Let’s set the scene.
You’re hosting a large party at your house and you’ve been hyping everyone up about your smoking abilities. You have a nice 14-pound brisket ready to be thrown on the smoker and all the time in the world to make sure it comes out perfect.
The expectations of your soon-to-be guests are at an all-time high and the pressure is on to make sure this one comes out right. Hours pass and you repeatedly are checking in on your brisket and it looks absolutely delicious.
The final hour has arrived and now your nerves are beginning to grow because you just realized that you don’t know when the meat is truly done. Everyone can tell when it’s cooked all the way through, but when it comes to smoking, cooking to a well-done temperature could mean a very dry brisket.
There are ways to check to see if the food is done by poking at it with a fork, but this doesn’t mean you’ve reached the optimal temperature to yield the best results possible. The pressure is on at this point and you can either run a risk of serving undercooked and potentially unsafe to eat, food or dry, hard to eat food.
All of these worries can easily be brushed aside if you had the best smoker thermometer to help monitor your food during the smoking process. Smoking is such a delicate and timely process and not having the tools with you to ensure you get the best possible results can surely lead to disappointment.
Let’s reset the scene, but this time you’re equipped with a smoking thermometer.
You’re hosting a huge party at your house and you’ve been boasting all week about how amazing your brisket recipe is. You’re confident in every word you say instead of hiding behind them with false confidence, and now everyone is excited.
You wake up early, proud, and ready to take on the day. Finally, the brisket is ready to be thrown in the smoker after it sat with the rub that you applied 4 hours prior.
Hours pass and the guest will be arriving soon and you begin to worry about it being done or not. But, in the midst of your worries, you remember your trusty smoking thermometer is there with you ready to guide you to victory.
You stick the thermometer in the brisket and it reads the perfect temperature. Finally the brisket is ready to serve and it’s gone within 10 minutes of being dished out and you’re the hero of the night.
Perhaps this vision is a bit grandiose, but the message holds true.
Thermometers make the whole smoking process so much easier no matter what you’re cooking.
They can eliminate the immense worry that comes with smoking. Knowing what temperature your food is cooking at is one of the most vital points of the smoking process. It can mean the difference between something being cooked evenly and to perfection or grossly undercooked or extremely chewy.
The goal of this article is to go over the best smoker thermometer that you should be adding to your smoking arsenal. If you still need some more convincing check out this video to give you more reasons to invest in a good one.
Top 7 Best Smoker Thermometer
Best Value (Editor’s Choice)
Starting off strong on the list is going to be the Editor’s Choice, the HAUEA Meat Thermometer. This is going to be the best overall bang for your buck considering all the features it comes with and the price for the product.
The HAUEA Meat Thermometer also comes with a proprietary app. This app allows you to pre-set a temperature you want your food to reach and then it will alarm you through your phone when it’s reached this temperature.
Additionally, this thermometer comes with 11 different “meat modes” to perfectly handle a variety of different meats and smoking methods that you want to use. You can walk up to 100 feet away from the smoker with your phone and it will still notify you of the status of all the different things you’re smoking.
Really, this digital cooking thermometer can almost do it all, even with a smoker full of a variety of different meats. For those who host large parties or cater, this might be the best choice because you can set your desired temperatures and then move on to preparing other dishes for your party with no worries.
Best For Cooking Multiple Items
Coming in at a very close second is the Soraken Wireless Meat Thermometer. This meat thermometer would have taken the number one spot except it just lacked a few features that the Editor’s Choice had. This doesn’t take away from the immaculate quality that this product offers.
The Soraken Wireless Meat Thermometer comes with 4 colorful meat probes to help with cooking a variety of different meats. It closely can relate to the HAUEA meat thermometer because it has an app that allows you to connect your smartphone via Bluetooth to the thermometer’s displays so you can monitor your food on the go.
The main difference between this product and Editor’s Choice pick is simply only offering 4 probes instead of 6, which is still a minor difference. The Soraken also comes with 11 different meat modes, from turkey, fish, vile, beef, lamb, and chicken to even hot or cold smoke and BBQ smoking options.
It takes away all potential worries for serving any questionable temperature meats while also allowing you to be as hands-off as possible. The kitchen can be a really busy place and the Soraken Wireless Meat Thermometer can take off some of that stress, so you can focus on other dishes while still serving top-quality smoked meat!
Best for the Minimalist
Sometimes simplicity is best when looking for a new addition to your arsenal. The MEATER smart thermometer delivers a simple set up and designs while simultaneously being a high-tech smoking thermometer. This thermometer is for the minimalist because it has absolutely no wires!
It comes with a single probe that has dual sensors integrated into it and a charging station, it’s quite simple. The probe has two different sensors built inside it that can measure the internal and external temperatures of the meat. It reads the external by taking the temperature of the immediate heat on the direct outside of the meat.
The charging dock is where you can place the wireless probe when you’re done cleaning it. It also acts as a Bluetooth extender allowing you to walk almost 200 feet away from the grill with your smartphone. Another cool small feature is it has a hanger built on the top of it so you can hang the charging station on the handle of your grill.
This thermometer is for those who only like to cook one thing at a time or just don’t like to mess with all the wires that often come with thermometer probes. The price is a little bit higher than some other quality thermometers, but the simple design and high-quality technology make up for it greatly.
Best For The Smoker On A Budget
The NutriChef Smart Bluetooth BBQ Thermometer is best for the tech-loving smoker who is on a budget. It is heavily dependent on using Bluetooth and an app to monitor your meat’s progress.
