Wireless Meat Thermometer Buying Guide
Shopping for the best wireless meat thermometer for your smoker? Read about types, features, and other helpful information to make the smartest decision. Let’s get started!
Why Do You Need A Wireless Meat Thermometer
The major benefit of a wireless meat thermometer is to keep you from illnesses caused by undercooked meat. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, you need a meat thermometer to check if the meat is done.
Overcooking your meat is also a disaster which is why you need a good meat thermometer to prevent that from happening. Overcooked meat is dry, tough and leaves a bad taste in your mouth. People prefer juicy and tender meat.
Using a wireless meat thermometer is also very convenient because you just select from its built-in preset meat temperature and wait for the alarm to go off. You can even monitor the meat temperature from a remote area.
Types Of Meat Thermometer
Meat thermometers have improved over the years. Today, they come in different types, such as the following –
Digital Meat Thermometer:
This type is often built with preset temperatures for different types of meat. You need to pair it with your smartphone to enjoy the app and long remote range.
Oven-Safe Meat Thermometer:
This type of thermometer can be dial or digital. The dial thermometer has a meat coil that makes the dial move when heated. The digital oven thermometer is easier to read.
Instant-Read Meat Thermometer:
This thermometer has a fast response time between 1 and 3 seconds. It offers accurate temperature results, but no remote range and app features.
What To Consider When Buying A Wireless Meat Thermometer
Here a few facts you should consider before buying a wireless meat thermometer.
The best wireless meat thermometer should have a wide temperature range that can be switched between Fahrenheit and Celsius. This feature is very useful if you plan to cook more than just meat.
The brands we reviewed usually have a temperature range from 32°F- 572°F. This is enough to cover many types of meat. Well done beef, lamb, or veal need to reach a temperature of 170°F. Pork needs to reach 160°F temperature, while poultry is safe to consume when it reaches a temperature of 165°F.
Dual Probe vs Single Probe:
Although more expensive, dual probe thermometers are better than single probes because they can monitor several meats at the same time. They can also check the temperature of multiple sections of meat at once for accuracy. Most people use a dual probe model to detect the temperature of the meat and the ambient temperature of the smoker or oven.
Single probe thermometers are more accurate than their dual-probe counterparts. They have faster response time but they’re inconvenient if you want to throw a barbecue party because they can only check one meat at a time. They also don’t have the remote range that dual-probe models often offer, so you’re chained with your smoker while the meat cooks.
Analog vs Digital:
Digital thermometers are way better than analog in terms of accuracy, consistency, and convenience. Analog thermometers are harder to read and takes a longer time in giving accurate temperature results. They also have fewer features than their digital counterparts.
Although slightly more expensive, you can never go wrong with digital. It’s better to spend more than cook bad meat.
You should get a durable meat thermometer that would last for a very long time. The thermometers in this list are usually made of plastic while the probes are made of stainless steel. As you might already know, stainless steel is safe for food because it doesn’t react with meat nor leach harmful chemicals into the meat.
The wires connecting the probe and the transmitter should be metal-braided and upgraded with Teflore core to endure high heat. As for the display screen, you want it to be as large as possible to view the temperature clearly. It should be back-lit to make it still visible in the dark.
The price is another factor to consider when looking for a good wireless meat thermometer. As much as you want to choose the most affordable product on the market, you don’t have to compromise it with quality. The best meat thermometer should have a great balance between price and quality.
The most affordable meat thermometer in this list is the Kizen Instant-Read Meat Thermometer with the price of $19.25. The most expensive one is the MEATER + 165 feet which costs about $99.
The warranty is for your peace of mind after purchase. It allows you to return the product or ask for a refund in case you’re not satisfied with its performance or quality. Opt for a long warranty if you plan to use the thermometer often.
Manufacturers often give a long warranty if they’re confident with the quality of the product. In this logic, we can surmise that warranty can be a great indicator for quality.
Some extra features can make meat smoking very easy and convenient. Such features include an audible alarm, timer, and preset meat temperature.
