In our wireless digital BBQ meat probe buyers guide, we’re going to give you everything you need to know to help you with your buying decision.
When it comes to grilling or smoking meat, the most important rule is being sure it has reached a temperature where it’s safe to it.
While professional chefs may lay claim to being able to compare the meat to the resistance of their palm, there is no better way to ensure your food is not just delicious but safe to eat than with a thermometer.
In the world of thermometers, the wireless digital BBQ meat probe reigns supreme. Why?
These handy devices pack a ton of convenience into a small package. Most allow you to track your food right from your phone or a small external screen, even if you’ve walked away from your grill.
Wireless thermometers give you the freedom to focus on cooking other dishes or socializing. All without having to hover over your grill and keep cracking the lid to check the temperature of your meat.
If you’re sold and ready to purchase your own wireless thermometer, or you’re shopping around for a new model to replace your current one, our ultimate buyer’s guide will help you every step of the way. From basic info about these thermometers to considerations you’ll want to keep in mind while researching your options, you’ll find everything you need right here.
Once you’ve bought your own wireless digital BBQ meat probe thermometer, you’ll wonder how you ever grilled without it!
What You Can Expect From This Wireless Digital BBQ Meat Probe Buyers Guide
If you’re in the market for a wireless digital BBQ meat probe, you likely have a few questions about the available technology and which model will best fit your cooking preferences. In this guide, we’ll share all the information you need to make an informed decision, from answers to frequently asked questions to the features you’ll want to look for in an excellent probe.
Table of Contents
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What Is a Wireless Digital BBQ Meat Probe?
Wi-Fi Probe Thermometers #faq-a-wi-fi-probe-thermometers | Bluetooth Probe Thermometers #faq-b-bluetooth-probe-thermometers | Remote Digital Probe Thermometers #faq-c-remote-digital-probe-thermometers
A wireless digital BBQ meat probe is a type of thermometer that allows you to monitor the internal temperature of your food from your smartphone or a remote device.
There are three types of wireless probe thermometers. They are Wi-Fi probe thermometers, Bluetooth probe thermometers, and remote digital probe thermometers. This guide covers all three, so we’ve got you covered.
Why Buy a Wireless Digital BBQ Meat Probe?
Wireless digital BBQ meat probes give you the confidence to know when your food is safely cooked. No extended cooking time from losing heat every time you open the lid to check the meat. No worrying about losing precious juices by puncturing your meat multiple times with an instant read thermometer.
What Is the Difference Between Instant Read & Wireless Thermometers?
When you use an instant read thermometer, the temperature is only shown on the thermometer itself. While this means you get results instantly, it also means you must open your grill or smoker and pierce your food with the probe repeatedly to monitor the temperature. They are not meant to be left in the meat while cooking.
Wireless probe thermometers give you a bit more freedom. They stay in the food while it cooks and provides temperatures remotely.
Below is a breakdown of each.
Wireless Probe Grill Thermometers
With a wireless thermometer, the heat-proof probe stays in the food while it cooks, and the temperature is displayed on a remote device or your smartphone, eliminating the need to open the lid or keep stabbing your food. Many also come with an option to monitor the temperature of the oven or grill as well. They are meant to be left in the food for the duration of the cook.
Instant Read Probe Thermometers
You can think of an instant read thermometer as a spot checker to be used occasionally during the cooking process to see the current temperature instantly. They are also great for verifying the final temperature before pulling the meat off the grill. They are not meant to be left in the food while it is cooking.
Types of Wireless Grill Thermometers
When it comes to wireless grill thermometers, you aren’t limited to just one style – these handy tools come in various models to best fit your outdoor cooking needs.
As we mentioned above, there are three types of wireless probe thermometers. There is also an additional non-probe wireless thermometer we will explain more about below. Just keep in mind the non-probe wireless thermometer is not the focus of this guide.
Here is a summary of each one.
