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Maybe you're an aspiring grill master or a barbecue enthusiast. Or perhaps you're looking to develop your meat-cooking skills. Whatever your reason for lighting up the grill, it's important to have a good wireless grill thermometer handy. Just like with other forms of cooking, grilling and smoking meat require accuracy, particularly when it comes to temperature. A wireless meat thermometer will not only help you get the precise temperature you need to cook your meat evenly and thoroughly without drying it out, but this gadget will also allow you to monitor temperatures from afar so you don't have to hover over your grill the entire time.
Whether you're new to grilling or a pro, we list the best wireless grill thermometers to help you cook your meat to perfection.
This thermometer has two probes and a wireless range of up to 300 feet, so you can wander far from the grill while still monitoring the steaks and chops. This includes a base unit and wireless remote, so you won’t need to add an app to your phone. The large LCD displays on the base and remote are backlit so you’ll be able to read them in low light conditions.
This has presets for nine types of meats using USDA recommendations, and all of the presets can be reset to your preferences, which are saved when the unit is turned off. This also has a timer function. The timer can be set for two different functions, either a maximum of 99 minutes, 59 seconds, or 99 hours, 59 minutes, for longer cooking sessions.
The probe wires are rated to 716 degrees, but if your probe fails, the company will replace it at no charge. The thermometer can read from 32 to 572 degrees.
If you need a little more guidance when you're cooking a roast chicken, the Meater+ is for you. This thermometer and associated app let you track the meat's temperature and your oven or grill's ambient temperature to help you get a clear reading on how your dinner is progressing.
When you get your meat ready, you can pick from different cuts and specify whether you'd like your meat cooked rare, medium-rare, medium, or well-done. The Meater+ guides you through every step, including giving you an estimate of how much longer your meat will need to cook to reach your desired doneness and how long to let it rest after you've removed it from the grill or oven.
This Bluetooth thermometer connects to your phone with an indoor range of 100 feet, and an outdoor range of 200 feet. If you wander outside the range, you’ll get a push notification on your phone, so you won’t accidentally go too far from the grill or oven.
This has two probes to monitor two foods at the same time, and the app will alert you when the proper temperature has been reached. You can use the included preset cooking temperatures, or set your own. The base unit has a backlit LCD so you can read it in any light, and the display cycles between the two temperatures being monitored.
The probes can withstand up to 482 degrees, and the cables can withstand up to 716 degrees.
This thermometer connects to your phone via Bluetooth and has a range of about 100 feet indoors and 170 outdoors, depending on interference. It has 11 preset temperatures for different meats based on USDA recommendations, or you can manually set your preferred temperature. It also has a timer feature.
When time is up or the cooking temperature has been reached, the app will beep and flash to alert you. This comes with four probes, and you can add two more to monitor up to six different portions of meat, or use one probe to monitor the grill or oven temperature while the rest monitor the food.
This reads from 32 to 572 degrees, and the wire is designed to withstand temperatures up to 716 degrees, while the silicone handle can withstand up to 482 degrees.
The base unit has a magnet back, so you can attach it to a convenient metal surface.
Not only does this digital thermometer look sleek—it won the 2019 Red Dot Design Award—but with six stainless steel probes, it's also perfect for monitoring large quantities of food, whether that's different items simultaneously (there are 11 presets for types of food and doneness levels) or one big Thanksgiving turkey. That's the beauty of this Bluetooth thermometer. With six probes, you get exactly what you need to cover the varying thickness of your meat, so you can make sure everything is fully cooked to the core.
The setup is super easy too. All you have to do is download an app on your smartphone or tablet to get the temperature and time display—complete with an alarm function for promptly alerting you when your meal is done. The transmission distance stretches 196 feet outdoors or 100 feet indoor, and the temperature ranges from 33 degrees to 572 degrees, making it ideal for ovens and grills alike.
