It is chow time! Do you want to start the BBQ season by being perfectly prepared? If so, that means you will first have to polish your BBQ grill to a high shine and perform a quick estimate of food prices. Now, that can be pretty challenging with the war in Ukraine disrupting food supply everywhere, but being prepared is always a good tip to follow.
In addition, now is the opportunity to get hold of important BBQ equipment. BBQ thermometers are particularly useful in this respect. The smart representatives of this guild ensure that you can cook every piece of meat to perfection while you sit with your guests instead of sweating it out at the grill.
NextPit has selected five different BBQ thermometers for you, all of which can be controlled via an app. Whether you’re looking for a budget thermometer or a high-end solution for professional grill masters, there should be a suitable model for everyone. However, we not only present you with five smart BBQ thermometers, but we also provide you with a buying guide so that you know what to look out for.
The best smart BBQ thermometers
|Editor’s recommendation||Top alternative||Best value-for-money||High-end alternative||Waterproof alternative|
|Product||Meater+||Weber iGrill 2||Inkbird IBT 2X||Meater Block||Inkbird IBT 4XC|
|Temperature range||up to 275 degrees Celsius||-30 to 300 degrees Celsius||0 to 300 degrees Celsius||up to 275 degrees Celsius||0 to 300 degrees Celsius|
|Range||up to 50 m||up to 50 m||up to 50 m||up to 50 m||up to 50 m|
|Number of probes||1||2||2||4||4|
|Probe length||13 cm||12.7 cm||12 cm||13 cm||13,5 cm|
|Go to offer*|| || || || || |
You’ve probably noticed that we’ve been reporting on smart home products more often than usual in recent times. We have already presented the best smart weather stations, the best robotic lawnmowers and the best robotic vacuums for your smart home. While I’m still mulling over whether my healthy appetite has whipped up the frenzy in me to compose this BBQ thermometer overview, here’s a hint: We have not yet been able to test these thermometers out for ourselves. Therefore, we have plowed through plenty of online reviews in order to painstakingly arrive with our own conclusion.
There is a huge price difference between such thermometers, and you can figure out the different points to look out for when making a purchase. Not every thermometer is equally suitable for every BBQ enthusiast. Therefore, we will list down the things that are non-negotiables before making a purchase.
Thermometer type: conventional or smart?
First of all, you should consider whether you need a smart thermometer at all. It’s relaxing to be able to sit at the table while grilling, sure. But there are also those who simply like to stand in their own realm during the BBQ, i.e. directly at the grill. In the latter case, you can definitely go for an inexpensive product without any app connected to it.
But if you also want to sit with your guests in a social setting and don’t feel like checking the meat and temperature every other minute, you’ll be much better off with a smart thermometer.
Usually, the thermometers connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth, while there are others that do so via WLAN. The products we recommend all work within a range of up to 50 meters. Bear in mind that the manufacturers would refer to optimal conditions when listing down the range. If you are still preparing something in the kitchen and the grill is outside on the terrace, you might find your range to be much shorter than published.
With WLAN, you usually benefit from a longer range, but there also needs to have coverage where you grill. Your ultra-fast Internet is of no use if it doesn’t reach your garden.
Temperature measurement range and number of probes
Ideally, BBQ thermometers will detect a temperature of up to 300 degrees Celsius. Three of the thermometers we recommended do so, while the two Meater products are slightly below par at 275 degrees Celsius. Another important point to remember is the number of probes used to detect the temperature. Here is one simple rule: the more probes there are, the better. Two temperature probes allow you to measure both the core temperature of the meat and the outside or cooking chamber temperature. Two of the suggested products even come with four probes, so you can measure different cuts of meat separately.
What functions does the app offer?
The apps are not only there to show you the temperature on the grill or in the food. You can set a timer, receive an alarm when the grilled meat is ready, and at best, benefit from various programs. These programs allow you to select the type of meat and the desired cooking level in advance.
Last but not least, price plays a role in any purchase. In our selection, we start at just under $30, while the most expensive product costs ten times more at $299.99. This is partly due to the more robust construction, the number of included sensors, and also the additional display. While the Meater+, for instance, can only be controlled via the smartphone app, the Meater Block also has an OLED touch display that provides you with an overview.
At the same time, you might not need some of the souped-up features personally. So if you don’t need multiple sensors or a display, you’re also well served with the $30 product because cooking to the point is possible with all the thermometers suggested here.
The Meater+ is priced at $99, which can already be considered expensive. The thermometer is still very simple, where it comes in the shape of a pen that you sink into the meat. However, there are two sensors on this pen. This allows you to measure the core temperature and also have the temperature of the cooking chamber in view.
