The art of smoking foods has been around since the 16th century, where it was initially used as a means to preserve food at a time when modern technology was lacking. Today, smoking is used to produce food that is soft, flavorful, and succulent. The technique has remained the same; cook it slow and keep the temperature very low.
To achieve a delicious, perfectly textured result, you need to maintain a medium temperature between 200°F (94°C) to 230°F (110°C). And this is were having the best smoker thermometer will come in handy!
Thermometers are perfect for monitoring internal and medium temperatures while food is in a smoker. Different cuts of meat in the same medium temperature can cook at different times so it’s important to have a reliable bbq smoker thermometer. There are many different types of available on the market, each with their own benefits.
Maverick ET -733
2.5 in. x 1 in. x 4.8 in
32°F (0°C) to 750°F (370°C)
6.4 in. x 2.4 in. x 5.9 in.
32°F (0°C) to 752°F (370°C)
2.2 in. x 2.2 in. x 3.2 in.
1 (with capacity for 4)
Up to 716°F (370°C)
3 in. x 2 in. x 2 in
100°F (37°C) to 550°F (287°C)
Ivation Long Range
2.5 in. x 1 in. x 4.8 in
Up to 716°F (370°C)
There is a thin line between the time and the temperature when it comes to getting a meal just right and over-or under-cooking it. Too high of a heat will result in a dry, tough meal. Too low of a heat may leave you with a bacteria problem. A meat thermometer is an ideal way to establish the status of cooking food.
Which are the best smoker thermometers on the market? Our review list will traverse the top 5 and reveal which are the most accurate, convenient, and effective of today’s available options.
Reviews of the Best Smoker Thermometers for 2019
If you’re looking for a thermometer brand notorious for accurate readings and great reviews, this wireless dual probe fits the bill. Whether you’re a veteran or a first-timer, this bbq thermometer is a popular top-rated selection.
It is a dual probe which allows you to monitor the medium temperature of the pit at the same time that you are monitoring the internal meat temperature. This ensures ideal temperatures are maintained inside the pit and meat for the duration of the smoke. The probe wires are 3 feet long and able to withstand up to 715°F (370°C) heat.
This makes it easy to position and adjust without having to open the bbq smoker. The result is that a constant temperature is easily maintained. The wireless connection allows you to receive readings from up to 300 feet away. This promotes safety as there is no need to constantly check the smoker.
The menus are easy to read with its manual and preset function capability. Just press the LCD backlight on for five seconds and you can switch between barbecue and food while in setup.
You can pre-set the ideal temperature or just a temperature range. Switch between probe 1 and 2 during setup and you can set and adjust both individually.
The LCD is set up into three fields, with the upper field displaying probe 1 and 2, the mode, or the meat and taste. The set temperatures and the actual temperature of the probe are displayed on the middle field. The bottom field displays the set temperature and the actual temperature of probe 2.
The probe caters up to 15 different types of meats including beef, veal, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, deer, elk, moose, buffalo, rabbit, boar, duck, bird, and fish.
It can also accommodate a rare, medium or well-done taste. You can set alarms to tell you when you’ve reached or exceeded your set limits. There is a built-in battery saver mode that shuts off the backlight when it is not in use. This is useful as the device is battery operated.
The transmitter needs to register the receiver every time it turns on in order for the probe temperatures to show up on the LCD screen.
An alert will be sent if you’re out of transmission range or if your signal is dropped. If the signal is not re-established within 4 minutes, the registration process will have to be done again for accurate readings to register.
All in all, it’s perfect for ensuring your smoked meat cooks evenly and maintains that temperature sweet spot in the pot and in the meat.
If you’re a professional, then this is for you. The display features are easy to use. The LCD displays all icons, temperature, and time.
Temperatures of probe 1 and probe 2 will be displayed on the screen and be automatically switched intermittently. The wire stand allows you to stand the transmitter on a tabletop and the belt clip allows it to be portable.
The transmitter displays in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. The mode feature will enable you to navigate through probe 1, probe 2, and timer mode. The receiver shuts off automatically if it does not receive a temperature signal from the transmitter for more than 30 minutes.
In thermometer mode, you can select the type of meat. Choose from beef, pork, veal, chicken, lamb, fish, ham, and barbecue. Taste options include rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, and well done.
