Barbequing meat on a smoker or grill is no cakewalk. Why so? Well, no matter what kind of meat it is, whether a brisket, pork or lamb chops, it needs to be grilled and smoked at the perfect temperature such that it is cooked evenly from all sides while retaining its inherent juiciness and moisture.
So, what is the best way to ensure a perfect temperature?
Choose a smoker with an in-built thermometer, we will say! A good quality smoker thermometer ensures that you always have the exact temperature of the smoker at your fingertips at all times so that you can be pretty confident of the meat turning out exactly as you want it to be.
If you ever thought that you can barbeque without a smoker thermometer, you couldn’t be more wrong as that would amount to just shooting arrows in the dark. After all, how would you get to know whether your meat is cooking at the right temperature or whether there is too little or too much heat inside the smoker? This pretty much explains as to why you need the best smoker thermometer. But which one is the best pick?
The 7 Best Smoker Thermometers Reviewed for 2020
Click to jump straight to each topic:
- The 7 Best Smoker Thermometers Reviewed for 2020
- 1. Editor’s Choice – ThermoPro TP20
- 2. Best Bluetooth Smoker Thermometer – Weber iGrill 2
- 3. Maverick ET-733 Thermometer
- 4. Budget-Friendly Option – ThermoPro TP08
- 5. ChefAlarm by ThermoWorks
- 6. ThermoWorks Super-Fast Thermapen
- 7. Thermoworks Smoke
- Who is this guide for?
- How to correctly use the smoker thermometer?
- How to increase the chances of getting accurate temperature reading
- Are the dome thermometers any good?
- How to Take Care of the Thermometer
- What Are Other Decent Picks?
To make things easier for you, we have put together a list of 5 best smoker thermometers each of which has its own unique features.
1. Editor’s Choice – ThermoPro TP20
ThermoPro has several units on this list for good reason, they make quality meat thermometers. This is their best unit in our opinion.
Like the Smoke, The ThermoPro TP20 is also has 2 probes. They are rated for temperatures up to 716 degrees Fahrenheit!
It also comes with a very long 5 year warranty on the sensor.
This is a professional level unit that is simple to use. It has 9 presets for different types of meat (ground beef, ground poultry, veal, chicken, portk, beef, poultry, lamb, and fish) and also different levels of doneness (rare, medium rare, medium, and well done).
Another feature we really enjoyed is the large, backlit display which allows it to be used at night.
- Dual Probe design – Like the Smoke, the dual probe design allows you to monitor your smoker and meat simultaneously.
- Large backlit display – Being able to see the unit easily in less than ideal lighting is a great feature.
- There is a loud beep every time a button is pressed.
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2. Best Bluetooth Smoker Thermometer – Weber iGrill 2
- Read our full review: Weber iGrill 2 Review
Those who prefer to keep all their gadgets and devices updated with the latest technology would love using the Weber iGrill 2 thermometer. Unlike other wireless thermometers, this smoker thermometer makes use of the Bluetooth technology to connect the thermometer with your phone or tablet so that you can monitor the smoker temperatures in the palm of your hand.
- The thermometer comes with 2 probes that are sufficient for monitoring temperatures while smoking different kinds of meat.
- You also have the option of buying 2 additional probes so that the thermometer can have up to 4 working probes at a time.
- You can give each probe a nickname making it easier and a lot more fun for you to monitor the temperature settings and readings.
- The Bluetooth connectivity requires you to ensure that there are no walls or big obstructions between the thermometer and the device it is connected to.
- The thermometer’s Bluetooth connection can be started by simply downloading Weber’s app on your phone and activating it to connect to the thermometer.
What we like about it
The iGrill 2 does a pretty efficient job of monitoring smoker temperatures and gives pretty accurate reading. It is a great product for those who are tired of the traditional radio style thermometers such as those that are manufactured by Maverick. The iGrill 2’s features which are compatible with the latest tech have made it a pretty popular product in this category.
What is not so good about it
Though radio style thermometer may seem to be an outdated piece of technology compared with the iGrill’s Bluetooth connectivity, they did have the advantage of providing a better range for the thermometer.
With the iGrill, you may have to make some compromises on the connection range and will also have to ensure that there are no obstructions otherwise you will not get a smooth uninterrupted connection.
3. Maverick ET-733 Thermometer
Considered to be one of the best all round thermometers that you can get, the Maverick ET-733 is a smoker thermometer that you will find on the list of recommendations of both professional chefs and backyard barbeque enthusiasts.
