The Bottom Line
The Blue Ember iQue from Fiesta is billed as the world's first computer controlled grill. This grill is equipped with several sensors that tell the computer about cooking temperatures, food temperatures and even the amount of fuel in the propane tank. This allows you to put a roast on the grill, insert the temperature probe and set the computer to do all the work. The two different cooking zones can be controlled separately allowing you to grill steaks on one side and vegetables on the other at completely different temperatures.
The question is, how long will this computer survive the outdoor environment.
- First computer controlled grill
- Full function gas grill
- High BTU output
- Large number of extra features
- Completely isolated dual cooking zone design
- Must be plugged in for computer controls to work
- Lower quality materials used in its construction
- Durability of computer controls is unknown
- Rotisserie burner included, but the rod and forks are sold separately
- Limited indirect cooking capacity
- Four 19,000 BTU stainless steel tubular burners in a dual zone cooking arrangement
- 580 square inches of primary grilling area for a total of 875 square inches of cooking space
- 77,000 BTU total output from main burners
- 11,000 BTU brass cap side burner
- 12,000 BTU rear mounted rotisserie burner (rotisserie kit sold separately)
- "iQue" computer controlled cooking system with digital fuel gauge (electric plug-in required)
- Porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates
- Built-in halogen lights
- 430 stainless steel, cast aluminum and steel construction
- Made by Fiesta Grills and currently available at Lowes
Guide Review - Fiesta Blue Ember iQue 4-Burner Gas Grill
This model has been discontinued.
When Fiesta Gas Grills first introduced the Blue Ember line of grills the idea was to add in as many features as they could think of.
So far these grills have been popular though there have been durability issues. The iQue takes this concept to a much higher level (and price) with an internal computer that can control the heat, cooking time, and even monitor the propane level in your tank. Of course, this means that the grill has to be plugged in for all of these features to work (though it does work as a very normal grill without power).
Basically, this computer controlled cooking system works by monitoring the temperature in the two divided cooking zones and adjusting the gas control values accordingly. This grill really can be set just like your oven, controlling the cooking temperature to within 5 degrees F. A meat probe can be inserted into a roast to check the internal temperature. The computer will tell you when it is done. This grill promises to take the work (and maybe fun) out of grilling and give you an appliance nearly as reliable as your oven.
The biggest potential biggest shortcoming of this grill is the durability of the electronic systems. This grill has a lot of electronics that all have to be in good working order for the big selling point of the unit to work. Failure of a single temperature sensor may make much of this feature unusable.
Considering the complexity of the electronics the question to be asked is who is going to fix it. Sold as a mass market grill service will be an issue since Fiesta does not have a repair team and mass market merchants don't repair the things they sell.
If you want to feel the quality of this grill, lift the lid and give it a good shake.
One last note, this grill is long. At over 6 feet in width, this grill takes up a lot of space. Make sure it fits your patio before you buy it.
Recently Blue Ember was purchased by Onward Manufacturing Company. At this time I do not know the fate of these grills and their retail availability is subject to change.