Once the temperature of the meat reaches the preset done level, the receiver will start to beep, and the backlight will come on. It has a 1-year warranty with a whopping 3-year extended warranty. They take their products and services very seriously, so if something goes wrong with the device, the part will be replaced with no difficulty.
It has a dual probe design allowing you to monitor the internal meat temperatures as well as the temperature in the pit.
This digital meat thermometer is designed with the probe tip slightly smaller or a step down from the rest of the probe, which allows easy incision into cuts and aids in quick and accurate readings. The probes can withstand up to 716°F (370°C) heat and are food grade, which means they respond quickly to temperatures.
This allows the holder to check multiple locations in a short space of time, to confirm food is thoroughly cooked.
There are preset and manual settings, a large LCD display, and a backlight for easy night vision. This selection comes with a countdown timer and alarm systems that alert you when you have reached or exceeded your set limits.
You can receive readings from up to 300 feet away and also cater to 9 types of meat and doneness. This does not need to be paired as it is always done by the manufacturer. Once the batteries are inserted, temperatures will show on both the receiver and the transmitter.
This indicates the device is ready for use. Even when the batteries are replaced, there will not be any need for registering and synchronizing the transmitter and receiver.
If you are out of transmission range or the signal is lost, you will hear an alarm. If you stay out of range for more than 4 minutes, the transmitter and receiver on the Thermopro will disconnect. However, when you are back in range, it will reconnect. Heeding these alarms will ensure accurate readings on your cooking time.
If the receiver does not get any temperature readings for more than 30 minutes, it will automatically turn off. In the mode settings, you can navigate through the count up and countdown menus.
In the 21st century, where it’s all about technology and being tech-savvy, this rises above the rest. It comes with 2 probes but can accommodate 4. This means that multiple cuts of meat can be monitored at a time.
They can withstand up to 716°F (370°C) heat and come with a digital LED display to quickly check your meal. This selection allows you to pair your smart device via Bluetooth. You must be running iOS 7.0+ or Android 4.3 or later to use the app. After downloading the app, you will get access to links for instructional videos and troubleshooting.
The igrill2 will stay on for 5 minutes before powering off once there are no probes or smart devices connected to it. If only the probes are on, it will stay on for 8 hours. If paired with a device and connected to a probe, it will stay on indefinitely.
With the app, you can preset temperatures and easily name and monitor all the probes. The monitor will also clearly identify the probes. The far left will light up to indicate probe 1. The middle left indicates probe 2.
The middle right indicates probe 3 and the far right indicates probe 4. It also has a timer and alarm settings. It will sound an alarm to let you know you’ve reached peak temperature. It will also alert you if you go out of transmission range and let you know when your meal is done. On the app, you can set up pre-alarm notifications that will let you know when your food is getting close to your set final temperature.
It has a magnetic base that allows you to affix the monitor to metal and non-metal surfaces. It is battery inclusive with a life of up to 200 hours. This the best smoker meat thermometer option for anyone who wants the flexibility of monitoring their smoke from their smart device.
Dial smoker meat thermometers are still some of the most accurate and this selection is no different. It is extremely accurate and reads levels up to 550°F (287°C).
The stainless steel housing is durable and rust resistant, which makes it safe to use. It can be easily mounted to your smoker and the temperature zones are color-coded, making it easy to read. With no probes, cables, or other gadgets to set up, this selection screams direct and functional.
This must be calibrated before use, through the boiling water method or an ice bath. This is to simply ensure that when you use the thermometer, it is reading temperatures accurately.
To calibrate with cold water, fill a glass completely with ice and then top it off with water. You want to stir that mixture on average 20-30 seconds then, dip the thermometer in. It should read 32°F. To calibrate using boiling water, put a pot on to boil on your stove top. When it starts rumbling, stick your thermometer in; it should read 212°F.
When trying to get a read with this type of bbq thermometer, you need to place it in the thickest part of the meat but don’t get too excited.
If you go too close to the bone, you will not get an accurate read on the cut’s internal temperature. You need at the very least half of an inch insert. This can be tricky for some types of meats like fish or burger patties.
You’ll need to adjust your angle and might need to go front to back instead of top to bottom. Even if it says instant read, it’s ideal to wait a few seconds to ensure you have the correct temperature. Unlike probes that are left in pits, a dial thermometer should not, under any circumstances, be left in any type of food while it cooks.
