Maybe too insistent beeping
Color-code beads are loose
Not entirely wireless
We purchased the NutriChef Smart Wireless Grill Thermometer so our reviewer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
Everyone needs a good meat thermometer, and the NutriChef Smart Wireless Grill Thermometer gives you not one, but two probes to monitor food temperatures. Wireless grill thermometers come in handy because they allow you to keep an eye on your meat's temperature while walking away from the grill. We wanted to see how this budget-friendly model stacked up against the competition. We used it on the grill and in the oven, checking its accuracy against other thermometers and verifying the doneness of our foods. Read on for the results.
The base unit resembles an old-fashioned alarm clock with bells on the sides of the top handle, for a cute look. The “bells” are where the connectors of the probe wires are inserted into the base. Yes, wires. This bills itself as a wireless thermometer, but it still has wires that attach the probes to the base.
The wireless part of this thermometer is the app that allowed us to monitor the cooking progress from our phone, so we weren’t tethered to our grill or oven. When we wandered too far indoors for the signal to reach, it was easy enough to find a place to perch our phone within the distance so we could listen for beeps.
When the thermometer arrived, the probe’s wires were wrapped around oval spools and the probes snapped into place to keep it all neatly contained. It’s a nice way to keep the wires from getting crimped and tangled, as long as the user is willing to rewind the wires each time rather than just shoving everything back into the box or into a drawer.
The base unit resembles an old-fashioned alarm clock with bells on the sides of the top handle, for a cute look.
One thing we appreciated was that the probes are color-coded on both ends, with two beads that slide along the wire to rest near the probe or near the base. Since the beads move freely, they didn’t always stay where we wanted them, but it’s better than nothing. Since there are only two probes, it’s not too difficult to remember which is which, even without the beads.
A button on top of the base turns the base on or off. When the base is on, a short press of the button turns on the backlight, which glows orange to make the display easier to see in poor light. A strong magnet on the back let us attach the base to convenient magnetic items, but we would have appreciated an easy way for it to stand up on a table.
When both probes are in use, the display changes to show each temperature for a very short time. A small dot appears in the upper left corner when the temperature is for the left probe. The dot moves slightly to the right when it’s showing the temperature for the right probe. While it was nice that both temperatures were shown, there were times we wanted to pause the display to show just one of the temperatures. The app shows both temperatures at once, though.
App: So many choices
The app is a free download, and it pairs easily with the base unit and shows the current probe temperatures along with the chosen food temperature if it has been set up.
When setting the desired temperature, the app has a reasonably long list of foods with suggested temperatures. Clicking on the edit button for some foods, like beef, veal, and lamb, will show the suggested temperatures from rare to well-done and the ability to customize them. For foods like pork, chicken, turkey, fish, and hamburger, there’s just one temperature, but it can be set higher or lower. For smoking, we needed to set a high and low temperature.
If that’s not enough, there’s also the ability to create a new preset. That preset can use a maximum temperature like the meats, or it can use a range, like the smoke settings. The preset can be named and then it’s saved so it can be used, just like the ones that are the defaults in the app. We created a preset called "Test" when we checked the probes in boiling water and created another when we cooked a large baked potato.
Besides showing the temperatures on the main screen, the app also shows the battery strength and whether it’s connected wirelessly or not. A temperature graph is also available that shows the change in temperature during cooking. While we were most interested in the final temperature, there might be times when a graph would be useful.
One thing we appreciated was that the probes are color-coded on both ends, with two beads that slide along the wire to rest near the probe or near the base.
Along with temperature, the app also can set a timer for each probe, and a note can be added. We set a reminder to add a sauce to our meatloaf partway through the cooking time. As different alerts sound, they’re added to a list that can be scrolled through. While we kept up with alarms as they sounded, it could be handy if we missed one.
The app has some customizations that we really appreciated. Of course, it can be set for Fahrenheit or Celsius, but it can also use different languages or be set to warn when the phone is moving out of connection range. There are several ringtones available as well as vibration, and the alarm interval can be set. However, we found that the alarm didn’t stop beeping until we acknowledged it, so the interval seems to refer to recurring beeps.
The base’s beep was easy to hear, but a bit shrill and overly insistent. Still, it’s better than a beep we could miss, since we wanted to make sure our steak wasn’t overcooked. We could customize the volume on our remote device, but we wished we could adjust the volume on the base.
While we often only needed a single probe, we used both for the majority of our testing. When we cooked a pork tenderloin in the oven, we used a probe on each end of the meat, and an oven probe in the center for a third opinion. At one point, the temperatures on the ends were 102 and 106, while the center temperature was 104. That shows how unevenly a piece of meat can cook.
We tested the probes in boiling water and tested them near each other in a beef roast. We double-checked the temperature using a very accurate instant-read thermometer when we cooked a pork chop on the grill. The temperatures were reliable each time.
Of course, that’s with new probes. We expect that over time the probe wires will fail from exposure to heat and the pinching that happens in the door of the oven or the lid of the grill. That’s not unique to this thermometer—it’s a problem with every thermometer that has wires.
Fortunately, replacement probes are easily available. Unfortunately, a pair of probes costs just about the same as the entire base plus probes.
The temperatures were reliable each time.
There are certainly less expensive thermometers on the market, usually single probes or from unknown companies. On the other side, there are many that are more expensive and longer-lasting. We’d almost consider this thermometer disposable, since replacing both probes would cost as much as the whole package.
NutriChef Smart Wireless Grill Thermometer vs. MEATER Plus
The MEATER Plus (view at Amazon), which we also reviewed, is truly wireless. Because there are no wires, there’s no worry about inaccurate readings from crimped or burned wires. We heartily recommend MEATER Plus for serious cooks who can afford it. Still, there’s room in the market for less expensive models like the NutriChef model we tested, and it works well enough for us to recommend it, with the understanding that the wires are likely to fail eventually, requiring replacement probes.
We’d recommend the NutriChef Smart Wireless Grill Thermometer to anyone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money, with the caveat that the wires will eventually fail—which is just a reality of wired probes.
- Product Name Smart Wireless Grill Thermometer
- Product Brand NutriChef
- MPN PWIRBBQ60
- Price $32.99
- Weight 0.5 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 2.6 x 2.8 x 1.1 in.
- Color Orange and black
- Material Stainless steel probe
- Warranty 1 year
- What's Included A base unit, 2 probes, and 2 spools to wrap the probe wires for storage
- Bluetooth Support Version 4.0 & Later
- Smartphone Support iPhones 4s, Android 4.3 & Later
- Outdoor Wireless Range 200+ ft.
- Indoor Wireless Range 100+ ft.