- The thermometer comes with two probes and a 300 feet range.
- It has a large backlit screen where you can view the temperature of the smoker at each step of the recipe.
- The temperature readings are more than accurate with very little margin for error.
- The temperature settings are easy to understand and control so that you don’t have to fiddle around too much to get the thermometer to do the job it is designed for.
- Maverick provides a 90 days warranty for this thermometer.
What we like about it
The Maverick ET-733 is actually an upgrade to the ET-732 which was also a pretty popular smoker thermometer from maverick. The new model does have some significant improvements, the main one being that it has been given two probes instead of the single one in the earlier model.
It also has an upgraded interface which allows you to preset some of the settings. Considering the minimum error margin on the temperature reading and the reliability of the Maverick brand, this thermometer is a pretty decent buy.
What is not so good about it
The thermometer does not provide very quick readings which can be a problem when smoking thin meats like chicken or ribs. It requires some time to read the temperature after the probe is inserted. Moreover, you will need a screwdriver to access the battery compartment of the transmitter which can be somewhat of a hassle.
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4. Budget-Friendly Option – ThermoPro TP08
- Read our full review: Thermopro TP8 Review
The ThermoPro TP08 is another smoker thermometer which is ideal for backyard smokers and grills. It has all the basic features that you want in a smoker thermometer and is available at a very decent price point making it the best budget thermometer in the market right now.
- The thermometer is completely wireless and can be used for monitoring temperature from a distance of up to 300 feet.
- It comes with dual probes that are inserted into the smoker to assess the temperature readings.
- You have the option of manually setting the temperature readings so that you don’t have to constantly adjust the temperature when you start smoking.
- The temperature readings are easy to read on the 1.5 x 1.3 inch LCD screen.
- The thermometer has an in-built alarm that will beep and flash red if your smoker temperature goes over the temperature settings you have set.
What we like about it
The Thermoro TP08 is the best budget thermometer and is highly recommended for those who are looking for a thermometer for their smoker that does its job and does it well without too many hassles. There is also an upgraded model to this thermometer called the TP20 which has only one improvement over this one which is that it comes with preset temperatures.
However, in our opinion, setting the temperatures manually is much more convenient. The built-in alarm is something that you are going to especially like about this thermometer as it allows you to leave the smoker unmonitored while you stroll around and enjoy the party with your family without any stress of your meat getting burnt up behind you.
What is not so good about it
The thermometer’s design could use some improvement as it lacks the up and down buttons for adjusting the temperature settings. You may also face a difficult time in understanding its various other buttons that control its settings. However, these are minor flaws that can be easily overlooked considering that you are getting a pretty good thermometer at a very low price.
5. ChefAlarm by ThermoWorks
- Read our full review: ThermoWorks ChefAlarm Review
Although a double probe thermometer is by far more popular because of the increased accuracy as well as convenience, those looking for a single probe smoker thermometer do not need to look at any other thermometer other than the ChefAlarm by Thermoworks. Easy to use with top notch build quality, the ChefAlarm is a thermometer that you will never regret buying.
- The thermometer has a very strong and durable build design. It is designed with a stainless steel 47” probe cable along with silicone buttons and sturdy hinge mechanism that ensure that this thermometer will last years of use.
- The thermometer is lightning fast in getting temperature readings in the smoker. You can get readings within 4 to 5 seconds of inserting the probe cable.
- The thermometer is waterproof so that you don’t have to worry about accidently getting some of the solution sprayed on to it while spritzing the meat.
- It has a magnetic back which allows for easy attachment and detachment within a matter of seconds.
- The interface has been kept user friendly. The large LCD screen is great for clearly viewing the temperature readings.
What we like about it
The thermometer is built with the best quality materials making it a sturdy, reliable and durable thermometer. It gives thoroughly accurate temperature readings and that too at extremely fast speed. If you prefer a single probe thermometer, this is the best that you can get in the market today.
What is not so good about it
The major drawback is obviously its single probe design which reduces its efficiency as compared to the thermometers with double probe. However, it can also prove to be an advantage due to its hassle free design which is great for measuring temperatures while smoking a single piece of meat.
The ChefAlarm’s programming can also be a bit confusing when you start using it but a quick read of the user manual is sure to resolve most of your doubts.
