ThermoWorks Signals Review
If you’re serious about monitoring your smoker or grill temp accurately and smoking various cuts of meat at the same time, having a multi-probe thermometer is a must have tool. Having an accurate temperature reading is important and being able to trust your thermometer readings will provide a better outcome. Over the past year I…
If you’re serious about monitoring your smoker or grill temp accurately and smoking various cuts of meat at the same time, having a multi-probe thermometer is a must have tool. Having an accurate temperature reading is important and being able to trust your thermometer readings will provide a better outcome.
Over the past year I have been using the ThermoWorks Signals BBQ Alarm Thermometer (Winner of our Best Smoker Thermometer Comparison) on most of my long smoking cooks. I’ve done just about everything with the Signals Thermometer ranging from brisket, turkey, pork butt, and this unit has saved my cooks more than once. I also use it as a tool to test new smokers/grills and see how consistent and accurate they are during a long smoke. (Some pellet grills fluctuate temperatures more than you want to know, some hold temps very well. Read our long term tests to find out. ).
ThermoWorks latest addition Signals is a wireless barbeque monitor that uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity to monitor the temperature of your food and pit. Now you can stay connected with your food anywhere with an internet connection, without investing in expensive Wi-Fi enabled grills.
In our review we will cover all the functionality it brings, overall quality, accuracy, usability and unique accessories. (Hint: It made the top of our list for best wireless meat thermometers.)
|Thermoworks Billows Fan Controller
The ThermoWorks Company – General Overview
A Utah-based company, ThermoWorks is an established brand that is known for its work around temperature reading and processing. ThermoWorks is well respected by both home and professional cooks. Used in a wide range of applications, ThermoWorks products are an impressive combination of thermodynamics and versatility. The result is a host of smart, high-speed thermometers with accurate readings that are guaranteed to eliminate second guessing food temps.
An addition to an excellent product line-up, Thermoworks Signals makes the most of technology to ensure that you can work just as efficiently from anywhere. The Wi-Fi/Bluetooth compatibility is not only exciting; it works through a user-friendly app that offers some salient features along with real-time temperature readings: such as notifications, alarms, and graphs of the progression of your food. What’s more, all readings and information on your app is stored onto Cloud, making it accessible at any point.
ThermoWorks Signals Overview and Specifications
Being designed primarily for professional chefs and competition BBQ teams, this device works great for backyard grilling too.
A smart thermometer engineered in an elegant and intuitive design; it can be operated both as a stand-alone device and through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth remotely. This thermometer comes with a 4-panel LCD screen that sticks to metal surfaces with magnets. It’s functionality and water-resistant, heavy-duty plastic makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. In comparison to its peers, the ThermoWorks Signals solves 2 major problems – the ability to measure 2 or more things and navigating it smoothly without additional app purchases.
|Leave-in Food/Cooker, Wireless
|Within 1.8 Degrees Fahrenheit from -4 to 248 F
|Water Resistance Rating
|Yes, built-in backlight
|White, Grey, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Violet and Pink
|iOS and Android
|1.88 H*3.97 W (inches)
|-58 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit
|95 ft ( at line of sight)
|Device, 4 probes, charger and USB cable, metal clip, colour-coded silicon probe rings and instructions
ThermoWorks Signals Features
Among the many things to love about the ThermoWorks Signals, some are just hard to miss. Its sturdy build is thoughtfully designed to fit seamlessly into any cooking space, even if you plan to mount it on your grill.
1. ThermoWorks Signals Wireless App
The ThermoWorks Signals is a wonderful reflection of the tech-friendly generation and shows just how simple technology can make our daily operations. While other Wi-Fi thermometers require you to buy a separate bridge, the Signals comes with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
The app itself provides a very user friendly experience, with a simple interface, graphing progress, and accurate real-time temperature readings. You can also assign and change the names of the different probes through the app. The data from the app gets stored, which means you can review your cooks and look back on the pit and food temp history of your cook.
Setting up the app can take under a minute. The app will locate the Signals unit via Bluetooth and will commence the Wi-Fi network setup there on. Simply select the Wi-Fi network, enter your password, and you are connected.
Wi-Fi is the preferred connectivity method, but if you are travelling with your Signals, or camping with no Wi-Fi network, you can still utilize Bluetooth connectivity. The maximum Bluetooth range with the Signals is about 95 feet, when not hindered by obstacles like walls and objects.
