Updated Jan 30, 2020. It’s no secret that barbecuing is an American tradition. Whether it is summertime cookouts or tailgate parties during football season, one thing can be counted on: Outdoor chefs around the nation are firing up their grills and doing their best Johnny Trigg impressions.
The hottest pick? I recommend the ThermoPro Thermometer at Amazon. It works from 300 feet and has Dual Probes so you’ll be able to monitor the internal meat and the smoking temperature.
Barbecuing is more than throwing your food on the grill and flipping over until it looks done. No, that doesn’t work for true pit-masters. You have to spend time with the food, you’ve got to monitor it from start to finish.
This is where a smoking thermometer comes into play.
Despite the rough-and-tumble setting for many barbecue outfits, smoking meat is an exact science. Meticulous observation of and attention to the interior temperatures of cooking and smoking meats are important not only a tasty rack of ribs but to the guarantee of safely cooked food.
Rare if you dare
Consumer Reports conducted a survey of over 300 different chicken samples purchased at supermarkets across the United States. Their findings were alarming: almost all samples tested positive for harmful pathogenic bacteria, and at least half of those bacteria contained antibiotic-resistant strains.
For this reason, it is fundamentally important that you properly cook all meats. Consumer Reports concluded, “even if you keep your kitchen very clean, you could still be exposed to illness-causing bacteria if you don’t cook the chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.”
You cannot accurately discern how well cooked meat is simply by reading the colors of the juices and the meat. To prevent food-borne illnesses, a meat thermometer is absolutely necessary.
Smoked to perfection
Sometimes the reasons for having a meat thermometer for your smoker go beyond health concerns—most cooks have, at one point in their careers, had to apologize for overcooked meat, or hastily return a piece of meat to the grill (or worse, the microwave!). Investing in a high quality meat thermometer will put a permanent end to this problem.
For meat smoking, you will be using lower temperatures, about 225 F to 300 F, than for outright grilling, broiling, and baking. For that reason, it is important to invest in a meat thermometer that is more sensitive and can accurately read small differences. In this method of cooking meat, every minute (even every second!) matters, as does every degree of temperature variation.
With that in mind, you’ll want a high-quality wireless thermometer, as accurate readings can take several moments (which you won’t be able to tolerate leaning into a smoking hot smoker!). Looking for a probe thermometer or an infrared thermometer instead? I have you covered.
Let’s explore some of the best options in today’s market.
ThermoPro TP08 Wireless Meat Thermometer
For entry-level value in digital wireless thermometers, the ThermoPro TP08 Wireless Meat Thermometer is an excellent choice.
This digital meat thermometer offers 2 separate stainless steel probes—the larger 6.5-inch probe is perfect for checking the temperatures of food out of the oven, while the 3-inch model is ideal for use in an oven, grill, or smoker.
The powerful wireless transmitter lets the user travel up to 300 feet beyond the smoker, without fear of missing a dangerous fluctuation in temperature. Any time the internal temperatures of what’s being cooked goes above the programmed level, an alarm will go off.
Broad temp range
The TP08 has a broad range of temperatures and is able to read as low as 32-degrees Fahrenheit and can read as hot as 572-degrees Fahrenheit. It has an extraordinarily accurate cooking thermometer that can read the temperature of the food quickly and precisely.
The TPO8 uses wireless technology, so you will no longer be tethered to your grill. All you have to do is the initial setup for the device, and you will always know the temp of your smoker, no matter where yoFu are.
Use the built in timer to manually set your cook time (available in countdown or count-up mode), and never worry about burning the food. Having the ability to configure the alarm for the digital meat thermometer is nice as well.
The greatest thing about this thermometer is the company that produces it. ThermoPro stands by their device and offers a lifetime sensor probe warranty. Because the probes can become less accurate over time due to prolonged exposure to extremely high temperatures, they provide their customers with sensors free of charge.
Should you purchase this one?
The TP08 is an excellent all around the thermometer. It is ideal for both intermediate and beginning outdoor chefs. Pick it up and you won’t have any regrets, just perfectly smoked meat.
Maverick ET-733 Long Range Wireless Dual Probe BBQ Meat Thermometer Set
For the more discerning smoker, the Maverick ET-733 Long Range Wireless Dual Probe BBQ Meat Thermometer Set is a perfect choice. The large, back-lit screen is a nice improvement over other models.
The temperature accuracy of this model is nearly unbeatable.
The dual probe system means you can get a reading for more than one meat at a time, or get a reading for your grill and meat simultaneously. The probe wires are three feet long and have a temperature rating of up to 716-degrees Fahrenheit.
Possibly the most appealing feature of the Maverick ET-733 is its long range wireless capability. The monitor can reach up to 300 feet away from the probes themselves. And when it does happen to go outside of its reach, there is an alarm feature that will let you know you have veered too far.Get a Maverick for yourself at Amazon.
Should you purchase this one?
This is a high-quality thermometer and the long range capabilities makes it perfect for those who get preoccupied with other things while they are supposed to be tending to the grill (especially if you’re doing double duty and cooking in the kitchen as well). The pre-set temp settings are helpful for those who haven’t been smoking for very long.
There are 9 different pre-set settings that allow for full customization of whatever meat you may be cooking or smoking.
Additionally, part of the value with this product is the dependability of years of quality customer service that comes with Maverick products. They are one of the most well-established grilling and smoking accessory manufacturers.
Inkbird IBT-4XS Bluetooth Thermometer
For the tech savvy smoker, there is a technologically hip model as well – the Inkbird Bluetooth Thermometer.
Though there isn’t a known app for literally producing a perfectly smoked rack of ribs, this delightful gizmo comes close. Perfectly sync-able with your Bluetooth device, purchase of one of these thermometers includes a free download of a meat-monitoring app to your phone or tablet.
Other, older Bluetooth models had more than their share of shortcomings, but this product seems to have worked out all the kinks in the technology.
The preset programs function well, and the interface is reliable and easy to use.
This model comes with 4 separate meat probes, allowing the monitoring of numerous different meats, programmed to different temperatures.
Weber iGrill 3 Thermometer
This one brings smartphone tech to your grilling game. It has a gorgeous look and fits seamlessly on your Weber grill. The Weber Genesis 2 and Genesis 2 XL grills have preset drill holes that you can attach it to. Once you have it attached, you are ready to use it with the Weber iGrill App.
Lots of probes
The best quality of this thermometer is that it looks so sleek and when you install it on your grill, it is indistinguishable from the grill itself.
Should you purchase this one?
Unfortunately, it only works with two specific Weber grills. If you don’t have one of those grills, then don’t get it. But if you’re a Weber griller and you’re into the latest technology, you’ll have fun using a grill that works with your device.
Turata Wireless Remote Digital Thermometer
This device is capable of monitoring up to 260 feet away and comes with two probes.
Should you purchase this thermometer?
The accuracy on this thermometer is decent but the word on the street is that it’s not super accurate. The key thing is the 3 probes which is indeed rare.
It’s more accurate than the old meat thermometers that I used to use, so keep that in mind. It’s a bargain price for 3 probes of wireless monitoring.
The home-smoked meat market has technologies evolving as rapidly as any other field. With a nice selection of available meat thermometers, you can smoke your own meats without having to worry about the hidden dangers of under-cooked foods or the embarrassment of meat not cooked to order. Looking for some more options? Find my other top picks here.
- Smoking meat forums – best wireless thermometer?
- BBQ Brethren Forum – What’s the best bbq thermometer
- Epicurious – How to Smoke a Brisket
- Serious Eats – Smoky Pulled BBQ Chicken Recipe