If you’re planning on throwing a BBQ and show off your smoker, make sure you have all the equipment you need. And a smoker thermometer should also be top of your list. That’s unless you want to serve your guests over or undercooked food! Even some of the best pitmasters don’t leave things to chance. You shouldn’t either.
Are you looking to buy your own?
In this article we have outlined a list of the 5 best smoker thermometers on the market.
These are the smoker thermometers we recommend based on the features and options they provide.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Smoker Thermometers
- 2 Smoker Thermometer Reviews
- 3 A Detailed Buyers Guide
- 4 Conclusion
Best Smoker Thermometers
|ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Digital Smoker Thermometer||32ᵒF - 716ᵒF||- Dual probe design|
- Different preset temperature settings
|Buy on Amazon|
|Maverick Remote Digital Smoker Thermometer||32ᵒF - 572ᵒF||- Wireless remote reader|
- Heat resistant wires
|Buy on Amazon|
|ThermoPro TPO85S Wireless Digital Thermometer||32ᵒF - 572ᵒF||-8.5” long probe|
- Rugged design
|Buy on Amazon|
|Soraken Wireless Thermometer||32ᵒF - 572ᵒF||- Four probe design|
- Six meat mode 32-572F
|Buy on Amazon|
|Inkbird IBX-4XS Smoker Thermometer||32ᵒF - 572ᵒF||- Strong magnetic backing|
- Low temperature alarm
|Buy on Amazon|
We have also prepared a guide on all you need to know about the smoker thermometers. Your only job is to pick the right one for your needs.
Let’s get started.
Smoker Thermometer Reviews
How hard can buying a smoker thermometer be? Well, if you’ve never bought one before, the process can be daunting. Save for the shapes, it doesn’t help that they look almost identical.
There are different types on the market; from wireless to digital. How will you know which one is best to use with your smoker? Don’t panic, we’re here to help.
We’ve reviewed some of the best models on the market by taking a look at a few major features which include:
- Temperature ratings
- Materials used in construction
- Number of probes
- Backlit functionality
- Preset temperature settings
- Types of smoker thermometer
- Types of meat it can be used on
- Ease of use
- Whether any calibration is required
We’re certain at the end of the article, picking the best one for you will be a breeze.
ThermoPro TP20 Smoker Thermometer
Features we like
- Twin probe design
- Different preset temperatures
Here we have one of the best smoke thermometers on Amazon that’s ideally suited for professional chefs. This ThermoPro TP20 model will have you grilling your meat to perfection.
Probably one of its most invaluable features is the dual probe design. Some units come with one probe which only allows you take the temperature of your meat. But thanks to this design, you can use the same thermometer to ascertain the temperature of both the pit and your meat.
The probes are made of stainless steel with step-down tips that allow for accurate readings.
Feel free to use this unit in low light conditions because of the backlit screen. The manufacturer also included a large LCD display screen which is ideal because it allows you to read all the necessary information, clearly.
This thermometer features varying preset temperatures to help you to cook nine different types of meat including pork, lamb and veal to perfection. This feature will come in handy if you want to prepare different meats for your BBQ in one day. The same settings also allow you to set how exactly you want your meat done; do you want it rare, rare-medium or well done?
Thanks to the alarm featured on the unit, you’ll know when your meat is ready. This way you don’t have to tend to your grill throughout the cooking process.
You’ll appreciate how simple the unit is to set up and read. We are only concerned with the questionable quality of the probes. Some users on Amazon feel that the probes don’t last long and will eventually become faulty. If that’s your fate, simply make use of the three-year warranty offered by the manufacturer. Just be sure to register your unit on the manufacturer’s website to be able to make use of this benefit.
Overall, it’s an investment worth considering if you love grilling or smoking.
Maverick Remote Digital Smoker Thermometer
Features we like
- Wireless remote reader
- Heat resistant wires
If you want value for your money, then consider this Maverick Digital Thermometer. This is a multi-purpose tool that’ll allow you to either grill or barbeque your food effectively.
It’s another top rated smoker on Amazon and very popular among many pitmasters. We’re guessing its durability is part of the reason behind its popularity.
Chances of you over- or undercooking meat are slim if you pick this unit which has a wireless remote reader. That’s one of our favorite specs of the model, because it has a long range reading ability. This means you can prepare your food without necessarily tending to it regularly—check on the details even if you’re not near the grill. This is something you’ll appreciate if you want to have an opportunity to mingle with your guests.
The wires on this model aren’t only long but heat resistant too. This significantly contributes to the lifespan of the item, given the extreme temperatures it’s exposed to.
Like the model reviewed above, this thermometer also comes with two probes. This is a convenient feature that allows you to monitor the temperature of two cuts of meat at one go.
