If you are among those who love spending time in the great outdoors smoking your choice of meat to create a mouth-watering meal every time, you’re not alone. BBQ’ing is an art, with the best results coming from those who have mastered the craft and have the right tools. One of the most important tools is the meat thermometer used to ensure it’s cooked perfectly every time. With that in mind, the question is — what is the best smoker thermometer?
|Maverick XR-40||CHECK PRICE|
|ThermoPro TP-20||CHECK PRICE|
|Weber IGrill 2||CHECK PRICE|
|Maverick BT-600||CHECK PRICE|
|Maverick IChef ET-736||CHECK PRICE|
|Lavatool Javelin Pro Duo||CHECK PRICE|
How to Choose the Best Smoker Thermometer
Finding the best smoker thermometer is not as easy as just looking at its price or focusing on any single feature by itself. If all you want is the cheapest thermometer, you could pick up a simple handheld version at your local grocery store. If you just focus on buying the most expensive one, chances are you overpaid for features you could have gotten at a much better price.
When it comes to finding the best smoker thermometer you want to look at several different things and determine the best one for your BBQ’ing needs and lifestyle. As a place to start, the things that you should keep in mind when considering a new thermometer include price, capabilities, usefulness, features, and track record. If you find a thermometer that excels in all of these categories, chances are high that you’ll be happy with your purchase!
Why is it Important to Have a High-Quality Smoker Thermometer?
Having a high-quality smoker thermometer will help you monitor the temperature of your meat so that you get the perfect meal every time. Without a good grilling thermometer in your arsenal, you run the risk of under or overcooking the meat. What’s worse than spending the day salivating over that delicious dinner you have in mind, only to end up with dry, overcooked meat because you couldn’t effectively monitor the temperature?
A high-quality thermometer will alleviate that fear for you. The ability to know what the internal temperature of the meat means that you can be rest assured knowing you’ll cook up the perfect dinner every time. If you’re getting more serious about grilling and smoking, a high-quality meat thermometer is one of the best tools you can add to your grilling tools. You won’t regret it.
Beginner barbecue fanatics typically overcook meat 90% of the time. I used to be one of those mediocre bbq’ers that would almost always overcook meat because I didn’t want to serve under cooked food to the family. I feared chicken the most, so I always overcooked it. It was always disappointingly dry and tough. Here is a post we did on safe meat serving temperatures. You’ll be surprised how much better your chicken, pork and beef will taste when it is not over done.
Meat Thermometers vs Built-in Grill Thermometers
One of the most common mistakes that newcomers in the BBQ’ing world make is thinking that they don’t need a meat thermometer because their nice new smoker came with a thermometer right there on the door or lid! All they need to do is keep their eye on that thermometer to understand what’s going on inside and to cook the perfect meat, right?
Of course not! Relying on only the built-in thermometer that came installed in your grill or smoker will leave your food undercooked or overcooked every time. As any experienced person in the industry will tell you, the temperature inside the meat tells you a lot more than simply the temperature of the grill. Heck, even measuring the surface temperature of the meat is more useful than knowing the temperature at the lid of the smoker.
Bottom line, don’t think that you don’t need a meat thermometer just because your grill has one built-in on the lid!
What to Look for in Smoker Thermometers
If you’re in the market for a grill thermometer, you’re already a step ahead of those who don’t think they’re necessary to have the most success while BBQ’ing. If you’ve never had one before or that last one you had is that decade-old thermometer that you would just stick in the meat and watch the dial move, you may be curious about what you should be looking for as you search for a new BBQ thermometer.
As with the rest of the world, times have changed and wireless, or, at least, digital thermometers have become the norm and have taken over the market. Don’t let this turn you away, thinking that they’re too expensive or too difficult to figure out. Not only are there lots of affordable options, but they’re also all incredibly easy to use. They have so many additional features nowadays that you’ll wonder how you ever cooked without one.