An alarm alerts you when the meat has reached the desired temperature of doneness in the smoker. This feature is very useful if you’re multitasking. While waiting for the alarm to go off, you can do other things.
A timer allows you to set the desired time for cooking the meat. To take the guesswork out of cooking various meats in the smoker, it would be best to have multiple meat temperature settings. An auto-off function is also a nice feature to save battery life.
How to Use a Meat Thermometer
Insert the probe in the meat to get the most accurate reading while it’s still cooking on the smoker or oven. Chef Anthony Cole recommends inserting the probe in the thickest part, avoiding the bone and fat. Never take the meat off the heat and try to gauge the temperature.
Most thermometers require you to check the temperature on the meat’s core. Insert the probe at least ½ inch or go deeper if the meat is over one inch thick.
For larger pieces of meat, begin checking the temperature 30 minutes before you expect it to be cooked. Start checking the meat 5-10 minutes ahead of time if you’re smoking smaller cuts of meat. This may not be necessary if you’re using a digital thermometer because preset temperatures are already built. For those without preset meat temperatures, refer to this food safety guideline.
Keep in mind that large portions of meat continue cooking even if you take it out from the heat. To get the right doneness, remove them from the heat when the temperature is 5 degrees lower than the desired doneness temperature. Give these large chunks 5-10 minutes of rest to continue cooking.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):
Below is a list of common questions customers have about the best wireless smoker meat thermometers –
01. Can I Put A Meat Thermometer In A Smoker?
Yes, you can put a meat thermometer in a smoker for more precision and speed. The built-in smoker temperature gauge may not be reliable all the time. Compared to the fitted thermometer in the smoker, a digital thermometer offers a faster response in reading accurate temperatures.
The single probe is the most basic meat thermometer to use in a smoker. The greatest advantage of using a meat thermometer is to know the meat’s internal temperature without opening the smoker.
02. Where Do I Put The Thermometer In The Smoker?
The best place to put the thermometer in your smoker is the top vent. Some models have receivers to read the temperature from a remote area. If you want to permanently attach a thermometer in your smoker, position it above the cooking grate.
03. How Do I Control The Temperature In My Smoker?
If the temperature of the smoker goes above 250°F, close the vents. This will minimize the amount of oxygen, hence drop the temperature. Inversely, open the vents if you want to increase the temperature. If flare-ups occur, move the meat away from the flames to the side and return it back to the coals to continue cooking.
04. Can You Leave The Thermometer In The Meat While It’s Being Cooked?
Yes, you can! You can leave the meat thermometer in the meat until it registers the desired doneness. For larger chunks of meat like roasts and turkeys, you can insert the thermometer before grilling. Instant-read meat thermometers need not be left in the meat while it’s cooking because it can read the temperature in 1-3 seconds.
05. What Is The Temperature Danger Zone?
Generally, the temperature danger zone should be between 40°F and 140°F. This temperature range is where bacteria can proliferate, growing twice as many in as little as 20 minutes.
To keep your food out of the danger zone, never leave your meat at room temperature for more than two hours. Keep the cooked meat hot or above 140°F by putting it in warming trays or preheated steam tables.
06. Can You Use An Infrared Thermometer For Cooking?
No, you can’t because these thermometers will only give you the food’s surface temperature and not the internal temperature. There’s a high chance of cooking under cooked meat if you use infrared instead of a digital meat thermometer.
Its 300-feet remote range, durable build quality, and wide temperature range, makes ThermoPro TP20 the best meat thermometer for the grill. It’s also one of the most accurate thermometers out there with an accuracy of +/-1.8 degrees F. Also, the 3-year warranty is good enough to give you a long coverage of probe replacement.
What impresses us the most with the ThermoPro TP20 is its hassle-free setup. No need to sync it with your smartphone or tablet.
The receiver will show the temperature result without the use of an app. There are already 9 preset temperatures built on the thermometer as well.
However, you are free to make your own pick from our top list of the best wireless meat thermometers. We hope you found this article useful. Till next time!