This model also comes with nine temperature presets that allow you to quickly use it on different kinds of meat.
It’s easy to read and has an impressive battery life. You’ll appreciate the build quality and the fact that it comes with an alarm.
Though it has a long battery life, changing them can be quite a hassle as the process requires the use of a screwdriver. Also, some users may find it difficult to program.
In our opinion, this Maverick thermometer is worth considering if you enjoy socializing while you prepare your food.
ThermoPro TPO85 Wireless Digital Thermometer
Features we like
- 5” long probe
- Rugged design
Here we have yet another wireless digital thermometer that was designed by ThermoPro. ThermoPro TPo85S is known for manufacturing high quality products and this model is no exception.
What sets this unit apart from the rest is the 8.5” long probe. The length of a probe is important because it determines how deep it can penetrate into the meat to get the internal temperature. This is something you’ll find handy when you want to ascertain temperature of the deepest parts of large pieces of meat.
The unit also has a rugged design so you’ll use it for a long time. If you accidentally drop your new gadget, chances are it will survive. As a bonus: not only is it waterproof but also dust and rust proof. It can withstand a few drops of water. Just make sure that you don’t completely submerge it because that may damage it.
Thanks to the separated design, you can control the thermometer from up to 300ft away. This way you don’t have to hover over your grill constantly. You can do other chores or simply relax while still keeping an eye on how your meat is cooking.
This is one of the models that come with an alarm to notify you when your set temperature is reached or if connection is lost. You’ll stay informed to prevent any overcooking or mishaps.
The large LCD display allows you to read temperatures with ease. And it’s backlit so you can use it at night, even if your cooker isn’t well lit, without any hassles.
What you might not like about this unit is that setting it up isn’t easy. Some users also noted that the probe might not last long. It is cheaper than the TP20 model, making it the ideal buy if you’re working on a budget. There’s also the handy extra of a rubber sleeve to store and protect the device when it’s not in use.
Overall we would recommend that you consider this model if you want a smoker thermometer that does everything it needs to, but one which you can buy at a lower price.
Soraken Wireless Thermometer
Features we like
- Four probe design
- Six meat mode 32-572F
If a versatile smoker thermometer is what you’re after, consider this wireless thermometer from Soraken.
This smoker has a total of four probes which is why we’ve included it on our list. These probes are color-coded so there won’t be any confusion if you use them all at once. You can track them separately via your smart device’s app. This makes it ideal for people who want to prepare a varied number of meats at once.
This smoker has six meat modes. You can use it on veal, fish, ground beef, lamb, beef and turkey. In addition, it has five taste modes. You can prepare you meat until it’ s rare, medium rare, medium, medium well or well done. Cater for everyone’s preferences!
Note that the temperature and settings are controlled by an app which you’ll find convenient. And you can monitor your meat from a long range—100ft away to be precise. Plus, it also comes with an alarm.
The manufacturer is very confident in their product and that’s why they backed it with a 12-month warranty. You’ll admit that’s enough time to give you peace of mind with regards to any potential malfunctions or breakages.
Another impressive feature is the magnetic back on the thermometer section so you can safely place it on any metal surface and it will remain in place.
Though it has four probes we’re concerned that they’re a little short. Plus, they aren’t as sturdy as some others on our list. Using them on tough meats can potentially damage them. You can’t use them to get the internal temperature of the deepest parts of meat so you won’t know the exact state of your dish.
In summary if you cook many different types of dishes, this one will work. Plus, it helps that it’s available at a reasonable price.
Inkbird IBX-4XS Smoker Thermometer
Features we like
- Strong magnetic backing
- Low temperature alarm
Here we have yet another unit that has a four probe design. Pick this Inkbird model if you want a product that allows for simultaneous cooking of many dishes. This is something you’ll need if you’re throwing a huge BBQ or catering for people with varied tastes.
But what’s probably one of its most handy specs is the strong magnetic backing located on the thermometer section. This means you can safely secure it onto any metal surface near your oven or cooker during cooking.
One of the unit’s unique attributes is that it comes with an alarm. Sure, most thermometers do come with alarms but they only sound at high temperatures. But this model not only sounds at high but also low temperatures. This means the alarm will go off if the temperature is too low so you can adjust it accordingly. Impressive, right?
This unit will work well for people who own grills or smokers that don’t have an automatic pellet feeding system. Also, it’s ideal if your oven doesn’t effectively regulate cooking temperatures.
Operating this unit is fairly easy. Just make sure the probes are firmly inserted into the unit’s ports or else you’ll get false readings. A clicking sound usually confirms this.
You can pair this device to your Android or iPhone so that you have the convenience of monitoring your cooking temperature from afar—as far as 150ft away. No need to stand by your griller throughout the cooking process.
