Barbequing without a thermometer is shooting arrows in the dark. No matter what kind of meat you’re trying to grill or smoke, you must do it at a perfect temperature. In fact, it’s recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture to use a meat thermometer in order to check for doneness of the meat.
Acquiring good flavor isn’t the only reason why you should cook meat at the right temperature, it has been proven that certain cuts of meat require very precise temperatures in order to get rid of dangerous bacteria. Are you sold yet?
Wireless thermometers eliminate the guesswork and maintain a safe temperature with ease. It’s also much easier to monitor things from afar using a wireless thermometer. Further, it will allow you to control the whole process from your phone or remote via Bluetooth or a downloadable app.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Wireless Meat Thermometer
Before heading out to buy a meat thermometer, there a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration in order to get the best bang for your buck.
Do You Want a Single-Probe or Dual-Probe Unit?
A single-probe thermometer allows the user to read one area at a time, while dual-probe models allow the user to gauge the temperature of two areas at once. Dual-probe units tend to be more convenient because you can probe in the meat to check the internal temperature and probe the cooking grate to check the temperature of the grill.
Additionally, you can check more than a single piece of meat simultaneously using a dual-probe thermometer. We’d strongly recommend by a dual-prone model if you tend to host dinner parties often, as it will help you achieve the degree of doneness that your guests prefer. Stay away from models that can only check for ambient temperatures and not the temperature of the meat itself.
Do You Prefer Analog or Digital Thermometers?
Analog thermometers are usually oven-proof and need to be drilled into the lid or surface of your grill or smoker in order to measure the temperature. They’re also made of very durable materials such as stainless steel and iron, giving them the ability to withstand high temperatures.
Analog units usually feature pretty large dials, one or two scales, a wide temperature range, and can come with a chart that will help guide the user with different types of meat. Such models are pretty affordable and will last for years, but they’re not the most accurate option on the market.
Digital thermometers tend to run on two or four batteries and they don’t need to be drilled into a surface, they have probe wires that allow them to be placed anywhere in range. Digital units use probes inserted into the meat or oven, while their other end is connected to a transmitter. Digital thermometers are much more flexible and accurate than analog models in general.
How Far Away Can You Control the Unit From?
The wireless range of a thermometer is a key factor to consider before making your purchase. A high-quality wireless thermometer won’t necessarily have a great range. In fact, there are cheap models that can have greater wireless ranges than the most advanced units on the market, so it may not be smart to spend your money on the most expensive unit out there if it doesn’t provide an adequate range.
How Many Preset Temperatures Does It Offer?
The great thing about wireless meat thermometers is that they feature preset temperatures for a wide variety of meat. But just how many does the unit you want has to offer? It’s also important to look for a unit that’s easily customizable so that you can change the presets and adjust them to your liking.
Do You Prefer a Remote or a Smartphone App?
Wireless thermometers often come with a remote control or a smartphone app that allows you to control and monitor everything from afar. However, models that support a smartphone app often have more features to offer such as real-time temperature reading, graphs, and more. But keep in mind that this level of convenience doesn’t always ensure consistent readings.
Does the Unit Feature Timers and Alerts?
It’s very rare to find a thermometer that doesn’t feature some sort of notification method. Most of the models you’ll find on the market will feature alerts, while a very few will feature timers, which is what you should be aiming to buy because it will allow you to set the thermometer at any time you want.
Top 5 Wireless Thermometers Today
Not all meat thermometers are created equal. To narrow down your choices, we’ve selected the 5 best wireless meat thermometers on the market for you to pick from.
The ThermoPro TP-20 is a very well-built unit that you can use in a variety of cooking situations. It really shines when it comes to smoking meat for long periods of time and eliminates the worry of having to check on the meat every so often. For the number of features that it has to offer, it’s very reasonably priced and it’s suitable for any budget.
The TP-20 features dual steel probes that allow you to gauge the temperature of both the meat and the surface of the grill at the same time. These probes can withstand a temperature of up to 716 °F, which is too high of a temperature to cook on anyway. The receiver has a great range of 300 feet from the transmitter, which is way more than you’d get from a Bluetooth thermometer.
The unit features 9 different preset temperatures for your convenience. It also offers settings for the level of doneness. Further, you’re able to program your own times and temperatures for both probes. The backlit LCD display makes it easy for you to see the readings, especially in low-light or bright-light situations. Overall, this is a very reliable and highly recommended thermometer.
