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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 2 years ago

Ocoee man invents automated smoker

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Roger Collins’ Flame Boss allows users to enjoy their time instead of constantly monitoring meat.
by: Zak Kerr Staff Writer/Reporter

Like many inventors, Roger Collins began with a tinkering skill, a passion and a problem.

The passion is smoking meats, and the problem was spending too much time carefully smoking meat and not enough enjoying the family and friends he would smoke it for.

In 2012, Collins, a computer engineer, started working on an automated smoking device, which he has succeeded in creating — Flame Boss. He and his team built the first 200 units by hand in his Ocoee home before joining the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program, which helps startups with training, infrastructure and tools to become financially stable to foster growth.

Collins and his brother, Michael, showed the most recent model, Flame Boss 200, in March, two months before they began shipping it to national stores and local outlets such as Pinch A Penny and Ace Hardware in Winter Garden.

“Flame Boss allows you to plug it in and forget it, and you will cook mouthwatering, delicious meat and fish, without the hassle of babysitting your smoker all day or night,” Michael Collins said. “All you have to do is plug it in and set it. Flame Boss takes it from there.”

The product kit includes a smoker temperature probe, a meat temperature probe, a power adapter and a blower.

Flame Boss’s temperature probes ensure a precise, replicable cook, with a pivoting stand that allows the controller to fit the best viewing angle of any setup. The device is capable of setting cooking temperatures up to 450 degrees, enabling any long cook to get the tenderness barbecue-lovers crave, like a Crockpot but for smoking, he said.

The latest version adds the capability of WiFi connectivity, enabling users to control their cooks from the internet wherever they have a connection, Michael Collins said. These features have produced a lot of demand, he said.

“If I go to demo events and just (show it), it is fascinating to people, even ones who don't buy it,” he said. “It's really been a hit.”

Along with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, the Collinses are always seeking new features and upgrades to improve the Flame Boss, which recently has been selling for $349 on the company website, Michael Collins said.

“We’re constantly looking … to expand our business so we can expand to other types of smokers,” he said. “Right now, it’s rather limited. We’re only selling kamado-style smokers.”

But the brothers are working on expanding to other types, such as “Universal,” which would work with most offset, drum-and-barrel smokers.

For more information and videos of Flame Boss setup and usage, visit FlameBoss.com.

Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].

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