Some of the most important useful features to keep in mind when you’re looking for a new smoker thermometer include:
Few options today feature wireless connectivity that allows you to monitor the temperature of what you’re smoking or grilling while you’re working on other things around the house. You can be sitting upstairs watching the game and quickly glance down at your phone or the receiver and see how your food is coming along. Recently The MeatStick company launched a true wireless meat thermometer that works with all kinds of meats and cooking methods. We will be reviewing this soon. Stay tuned.
Multiple Temperature Probes
Most of the BBQ thermometers you’ll find today offer multiple probes, two being the most common amount. This means that you can monitor the temperature of two different types of meat or the meat and the grill all with the same device. Another example is monitoring your brisket when smoking. You can have one probe in the flat and one probe in the point. The added versatility is incredibly useful, especially if you cook more than one thing in the smoker at once.
Preset Temperature and Done-ness Levels
Thermometers these days even come with preset temperatures built-in for all of the most common types of meats cooked. Some also include preset done-ness levels so that you know exactly when your meat reaches the perfect temperature and doneness so that you can enjoy it the way you want.
Now that you have an idea of what to look for in a new smoker thermometer, continue reading to learn about the seven best options on the market today.
Best Smoker Thermometers on the Market
Best Grill Thermometer : Maverick XR-40
- Wireless connectivity up to 500 feet away — among the largest range in the industry.
- It has dual probes capable of incredibly high heat (716 ℉), making them versatile for all sorts of different food monitoring.
- Includes Maverick’s INSTA-SYNC technology to provide faster, more consistent connections. You will be alerted if you go out of the device’s massive range.
- There are 15 built-in presets for meat temperatures and doneness levels to help you cook the perfect meal every time.
- No extensive app support like the Weber iGrill App available to Weber products.
With all things considered — price, capabilities, usefulness, features, and track record — the Maverick XR-40 Wireless Digital BBQ Thermometer is the best option on the market today. It is at a great price point where anyone looking for a grill thermometer can purchase it, yet it includes many of the same features as the much more expensive options.
Maverick wasn’t messing around with the extended range capabilities of the XR-40. With connections holding steady up to 500 feet away, you can be doing anything else around the house while your food is cooking and you’d have no issues staying connected and keeping track of what’s on the grill.
Two high-heat stainless steel probes allow you to monitor multiple types of food or the food and grill temperature without fear of any damage to the probes. The Maverick XR-40 will let you select from 15 preset temperature and doneness levels for different types of meat and alert you once the desired levels have been met. You can also set timers and custom alerts to let you know exactly when your food is done the way you want it.
With little negative to say about the Maverick XR-40 except for the lack of an extensive side-by-side app for additional features, it can be said that it is the best overall smoker thermometer on the market today when everything is taken into account.
Best Budget Thermometer : ThermoPro TP20
- Great price point for a wireless meat thermometer.
- Easy to set up and use, it works right out of the box.
- Dual probes allow you to monitor more than one thing at a time.
- It has built-in temperature settings as well as the additional preset doneness levels.
- There have been issues with the probes not lasting more than a year, nor are the ports on the transmitter labeled to let the user know which is for which probe.
- Clips are cheap and don’t work well to mount to the grill as they don’t hold tightly or lock on to anything.
For anyone looking for a wireless grill thermometer on a budget or for someone getting into BBQ’ing but doesn’t want to break the bank, the ThermoPro TP20 may be exactly what you’re looking for. This wireless grill thermometer has some of the same features as the big names on this list but for a fraction of the price.
The ThermoPro TP20 is wireless, but it connects to its own transmitter and receiver, so you don’t need to sync your device or anything. The receiver has a range of 300 feet (which is the same as the extended range of the Maverick BT600-BLACK below), allowing you to go about your day while your food cooks out in the smoker.
This unit has two probes like many others on this list, as well as a slew of built-in presets for temperature and doneness. The presets for USDA approved temperatures on meats include: ground beef, ground poultry, beef, veal, chicken, pork, poultry, lamb, and fish. Additionally, there are many built-in doneness presets to let you know when your meats reach rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, and well done.
