Most smokers come with an in-built thermometer, but they are notoriously inaccurate. If you’re wanting to take meat smoking seriously, then you’re going to have to invest in a wireless duel-probe ‘leave-in’ thermometer. This will allow you to monitor the ambient temperature of your smoker with one probe and measure the internal temperature of your meat with another probe.
The best thermometers for smoking meat include the following lineup:
- ThermoPro TP20
- Blue Dot
- GrillEye PRO+
- InkBird IBT-4XS
- Inkbird WiFi – IBBQ-4T
1. ThermoPro TP20
The ThermoPro TP20 was for many years the most popular choice of thermometer for meat smoking. The TP20 is still the most popular thermometer on Amazon because it is reliable, simple, high-quality and affordable. Nowadays the market has many choices and the high-tech thermometers are gaining popularity. However, if you are just starting out or only want to spend around $50, then TP20 is still an excellent choice.
The ThermoPro TP20 is a duel probe digital thermometer that allows you to monitor the meat temperatures from 300 feet away. The thermometer has two probes which so you can measure the grill temperature and the internal meat temp, or two pieces of meat. The TP20 has a receiver and a transmitter. A radio frequency (RF) is used to send the signals between the receiver and the transmitter. See the latest price here.
ThermoPro TP20 Features
- Dual probe – One probe for meat, the other for the grill/oven/cook chamber.
- Has a 300 foot range
- Temperature Accuracy: ±1.8°F (±1°C)
- Temperature Range: 32°F to 572°F
- Powered by 4 x AAA batteries
- Probe Wires can withstand 716°F
- Back-lit LCD screen
- Preset temperature USDA approved settings for Beef, Fish, Pork, Poultry, Veal, Lamb and Chicken.
- Fahrenheit and Celsius reading
- Splash proof receiver
- Simple setup – Ready to use out of the box
- 3-Year Warranty
ThermoPro TP20 Radio Frequency
The TP20 transmits signals via radio frequencies (RF) rather than Bluetooth. Bluetooth thermometers frustrate many barbecue enthusiasts because of signal losses and pairing issues. The TP20 keeps it simple, which is why it’s still the most popular thermometer on Amazon.
ThermoPro TP20 Build Quality
The unit is a solid build but isn’t too bulky. The units themselves are only available in orange. Both the receiver and transmitter have a rubber cover for protection and to keep moisture away from the unit.
ThermoPro TP20 Display
The display is large and flashes temperatures back and forth from one probe to the other. Users can either operate in F° or Cº. Unlike many of its competitors, the TP20 doesn’t have a back-lit display. However, the receiver flashes when the alarms go off.
ThermoPro TP20 Probes
The TP20 uses quality probes when compared to other thermometers. ThermoPro has an excellent reputation and the TP20 probes are high quality.
The thermometer has 40-inch probe cables. The thermometer also comes with a grill clip so you can attach the probe to the grate to measure the oven/smoker temperature.
Simplicity of the TP20
One reason the TP20 is so popular is because it’s so simple. Some thermometers over-complicate things with hidden options and settings. The TP20 works out of the box with no pairing or setup required. It’s as easy to use as pushing a few buttons.
ThermoPro TP20 Positive Reviews
The TP20 has been the best-selling thermometer on Amazon. Check out the feedback yourself and scroll through the Amazon comments section. Th reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Check customer reviews on Amazon
- Available in 9 colors
- Splash-proof design
- Large back-lit display
- Pre-paired. Ready to use out of the box!
- Commercial-grade Pro-Series Probes
- Uses radio frequency (RF)
- 300 feet range
- 2 x AA’s 1,800 hour battery life
- 2-year warranty
- Probes have a 6 – month warranty
Smoke is a wireless digital thermometer made by ThermoWorks, a company known for making great thermometers for grilling and smoking. ThermoWorks products are endorsed by celebrity chefs, cooking magazines, and bloggers.
Smoke is a duel probe thermometer that can measure the internal temperature of the meat, the other probe monitors the temperature of the cook chamber. The Smoke thermometer simultaneously keeps track of the temperature inside the meat and the cook chamber, which makes it perfect for long-form cooking methods like smoking and roasting.
For $99, the Smoke sits right in the middle as a mid-range thermometer. The Smoke costs twice the price of the simple but brilliant ThermoPro TP20, but half the price of Signals, ThermoWorks Wi-Fi thermometer. The Smoke has more features than the popular TP20, but is without the advanced cloud features of a Wi-Fi thermometer.