It comes with the option for a single or double probe and a Bluetooth connectivity device. The probes come with a 32-inch cable that allows you to safely place the Bluetooth connector away from the heat of the grill.
This smart thermometer is going to be the most economical thermometer on the list. For those who are on a budget, but also like the freedom that comes with cooking with technology, this product can really prove to be a great choice.
Best For Precise Cooking
This thermometer is best for those who are looking to get really specific with their smoking thermometer capabilities. The Inkbird comes with a variety of different features that can truly enhance your smoking experience and allow for a much more specific result.
This thermometer comes with 3 meat probes, 1 ambient probe, 1 smart meat thermometer, and a charging cable. The 3 meat probes will monitor the internal temperature of the meat you’re cooking while the ambient probe monitors the temperature just on the outside of the meat.
The smart thermometer has an LED display on it and also Bluetooth capability to connect to your smartphone via their app. The thermometer has 12 different meat modes to choose from depending on what you’re cooking. It can even help monitor the temperature your food should be depending on how well you want it done.
The ThermoPro is best for those who are looking for one place for all your smoking thermometer needs. This thermometer is great for those who may not have the highest budget and are looking to get the most out of their thermometer.
Precision is key when it comes to smoking and ensuring you can cover all aspects of writing means, your meat will come out perfect every time.
This thermometer comes with 2 probes, 1 smart thermometer, and 1 portable monitor. The monitor allows you to walk up to 300 feet away from the grill while still being able to effectively monitor the meat temperatures.
The thermometer is designed to be able to choose the target temperature you want your meat to achieve by choosing from one of 11 different meat modes. Additionally, the thermometer can indicate when the meat is done based on the doneness you want it to be.
Best Instant Reader
For those who don’t want the added stress that comes with working with cables and different features, this instant reader may be for you. Instant readers are for the stress-free smokers or the veterans who know what they need, just want a little bit of accurate help along the way.
This smoking thermometer comes with only itself and that’s it which makes it easy on storage and usability. Simply open it to turn it on and close the thermometer to turn it off, the 3000-hour battery life should last for many smoking sessions to come.
Once placed in the meat, this thermometer can give accurate readings in only 2-3 seconds. The probe itself is about 2 inches long and then the whole thermometer is designed to work with the odd angles that often come with meat and even friendly to left-handed users!
Frequently Asked Questions
What About Infrared Thermometers?
Technology has really sprouted over the years and cooking utensils have become more and more high tech. Part of this advancement has been the introduction of infrared thermometers.
These thermometers allow you to keep a safe working distance while checking on the temperature of the food you’re cooking. However, when it comes to smoking meats, this can be a real issue. The biggest issue that infrared thermometers pose is their inability to measure internal temperatures.
Not having the capability to measure internal cooking temperatures is completely ineffective when smoking meat. Meat is often measured by its internal temperatures because if undercooked the meat can be unsafe to eat, whereas too high of an internal temperature and it is a total bust.
Infrared thermometers are indeed a cool aspect of cooking thermometers, but having physical probes penetrate past the external layer of meat is essential. Perhaps as time moves on the technology can advance to more accurate readings, but for now, play it safe and stick with the probes.
How do I Set Up a Wireless Thermometer and What is the Best Position for Probes?
Setting up a wireless thermometer can look very intimidating, but rest assured that it’s far from difficult.
- Ensure all monitors have batteries
- Turn on monitors and apps
- Connect phones/monitors to the smart thermometer via Bluetooth capability
- Begin smoking!
Most wireless thermometers come with manuals that show the exact directions you should take to properly connect and use your meat thermometer.
When it comes to placing probes, there are a number of ways to properly place them in the meat depending on what you’re cooking. The best rule of thumb is placing the probe into the thickest part of the meat because it will make those areas the longest to properly be cooked.
For more accurate readings on poultry, probes should be tested throughout the whole bird otherwise you run a high risk of getting Salmonella.
When cooking thinner meats like a burger or steak, place the probe on the side of the meat and push it in to be as close to the center as possible. This will give the best reading possible because the center will be the hardest to properly cook through depending on how well-done you want it.
Some things to keep in mind when placing probes:
- Ensure that they are secured in place and there isn’t a risk of losing them during the cooking process.
- Try to touch as much of the meat as possible while avoiding things like bone and fat that can greatly affect the temperature readings.
For more information on how to use probes watch this video.
How to Best Avoid Destroying Your New Thermometer?
The best way to avoid destroying your new thermometer is to treat it with care. Your manual will lay out all of the best practices when using the thermometer.
Some things to keep up on are ensuring that they are:
- Properly cleaning after every use
- Not exceeding thermometer-specific temperature max’s
- Being careful to not drop or mishandle the thermometer when not using it.
What do I Look For in a Smoker Thermometer?
There are a variety of things to look for when finding the smoker thermometer. The most important aspect is to take into account what you want from your thermometer.
Not all thermometers come with the same features and all have vastly different prices depending on these features. Finding your budget, features that you need to have, and features that you could go without are all great ways to narrow down your list.
If you’re still having issues deciding after that then you can take into account what you intend on smoking and those thermometers which will best serve you.
Deducing that you want to introduce a smoking thermometer to your arsenal is a great way to enhance your smoking experience. They are such a powerful tool that many take for granted because of how precise they can get.
Smoking can be a pretty stressful and chaotic process and thermometers can really eliminate a lot of that stress because they can tell you exactly when your food is done without a second thought. Consider buying a thermometer to start delivering more accurate results and carry more confidence in your smoking abilities.
Your guests will remember you for how amazing that brisket was instead of how dry and chewy it could have been!