While it doesn’t have the app support of some of the other options and the devices themselves may be lacking in build quality slightly compared to the others, it has an incredible amount of features for the price. You’d be hard-pressed to find another option with this many features at any price point close to the ThermoPro TP20.
Best Bluetooth Thermometer : Weber IGrill 2
- Bluetooth connectivity allows you to be anywhere in or around the house working on something else or preparing other parts of the meal and you’ll be able to check the temperatures inside the smoker.
- Two color-coded probes allow you to easily keep track of multiple foods at once and tell the probes apart without having to untangle wires or untie knots.
- This wireless BBQ thermometer has a proximity display feature that will turn on when you are near it for easy viewing.
- You can connect it through the Weber iGrill App which has all sorts of additional features.
- Can be used on any grill, not just Webers.
- The Bluetooth capable range on the thermometer is fairly small, but just be sure to stay within the house or preferably nearby the grill or smoker.
Coming from arguably one of the biggest names in the BBQ industry, the Weber 7203 iGrill 2 is the best Bluetooth capable meat thermometer available today. Weber has a long history in the grilling and smoking industry, and has amassed a following of loyal customers over the years due to their high-quality products. The 7203 iGrill 2 Bluetooth BBQ Thermometer is no different. With its sleek design, wireless capabilities, multi-probe monitoring, and app support, it is a thermometer that should be on everyone’s shortlist that is in the market for one.
The Weber 7203 iGrill 2 includes two temperature color-coded temperature probes to help you easily keep track of which temperature refers to which food without having to keep track of where each probe is going. Combine this with its unique magnetic mounting plate and wireless connectivity, and you can put the Weber 7203 just about anywhere and effortlessly keep track of the temperature of what you’re cooking.
Using the Weber iGrill App, you can connect to the thermometer to keep track of everything on your device as well as gain access to a slew of other user-friendly features. With the app you can set temperature alarms to let you know when the food is done, monitor the temperatures in real-time, set up custom alerts for yourself, gain access to Weber’s exclusive BBQ recipes, and shares with your friends. It may be pricey, but its features and Weber’s history backs it up.
One of the most common questions regarding the Weber iGrill 2 is; Does the Weber iGrill 2 work with any grill? Yes it does. The Weber iGrill 3 is designed to be built into specific new model Weber grills. So you’ll be able to mount this to whatever grill you have
Best Bluetooth Runner UP : Maverick BT – 600
- Bluetooth capabilities allow you to stay connected up to 300-feet away with its extended range.
- Two 36″ waterproof probes allow you to monitor the temperature of multiple foods at once. The device can connect up to four probes.
- Has presets built-in for six standard meat temperatures and also nine game temperatures to help you reach the optimal temperature every time.
- This Bluetooth thermometer doesn’t have the extensive app support like the Weber unit and misses out on all those extra features.
- Although the device can support four probes, they only provide you with two.
Coming up just short of the Weber 7203 (and a bit cheaper), the runner up for the best Bluetooth BBQ thermometer is the Maverick BT-600BLACK. This Maverick unit has extended range allowing it to stay connected up to 300-feet away, making it one of the leaders in the market in terms of connectivity range. This is great for those who want the freedom to let the smoker run while they are doing other things.
The Maverick BT-600 includes a total of 15 built-in temperatures to help make sure your meat reaches the perfect temperature every time. For standard meats, there are six presets built-in: beef, veal, lamb, pork, chicken, and turkey. There are also nine game temperatures built-in to the thermometer: deer, elk, moose, buffalo, rabbit, boar, duck, bird, and fish. Once the temperature reaches these preset temperatures the thermometer will send out an alert letting you know the food is done.
With all of the great features that come with the Maverick BT-600BLACK, the lack of an industry-leading app like the Weber iGrill app makes it fall just short of claiming the top spot as the best Bluetooth grill thermometer on the market.
Best Wifi : Maverick IChef ET-736
- Runs off your home Wifi and easily connects to your iOS or Andriod device through the iChef app.
- Two probes allow you to monitor different things at the same time to make sure everything reaches the right temperature.