6. ThermoWorks Super-Fast Thermapen
The Thermapen by ThermoWorks is not a smoker thermometer in the traditional sense but it is something that we recommend any aspiring barbeque enthusiasts to have in his barbeque kit. The simple reason is that while the bigger thermometers are good for measuring temperatures while grilling bigger cuts of meat, the Thermapen is what you will need when you smoke smaller meats like ribs, fish or burgers.
- The Thermapen gives instant reading of temperature in less than two seconds.
- The design of this thermometer allows you to insert it sensory tip into any part of the meat to get the exact temperature of that portion.
- It has a bigger than average digital display which makes it convenient to quickly note the temperature readings.
What we like about it
The Thermapen is an instant read thermometer which comes in really handy when you want to check the temperature of the smoker quite frequently without holding the lid open for long. For smoking smaller meats, the Thermapen is a must have device. Another advantage to buying the Thermapen is that you can also use it for other recipes such as when you make candy to check the temperature of the candy mix.
What is not so great about it
The Thermapen is good only for smaller meats and proves to be inefficient when smoking larger meats that require at least 12 hours of cooking time. For this limited use, it can seem a bit pricey for those who already have a traditional smoker thermometer.
7. Thermoworks Smoke
- Read our full review: Thermoworks Smoke review
Every single category of product in the market has one manufacturer that stands out from the rest of the competition because of their sheer dedication to quality. Among mobile phone manufacturers, it is Apple and for smoker thermometers it is Thermoworks.
Although there are a number of cheaper options available in the market, the smoker thermometer by Thermoworks is by far the best that you can have as far as quality is concerned.
- The thermometer has a large LCD screen which is easy to view and read the temperature reading from. It is even backlit so that you can read the temperature in the dark too.
- The thermometer settings are easy to understand and it will take you only a couple of minutes to understand how it is to be used. It is much easier to operate than some of the other smoker thermometers available in the market.
- The temperature readings are derived really fast. You will hardly have to wait 4 to 5 seconds before the thermometer gives you the readings.
- The thermometer has a temperature accuracy of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit for temperatures up to 248 degrees F.
- An add-on WiFi gateway can also be connected to it so that you can view the thermometer readings on your phone.
What we like about it
Thermoworks has gone all out in designing the most user friendly and reliable smoker thermometer with a top notch construction. This thermometer has everything that other smoker thermometers do not. It has been marketed as a thermometer for professional bbq chefs which is proof enough that it will prove to be a thermometer par excellence for home use as well. The unique features of the thermometer such as the add-on WiFi gateway as well as the temperature reading accuracy make sure that you will never go wrong with this thermometer.
What is not so good about it
The primary consideration while buying this thermometer would be its price point which is significantly higher than that of thermometers by brands like Maverick. However, you do get a much better quality for the price that you pay which make it worth the extra cash in the long run.
You may also dislike the fact that all the temperature controls have been given on the transmitter itself which means that you will have to walk out of your house and to the smoker every time you want to increase or decrease the temperature. However, you can always preset the temperature to save yourself the trouble of changing it while the meat is cooking.
Who is this guide for?
We are pretty confident that you will find the thermometer that best fits your needs from among the choices that we have listed out. The guide is meant to provide you with a range of smoker thermometers which are quite different from each other so that you can pick the one that suits you best.
The first five products listed in our best smoker thermometer guide are the traditional style digital smokers which should be considered by those who frequently cook large meats such as briskets. These thermometers are best suited for time taking recipes for keeping a constant check on the temperature of the smoker so that you can have a perfectly smoked piece of meat.
On the other hand, the instant thermometer has been listed for the benefit of those who prefer to smoke smaller meats like chicken or fish. A single probe thermometer also works great for getting the perfect temperature reading for smaller meats.
How to correctly use the smoker thermometer?
If you are using a smoker thermometer for the first time, it will be helpful for you to keep the following points in mind before starting your recipe:
- The internal temperature of the smoker needs to be consistently low, that is to say, it should vary between 225 degrees and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature for slowly grilling the meat without it getting dry or crusty.
- If you have second thoughts about why you need to constantly monitor the internal temperature, you should know that the protein in the meat starts to break down at a certain temperature point which can ruin the meat if not corrected. You will have to pull the meat off the smoker if that starts happening and let it rest at an ideal temperature.
- A dual probe thermometer is always recommended over an instant read thermometer or a single probe thermometer. This is because two probes help you in simultaneously monitoring the temperature readings of the meat and the grill.