This meat thermometer by Inkbird is waterproof, so you can safely use it outside in any weather—and it's magnetic, so it sticks right to the side of your grill. Another cool feature that this product has is a built-in rechargeable battery, which comes with its own USB charging cable, so you'll never have to run to the store for replacement batteries. It takes about three hours to get a full charge that lasts 40 hours before it needs to be plugged in again.
With three meat probes and one ambient probe, pair the IBT-4XP Grill Thermometer to your smartphone to read your cooking temperature anywhere (distance ranges up to 150 feet). This item can withstand heat up to 572 degrees for short-term cooking or 482 degrees for meals that cook much longer. An alarm will sound on your device and phone when it's time to remove your meat.
The incredibly accurate ThermoPro Wireless Remote Digital Thermometer gets our top spot. With its dual probes and multiple programming options, this thermometer gives both new and pro grillers exceptional control over their food. For step-by-step guidance and a beautiful design, choose the Meater Plus, which allows lets you specify meat cuts and desired doneness, and tells you time estimates as well as how long to let it rest after cooking.
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Donna Currie is a freelance food writer who specializes in product reviews and recipes. Her work has appeared on Serious Eats, Fine Cooking, and her own recipe blog, Cookistry.com. She's also the author of Make Ahead Bread, a cookbook meant to simplify the bread-baking process.
The Ultimate Meat Thermometer Buying Guide
By Emily Farris
With the exception of a few culinary savants who claim to know when meat is done by touch, most outdoor cooks (and definitely the USDA) would agree that a grill thermometer is an invaluable tool for ensuring meat and poultry reach safe temperatures when grilling and smoking. When you use a grill thermometer, you never have to guess if your meat or poultry is done; you can take it off (or leave it on) with confidence. Plus, a reliable thermometer doesn’t have to break the bank. Instant-read models start at around $10, while wired and wireless versions range from $20 to more than $200.
If your main concern is quickly checking the internal temperature of your meat once or twice, a simple instant-read model may be all you need. On the other hand, if you want to constantly monitor the temperature of whatever it is you’re cooking—without having to stand by the grill the entire time—a wireless grill thermometer makes the most sense. How much you spend will depend on what features you need.
While the main purpose of a grill thermometer is to read the internal temperature of meat or poultry, many wireless models can do so much more. Some have up to four probes and can even log every detail of every cook to an app on your phone, including ambient grill heat.
When you’re shopping, keep in mind that more features don’t always mean the product is the best choice for you—especially if they’re features you won’t use.
Types of Meat Thermometers
Instant-read thermometers are probe-style thermometers that are meant to be quickly inserted into a piece of meat or poultry to determine whether or not it's reached a safe or ideal temperature. The display (usually digital) is connected to the probe. When using an instant-read thermometer for grilling, you have to open the grill or smoker to check the temperature, which is why the “instant” part of the read is so important—you don’t want the lid open for too long or you’ll lose ambient heat. These are usually compact devices, they're often foldable, and they’re absolutely not to be left in a piece of meat while it cooks. Infrared thermometers technically fall into the instant-read category as well, and some probe-style, instant-read models even feature infrared technology.
Wired grill thermometers work similarly to instant-read thermometers, but instead of the probe being directly attached to the display (or transmitter), the two components are connected with a heat-safe wire that’s thin enough to allow a grill or smoker to close and seal properly. Unlike an instant-read thermometer, the probe of a wired thermometer is meant to be left in the meat or poultry while it cooks, which allows constant monitoring of the temperature without lifting the lid of the grill or smoker. Some models of wired grill thermometers also track and display ambient temperature, cook time, and more.
Liked wired grill thermometers, wireless grill thermometers provide constant temperature monitoring but also allow the user to read the display from anywhere—as long as the transmitter stays within range of the probe (usually 100 to 300 feet). A detached probe (which is meant to be left in the meat or poultry) sends a continuous signal to a transmitter or app on your phone and alerts the user when the meat or poultry has reached the ideal temperature. Wireless grill thermometers are especially handy when you don’t have the luxury of standing by the grill for an entire cook. Whether you’re entertaining, preparing another element of the meal, or making sure your kids or dogs don’t eat charcoal, a transmitter (or app) affords you some mobility while grilling.