2. Multiple Temperature Probes
Temperature probes are the most important while reading temperatures- the more the probes, the more information you can monitor with your food and pit. ThermoWorks products offer quality, accurate temperature probes. Signals comes with one Pro-series ambient temperature probe and three high temperature cooking probes. This added capacity helps you monitor more meat in a single grill, or two grills at once.
The Pro-series probes are heat rated to 572F, and include color coordinated rings which can be programmed to the Signals controller, which helps keep you organized while cooking.
The ambient probes, are attached to the smoker or grill, grill grate and provide the Signals with a current Pit temperature. This can be used in conjunction with the Billows fan controller system, which we will cover soon.
I find the probes are of quality material, but ThermoWorks warns in their instructions to avoid pinching the wires in your smoker door/lid, as the internal wires can become damaged. I have done this as some of my smokers do not offer probe ports, and I haven’t had any issues with dead temp probes.
Tire of wires, check out the Meater Block that uses wire free probes.
3. Signals Onboard Battery
ThermoWorks states their Signals battery life is approximately 16 hours. I have yet to see my Signals battery life last anywhere near that time. I always keep my signals plugged into a wall outlet as I do not want to worry about a dead battery in the middle of the night while smoking a brisket.
Play it safe and keep it plugged in. If you are using the Signals in cold temperatures, the battery life will be substantially shortened.
4. ThermoWorks Billows – Optional Accessory
ThermoWorks Billows is another great feature that is compatible with all ThermoWorks Signals units. This accessory is one of the main reasons why I wanted a Signals unit. It can take any charcoal grill or smoker (Weber Kettle, Smoky Mountain, Kamado) and make it hold consistent/constant temperatures without any human intervention.
Billows is a stand-alone fan that be attached to your grill or smoker providing adequate air to your coal. When the Billows is connected with the Signals system and the ambient temperature probe, you can essentially set your charcoal smoker temp with the Signals, and the Billows will provide the necessary air to maintain the desired temperature.
This is a perfect option for anyone using a Kettle or Kamado style smoker that wants to keep consistent temperatures without constant tending the air vents.
The Signals connected to the Billows can be monitored and adjusted through the app on your smartphone. We are talking Pellet Grill convenience with your old school Weber Kettle or Big Green Egg. No more large temp swings!
Read my full Billows Installation Procedure and Review here.
ThermoWorks Signals Review
Overall, using the Signals Thermometer systems has become a part of any cook when using a smoker or even my home oven. As I write this, I’m using the Signals to monitor the temp of my Sirloin Roast, which I plan to make French Beef Dips. I have grown to trust the Signals temperature readings and it hasn’t let me down yet.
Below are the key aspects of the Signals Thermometer that must be met to be considered a quality multi-probe wireless thermometer system. I provide my feedback on each category based on my experience with the Signals system. Accuracy, Wi-Fi Connectivity, App Functionality, Probe Durability, and Battery Life.
|Thermoworks Billows Fan Controller
The accuracy of the temperature probes in the ThermoWorks Signals, is 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit at temps from -4 to 248 Fahrenheit. I have learnt to trust the Signals temps, because I have compared the Signals readings to my Thermpen readings. They are always within a couple degrees of eachother. Both are considered accurate temperature measurement devices, so on average they will be very close to real temperature readings.
Among the coolest things that Signals can do is its ability to connect with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This is a very handy feature for many reasons. While Wi-Fi helps you stay connected when you’re running errands or have to be away from your cooking area for longer periods, Bluetooth picks up where you can’t use Wi-Fi- like on a campsite or while tailgating. The Bluetooth connectivity also aids in making the initial Wi-Fi setup a breeze.
Both have worked flawlessly and I always seem to have a good Wi-Fi connection to my router, even when I’m in the backyard with the Signals.
Wireless App Overview
Working with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity in the Signals means that you can broadcast the details of your food anywhere, anytime. The possibilities are truly limitless. All the feed recorded by your Signals gets collected in the ThermoWorks app, which is a free download.
The App is powerful and offers many features/settings that are not as easy to access on the Signals control unit itself. My favorite capabilities include:
- Alarms: Set temp alarms on all 4 probes. Not just high temp but low temp alarms. This is important when you are monitoring your pit temp. If you run out of coal or wood and the pit is dropping in temp, you can setup the alarm to notify you of this.