- With products like the Maverick ET-733 and the ThermoPro TP08, it is easy to monitor the temperature readings of the grill and the meat if you have installed the thermometer when you began your cooking.
- Wireless thermometers are best since you can then move around the house or your backyard and get busy with other things.
- A huge drawback to using an instant read thermometer is that you will have to open the smoker lid every time you want to insert it in the meat to check the temperature. This results in loss of heat and affects the flavour of the meat.
How to increase the chances of getting accurate temperature reading
The accuracy and error margin of smoker thermometers varies from one model to the next. However, you can ensure that you get as accurate a reading as possible by placing the thermometer at the ideal point in the smoker. Check out the following tips for ideal placement of the thermometer that will give you accurate readings:
- The probe should not be touching the grill. It should be raised off the grill and should be closer to the meat.
- Make sure that the probe is not too close to the meat as the initial coldness of the meat will give false temperature readings.
- Most smokers tend to be hotter in the middle and less hot on the edges. Make sure that the probe is neither too near the edge nor right in the middle.
- You can get a thermometer probe clip to ensure that the probe stays in place.
- To increase the probe’s life, you can nestle it inside a scrunched up ball made of tin foil so that it does not come in direct contact with the hot grill.
Are the dome thermometers any good?
Pre-installed or built-in dome thermometers are a regular feature in all the top of the line smokers and grills and can even be found in some of the products that fall in the middle segment.
Though it may seem convenient to simply use the dome thermometers instead of buying and setting up a separate wireless thermometers, we do not recommend that. The reason is that dome thermometers hardly ever give an accurate reading of the temperature inside the smoker.
The reading given by a dome thermometer is more than 50 degrees Celsius cooler than what the actual temperature is at which the food is cooking. This is because the dome thermometers measure the temperature in the air which is much above the food.
How to Take Care of the Thermometer
Smoker thermometers of good brands such as those that we have listed above are generally designed to be sturdy and long lasting. However, they do require some maintenance and care which will increase their life even more. Simply follow the below tips to ensure that your smoker thermometer is well taken care of:
- Do not rinse the probes or dip them in water. You can clean them simply by wiping with a paper towel.
- Each thermometer has a temperature rating which should not be exceeded under any circumstances. Most thermometers have a 700 degrees Fahrenheit temperature rating which should be sufficient for all the bbq recipes.
- The probes should be stored neatly. You should also ensure that the wires are not crimped.
What Are Other Decent Picks?
Our guide to the best smoker thermometer is sure to land you with at least one smoker thermometer that you would like to have in your cooking kit.
However, if you are wondering what other choices you will find under this produce category, you can browse through the following smoker thermometer models which are also pretty decent but obviously far from the best:
Maverick M Remote Smoker ET-73
Maverick is a pretty reputed brand for producing top quality smoker thermometers. The ET-73 can be considered for its ease of use and brand reliability. However, it has a really short wireless range of just 50 metres and there is a lot of drop in connection if there is even one wall between you and the thermometer.
As we mentioned above, the ThermoPro TP20 is the upgraded smoker thermometer from ThermoPro which comes with an option to preset the temperature. While this is good if you want to strictly follow the USDA recommendations, we feel that manually setting the temperature settings helps you customize the recipe and gives a better end result.
Maverick has jumped on to the “smart” device bandwagon with the ET-735 which can be connected to your Android or Apple phone with the help of an app. However, the reviews are not too great regarding its connectivity so it may be bit of a risk buying this thermometer.
Another good thermometer from ThermoPro, it failed to make the cut for our list because of its low reliability regarding accuracy of temperature readings. The preprogrammed settings it comes with are also inaccurate.
Ivation Long Range Wireless Thermometer
Though this thermometer has all the features that the Maverick ET-733 does, it has a really hard to use interface because of which it falls short on our expectations. Available at the same price point as Maverick ET-733, we can safely say that it is much less popular among users.
Choosing the right smoker thermometer can be a tough task, especially if you don’t have a lot of idea about which features are necessary and which you can do without. Accuracy of temperature, good connectivity, and ease of use are some of the top considerations that you cannot compromise on while choosing the thermometer.
A double probed thermometer which can give fast temperature readings should also be given preference. We hope your decision making will be made easier with our list of the best thermometers and our tips. Do let us know what you think about it.
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