Since all of the technology is concentrated in the sensor, the Meater+ is also completely wireless. However, the pin is also thicker, so that you will be able to see corresponding traces in the meat where you have inserted the measuring needle later.
Like all other products in this comparison, the connection to the smartphone is very easy thanks to Bluetooth and the free app. An alarm alerts you just in time to put down the beer and remove the finished grilled food from the heat. 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon with over 16,000 reviews cannot be wrong. Therefore, this is also our top recommendation for you.
Weber is also a familiar name and obviously, it has made it into our “Best of” list. Unlike the Meater+, it doesn’t perform wireless measurements but you can’t go very wrong with this thermometer, either. On the contrary: There are even two probes and the measurable temperature range is from -30 degrees Celsius to a whopping 300 degrees Celsius.
The Weber app also helps you keep an eye on the temperature and cooking time as long as you remain 50 meters or nearer to the grill. However, there is also feedback from users that the range is significantly lower than advertised. That and the fact that the app always has to be running while grilling and thus drains your smartphone’s battery probably robbed the iGrill 2 of its top spot billing.
Nevertheless, it is a highly recommended product. If you want, you can also buy additional probes as the thermometer can handle up to four probes simultaneously.
You’d rather buy one or two good steaks instead of spending too much money on a BBQ thermometer? Then there are products that you can use without having to forego the advantages of smart thermometers. The Inkbird thermometer is the cheapest in our list at $29.99, but we can still recommend it with a clear conscience.
The two included probes are minimally shorter than the competitors at 12 centimeters, but they also measure temperatures up to 300 degrees Celsius. The temperature is displayed either on the smartphone app or on the LED display that is connected via cable. Once again, after selecting the appropriate program, you’ll be alerted as soon as the meat reaches the desired cooking level (goodness, I write so much about precisely cooked grilled meat, I just bit a piece out of my keyboard lost in thought!).
For the fact that you only pay a fraction of what is due for some other thermometers, you will be well taken care of here and can sit back and relax while grilling thanks to Bluetooth connectivity, chilling out at the table with a beer in hand while the meat sizzles. 4.5 stars on Amazon confirms this good impression!
Now, we have arrived at a high-end product. This is the crowning achievement among all smart BBQ thermometers. If you want to offer your guests the best of the best and at the same time, enjoy the greatest possible BBQ experience, then go for the Meater Block. Here, you get four probes, but just like the Meater+, they are all pretty big. You can “track” four pieces of meat at the same time, but the pins leave traces in the meat.
However, the app can be controlled over Wi-Fi in addition to Bluetooth. The display also maintains the high quality image of the overall package. While you are irritated by the simple LED displays found in some other devices, an OLED display is used here, which you can operate via touch. If you want, you can also make do without the app and just monitor the cooking process via the display.
Just like the Meater+, all four probes are capable of wireless connectivity. The charging and storage box for the four probes is made of bamboo. Stainless steel and ceramics are also used as part of other high-quality materials within. By the way, you can also power the Meater Block via USB. This is perfect if you pack your meat overnight in the smoker! It should be mentioned here that the core temperature is recorded up to 100 degrees Celsius and the cooking chamber can record temperature up to “only” 275 degrees Celsius.
Otherwise, you get the great all-round carefree package, but you will have to pay a whole lot more for it. $300 is no laughing matter, but most of that can be attributed to the wireless technology involved. Of course, you can buy a lot of chops for that. But if you want to be at the top of the BBQ champions league, I certainly don’t want to talk you out of this purchase.
Finally, we arrive at the Inkbird brand yet again, which is also represented for the second time on this list. All that the cheaper model comes with is also available here: a Bluetooth range of up to 50 m, measuring temperatures of up to 300 degrees Celsius, an app with programs for different types of meat and cooking levels. In this case, however, you get four instead of two probes, which are also longer than the other probes in this article with a length of 13.5 centimeters.
Another practical feature is how you can attach the base unit with the LED display directly to the oven or grill using a magnet. Unlike most of the other smart grill thermometers, however, the Inkbird IBT-4XC thermometer edges them out with an IPX5 certification. While the other devices also rely on heat-resistant and rugged materials, this one is certified as splash-proof.
The Inkbird thermometer is thus also a candidate for the price-performance crown, because it is the second most affordable model on our list at a shade under $54. It also scored a very good rating of 4.6 stars on Amazon.
With that, we are done (quite!) with our list. As you can imagine, after writing this article, I’m not only sensationally hungry, but also eager to hear about your favorites. Are there any BBQ thermometers that you’re absolutely convinced belong on our list? Then tell us about them in the comments! You can also let us know what your BBQ setup looks like in general. Do you tend to play on the “I buy every accessory” team or the “disposable grill” team?