This last thermometer is certainly not the least. It has a spare probe included, a wireless connection reaching up to 325 feet and 3-foot cables that are heat resistant all the way up to 716°F (370°C). The LCD shows all icons, temperatures, and times.
It has a removable clip that you can use to hang the receiver and then be adjusted to create a stand as well. You can switch between food and barbecue displays.
Each time the meat thermometer transmitter is turned on, it needs to register the receiver. Only after the registration process is complete will the LCD display the probe temperatures.
If you move out of transmission range or the signal is lost for more than four minutes, you must reconnect the receiver to get accurate readings. There are preset settings for up to 15 types of meat. There is a count up and a countdown timer that can be activated in the thermometer mode.
All settings including unique, manually entered ones are stored for future use. The unit can also switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius.
What should be considered when buying a smoker thermometer?
The main goal when purchasing a smoking meat thermometer is to ensure you can accurately and effectively monitor the temperature inside the pit and inside the meat during the entire cook. As dropping below or going above ideal temperature can spoil the meal. There are different types of thermometers and they all shine under different circumstances. Your selection should be based on your personal preference and the circumstances under which you will be cooking.
There are five (5) main types of bbq thermometers. Instant read digital, instant read analog or dial, wireless probe, infrared, and Bluetooth.
Digital Instant Read Thermometer
These allow you to spot check your meal status at a glance. This feature is extremely useful when your food is almost done. Great choice for the occasional cook or someone doing a smoked meal for the first time.
Analog or Dial Instant Read Thermometer
These are very accurate. They just need to be calibrated before use, but after that, you can be certain of getting a fast and accurate read every single time. Works best for professionals and people who know their way around a smoker and have a good handle on cooking times and temperatures.
These allow you to get your info no matter where you are. This is useful when creating unique presets. The device stores the info even after shutting down, so it’s available whenever you need it. Great for newbies and those who like socializing while they cook.
These will give you a read on the temperature of your pit and meat without ever having to touch or open your smoker; great for limiting exposure and minimizing injury. Excellent choice for someone new to smoking meat and other meals. Also, a good choice if you have little ones running around as you can keep an eye on them and your meal from a safe distance.
These will allow you to connect your smart device and use it as a monitor. This is useful when you want to be mobile and socialize during a smoke.
Frequently asked questions
Q: What is the highest temperature a thermometer probe can withstand?
A: Most probes can withstand up to 716 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is best to check the user manual or manufacturer’s website to confirm these details for your specific device.
Q: What distance does a wireless meat thermometer cover?
A: A wireless device can generally connect up to 300 feet away, however, it is best to check the user manual or manufacturer’s website to confirm the details for your specific device.
Q: How often should a dial or analog Thermometer be calibrated?
A: Before every use. Calibrating does not always mean fixing, it’s just a spot check to ensure the device is accurate. Adjustments are made, only when and if necessary. In order to smoke a meal properly, you must be able to accurately read the internal temperature of the meat and pit. A read that is off, even by a few, degrees, can ruin the meal.
Although thermometers are generally safe, durable, and built to withstand immense heat, there are still some rules you generally need to follow to get the best of any thermometer such as never immersing a probe completely in water. This applies to cooking and cleaning. Avoid exposing the probe wires to direct flame while cooking. Never touch the probes or the wires with your bare hands during or immediately after cooking; use heat-resistant gloves. Do not, under any circumstances, microwave the probes. To clean the probes, wash the tips only with hot, soapy water. The receiver can be cleaned by using a damp cloth.
Thermometers are used to monitor temperatures while food is in the smoker. Making guesswork of your smoke can result in a disastrous meal. They will help you set the perfect time for a cut based on type and taste. They will monitor your time and temperature throughout the cook. They will alert you to ranges outside of your set targets and will inform you when your meal is complete.
We have gone through in this review five of the best smoker thermometers on the market that cater to the person whose focus is precision. Others cater to those whose focus is the ability to socialize while making the perfect cook. We have also covered devices that cater to the tech savvy who wish to incorporate their smart devices into their everyday cooking. If you’re looking for a selection that is accurate, reliable, and effective, you are certain to find it on this list.