Wi-Fi Probe Thermometers
Wi-Fi probe thermometers, as the name implies, work by connecting to a Wi-Fi network and sending temperature data to a smartphone app.
These thermometers will work anywhere they can connect to a Wi-Fi signal, even if you’re off the grid and hosting a hotspot on your phone. Just be wary of any walls, barriers, or other obstacles that could weaken the thermometer’s connection.
They can also work as a stand-alone version by showing the temperatures on their display if you don’t have a wireless connection.
Bluetooth Probe Thermometers
If the Wi-Fi situation in your yard isn’t ideal, a Bluetooth probe thermometer is a great choice. These thermometers connect to your smartphone app with a Bluetooth signal, as headphones or a wireless speaker does.
These thermometers are often the most feature-rich and can send data to your app even if you’re up to 150 feet away. Just be careful not to move too far from your grill or walk behind any barriers that could disrupt the signal.
Remote Digital Probe Thermometers
Want to avoid taxing your home Wi-Fi connection or loading your phone up with too many Bluetooth devices? Go old-school with a remote digital thermometer.
These devices use a separate remote display and a radio signal to show your food’s temperature, so while you do have to keep track of the remote display, you won’t have to worry about your distance from the grill or any walls getting in your way. What remote digital thermometers lack in features, they make up for in ease of use and convenience!
Infrared Digital Thermometers
You can forgo phone and remote connections entirely with an infrared digital thermometer, which displays the temperature almost instantaneously using an onboard screen.
These devices are fun to use (just aim and fire away!), but they shouldn’t be used on food — they measure surface temperatures only so that you won’t get an accurate reading on the internal temp of your meat. But to measure the temperature of your grill grates or a griddle, have at it!
Bluetooth vs. Wi-Fi Meat Thermometers
If you’re torn between a Bluetooth and a Wi-Fi thermometer because of their smartphone connectivity, think about when and where you’ll be using it.
A Wi-Fi thermometer will work fine if you only plan on cooking at home and your Wi-Fi signal reaches your patio or yard. They allow you to monitor temperatures from anywhere you can get a signal on your phone. Need to make a quick run to the grocery store while cooking? They’ve got you covered.
But a Bluetooth thermometer will be a better fit for your grilling toolkit if you plan on cooking away from home and don’t want to worry about signal strength or starting up a hotspot. Think tailgating or camping where you most likely won’t have access to Wi-Fi.
What to Look For in Wireless Digital BBQ Meat Probes
Have Two Probes at the Very Least | Temperature Accuracy | Real-Time Temperature Readings | Heat Resistance | Wireless Signal Range | Automatic Alerts | Ease of Use | Backlit Display Screen | Standalone Displays & Mobile Apps | Programmable Temperatures | Preset Meat Temperatures | Long-Lasting Durability
Once you know what style of wireless digital BBQ meat probe you’re looking for, it’s time to research specific models and get to shopping. Keep these features in mind while you’re looking for your thermometer of choice to ensure you’re getting the most value for your money.
A Wireless BBQ Thermometer Ought to Have Two Probes at the Very Least
A thermometer with multiple probes will come in handy if you’re cooking different types or cuts of meat at the same time. Two is the bare minimum you should look for, but if you’re a fan of larger cookouts, aim for a thermometer with four to six probes.
Accuracy is key here since even being a few degrees off your target temperature could mean under or overcooked meat.
The thermometer you choose should not have a temperature variation of more than +/- 2.0°F. Read the manufacturer’s product specifications to see their accuracy claims.
Next, check out user reviews to ensure temperature accuracy isn’t an issue with the thermometer you’re interested in.
Real-Time Temperature Readings
Being able to read your temperature in real-time will help streamline the cooking process and eliminate the need to continuously open your grill or smoker lid to check on the food.
Look for a read-time variation of no more than 5 seconds or less.
Your thermometer probes are going to spend a lot of time hanging out inside a hot grill — make sure it can withstand those temperatures and still work great. Look for a temperature limit of 600°F or even higher for peace of mind.
