By now, everyone should know that the best digital meat thermometers are the only way to guarantee that your meat is safely cooked. You can forget the timers, and you should definitely forget the widely touted but oh so unreliable poke test! Temperature is unwavering and needs to be accurate when it comes to food safety. Is it really worth taking the chance of getting your loved ones sick?
Digital meat thermometers are an innovation that should not be overlooked. They give you the opportunity to monitor your meat to the degree and pull your food when it is at the perfect temperature for you while still meeting food safety guidelines. You can also follow the temperature of your grill, smoker, or other cooking appliance. They are a terrific addition to any griller’s stand.
But Choosing which digital meat thermometer to use can be tough. What should you look for in a good thermometer? How much should you spend for the best products? We’ll try to answer those questions, and a few others, in the information below.
What To Look For In A Digital Thermometer
When looking for the best digital meat thermometers, the proof is in the performance. The reasons to have a digital thermometer for grilling, smoking, roasting and more include improving your final food product and making the cooking process a bit easier. The less you need to worry about your meat being under or over cooked the better. Whether that means being constantly updated, having specific temperature alarms set, or utilizing extra probes, having additional safety nets is what having a thermometer is all about.
There are some completely necessary aspects of a good digital thermometer. There are also some aspects that might not be totally essential but are fantastic additions to the fundamental requirements. Here is a quick breakdown of what to look for in the best digital meat thermometers.
Cooking a great steak to perfection means knowing how hot it is through the whole culinary process. That means knowing the temperature from before you start cooking until you pull it off the grill (or out of the pan). Due to that requirement, having a digital meat thermometer probe that can give you accurate readings across a larger range of temperatures just makes sense. While you may not expect to use your thermometer to test the heat of volcanic lava (that would be cool though right?), the ability to test from below zero to well above 300 degrees Fahrenheit is a nice perk.
You won’t need to test below zero while grilling, but investing in a digital thermometer usually means you are looking to use it for more than grilling alone. Finding the thermometers with the best range of temperatures is a great aspect when shopping around.
As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. Looking at customer’s digital meat thermometer reviews though, you can see that this is not always the case. There is a fine line between paying more for better features and shoveling the dollars out in blind expectation to get the best product. When looking at the price of a meat thermometer, balance it out with the features of the product. Is the quality worth what the seller is asking for? The cheapest thermometer doesn’t always mean the best deal, but neither does the most expensive.
Wireless Range/ Bluetooth Range
One the best options remote digital meat thermometers offer today is the ability to monitor your food for you without you having to hover over the grill. Don’t want to miss your favorite sports team playing on TV? Use a remote digital meat thermometer. Want to play a quick game of catch with your son or daughter? A remote digital meat thermometer has got you covered. Need to finish prep work or work on side dishes? Again, your best bet is a remote digital meat thermometer.
Some of the thermometers we are reviewing today use Bluetooth technology; others have a receiver that is set up specifically for that thermometer. Most have apps that you can install and use to monitor your food right on your smart device. Either way, we should expect that all the best digital meat thermometers will have some type of wireless capability. The ability to step away from your grilling, smoking, or other cooking, means you can work on another dish while you wait. Of course, always be sure to keep an eye on your cooking. Nobody likes a house fire.
Ease Of Use And Programming
Nobody wants a thermometer they don’t know how to use. If a thermometer is too difficult to set up or doesn’t work easily, the draw for that brand burns up faster than your unchecked roast. We want a digital thermometer that is self-explanatory or at least has a quick and efficient manual to walk us through the set-up process.
Also, the ability to program the thermometer gives such a huge bonus that we have come to expect it. Any of the best meat thermometer probes should warn you if your food or grills heat exceeds or drops below your desired temperature. This is one of the biggest incentives to buying a digital meat thermometer, so it should be included.
Extra perks and features are always welcome. Things like battery life, stability, warranties, and more all play a part in deciding which thermometer to buy. Even if they aren’t the most important aspects of a digital meat thermometer for grilling, the extras can make or break a purchase, especially with such stiff competition just a click away.
The Best Digital Meat Thermometers
We broke down eight of the best digital meat thermometers using the characteristics mentioned above. These thermometers come in a range of prices and come with a variety of features. Let’s check them out!
>>Best BBQ Smoker Thermometer<<
The Maverick ET-733 is an excellent improvement from Maverick’s last generation of the thermometer, the ET-732 (Also reviewed later). The ET-733 is set up to withstand the smoke and moisture from a smoker and has features to follow both the meat and the smoker’s temperature. This allows you to observe the temperature you are cooking at, and keep that peak temperature throughout the smoking process.
Ranging from 32-572 F, the Maverick ET-733 is a good meat specific thermometer. It won’t go below freezing, so maybe look further for a good all-purpose thermometer.