- This thermometer calculates in real-time how long is left until your food reaches the desired limits.
- It can handle as many timers as you need to keep track of the time for everything that you’re cooking.
- Since it is Wifi rather than Bluetooth, if you have an issue with your internet service (router or modem going out, for example), the thermometer will not be able to connect to your phone.
- This is the most expensive option in this review.
The best wifi meat thermometer on the market is another option from Maverick — the Maverick iChef App-Enabled Digital BBQ Thermometer. This thermometer connects straight to your home internet — as long as it’s wifi — and then connects to your phone through the iChef app. The ability to connect to a dedicated app makes the Maverick iChef an extremely versatile wireless thermometer that allows you to monitor all sorts of things from anywhere in the house.
You can use the two probes included with the thermometer to monitor the temperature of two different things simultaneously, and the iChef unit will automatically calculate the time remaining for it to reach the desired setpoint temperature. This feature allows you to quickly glance at the app and get an idea of how long is left until dinner time.
The only real downside to this thermometer is that its functioning is directly related to the status of your wifi. If your wifi is working, great; if your wifi goes out for whatever reason, you won’t be able to connect to the thermometer for your phone. If you have spotty internet, one of the Bluetooth options may be better for you.
Having the iChef app is a great bonus as it allows you to monitor as many timers as you need at the same time, download recipes off the internet, and share with your friends as well. The Maverick iChef will run for 4 hours wirelessly using a battery, and it can be plugged in for recharging and continuous use. All of this combined with a 1-year warranty makes the Maverick iChef Wifi BBQ Thermometer a great option for anyone in the market.
Best Instant Read Thermometer : Lavatool Javelin Pro Duo
- Simple design and easy to use. All you need to do is turn the thermometer on and stick the probe into whatever you want to see the temperature of.
- Accurate and ultra-fast reporting. Within 1-3 seconds you’ll see the temperature with an accuracy of better than one degree.
- Well-priced making it a great option for those on a budget.
- It comes with an industry-leading 3-year warranty.
- The switch to change from Fahrenheit to Celsius is not easy to get to.
- Some complain that the thermometer cannot get too wet or it will stop working for a while.
The Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo is a budget-friendly option that gives you the ability to check the temperature of whatever you’re cooking accurately and fast. Confident to within one degree, this meat thermometer will tell you the temperature in only 1-3 seconds. With its easy-to-use design, economic price point, and fast readings, the Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo should be considered when looking for an affordable meat probe for a smoker that gives instant readings.
An instant read thermometer like this is not really comparable to the thermometers above. Instant reads like this do not come with bluetooth, wifi or wireless capabilities and there is good reason not too. Instant read thermometers are for quickly probing and checking your foods current temps instantly. They’re great to use when you are grilling a lot of small items such as steaks, chicken breasts, thighs, pork chops etc. You can open your grill and take a quick read on each piece of meat instantly. I use one of these for my final confirmation that the food is ready.
What also makes this meat thermometer great is the large temperature display. There is no problem reading the display at night because the display is back lit. The display also flips orientation automatically so you’re never looking at the temperature upside down. Temperature readings are within 0.9F and the 3-year warranty provides peace of mind. It also comes in 7 different colors which is a nice feature.
With all the options out there for smoker thermometers, it can be hard to decide on the best one. In this review, the seven best available options were analyzed to determine the best overall grill thermometer. When everything is taken into account, the Maverick XR-40 is the clear winner. With its fantastic price point, industry-leading 500 feet of connectivity, and versatility to help you provide the perfect meal, the Maverick XR-40 delivers on all fronts.
The XR-40 incorporates all of the best features of high-quality meat thermometers as it’s wireless, can monitor more than one temperature at a time, comes with built-in presets for temperatures and doneness levels, and will alert you when the food is ready. All in all, the Maverick XR-40 is the best option on the market today, but don’t shy away from any of the other options listed here either. Depending on the exact features you desire to get the perfect BBQ thermometer for yourself, one of the other options on this list may be the best one for you!