Most grilling thermometer probes look pretty similar—basically, a pokey metal stick that's about 2.5 millimeters in diameter—but how, when, and sometimes where you use the probe will depend on the type of device you choose and the probe that comes with it.
Whether you’re using an instant-read, wired, or wireless thermometer, probe length is important if you’re cooking big cuts of meat. That’s because in order to gauge the true internal temperature, the probe must reach the actual center of the thickest part of whatever it is you’re cooking. So, if you regularly cook large pork shoulders, briskets, or whole poultry, look for a probe length of at least five inches.
There’s also some variation in probe shape. While straight probes are standard, if you’re cooking multiple items or using a small smoker or second rack, a curved probe can help create a more compact setup, because the entire thing stays closer to the meat, especially on smaller cuts. Additionally, many probes feature a “step down” probe, which means a portion of the tip is smaller in diameter than the rest of the probe to prevent juices from escaping when you first poke the meat.
Finally, if you’re cooking more than one piece of meat or a large cut (or bird) that doesn’t necessarily cook evenly, multiple probes can be beneficial. On a multi-probe device, each probe creates a “channel” to display those temperatures separately. Some models even let you name the channels (e.g., top, side, thigh, breast, etc.).
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to grill thermometer display. The first, of course, is preference. Would you rather read the temperature remotely or open the grill to see and touch the meat while checking the temperature? If you’d prefer to keep the grill closed, a wireless thermometer or corded thermometer is the way to go. But if you’d rather get a good look at the meat, and perhaps even feel it for doneness, a standard instant-read thermometer will do.
If you do most of your grilling at night, a back-lit display will be important. And if you’re purchasing a multi-probe unit, you can decide between a transmitter display that rotates between the various channels’ temperatures or shows them all at once.
Set on wireless? Perhaps the most important feature of a wireless thermometer is its wireless range. After all, if you’re buying a wireless thermometer, it’s likely because you don’t want to be glued to the grill for the duration of your cook—no matter how short or long. And the range can vary widely among devices, from around 100 feet to more than 300 feet. Keep in mind, too, that a device’s range is variable depending on whether it’s indoors or outdoors because walls and structures can weaken a signal. Some advanced wireless thermometers (like the MEATER) allow the charging box to be used as a signal repeater, nearly doubling the wireless range, though it’s not always as strong as a direct signal.
How much information do you actually need—or even want—when you’re grilling? If you only need to know the internal temperature of your meat, just about any grilling thermometer will do. But for some grillmasters, tracking the ambient temperature is important. Some grilling thermometers (especially those that connect to apps) even keep a detailed history of every cook, including internal and ambient temperatures.
While this additional information may seem like overkill, it can be helpful to reference it if a cook doesn’t quite turn out as planned, or if you made the best brisket of your life and hope to repeat it step by step, degree by degree. The detailed recording is also helpful when it comes to planning your future cooks. For example, if you want to eat pulled pork for dinner at 6 p.m., you can reference your last cook to see that it took 10 hours (even if the recipe said it would only take eight), so you know that it needs to be on the smoker by 8 a.m. so it can be off at 5 p.m. and cooled and pulled by 6 p.m.
Think about the highest and lowest temperatures you use when grilling (or, say, cold smoking) and check to make sure the thermometer you buy covers that full range. If you want to monitor a meat’s internal temperature when thawing or brining, you’ll certainly need a thermometer that goes as low as it does high.
If you’re using a wireless grill thermometer, you’ll obviously want to be alerted when your meat has reached the target internal temperature. But think about what other alerts you may need, like temperature drops or even drastic ambient temperature changes. The latter is especially helpful if you are smoking meat overnight and actually want to sleep. It’s also helpful to get an alert if you take the transmitter out of range or otherwise lose the signal from the probe. And, last but not least, it should be easy to turn off an alert once you acknowledge it (is there anything more annoying than an alarm that won’t stop?), so look for a clear and accessible way to silence the beeping.