- Graph Charts: The app will show your temp progression in a graph chart. Not entirely useful but allows you to visualize/estimate when your meat might reach temp. It also provides me a nice visual when I’m testing pellet grills temp consistency. The graph provides an easy visual how well the pit is performing.
- Saved Sessions on Cloud: When your cook is done, Thermoworks will save your entire cook session on their cloud network. You can look back at historic cooks which can help you determine what you did differently or what you did wrong on a long smoke/cook.
ThermoWorks Signals kit includes 4 probes – 3 cooking probes and one ambient temperature probe. These commercial-grade Pro-series probes are exclusive to ThermoWorks and are known for their durable, and accurate temperature readings. These probes have a very good heat tolerance, but if they do get damaged you can easily replace them. ThermoWorks also offers extension cables if you need more length.
I recommend keeping it simple when cleaning the probes. Do not throw them in the sink water and let them soak. I just take a wet wash cloth and wipe them clean. Quickly dry with a towel and store them in an area where they will not be damaged by heavy items. Submerging them in water for a long period of time, could potentially damage the probes.
Signals Battery Life And Charging
Signals comes with an internal, rechargeable battery which they claim will last 16 hours continuously. As I mention above, I have never come close to 16 hours, however I have only used the Signals for long periods of time during cooler seasons. I know cold temps reduce battery life.
The Signals uses the USB-C cable for charging, and includes a 120v adapter. I recommend keeping Signals plugged in at all times to ensure constant monitoring. Signals takes approximately 12 hours to fully charge.
Overall Fit And Finish
ThermoWorks Signals was designed as a smart thermometer meant for professional chefs and barbeque teams. That would explain the rugged and durable exterior of the device. A large LCD screen that divides readings in 4 channels, numbers are easy to read even in direct sunlight and its backlight makes it visible in poor or no lighting too. What’s more, the device is IP66 splash proof, so ThermoWorks has really considered external elements and the effect the have on our experience.
The overall design of the Signals is reassuringly sturdy and well thought of. The flat bottom and rubber grip make it easy to rest on a countertop as well as on your grill. The screen is angled for better vision and navigation through alarms, volumes, buttons, and brightness settings.
The device is further secured by 2 magnets at the back, this makes mounting the device any place easier. The screen is comfortably large, and the backlight can be set on/off by the toggle through the buttons on the front. Another button is meant for setting or muting the alarm volume (that works on 4 volume levels).
The LCD screen displays the maximum and minimum temperatures on all 4 channels and the current temperature along with an option to switch on/off the device.
ThermoWorks Customer Service and Support
I haven’t had any problems yet, so I have no first hand experience. I did checkout their Company online reviews, and they maintain a 4.5+ star rating.
ThermoWorks Signals Warranty
The ThermoWorks Signals device comes with a 2-year warranty against damages, and the temperature probes are covered for 6 months.
Do We Recommend ThermoWorks Signals Thermometer?
Overall I would say this is the second most important temperature reading device you should have for smoking/grilling, next to an instant read thermometer. Now that I have been using one for the last year, I can’t see myself ever doing a brisket or pork butt without it. Monitoring your pit temp and three other cuts of meat is a real advantage. The more accurate info a Pitmaster has, the better the BBQ.
What I like about ThermoWorks Signals
It comes down to three key items of why I live the Signals temperature thermometer system.
- Accurate and real-time readings with multiple probes: I can monitor my pit temps and meat temps with one device from my smart phone at all times.
- Billows Add On: I love the Billows fan controller as an add-on. I can make my Kamado Joe or Weber Kettle maintain specific temps without managing the vents.
- Battery = Portability: The built in battery makes the system portable which I like to use when travelling. The Kettle doesn’t need a 120V source, and neither does the Signals.
What Makes Us Angry About the Signals
Not much. All I can say is the price is more than what some people will spend on this technology. You can spend less, but you are definitely going to get an inferior product to the Signals. If you want quality with some functionality, you have to pay. The older I get, the more I believe in buying something once, as opposed to buying it twice.
Our Final Verdict
The ThermoWorks Signals is among the best smart thermometers on the market today. If you do not own a quality instant read thermometer, buy that first. Then save up and buy this next. With an instant read thermometer and this Signals system, you have every temp measuring device you will ever need.
If you do not need the WIFI or Bluetooth connectivity, consider the ThermoWorks Smoke X4. It has all the same features but transmits the temps via Radio Frequency to a handheld receiver with a range over 6500′. See our full review on the Smoke X4.
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