MeatStick 4x Review
Recently, MeatStick sent us the MeatStick 4X for a full review. It’s a chance for us to take a look at a newer wireless meat thermometer akin to the MEATER Plus or MEATER Block or INKBIRD INT-11P we’ve looked at previously. As always, we’re going to dive into the specs of the MeatStick 4X, all the features it comes with, its…
Recently, MeatStick sent us the MeatStick 4X for a full review. It’s a chance for us to take a look at a newer wireless meat thermometer akin to the MEATER Plus or MEATER Block or INKBIRD INT-11P we’ve looked at previously.
As always, we’re going to dive into the specs of the MeatStick 4X, all the features it comes with, its performance, overall fit and finish, and the ownership experience, and then we’ll wrap it up with some final thoughts and the final recommendation! So without further ado, let’s dive in!
The MeatStick Company Overview
MeatStick came about when a group of friends in California got caught up in their party and overcooked their steaks. They experimented with some different options but decided they wanted to remotely monitor temperatures, so the idea of the MeatStick was born. The company began in 2017, and since then they have continued to develop ways to improve on the original MeatStick. The thermometers themselves are made in Taiwan but designed in the US.
MeatStick 4X Overview and Specifications
At first glance, the MeatStick 4X is a striking meat probe. The stainless steel and black ceramic combination on the probe certainly draw comparisons to MEATER’s design, but the all-black and sharp angles of the charger make this look like the most futuristic item in your grilling and smoking arsenal.
To go along with the futuristic look of the MeatStick 4X and its charger, MeatStick packed four total temperature sensors into a single probe. That means you can get readings at the tip of the probe and two other spots strategically up the stainless steel shaft. Not only are you aware of the deepest internal temperature of your meat but you can also keep an eye on if you’re overcooking the first layer of meat. Then the fourth sensor is at the end of the ceramic part of the probe so you can keep an eye on the ambient temperature of your grill or smoker.
The MeatStick 4X uses Bluetooth technology to communicate temperature readings so you don’t have to worry about pinching wires like other styles of meat thermometers. However, it’s the charger block that does the heavy lifting connectivity-wise. It not only charges the MeatStick 4X, but it serves as an “Xtender” for the Bluetooth range, boosting it up to hundreds of feet so you can monitor from inside the house. The charger also stands on its own while it is also magnetic so you can pop it on the side of your pellet hopper or work shelf to keep it close to the probe.
MeatStick 4X Specifications Table
|Max Internal Temp – Meat
|Max Ambient Temp – Cooker
|Deep-fryer, sous-vide, and dishwasher safe
|Stainless steel and ceramic
|Range to Charger Block
|Up to 6ft/2m
|Not disclosed – will compare to ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE
Xtender Charger Block specs
|Bluetooth to both probes and smartphone app
|Up to 650 feet outdoors/164 feet indoors
|Two AA batteries (not included.) Probe charges when placed in the charger.
|Max Outdoor Operation Temp
|iOS or Android
MeatStick 4X Features
The MeatStick 4X distinguishes itself based on four key features. These four features are what make the MeatStick 4X distinct from the rest of the wireless meat thermometers on the market.
1. Quad Temperature Sensors In The Probe
When it comes to wireless meat thermometers, there are two distinct types: single temperature and dual temperature. ThermoWorks uses probes that read a single temperature in their Signals and Smoke units. MEATER gives you both an internal temperature and ambient temperature reading with two sensors in their probes for the Plus and the Block.
MeatStick said that’s great, we want more, and put four sensors in the MeatStick 4X (hence the 4.) The quad sensors give you three separate spots to check the internal temperature of the meat and one spot for the ambient temperature in a single probe. This can help you be aware of how your entire cut of meat is cooking, not just the middle. Now we are obviously mostly concerned with that deepest reading, but it’s nice to know the temperatures outside the center.
You can use this probe to temp any type of meat whether you’re grilling or smoking. However, due to the thickness of the probe itself, it could be too much for a smaller cut of meat. The probe is thicker than an instant-read thermometer or the probes included with the Signals and Smoke units due to the electronics for Bluetooth connectivity and power storage.
You also need to make sure that the probe itself is inserted properly. The section of the MeatStick 4X designated for monitoring internal temperatures is rated to handle temperatures up to 212°F (100°C), while the ceramic end with the ambient temperature sensor is rated to handle temperatures up to 572°F (300°C.) It has a notch on the barrel of the probe to designate how far the probe has to be inserted to properly monitor and protect the electronics. Pictured below.
With the MeatStick’s ability to handle temperatures that hot when properly used, the company boasts that you can even use the MeatStick 4X when deep frying or cooking using a sous vide machine.
2. True Wireless Capability
Typically, wireless meat thermometers are advertised as such because you can monitor temperatures from your phone or other receivers remotely rather than looking at a readout right at the grill. However, the temperature probes are still connected to the main unit via wires.
MeatStick, like MEATER, eschewed that style and instead put Bluetooth technology in the probe itself. That meant no longer worrying about pinching wires when closing the lid on your grill or smoker. It also makes storage a lot easier since you don’t have to worry about tangling wires.
Heck, you can use the MeatStick 4X when cooking a roast or bird on a rotisserie attachment. If you think a storage drawer looks bad with tangled wires, you can only imagine how bad it would go using a wired probe on a rotating piece of meat. You would definitely ruin the wire and possibly the rotisserie as well as the meat.