- Features a superb range of reception
- Preset temperatures and doneness levels
- The design is pretty compact and durable
- You can program times and temperatures
- The probes need to be replaced after a while
- The unit doesn’t support a smartphone app
When it comes to Bluetooth thermometers, the iGrill2 by Weber is arguably the most popular out there. Instead of using Wi-Fi technology to display temperatures on the receiver, this unit is able to connect to your phone via Bluetooth so that you can view the temperature your grill or smoker and that of the food you’re cooking in them.
This device offers a really nice app experience. It’s very easy to use and the pairing process just takes a few seconds. The interface is very straightforward and isn’t hard to figure out at all. Also, you won’t have any signal loss problems as long as you remain in range. By far the best feature is the 4-probe capacity, which allows you to probe multiple cooking devices at once.
As far as temperature accuracy, the company claims that it has an accuracy of around 1°F. That just sounds too good to be true, right? When tested, the iGrill2 showed accurate results with just 1-5°F temperature difference, which sounds more reasonable and still very impressive. The unit only takes from 10 to 30 seconds to gauge accurate temperatures, making it one of the best out there.
- A simple and enjoyable app experience
- Reliable Bluetooth connectivity and pairing
- Features in a four-probe capacity package
- Fairly accurate and fast temperature gauging
- The signal drops anywhere under 150 feet
- The data is lost when the signal is dropped
The ET-733 from Maverick is a consistent best-seller and one of the most recommended models by professional barbecuers. This is a dual=probe thermometer that allows you to monitor the pit from up to 300 feet afar. There are 15 different presets that you can pick from, including elk and buffalo. It also offers a bunch of different degrees of doneness for your convenience.
We love how straightforward this device is. All you have to do is select a probe then choose the temperature you want. The ET-733 gives you the ability to set a specific temperature range. For instance, you can set the alarm to go off whenever the temperature hits low or high extremes that you choose by yourself.
This thermometer is pretty responsive and has a great reception range of 300 feet. However, if there are obstructions between the receiver and the transmitter such as concrete walls, you’ll less likely get that exact range. The Maverick ET-733 has an alert function that goes off when it loses signal, so you never have to wonder whether you’re in range or not.
- Features 15 preset temperatures
- You can set precise temperature ranges
- Has with a signal loss alarm function
- Generous, 300-foot reception range
- Not the most reliable build quality
- It’s not easy to program this unit
The ET-732 is another great wireless thermometer from Maverick that’s super easy to use even for people who aren’t tech-savvy. This dual-probe unit features heat-resistant probe wires able to resist up to 716°F, which is hot enough for any smoker or grill. The manufacturer claims that it has a 300-foot range, but we know that these numbers tend to vary from one place to another.
The unit comes with some pretty nice touches, such as the built-in stand and belt clip, which will help you set the receiver down while it’s still in view or you can attach it to the belt while moving. The unit features signal alerts that sound off when you go too far, which is great for when you’re on the move with the receiver on your belt.
The transmitter has its own high-quality wire stand, which happens to be removable by the way. Additionally, the LCD backlit screen displays readings clearly even in low-light circumstances. It also features a very loud and accurate, count-up-and-down timer. Once the alarm sounds off, it will automatically count back up so that you know how much longer the meat is taking than what you’ve anticipated
- Features a count up and down timer
- Comes with a built-in stand and belt clip
- Has an out-of-range alarm function
- The LCD display is very bright and clear
- The probe cable length is a little short
- The range is affected by obstructions
Considered as the toughest competitor to the Maverick ET-733, the ThermoPro TP-08S is one of the most popular dual-probe, wireless thermometers on the market. This unit is not to be used on mediums with temperatures that exceed 572ºF. There’s an alarm function that goes off when the meat reaches a certain temperature, which can be set anywhere between 32ºF and 572ºF.
This unit also comes with a count-up-and-down timer that helps you keep track of any other side dishes you’re serving along with the main meal. The unit comes with some preset temperatures, but we found that they’re not really the most reliable for barbeque. When turned off, all of your settings remain saved so that you won’t have to set them all over again.
The remote range is around 300 feet, which is enough for most circumstances. But keep in mind that the range may be shortened by the presence of obstructions. The backlit display is easy to read and the used font is comfortable for the eyes. Our only problem with this unit is that there’s no indication of which probe is which. Also, button configuration is a little challenging at first.
- Extremely durable build quality
- Has a count up and down timer
- Very commodious remote range
- The backlit display crystal clear
- Can’t tell probe 1 from probe 2
- Button configuration is tricky
As far as which unit has the most to offer, there’s no better choice than the Weber iGrill2 Starter Kit. Its fairly accurate temperature reading and four-probe capacity are enough to win anyone over. However, if you’re not a tech-savvy chef and you want something that’s reliable and straightforward, we’d highly recommend the ThermoPro TP-20.