Thanks to the LED screen you can clearly view the information displayed. What’s even more fascinating is that the screen can be rotated so you can see the temperature from any side. Simply double touch the power key. Our only qualm with this screen is that it’s not backlit so information displayed in low light conditions can be difficult to ascertain.
This battery operated unit can last up to 40 hours on a single charge. You’ll agree that this will give you more than enough time to prepare your food before it needs recharging.
For such an impressive unit, you’ll appreciate how it has a reasonable price tag. It’s easy to use and allows you to customize the temperature.
Some people might find the alarm too loud. But that’s not necessarily a deal breaker. We still highly recommend this model if you want a quality unit that works well.
A Detailed Buyers Guide
What is a Smoker Thermometer?
The design of the smoker thermometer will vary depending on the type. But for the purposes of knowing what you’re dealing with, we’ll briefly explain the basic design.
The unit will have a metal probe which has a sharp point. That’s the part you push into the meat.
The readings are displayed on the dial. Depending on the type you pick, some models will show the temperature only. Others will have markings that specify when meat is done according to a specified degree.
Certain models feature a bimetallic strip designed to rotate, showing information displayed at any given time. Other models have an electronic sensor located in the probe.
Why You Need a Smoker Thermometer?
Grilling and smoking food sounds simple enough. But if you’re not careful the end results could be disastrous. Without the right tools, say goodbye to serving food that’s juicy, tender and full of flavor.
Granted, some grills and smokers do come with built-in thermometers, but experience has taught us that you can’t really rely on them. Most of the integrated thermometers in any type of smoker – electric or charcoal or any other smoker – are designed to check the temperature of the air inside your cooker and not the actual food. And there’s a difference between these two temperatures! Rather take matters into your own hands by purchasing your own gadget to stay informed on the condition of your dish.
So, what exactly does a smoker thermometer do?
This unit is designed to check if your meat is done and will ensure the following:
- Your meat can be cooked to perfection when you know the interior temperature. You’re guaranteed that your meat isn’t over or under cooked.
- Eliminating guesswork. Telling if your meat is cooked by merely looking at it is a skill not many people possess.
- The right unit will help eliminate health risks. Food poisoning from eating undercooked substances is a real risk. Don’t let that be your guests’ fate.
- Giving you a safe way of checking if your food is done.
- The unit will give you accurate readings of your meat’s temperature to check if your cooking process is on track.
How Do You Use a Smoker Thermometer?
Earlier on we mentioned how a smoker thermometer guarantees safe cooking. This alone is an indication that there is a right and wrong way of doing it.
If you’ve been poking meat to ascertain its stiffness in a bid to check if it’s done, now is a good time to stop. Different meats have different firmness. Case in point; sirloin is firmer than filet mignon. So, using the poking method can give you biased results.
Also, gauging whether your meat is cooked based on the color of the juices, isn’t ideal either. Juices of meat sometimes depend on the acidity of the meat and have nothing to do with it being ready to serve.
That’s where a smoker thermometer comes in.
To check your meat’s temperature, make sure you place the thermometer in different locations. But note that placement of the probe is key. While the process depends on your cooker and is largely a result of trial and error, consider following these tips for best results:
- Place the tip into the thickest part but make sure it isn’t touching the bone. Make sure the probe is raised off the grill but it must be near your meat to avoid inaccurate readings.
- Pull it out slowly to avoid altering the temperature displayed.
- Read the coldest temperature.
- Insert on other areas and repeat the above mentioned steps.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Your Smoker Thermometer
When deciding on the smoker thermometer to buy, there are a few aspects you need to consider such as:
- Type: As highlighted earlier, there are different types at your disposal namely digital, analog, Bi-metal and infrared. You also have the option to pick between an instant-read or wireless probe. The latter is designed to remain in the meat throughout the cooking process and therefore gives more accurate readings. But the one you pick is entirely a matter of preference.
- Temperature range: These devices have different temperature ranges—with most going all the way to 300ᵒ Such a range is practical for cooking different kinds of foods.
- Number of probes: Some models have more than one probe. This will come in handy if you’re cooking more than one type of meat in one go.
- Adjustability: It’s not uncommon for the accuracy of the temperature to shift. That alone is enough to hamper your cooking efforts, or worse still have you serving uncooked food. Picking a unit that’s adjustable will allow you to adjust and calibrate it to give correct information.
- Wire length: For a safe cooking experience, opt for a device with a long probe cable. Anything between 30’’ and 40” will suffice. Any shorter and you might risk some finger burns.