3. MeatStick App via Extended Bluetooth Range
The MeatStick App gives you a host of functionality beyond simply monitoring temperatures, though it certainly does that. You can see every temperature from every sensor, see how long you’ve been cooking, how long the app thinks your cooking session has left, set target temperatures, and even see a graph to see how your cooking session has progressed overall.
4. Xtender Charging Station
The MeatStick 4X comes with a black charging station that also doubles as a Bluetooth range extender. It is powered by two AA batteries, and that is enough to run a single probe for 70+ hours per MeatStick. The Xtender also gives the MeatStick 4X a range of up to 164 feet inside or 650 feet outside for you to be able to monitor temperatures over Bluetooth.
When you first set up your MeatStick 4X, the company recommends that you charge the probe for one to two hours at the minimum before using it. That will ensure you don’t run out of juice mid-smoke on a brisket.
Another bonus of the Xtender charger is that it can simultaneously link up to eight MeatSticks. That means you can buy a number of MeatSticks and monitor them all through one charger. Now you’ll obviously need to charge every single probe so that could be tiresome, but the ability to link the probes together through one unit is a nice touch.
MeatStick 4X Real World Performance
A list of features is all well and good, but you really want to know how the MeatStick 4X actually works for someone who has used it. How well does it connect? What’s the app itself like? Let’s dive in.
We felt like the MeatStick 4X behaves exactly like the Meater Plus, but the Xtender charger that serves as a booster made the Bluetooth connection even better. It boosts the signal range well beyond any of the other strictly Bluetooth probes on the market we’ve used. When a device like the MeatStick 4X hangs its head on Bluetooth connectivity, you want to ensure that it truly does what it says, and it delivers. If you’re looking for even more range, MeatStick offers a WiFi Bridge connector that will allow you to hook up to your WiFi network.
We maintained connectivity from our patio to inside our kitchen (stucco exterior house) which was roughly 35′.
MeatStick App Overview
However, for all our love for the Bluetooth connectivity portion of our experience, we did have some struggles getting the MeatStick 4X to initially connect to the MeatStick app. The company recommends viewing the instructions in the app before using it, and we heartily concur. Take the time to review all the instructions carefully because it can be a bit confusing.
Once the probe and the Xtender were properly connected, we had no further issues. The app itself is nice and is able to connect to eight MeatSticks at one time, but we aren’t concerned with that here.
The app allows you to look at a graph depicting how the cook has gone over the length of time along with the current internal temperature and ambient temperature. You can look at past cook history as well as presets for specific types of meat or even set custom target temperatures.
The app is available for Android devices through the Google Play store or Apple devices through the Apple App Store. It also works on your tablet, not just your phone.
Battery Life and Charging
On a single charge, the MeatStick is supposed to have around 70 hours of use. That’s an incredible amount, and we certainly haven’t had any smoking sessions that would require anywhere near that length of time. We have not had any issues with the MeatStick running out of power while cooking, and that’s the important thing. Plus, the Xtender charger runs on two AA batteries ensuring that when the charger starts to run low, it’s an easy fix. You don’t have to charge the charger which can put you out of commission unexpectedly.
Overall Fit and Finish
The MeatStick 4X probe itself is sleek and simple with stainless steel and ceramic. The stainless steel probe is durable and it will hold up to the rigors of monitoring temperatures for smoking barbecue or even cooking in the oven. The main part of the probe can handle up to 212°F and the ceramic end can handle temperatures up to 572°F thanks to the dual-shell construction.
The Xtender charger looks almost space-age with the hard angles to make it easy to pull the probe out. The LED makes it easy to know whether your probe is charging (green) or low on battery (red.) Replacing the AA batteries in the charger is easy with a simple battery compartment with a latch. No need to pull a screwdriver out of your tool drawer when you need to put fresh batteries in.
The fit and finish on the MeatStick 4X are definitely upscale.
The only issue we came across was with connecting to the app. It was not as easy as others. We’ve worked with a lot of different bluetooth temperature measuring devices and never had the same challenges as we did here. The instructions are not perfect, but we eventually figured it out. They also have videos on youtube to help you figure this out. However, once that hurdle was cleared, the MeatStick 4X has done a great job regardless of what we were smoking. It delivers real-time temperature readings of three separate levels of your meat. We aren’t the biggest fan of the ambient temperature readings because the sensor is so close to the surface of the meat, it can be influenced more by the meat’s temperature than the actual ambient temperature of the cooking chamber.
What We Like…
- Best Bluetooth range we’ve encountered
- Xtender charging dock is powered by two AA batteries so no need to plug in
- Able to review past cooking sessions in the app
What Makes Us Angry…
- Could improve initial connectivity instructions
- Ambient temperature sensors on a internal temp probe shouldn’t always be trusted due to their close proximity to the meat your cooking.
Wrapping It Up
The MeatStick 4X is an upscale wireless meat thermometer that won’t break the bank. It boasts the best Bluetooth range we’ve encountered in a meat thermometer yet. Getting it to connect to the app initially is a struggle, but stick with it and you’ll have a quality meat thermometer. Just stick to monitoring internal temperatures because the ambient temperature readings might not be accurate compared to dedicated ambient temperature probes. However, if you’re using a pellet grill or a smoker with a quality temperature gauge like a Tel Tru gauge, you’re not going to be concerned.
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