The Smoke contains a transmitter and a remote. The transmitter holds the two probes and sits near your cooker while the receiver can go in your pocket and transmit anywhere within 300 feet. The Smoke receiver operates on radio frequency and has a range of 300 feet. Radio frequency seems to have better connection and longer range than Bluetooth, which drops out easily.
The Smoke has a clear dashboard-style display, easy to understand. Some thermometers on the market can confuse with over-complicated user interfaces and require a lot of button pushing, which is frustrating for the user. The Smoke has a clean display and only shows the Min/Max and High/Max alarms on the screen.
Another standout feature of the Smoke is the large LCD screen. You also have the option to push a button and illuminate the screen if it is dark.
Wi-Fi Gateway Option
The Smoke has the option to go Wi-Fi. In 2017, Thermoworks released the $89 add-on accessory ‘Gateway’ along with the Thermoworks BBQ App. Gateway is an $89 piece of hardware that works as a Wi-Fi bridge, allowing the Smoke to connect to a cloud so users can monitor temperatures from anywhere on their phone or tablet. Smoke Gateway transmits the signal directly to the app.
Quality probes are important when choosing a thermometer. The market is full of thermometers that use poor-quality probes that break easily.
Thermoworks use commercial-grade Pro-Series Probes on all their thermometers. These probes tough, accurate and fast to respond to temperature changes. Thermoworks also gives the option of 1-meter long extension for the Pro-Series probes.
Pro-Series Probes are superior to the probes used by the Smoke’s competitors. However, thermometer probes are used in extreme conditions they will decay over time. It subjects even the most highly rated thermometers to wear and tear. We should treat all probes with care and avoid kinking the cables and try to feed them through the hood of your smoker or a hole in the smoker’s side.
Probes are inexpensive, easy to replace. It isn’t a bad idea to always keeping a spare probe on hand, just in case a probe dies midway through smoking your Thanksgiving turkey!
Thermoworks website claims the Pro-Series probes are so durable that there is only a 1% warranty replacement rate, and if there is a problem with a probe, the Thermoworks Quality Control department will promptly replace faulty probes.
The Smoke is well-built and noticeably heavy. The receiver and the primary unit has a rubber grip which is useful when you have greasy hands, so it won’t slip.
The Smoke is water resistant, so it can handle the odd splash of water. The Smoke is well sealed and can prevent water from entering the unit, however it won’t be able to handle being completely submerged in water.
The Smoke is ready to use out of the box, it’s straightforward with no pairing required and no need to study the manual.
The Smoke uses RF, which isn’t always perfect because many things can interfere with radio frequencies. The Smoke has a 300 foot range but other devices can interrupt the signal like microwaves, phones, plaster walls, window tinting, etc. If the signal becomes a problem, there is always the option of adding the Smoke Gateway, which will convert your thermometer to Wi-Fi.
Thermoworks Customer Service
To get an idea of Thermowork’s level of customer service, go to thermoworks.com and scroll down the product comments section of the Smoke thermometer. I’m yet to see another company be so swift to reply and act on customer complains. Thermoworks are dedicated to a high-level of customer satisfaction.
3. Blue Dot
They designed the BlueDot for meat smoking, roasting and deep-frying where temperatures can be tracked over many hours. If you don’t mind only having one probe, the BlueDOT is an affordable and high-quality wireless thermometer.
The BlueDot is like the original Dot, but has more features. The original Dot doesn’t have the App and Cloud capability and only displays one temperature. The BlueDot can display a high and low temperature.
- Probe Range – 58 to 572°F (-50 to 300°C)
- Cable Temp – Max 700°F (370°C)
- Can read up to 95 feet.
- 2x AAA 500 hours Battery.
The BlueDot isn’t suitable for charcoal or offset smokers where you need at least two probes; one to track the pit and the other to measure the internal meat temperature. However, if you have an electric, gas or pellet smoker, the inbuilt thermometers on those smokers are suitable for tracking the cook chamber temperatures. If you just need a thermometer to track the meat, then the BlueDot is perfect.
The BlueDot is not complicated, there are only two buttons on the unit. The BlueDot is simple to use as setting the target temperature with the up and down buttons or set it from the App on your smartphone or tablet. The App allows you to track temperatures and pull up graphs as you cook. The thermometer can read up to 95 feet away from where you are standing with your smartphone. This data can be stored and retrieved for future cooks. BlueDot uses cloud technology which allows the user to view temperatures from anywhere.
Display and Build
The BlueDot may be small, but it has a nice big display that is back lit with large digits that make it easy to read from any angle. The unit is well built, as with all ThermoWorks products, is commercial grade. The unit is sealed, making it splash proof. There are magnets attached to the back of the thermometer so it can be mounted to anything metal.