The Maverick ET-733 comes with a wireless remote, which works from 300 feet away. The remote’s screen is backlit with LCD and beeps to alarm you if your meat goes above the preprogrammed temperature.
A nice extra feature that the Maverick ET-733 comes with is its preprogrammed temperatures for 15 types of meat. This means you can follow a temperature guide even if you don’t know precisely where you should cook the meat to. For a novice griller, this is an excellent benefit. If you are a bit more experienced, all the pre-programmed temperatures can easily be changed to fit your personal taste.
>>Editor’s Choice, Best Grilling Meat Thermometer<<
If you are looking for the best quality thermometer money can buy, look no further. The FireBoard is a top-quality thermometer; it just comes at a higher price. Bluetooth enabled and easily combined with Android or iPhone, it allows you to monitor your cooking temperatures through six (SIX!) probes at once.
The FireBoard is a fantastic all-purpose thermometer, and ranges from -94 to 752 F. It is also built to withstand temperatures from -13 to 140 F, so you don’t have to worry about leaving this sturdy piece out in the snow. Winter grilling for the win!
Employing Cloud technology means you can check your temperatures from anywhere with internet connectivity. If you don’t have WIFI available near your thermometer, you can use Bluetooth connection instead. The cloud technology is a great innovation for the grilling field though.
Ease of Use:
The initial setup for the FireBoard is a bit complicated if you want to take advantage of all its perks. You will need to connect it to your nearby WIFI, and set up an account to check it online through the cloud technology.
You can attach it directly to your phone through Bluetooth if that doesn’t interest you, but trust us when we say, it is worth the extra time. When connected through the cloud, the FireBoard FBX11 tracks your temperatures and saves them. It can notify you through SMS (Text message), Email, or push notification through your devices with the app.
Having a rechargeable battery that lasts 24 hours is a great perk. No other thermometer on this list comes with a rechargeable battery, and this will save you on battery costs later.
For the tech lovers out there, the FireBoard FBX11 also connects to Amazon’s Alexa.
>>Best Bluetooth Grilling Thermometer With Quad Probe<<
The iDevices iGrill2 comes with quad probe abilities and Bluetooth technology, allowing you to connect to your Android or iOS powered device. Having four probes is a nice ability, but you will need to buy two extra probes if you want to use the thermometer’s full capabilities since it only comes with two out of the box.
The iGrill2 ranges from -22 to 572 F. This makes it a nice all-purpose thermometer.
The Bluetooth only ranges to 150 feet, but the 200-hour battery life while employing Bluetooth makes up for the lower range, in our opinion.
Ease of Use:
The iGrill’s Bluetooth connection and app make it super simple to use. If you can connect a speaker to your phone, you can use this thermometer no problem.
The magnetic backing gives the iGrill2 an awesome little perk. It truly is the little things, with this feature in mind. The ability to attach it to your oven, a cool spot on your grill, or your grill stand, is a nice little detail.
One downside to the iGrill2 is the necessity to buy extra probes if you want to take full advantage of its features. The iGrill2 only comes with two probes. The need to buy extra products is just a bit unfortunate.
>>Best Digital Meat Thermometer On A Budget<<
The Ivation thermometer is a budget thermometer for the ages. It comes with a wireless receiver and two probes. For about half the cost of the other digital receiver dual probe thermometers, it is one of the best meat thermometer probes for the dollar.
Up to 572 F. Since it doesn’t go below 32, the Ivation thermometer is a good meat thermometer, but not so handy for all around use.
Ranging up to 300 feet, the Ivation thermometer hangs with the best in terms of wireless distance.
Ease of Use:
The use is so simple, you barely even need the manual. A thermometer version of plug and play, this is a notable feature of the Ivation, and a good thermometer for anyone who isn’t too tech-savvy.
The Ivation thermometer alerts you if your receiver is out of range, or if your temperature goes outside of your programmed settings.
>>Best Digital Smoker Thermometer On A Budget<<
The Maverick ET-732 is an older generation of the Maverick ET-733, but it can’t be left out of our list. At about 20% cheaper than the ET-733, the 732 is a great budget probe if you want most of the features of its older brother at a discounted rate. The ET-732 uses a wireless receiver and comes with two probes. One of the probes is specifically for the grill grate. Unfortunately, that means you can’t use it for meat very well.
Up to 572 F. A good smoker specific thermometer doesn’t need to go below 32 F anyway, right?
At about the industry standard for wireless receivers, the Maverick ET-732 ranges to 300 feet.
Ease of Use:
Plug it in and attach the probes and you’re ready to rock!
>>Best Wireless Meat Thermometer Warrantied<<
ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer with Dual Probe for Smoker Grill Oven BBQ
The ThermoPro comes with two probes and a wireless receiver. The warranty for their probes isn’t because they are spotty, but because this company understands the needs of a griller. The orange body of the unit is rad too.
