard 2 Drive with a blower fan to cook a brisket for 14 hours before needing more power.
The battery is a lithium-ion 4000mAh rechargeable battery with a 30-hour runtime and takes 4 to 6 hours to completely charge.
The FireBoard 2 Pro is a multifaceted device that you can not only use for low-and-slow bbq, but also for tracking high temperatures as well.
As long as you keep the probes and their cables away from direct flames, the Fireboard 2 Pro is useful for monitoring food in high-temperature environments such as:
- Wood-fired pizza ovens and other wood stoves for cooking.
- Cooking food under a broiler.
- Searing meat on a hot grill.
The one drawback of the FireBoard 2 Pro is that it can only accommodate three temperature probes overall compared to the six-probe capacity of the FireBoard 2 and FireBoard 2 Drive.
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Features of the FireBoard 2 Pro Thermometer
- A large LCD display screen that has four different viewing options with automatic screen rotation
- WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 BLE enabled
FireBoard utilizes a Bluetooth 4.0 BLE connection and a WiFi connection to communicate with the FireBoard servers. One of the benefits of a Bluetooth BLE connection is that you don’t need to go through the hassle of trying to pair the FireBoard and it will also transmit temperature data to a mobile device in the event it loses its WiFi connection.
- Three Type K Thermocouple Channels
There are only three probe ports for the three thermocouple probes. If you need more probe capacity then the FireBoard 2 Drive (FBX2D) is your device
- Integrated Drive Control
According to the folks at the FireBoard Lab, the built-in drive technology “incorporates intelligent variable speed power output for 12V fans and blowers.” Connecting the FireBoard’s 20 CFM (cubic feet-per-minute) blower fan is as simple as plugging it into the drive port on the side and you’re good to go.
30+ Hour Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery
The battery charges in 4 to 6 hours and is powerful enough to run a blower fan for long cooks. The exact time will vary on how hard your fan is working to maintain temperature, but 12+ hours without recharging is definitely the norm I’ve experienced.
- FireBoard Cloud Account
Every Fireboard thermometer comes with access to a free online account that will allow you to monitor your temperatures, set alerts, and view session history through any web browser.
- Weather-Resistant Design
The FireBoard is considered weather-resistant, but not weatherproof or waterproof. The internal circuitry is protected with a waterproof coating.
- Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatible
For those of you that have made Alexa part of your life, you’re in luck! Here’s a link that shows you how to use the FireBoard Voice Control with Alexa.
- FireBoard App
The FireBoard app is the best mobile app you’ll find and has too many features to mention here. You can also share your cooks with your friends through the app as well.
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Specifications of the FireBoard 2 Pro
Here are the device specifications for the FireBoard 2 Pro (FireBoard FBX2K)
- Dimensions- 4.4″W x 2.8″H x 1.1″ D
- Power Input – 5VDC-12VDC, USB-C Power Delivery
- USB Type-C Power Connector
- Measurement Accuracy- +-0.7°F
- Measurement Range of Device- -148 to 1472°F (-100°C to 800°C) (The Type-K Thermocouple probes that come with the unit range from -148 to 1202°F)
- Wireless – WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0
- Weight- 8 0z
- Battery Type/ Runtime- Li-Ion 4000mAh/ 30 hours runtime
- LCD display – 256×128 Black and White
- Probe Ports- Type-K Mini Thermocouple Jacks
- Auxillary Port- 8pin Mini-DIN
- Drive Port- 2.5mm Barrel
- Multi-Color RGB LED Status Lights
- Operating Temperature (the temperature the device body can withstand)-13°F to 140°F
Using the FireBoard 2 Pro
A lot has been made of the Pro’s ability to measure the temperature of pizza ovens, so is there any other reason why you would need this type of high-temperature monitoring?
The durability of the FireBoard’s Type-K thermocouple probes and their ability to withstand high-temperature environments is an advantage over the 100K Thermistor probes of the FireBoard 2 and FireBoard 2 Drive.
The thermocouple probes of the Pro model are also noticeably thinner than the 100K thermistor probes that come with the FireBoard 2 Drive and FireBoard 2 thermometers.
This comes in handy when you’re searing thin pieces of meat like a flat iron steak or skirt steak.
Yes, you can also purchase the similarly thin “Competition Series” 100 K thermistor probes for the other FireBoard models, but at an additional cost.
The FireBoard App
The FireBoard App has four main tabs at the bottom of your mobile device screen:
- Dashboard: The main view for monitoring real-time temperatures and current session graph
This is where you’ll go for all of the viewing and adjusting of your current cooking session.