Wireless Signal Range
The whole point of a wireless digital meat probe is that you don’t have to stay tethered to your grill to monitor your food’s temperature. So choose a model that has a strong signal range or a remote display that will work even if your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection doesn’t.
It can be easy to get sidetracked when you have a meat thermometer that allows you to move away from the grill and work on other dishes or socialize. You can avoid overcooking your meat into oblivion with a thermometer that will automatically alert you once your food reaches certain temperatures.
Ease of Use
The most cutting-edge wireless probe thermometer out there won’t be much help to you if it isn’t easy to use. Look for a thermometer with a straightforward display and controls for true “set it and forget it” convenience. Look for a wireless probe thermometer with an intuitive design that won’t leave you fumbling with buttons when you need a readout now!
Backlit Display Screen
If you ever cook at night or just want a wireless BBQ thermometer that’s easier to read, look for one with a backlight for its display screen. Having a lit screen will eliminate the odds of you having to squint or use your phone or a flashlight to read the display — it’s a convenient feature that’s worth a few extra dollars.
Standalone Displays & Mobile Apps
When shopping for wireless thermometers, you’ll have your pick of either a standalone display that shows the data or an accompanying mobile app. Many times, these thermometers will offer both options.
While standalone displays are convenient (and won’t drain your phone battery), you’re still tethered to an extra device. Opt for a mobile app and stand-alone display when possible for ultimate convenience.
A thermometer with programmable temperatures allows you to set your target temperature and know exactly when your food hits it, whether you’re cooking on high heat or a short period of time or low and slow.
Preset Meat Temperatures
Preset temperature features take the guesswork out of what temperature your meat should reach before it’s safe to eat — just dial in the meat you’re cooking and let it go. These preset features are most often based on the USDA-recommended temperatures for safe meat consumption and are built into the thermometer.
Your thermometer will undergo a lot of stress and high temperatures — be sure to choose one that’s highly rated for durability, so it will stand up to the test of time (and ripping hot grills).
Additional Things to Consider Before Buying a Wireless Digital BBQ Meat Probe
There are a few more considerations and features we recommend you keep in mind before buying your wireless digital BBQ meat probe of choice.
The length of your thermometer’s probes should depend on what you like to cook. If you’re a fan of smoking large poultry like turkeys, look for longer probes. A thermometer with a shorter probe will work great for smaller or delicate cuts of meat you don’t want to puncture too deeply.
Also, consider the length of the probe wires as the can come in different sizes.
Count-up & Countdown Timers
Count-up and countdown timers are incredibly useful for plugging in how long you want your meat to cook, and knowing exactly how much time is left.
Your thermometer will likely come in contact with liquid at some point — whether it’s sauce from the food, rain, or an unexpected splash from the pool, things getting wet is just a fact of life when cooking outdoors. Invest in a water-resistant thermometer to make sure a bit of liquid won’t ruin your device and your cookout.
Today’s wireless BBQ meat probes are chock-full of smart features like multiple timers, alarm settings, and smartphone connectivity that you can use to streamline your cooking experience. Some even come with cooking guides and estimated cooking times that update throughout the cook.
Protect your thermometer’s battery life and overall lifespan by getting one that will automatically turn off or go into sleep mode when not in use. I can’t tell you how many times I forgot to turn my thermometer off after removing the food from the heat.
Replacement Wireless Thermometer Parts
Bear in mind that the more sensitive parts of your thermometer can be broken. Research where to get replacement parts if a probe cable or the probe itself gets damaged or stops functioning.
BBQ Temperature Controllers
If you enjoy smoking foods, consider investing in a BBQ temperature controller as well. These devices aren’t truly thermometers — they help control the time, temperature, and smoke conditions inside of your smoker or grill, so you can set it and forget it. You can find some great choices here: Best Barbecue Temperature Controllers
No matter your budget, there is a wireless BBQ meat probe out there that will be a great fit for you. Take the time to research the different options and prices available — lower cost doesn’t always mean low quality! Prices range from less than $50 to over $200.