From 32 to 572 F. A digital meat thermometer for grilling to the bone, or not, if you like boneless steaks more.
Up to 300 feet, to keep you cooking up a storm across dishes and distances.
Ease of Use:
Super easy to use and user-friendly. The nine preset meat temperature ranges allow even the newest of grillers to get started right away.
The warranty that you get with the ThermoPro is a greatly appreciated feature. They give a lifetime warranty for their probes. If you ever start getting misread temperatures you can send the old probes in and they will be replaced, free of charge.
>>Best Small Sized Remote Grilling Thermometer<<
The iGrill mini is a great little thermometer for those who don’t have as much space to give up on their grill stand. With a magnetic back, about two square inches in size, and weighing less than 3 Oz, the iGrill mini is a tiny, yet accurate digital meat thermometer probe.
Ranging from -22 to 572 F, the iGrill mini has a surprisingly broad range for its tiny size.
150 feet. The range is shorter than most of the other thermometers on this list.
Ease of Use:
Bluetooth and go, it is not an issue at all to use.
The real standout is the tiny size of this thermometer. It only has a single probe, which is a bit of a drawback, but that isn’t too bad for the perk of its size.
>>Best Bluetooth Thermometer On A Budget<<
The Cappec Bluetooth Wireless BBQ Thermometer is a low-priced Bluetooth tethered digital thermometer and it packs a punch for its price. The price does come with a couple setbacks, but it is a good thermometer overall.
-4 to 482 F. The Cappec’s range going below 32 is impressive for a budget thermometer.
It is limited to 100 feet for range, which is one of the biggest setbacks for this digital thermometer.
Ease of Use:
Plug it in and it will run for you. Good deal!
Reading customer digital meat thermometer reviews tells you that this is not much of a fan favorite. Issues with bad connectivity and not much response from the company mean it is a bit of a risk even at the low price at which it is offered.
Digital Meat Thermometers FAQ
Where To Put A Meat Thermometer
Let me start off by saying, you don’t actually want to hit the dead center of the meat. The trick is to find the coolest part of the meat. Start by finding the thickest part of the meat. Then push the thermometer three-fourths of the way through. Now slowly pull back on the thermometer while paying attention to the readings. You will eventually hit the low-temperature point. This is where you want the probe to be.
How To Test A Meat Probe For Accuracy
Ice Water Test
Fill a large drinking glass with water and enough crushed ice to be somewhat slushy. Stir well. Insert the thermometer probe stem two inches into the glass without touching the bottom or sides. After 30 seconds, the thermometer should read 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Boiling Water Test
Using a deep pot, bring your water to a full boil. Insert the thermometer probe stem two inches into the boiling water without touching the bottom or sides. After 30 seconds, the thermometer should read 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Calibrating Digital Thermometers
For those models that can be calibrated, use either the ice water or boiling water method. Submerge the probe in the water (only the metal probe, not the whole thermometer or the probe wire). Hold down the calibrate (reset) button if there is one or hold the On-Off button for 6 to 10 seconds or until the display reads the correct hot or cold temp.
How To Clean A Digital Meat Thermometer Probe
A little soap and warm water will normally do but you must be careful not to get the actual wires wet. Another method is using pre-made probe wipes. Probe wipes are specifically designed for food thermometers and are pre-soaked with cleaning solution to prevent harmful bacteria from growing. Last but not least, you can hold the stem of the thermometer in boiling water for at least thirty seconds. At 171 degrees, harmful bacteria will die.
The sheer number available makes it tough to choose the best digital meat thermometers. The basic features seem to be found in every product. It comes down to a few points when really deciding.
How much money do you want to spend? The products on this list range from $30 to $200. If you are a serious griller, the $200 option might not phase you in the slightest. For those who have their bank account in mind while shopping for a thermometer, the budget thermometers we reviewed here are good options. They may not have every extra feature, but they will get the job done in an accurate and efficient manner.
What are you going to use your thermometer for? Having the ability to sense below 32 F comes at a cost. If you would like that ability, it is worth spending a bit extra now, then to reinvest later. But if you are sure you will only be using it for meat, there isn’t much point in paying extra for something you won’t use.
What level of technological know-how do you have? Though everything on this list is achievable by the Average Joe/Jane, the thermometers with their own wireless receivers will take little to no setup for use. That can be a big bonus if you don’t want to mess around with Bluetooth, Apps, or wireless internet.
Final Verdict On The Best Digital Meat Thermometers
Digital meat thermometers are a great innovation in the grilling world, and they are sure to make your meats come out better. The perfectionists out there, or even the casual griller, should think about investing in a thermometer. They give new capabilities in the grilling, smoking, and roasting realms. Hopefully, this list will help you choose which product is right for you!
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