When it comes to wireless grill thermometers, there are two options. The first is a remote device that connects to the probe. The second is an app that connects to the thermometer and sends information to your phone. While an app is convenient—and eliminates the need to keep your eye on an additional device while grilling—there’s also the risk of your phone dropping a Bluetooth or wireless connection. If you regularly find apps or Bluetooth-enabled devices frustrating, a wireless thermometer with an included transmitter might spare you some stress while cooking.
Wireless grill thermometers will require some sort of battery power, and each is a matter of preference. Most take AAA or AA batteries, while some have rechargeable lithium batteries. Both have benefits and drawbacks. With a rechargeable battery, you never need to worry about having disposable batteries available, but if it’s not charged when you need it, you’re out of luck. If your unit requires disposable batteries, you’re only a battery change (or a quick trip to the nearest store) away from a working thermometer.
Most grill thermometers fall in the $10 to $80 range, with a handful of higher-end, feature-heavy models coming in around at $100 or more. Basic instant-read digital thermometers are usually the most affordable, but for another $10 to $20, it’s possible to upgrade to a decent wired or wireless thermometer. With a few exceptions, price is usually less indicative of quality and is based more on features. The more probes, the longer the range, etc., the more a grilling thermometer will cost. That said, if you find a model that boasts a ton of features and has a really low price, the tradeoff might come in the form of durability, reliability, or accuracy, so be sure to read the reviews before purchasing.
The options are seemingly endless when it comes to grill thermometer brands, but ThermoPro offers a nice range of reliable, durable devices at an accessible price point. The brand's most recognizable product is probably its foldable red instant-read thermometer, which can usually be found for around $10 to $15. And for less than $50, you can get a wireless model with a range of up to 300 feet.
Like ThermoPro, ThermoWorks offers a broad range of grill thermometers and even has its own foldable red instant-read device as part of its Thermapen line. The price point is much higher on this brand, which is known for its super-fast temperature readings, accuracy, features, and reliability. ThermoWorks also offers a line of highly specialized and commercial devices with features that include incredible wireless and temperature ranges.
Fairly new to the market, MEATER improved the category with a truly smart wireless meat thermometer that's great for grilling and smoking. The brand's three models center on a stylish, minimalist probe that syncs with a free app. The app does what every other meat thermometer does—reads the internal temperature and alerts you when it's reached—but it also estimates cook time, tracks the ambient temperature of the grill or smoker, records an incredibly detailed history of every cook, and even tells you how long to rest your meat before cutting into it. The probe is stored in a sleek wooden case that doubles as the charger (powered by disposable batteries), as well as a Bluetooth signal repeater to nearly double the wireless range.
While some parts of some grill thermometers are billed as dishwasher-safe, for the most part, thermometers should always be hand-washed, taking care to avoid submerging the transmitter or display. If you’re able to carefully wash just the probe with soap and hot water without getting the digital components wet, that’s fine. Otherwise, wipe everything with a clean, damp cloth to remove any debris, then sterilize the entire thermometer with an alcohol or bleach wipe. Alternatively, you can use a paper towel with rubbing alcohol or a sanitizing bleach solution (one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water).
Once clean, be sure to immediately and thoroughly dry all parts of the thermometer before putting it away.
If you’re using a thermometer with a rechargeable battery (like the MEATER), it’s important to always return it to the charger when after each use. The last thing you want is to reach for your meat thermometer when you need it most, only to find the battery has died. For thermometers that require disposable batteries, be sure you always have extra so you don’t run out mid-cook.
And, as with all gadgets (especially ones you use for cooking), store all of the components together.
No matter what style or features you decide on, it’s still a good idea to read reviews before buying—especially if there are certain foods you grill regularly. For example, you may find what seems like the perfect grill thermometer, only to learn that the probe isn’t great for cooking beer-can chicken on a Kamado-style grill. Look for reviews from people who use the same kind of grill or smoker, and see what kind of cooks they’re using it for. But remember that even the product with the best reviews may not be the best choice for you if it has features or drawbacks that don’t fit your style or method of grilling.