They Make Great BBQ Gifts
Wireless thermometers make excellent gifts for any outdoor cook. If your friends and family aren’t using one yet, stick one in their stocking this year — soon they’ll wonder how they ever grilled without one!
Final Steps Before Making a Wireless Digital BBQ Meat Thermometer Purchase
You’re just about ready to purchase your new wireless thermometer. There are just a few more steps we recommend to make sure you’re making the best purchasing decision possible.
Check Current Owner’s Feedback & Opinions
Nobody knows the pros and cons of a given wireless thermometer like the people who currently own them. Read up on online reviews to see what current users like and dislike about the models you have in mind.
Good Customer Support Matters
If a part breaks or you have any questions about your wireless BBQ thermometer, you’ll want the peace of mind to know the customer support team at the manufacturer is helpful and easy to reach. Be sure to check past buyers’ online reviews to see how they rate their experiences with the brand’s customer service. Make sure contact information is readily displayed on the manufacturer’s website.
Get To Know the Warranty Options Before You Buy
As with any tech investment, you’ll likely have a few warranty options for your wireless digital BBQ meat probe. Read through them carefully and understand what’s covered before committing to one.
What’s My Favorite Brand of Wireless Digital BBQ Meat Probes?
Like just about everything, there is a great variety of digital BBQ meat probes available online! We’re fans of ThermoWorks offering instant read and leave-in probe thermometers. They are truly the cream of the crop when it comes to thermometers and they’re incredibly knowledgeable about all things outdoor cooking. They have a great selection of folding and stationary-style thermometers, wireless and Bluetooth probe thermometers, and temperature controller thermometers.
Their customer service and support are second to none and they offer a best-in-class warranty. They really stand by their products.
Final Thoughts on Our Wireless Digital BBQ Meat Probe Buyers Guide
We hope our ultimate wireless digital BBQ meat probe buyers guide has been helpful in teaching you all about these handy thermometers, why you’ll want to invest in one, and what to look out for while you’re shopping.
If you haven’t used one of these thermometers before, we know they’ll soon become one of your most-used grilling tools. There’s nothing like the convenience and confidence you get from these devices, and the peace of mind from knowing your meat isn’t just cooked to the point where it’s most delicious — it’s cooked to a temperature where it’s safe to eat.
The most important advice we have whether you’re shopping for your first wireless digital thermometer or are upgrading from your current model is to think about where and how you’ll be using it.
Staying close to home? A Wi-Fi thermometer will work great. Want to take your grilling show on the road? Opt for Bluetooth instead. Frequently grill large, whole poultry? Find a thermometer with long probes that will get the job done.
As with any investment, we recommend checking out reviews from current owners as well to see what they like (or didn’t like) about a given thermometer and its manufacturer.
With a bit of research and help from this buyer’s guide, you’ll bring home the ultimate wireless digital thermometer that will help you level up your grilling game and give you peace of mind to get to grilling.
Now It’s Your Turn
I want to hear from you:
Have you ever purchased a wireless digital BBQ meat probe before?
Do you have any tips on buying wireless meat probe thermometers or have any feedback on a particular brand to share?
What features do you typically like to see in a food thermometer?
Let me know by leaving a quick comment below.
If you still have questions, please feel free to send me a message.
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A backyard warrior, certified carnivore, lover of good whiskey, grill master and I’m Living The Grilling Life!
I have a passion for cooking with live fire and smoke, no matter the weather. I’m a real person just like you, who loves outdoor cooking and BBQ. Food, fun, and time spent with family and friends are what it’s all about! It is my mission to take my passion and knowledge for outdoor cooking and all things BBQ and share this expertise in techniques and grilling equipment with you. In other words, Living The Grilling Life!
I have personally tested over 150+ Grills and Smokers and hundreds of grilling thermometers, temperature controllers, grill brushes, grilling tools, fire starters, and other BBQ products.