The BlueDot uses Bluetooth technology, which can frustrate, no matter what the device. The BlueDot uses a single probe which is another disadvantage.
ThermoWorks are leaders in thermometer technology and all their thermometers use the Pro-Series probes, which are faster and more accurate than any other probe on the market. The probe can withstand 572ºF and the cable can handle 700ºF. Not only do ThermoWorks make great thermometers, they have exceptional customer service and resolve issues immediately.
4. GrillEye PRO+
Wi-Fi thermometers have flooded the market in recent years, and it seems every thermometer company has a Wi-Fi thermometer. Wi-Fi thermometers are controlled with an app on your smart device and uses cloud technology to store and graph cooking sessions. These high-tech thermometers are the way of the future, but they can be expensive.
The GrillEye Pro Plus is the most affordable Wi-Fi thermometer on the market. Most Wi-Fi thermometers are around $200, but the GrillEye is half the price.
GrillEye started out with a Bluetooth version but has now evolved into the GrillEye Pro Plus. This smart thermometer allows you to monitor eight different temperatures at the same time. See the latest price here.
- 2-8 Probes
- Space Grade Aluminium Probes (FDA approved)
- Mini USB cable
- 2 grill probe clips
- IOS and Android comparability
- A 360° viewing angle
- Manufactured in Europe
- Rechargeable battery (USB)
- Automatic system updates
The GrillEye Pro Plus comes two probes with the option of running up to eight. The GrillEye probes are high quality and are made from space grade aluminum and stainless-steel. Amazon customers who have tested the GrillEye probes in in ice water and boiling water have found the probes to be accurate and measuring within a degree.
Quality probes are an important feature when choosing a thermometer. Probes are subjected to extreme conditions, so cheap probes won’t stand up to the pressure. Even the best probes can fail over time.
App and Cloud
The GrillEye PRO+ uses a cloud so you can monitor cook sessions from anywhere. The original GrillEye app was very glitchy and received a lot of criticism, so GrillEye redesigned the app and the updated version is getting a positive response. The latest version is compatible with Apple Watch, IOS, and Android. The GrillEye App is simple and easy to use. The graphs and data are useful for tracking temperatures and saving data for future cooks.
Setup of the Wi-Fi and App is straightforward. Once the Bluetooth is activated, the thermometer connects to the Wi-Fi.
The GrillEye is well designed, and the display is large and is easy to read in all conditions. The unit has magnets attached to the back so you can attach it to the side of your grill or smoker. See the latest price here.
5. InkBird IBT-4XS
The Inkbird 1BT-4XS is an affordable meat thermometer with enough advanced features to make meat smoking stress free. See the latest price here.
- 4×4.9 Inch Probes
- Two probe clips
- 150 foot range
- USB Charger
- Celsius or Fahrenheit
- 60 hours mAh Lithium-ion battery
- Battery fully charges in 2-hours
- Rotating Display
- BBQ Go App
- Preset temperature
- Multiple Languages
- Magnetic Back
Display and Design
The Inkbird IBT-4XS is a small, compact unit that comes with four temperature probes and two metal probe clips that can be attached to the grill for measuring ambient temperatures.
The Inkbird has a simple design with a power button on the bottom and a touch button on the top of the screen. The four cable ports are housed in the front for the four temperature probes. There is also another port on the back of the device for the USB charging cable.
The display shows the temperature reading in a large red font. There is also probe indicator, a Bluetooth indicator and a temperature unit display in Celsius or Fahrenheit. To rotate the screen, all you need to do is double tap the screen. There are magnets on the back of the device for mounting on the side of a grill.
Battery and Charging
The Inkbird IBT is powered by a 1,000 mAh Lithium-ion battery, which takes two-hours to fully charge and can last up to 60 hours. The Inkbird is charged through a USB charging cable, which can be plugged into an outlet or a USB port. The thermometer has power-saving abilities by automatically switching to sleep mode once a probe is not in use.
The Inkbird uses Bluetooth connectivity rather than radio frequency or the newer Wi-Fi thermometers.
The Bluetooth allows you to monitor temperatures on a smartphone via the Inkbird App, and the Bluetooth thermometer has a 150 feet range.
To connect the thermometer, users first need to download the BBQ Go App to their phone, then pair the Inkbird using a Bluetooth connection. The app will instruct on how to connect to the device using either an iPhone or an Android smartphone.