You can view all of your prior cooking sessions by pressing this tab.
This tab brings you to the “Drive Programs” page. You can add a custom program, a temperature program, or a time program.
You can edit your account info and email settings as well as configure your alert notification settings.
Accuracy of the FireBoard 2 Pro
The FireBoard 2 Pro is incredibly accurate and responsive to temperature changes.
It also comes with a signed certificate of calibration from FireBoard Labs.
All three of the channels of the FireBoard 2 Pro are tested at 0.0°C and 300°C and then signed off on by one of the technicians at FireBoard.
Is the FireBoard 2 Pro more accurate than the FireBoard 2 Drive? Not necessarily.
Both devices were in the same ballpark when testing them head-to-head in boiling water and different temperature sous vide water baths.
The Durability of the FireBoard 2 Pro
Other than the high-temperature Type-K thermocouple probes, how durable is the device body of the FireBoard 2 Pro?
All of the FireBoard 2 series thermometers are considered weather-resistant, but not weatherproof or waterproof.
According to FireBoard, the device “should withstand typical weather conditions, including rain, humidity, and heat without being permanently damaged.”
If there is some water ingress to the device, the internal circuitry is protected with a waterproof coating.
I interpret this to mean that the FireBoard 2 can handle some rain and still be okay. Would I leave it out in a monsoon for days on end?
Probably not, but I’ve used the Fireboard 2 Drive quite a bit while it’s raining with no ill effects.
One thing to consider is that you will need the magnetic base (sold separately for $25) to keep any open probe ports pointed down while it’s raining.
FireBoard 2 Pro vs FireBoard 2 Drive Meat Thermometer
What would be the benefits of choosing the FireBoard 2 Pro over the FireBoard 2 Drive thermometer?
The main difference (other than the thermocouples) between the two FireBoard models is the FireBoard 2 Pro has only three probe ports to the six probe ports of the FireBoard 2 Drive.
Is this a big deal? For some people, yes. For other people like me, not really.
If you find yourself needing to monitor more than two pieces of meat at a time then the FireBoard 2 Drive would make more sense than the Pro model.
The other difference is that the Type-K thermocouple probes of the FireBoard 2 Pro have a much higher temperature-measuring range than the 100K thermistor probes of the FireBoard 2 Drive.
The Type-K thermocouple cables are also rated up to 842°F compared to 716°F for the thermistor probes of the other two Fireboard 2 thermometers.
A comparison between the two thermometers also wouldn’t be complete without a discussion of the price difference.
Price is what you pay, value is what you get. – Warren Buffet
WiFi thermometers are not cheap. You don’t need them to produce delicious food.
Not to put too many quotes in this section, but this one comes to my mind as well,
I can beat their ass cooking on a trash can.- Myron Mixon (referring to competing in BBQ competitions.)
So why would you want to spend $200 to $300 on a WiFi thermometer?
A good WiFi thermometer will make monitoring and controlling the temperature (if using a fan) of anything that you cook tremendously easier.
No more constantly tending to your grill or smoker.
It’s the same reason why cooking on a pellet grill or pellet smoker has become very popular.
If you prefer cooking over charcoal or real wood, then the FireBoard 2 thermometers can give you precise temperature control similar to a pellet grill or pellet smoker.
At the time of this review, the price of the FireBoard 2 Pro is currently $299 with the FireBoard 2 Drive at $249, and the FireBoard 2 at $189.
For those of you that are curious about the Thermoworks Signals, I rate it as my second place choice.
Its current price tag is $239.
Can you pay less for a WiFi meat thermometer? Yes, but you won’t get anywhere near the value that you get with the FireBoard, even at its higher price point.
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I consider the FireBoard 2 Pro smart meat thermometer, as well as the FireBoard 2 Drive smart meat thermometer to be the best WiFi meat thermometers you can buy.
They do everything exceptionally well and the best endorsement of them is that you don’t need to worry about them doing their job.
So many WiFi thermometers have trouble connecting and staying connected or are tedious to set up for cook tracking.
Not with the FireBoard 2 series. I press the power button and turn on the mobile app and it’s ready to go.
With a best-in-class display with an equally impressive mobile app, not to mention high-temperature Type-K thermocouple probes, the FireBoard 2 Pro is an impressive piece of technology.
It is definitely not cheap.
However, if you plan on smoking meat, using your pizza oven, or any other type of outdoor grilling in the foreseeable future, this thermometer is a good investment.
An investment in your cooking future. Think of all the future time spent away from watching your food.
How much is your time worth?