- Water resistant: What started off as a hot summer day can end up rainy. To avoid a few drizzles damaging your unit, opt for one that’s weather resistant. Check the waterproof rating as well; the higher the better. But this doesn’t mean you can leave your thermometer to float in sweet chilli sauce!
- Accuracy: For best results, opt for a unit that offers plus or minus 18ᵒC accuracy.
- Easy to set-up & use: You want a unit which doesn’t present a huge learning curve and is easy to set up & operate. This way you focus on your cooking skills rather than figuring out how it works.
- Warranty: Given the delicate nature of this unit, you want one that’s covered by a sizeable warranty in case of malfunctions. Make sure you don’t waste your money on purchasing a second one soon after the first.
- Price: While you don’t have to purchase the most expensive model on the market, avoid settling for the cheapest. Rather pick one that has the features you know you need.
Features to Consider When Selecting a Smoker Thermometer
Before concluding your purchase, you want to inspect whether your thermometer of choice has the following features. These specs significantly determine the outcome of your meal, plus they can make your cooking task much easier.
The last thing you need is to find the battery of your unit drained because you forgot to switch it off. The auto-shut off feature is designed to switch off the unit if it’s not used after some time.
Unless you want to have Google on standby helping you convert Celsius to Fahrenheit, pick a unit with a C/F switch. This way you can easily switch the readings to your preferred unit.
You’ll admit that not all your time is spent tending to the oven. Sometimes you have to mingle with the guests. Pick a unit that features an alarm to notify you if your desired temperature has been reached. Alternatively, you can pick one that grabs your attention with a flashing display when necessary.
Here’s a feature for the tech savvy pitmasters: an app. A griller with an app allows you to connect your Smartphone or tablet to the thermometer via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi so you can give it instructions.
For days that your BBQ parties run deep into the night, you want a unit with a backlight for clear displays. Don’t let the time of day stop you from grilling outside in the fresh air.
Some manufacturers include a probe clip that’s designed to attach to the grill gate to secure it. This also helps you with accuracy of readings.
Storage & Handling Tips
Keep in mind the following tips for easy handling and storage of these delicate devices:
- Always familiarize yourself with the instruction manual before using the unit.
- Always stick to the recommended temperature rating of the meat you’re preparing.
- Store your thermometer neatly out of the way. Pay special attention to the wires as they’re very delicate and prone to damage.
- Avoid submerging the probe in water. Rather wipe clean with a damp cloth.
- Replace the batteries before they drain to avoid disappointment during smoking
How do you monitor the temperature of a smoker?
A quick and simple way of monitoring the temperature of your smoker is by placing your thermometer into your cooker. The probe should be left hanging down inside and will consequently measure the temperature of the air. Make sure you close down the vents if the temperature is too high. This will reduce the amount of oxygen and decrease the temperature.
Are smoker thermometers accurate?
The accuracy of your device is determined by the type and quality of unit you pick. However, over time, accuracy is never guaranteed with smoker thermometers. It’s not surprising given the accidental falls, extreme conditions and greasy splatters they’re subjected to. Thankfully you can calibrate them to restore accuracy.
Where do you put the thermometer in a smoker?
Bear in mind that the temperature inside a cooker is always higher near the top. Placing a thermometer high up is likely to give you inaccurate information. For best results, mount the unit on the sides of the grates, preferably a few inches above. Just make sure it’s on the same level as your meat.
How do you calibrate a smoker’s thermometer?
To ensure accuracy of your device, it’s important that you calibrate it regularly. This is done by following these few steps:
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot
- Place ice into a small bowl and cover it
- Place your thermometer into the boiled water and it should display 100ᵒC, otherwise it’s not calibrated
- Place the unit in the small bowl with cold ice until it reads 0ᵒC which is the freezing point.
And you’re done!
How often should you calibrate a thermometer?
The frequency at which you calibrate your smoker thermometer will depend on the brand you’re using. You can do so weekly or monthly. Just make sure you follow the recommendations stated in your device’s manual instructions.
How to calibrate analog smoker thermometers
When calibrating an analogue model, you have two options to pick from:
- Ice bath method: Here you fill up a glass with ice and water to cover the ice gaps. Leave the water to sit for 30 seconds so that it stabilizes. Place the stem of your device into the cup and the reading should remain at 0ᵒC
- Boiling water method: Fill up a cup with distilled boiling water and place your unit inside. The reading must be 100ᵒ Make sure that the water is boiling, not just simmering.
It’s clear to see that a smoker thermometer is a must have for every BBQ loving household. It’ll certainly make your cooking easier. Plus, it’ll give you the confidence that you’ll serve perfectly cooked meat always.
Just make sure the one you pick is durable and easy to use and don’t forget to consider the price. There are enough models on the market that you can find one to suit your budget.