Bluetooth thermometers have a lot of negative feedback because they can lose signals easily. Although the Inkbird has a 150-meter range, there can’t be any interference.
The Inkbird App
The Inkbird can show temperatures without having to be connected to the app. Users need to use the phone app to change temperature scales and to manage alarm thresholds.
The app has various pre-programmed internal temperatures for different meats, such as veal, chicken, beef and pork. Once the internal meat temperature is reached, it triggers the alarm on the app. The app shows a countdown timer of each probe and the user can customize names and color-code each probe.
You can set the app to English, French, German, Italian or Spanish. Also, the app is compatible with iPhone 4S, Android 4.4 phones and later models.
6. Inkbird WiFi – IBBQ-4T
The Inkbird Wi-Fi thermometer, the IBBQ-4T, is an upgrade from the IBT-4XS Bluetooth thermometer. If you are a fan of technology and cooking, then the Inkbird WiFi is a good and affordable choice.
Compared to other Wi-Fi thermometers on the market, the InkBird is great value for money. Other Wi-Fi thermometers with similar features sell well over $200. The Wi-Fi version of the Inkbird is designed for low-and-slow cooking methods, such as smoking and roasting. The Inkbird holds four probes, which allows to user to monitor the pit and three different meats. See the latest price here.
- Wi-Fi Connectivity
- Inkbird BBQ APP
- 26-hour battery life
- Rechargeable Battery
- Temperature Graphing
- Magnetic Mount
- Accuracy: ±1℃/±1.8℉
- LCD Display: 53mmx35mm
- 4 x Probes
- 2 x Probe Clips
- USB Cable
- English Manual
Base Unit and Display
The Inkbird thermometer is a small but solid unit with magnets attached to the back for easy attachment to the grill. The display has an orange back light so it’s easy to read at night or in direct sunlight.
The Wi-Fi Inkbird comes with four probes, which is more than enough for meat smoking. Two probes are the bare minimum you want if you are just a backyard pitmaster; one probe for the meat and another probe for the pit. The Inkbird IBBQ-4T allows you to measure the ambient temperature of the cook chamber and three meats, which is ample.
The Inkbird IBBQ-4T also has color-coded probes that correspond with matching colors on the app. This is a useful feature when dealing with multiple probes and saves confusion.
The Inkbird IBBQ-4T is waterproof with iPx3 rain proofing, which is an important feature when working outside.
Wi-Fi and App
Pairing the Inkbird to your Wi-Fi network is straightforward, however it won’t work on the 5G network. Select the 2.4gHz Wi-Fi network.
The App works on Apple and Android devices and is simple to understand and use. The app graphs and stores your cooking sessions and allows you to take notes for future reference.
Battery and Charging
The Inkbird wins over its competitors for battery life. The IBBQ-4T is equipped with a rechargeable lithium battery with up to 26-hours of usage, and it takes only 2-hours to charge.
Signals is ThermoWorks version of the Wi-Fi thermometer. This high-tech thermometer is expensive but worth every cent if you are serious about smoking meat.
Users can control the Signals thermometer using an app which allows you to track the temperature of your smoker while you are across town. The app will alert you of any temperature alarms and alert you in real-time. There is also the option to receive text or email alerts.
- 4 Pro-Series commercial-grade probes
- Magnetic back
- Back-lit display
- Rechargeable battery
- Power adapter
- Made in the U.S.A
Manual or Wi-Fi
Signals gives users the option of manual operation or by using the app and Wi-Fi. Signals uses four probes (channels) giving you the ability to measure four temperatures simultaneously. You can customize the name of each probe such as “Beef”, or “Pork”.
ThermoWorks uses high-quality, commercial-grade Pro-Series temperature probes on all their thermometers. These probes are accurate and a quick to pick up on temperature changes. Signals also make life easier with color-coded silicon bands that attach to the probes.
Build Quality and Display
They built the Signals unit to industrial standards and comes with a weather-resistant cover. The unit has magnets on the back for easy attachment
Signals has a large LCD display with a back light for easy viewing. The display splits into four sections for each probe (channel). Each channel can be given a name such as “Pit” or “Ribs” and designated a color to match a particular probe.
The Signals thermometer uses a rechargeable battery that lasts 16 hours and comes with a 12V USB power adapter.
Setup is as easy as installing the app, creating an account and entering your Wi-Fi password.The ThermoWorks BBQ App is simple to download and install for IOS and Android devices. The app requires you to create an account, enter your Wi-Fi, and pair your device. The app connects to the ThermoWorks Cloud where you can track, store, graph temperature data for your future cooks.
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