FireBoard Labs has released the next generation of their 6 channel remote-read thermometers: the FireBoard 2 and the FireBoard 2 Drive. The FireBoard 2 and FireBoard 2 Drive are very similar with the exception of one major difference. While both units can operate a blower fan giving you complete temperature control for your grill or smoker, the FireBoard 2 requires you to purchase a drive fan cable adaptor to do so.
This cable adaptor is not required to operate a blower fan with the FireBoard 2 Drive. The FireBoard 2 Drive is equipped with a 1/4” barrel jack to accommodate the fan. The FireBoard 2 Drive does not come with a blower fan; it must be purchased separately. You can also use any 12 VDC fan you may already own which is a plus.
The FireBoard 2 Drive ships with a USB-C Charger, two food probes which monitor food temperatures, one ambient probe to monitor the pit temperature, a grate clip, and a user’s manual. Three additional temperature probes may be added to the unit and can be purchased separately.
The FireBoard 2 Drive is easy to set up and install on your wireless network. You simply download the FireBoard app on your smart device and set up a free FireBoard account using the app. Connect your smart device to the FireBoard 2 Drive via Bluetooth connection where you will add your FireBoard 2 Drive to your new account.
From there you use the app to connect the FireBoard 2 Drive to your 2.4GHz home wireless. We found this to be simple and straightforward; this step is only required once. FireBoard will automatically reconnect to any Wi-Fi that has been previously set up. FireBoard 2 Drive can also be used with Amazon Alexa if that’s your jam. We did not test this function with our sample.
If you find yourself in a place without Wi-Fi, it’s not an issue. You can connect your smart device to the FireBoard 2 Drive via Bluetooth connection alone in instances where no Wi-Fi is available.
The FireBoard 2 Drive is battery operated and should deliver about 30 hours of service on a single charge. You can also plug the USB-C power supply while in use and the unit will charge while you’re using it.
The operation of the FireBoard 2 series of thermometers is basically the same as the original FireBoard. You can find our review of the original high-quality FireBoard thermometer here.
The main factors the separate the original from the FireBoard 2 is its large LCD 256×128 backlight screen and increased water protection. The large LCD allows you to view up to 6 temperatures at once or you can scroll to a single-channel view or a single-channel view with graph, a multi-channel view with a graph, or a multi-channel temp view. We found this screen is a huge improvement over the previous generation.
As with all FireBoard Lab products you may use your online dashboard to set alerts and view current and past cook sessions online via any web browser.
The FireBoard 2 Drive comes with a one-year limited warranty — check it out here.
We did not receive a FireBoard Drive Blower with our sample so we tested the Drive function with a non-FireBoard fan. You can use any 12v fan with the FireBoard. We are happy to report that the pit temperature controller system functioned perfectly.
FireBoard 2 (FBX2) Item Specs:
- Dimensions: 4.4” W x 2.8” H x 1.1” D
- Weight: 8 oz
- Power input: 5VDC-12VDC, USB-C Power Delivery
- Battery type: Li-Ion 4000 mAh (approx 30 hours)
- Power connector: USB-C
- LCD display: 256 x 128 black and white, backlit
- Water resistance rating: Water resistant not waterproof
- Operating temperature: -13°F to 140°F
- Measurement range: -94°F to 752°F
- Measurement accuracy: ±0.7°F, ±0.1% of reading
- Measurement resolution: 0.1°
- Probe inputs: 2.5mm phone jack (x6)
- Probe type: 100K Thermistor.
- Probe temperature range: 0 to 572°F
- Probe length: 6’
- Wireless: Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n & Bluetooth 4.0
- Encryption protocols: WEP, WPA, WPA2
**Specs from FireBoard Labs website.
What We Loved
There is a lot to love about the FireBoard 2 Drive. FireBoard is one of the most user-friendly remote-read Wi-Fi thermometers on the market today. In our review of the original FireBoard, we were critical of its light weight and tendency to slide around on the surface it’s resting on. FireBoard has addressed this. The FireBoard 2 Drive and FireBoard 2 main units are a bit heavier than the original.
We also took issue with the need to purchase a weather-resistant case for the original. The FireBoard 2 has addressed this issue as well. The FireBoard 2 is coated with a rubberized armor of sorts that gives it a much more robust feel over the original. This coating certainly helps hold it in place on your work surface and gives the unit its additional weather protection without the additional cost of a weather-resistant case.
The large LCD backlight screen is a great improvement which we found extremely handy.
We love that FireBoard Labs produced both the FireBoard 2 and the FireBoard 2 Drive unit so existing customers who have already purchased a FireBoard Drive Control Cable can get into the new FireBoard 2 to at a lower price point as they don’t need the FireBoard 2 Drive’s built-in fan port. This was a very smart move on FireBoard Lab’s part.
What Could Be Improved
Honestly, we just can’t pinpoint a single area of the FireBoard 2 Drive that needs to be improved upon. It’s that good. And if you’ve read our reviews we can generally come up with something we’d like to see improved on just about every product. Not the case for the FireBoard 2. From a performance standpoint, it just works and it works well.
Who it’s For
The FireBoard 2 Drive is for anyone wanting a remote-read thermometer with the ability to add a blower fan giving you a complete pit temperature control device to your charcoal or wood smoker. It’s also a great tool for the indoor cook. No matter what your skill level the FireBoard 2 series of remote-read thermometers would be a welcome addition to the cooking toolbox.
FireBoard Labs continues to innovate and improve on a fantastic product. The FireBoard 2 is truly one of the best in its class. We’re sure you will love it as much as we do.