BBQ Guru PartyQ

by Matt Gross

There isn’t a long list of products that I’ve purchased that have revolutionized my life. Without a doubt, the BBQ Guru PartyQ is certainly on that list.

The PartyQ is, quite simply, a temperature controller. It regulates the cooker temperature by controlling the flow of oxygen to the coals with the use of a small fan. More oxygen, the cooker gets hotter. Less oxygen and the cooker cools off.

Unlike other temperature control products (like the DigiQ or pitmasterIQ), the PartyQ is battery powered which means it’s portable. That’s an extremely attractive feature for me since I like to take my Weber Smokey Mountain around with me everywhere I go.

I should mention that a ~9 hour cook drained 8 AA batteries easily. In the future I’ll likely replace the batteries every 4 hours on the dot in addition to using only Energizer Industrial batteries since they seemed to perform better than the regular ones. Additionally, I admit that it was extremely cold (started the day at a balmy 8ºF) and it’s possible the cold contributed to decreased battery performance.

During the cook I was super nervous about the cooker temperature, checking it maniacally every 20 minutes. I used the Minion Method which normally has me tweaking dampers all day to adjust for wind flow. However, with the PartyQ I did almost nothing. It was glorious! My WSM held 250ºF (121ºC) pretty much the entire time without issue.

Using the PartyQ was beyond a pleasure; in fact, it was one of the best barbecue cooking experiences I’ve ever had. With hardly any effort, I turned out some of the best brisket I’ve ever made.

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