When it comes to BBQ and technology, I admit I’m a bit old-school. When you’ve been grilling and meat smoking for as long as I have, it’s easy to feel you’ve mastered all the tricks. I thought I was perfectly satisfied with my old instant-read digital meat thermometer…until I tried out a wireless one.
Using a wireless thermometer makes monitoring your temperatures much easier, especially during BBQ parties or for overnight smoking sessions. Instead of opening the lid to poke at your meat, you can glance at the base station or check the temperature through the app on your phone or tablet.
We’ve done the legwork and found 5 wireless options worthy of your attention. If you’re looking to lighten your workload while producing world-class BBQ, then check out our recommendations for the best wireless meat thermometers!
- 1 Our Reviews for the Best Wireless Meat Thermometers
- 2 What is a Wireless Thermometer?
- 3 Why Choose Wireless?
- 4 What to Look for in a Wireless Thermometer
Our Reviews for the Best Wireless Meat Thermometers
Using a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure your food is always cooked to perfection. While your eyes, nose, and fingers may be tricked into pulling your meat too soon (or worse, letting it overcook!), an accurate thermometer never lies.
What is a Wireless Thermometer?
The confusing thing about wireless thermometers is that most systems are not actually entirely wireless.
A typical wireless set-up includes a temperature probe that connects directly into the base station. This station hangs out near your grill and displays information about your settings, alerts, and temperatures. You place the probe in your meat, connect the probe’s wire to the base station, choose your program and shut the lid.
The “wireless” part refers to the base station and how it communicates with the receiver or your smartphone. The base sends information directly to the receiver and keeps you advised of your meat’s temperature when you are away from the BBQ.
More complex wireless thermometers connect to your smartphone and use it in place of the receiver. You may be able to link several devices together over your WiFi so you can monitor your meat from both inside and outside your home. Some systems even coordinate with the smooth-talking Amazon Alexa!
Using a wireless thermometer, you can set alerts and potentially monitor your meat from anywhere on your property in range of the base station.
Some systems are more limited than others and many require access to your WiFi. You will likely need to download the manufacturer’s app to use your phone with your wireless thermometer. While these systems can take a bit more effort to set-up initially, the freedom they grant is well worth the cost.
I may have gone into that first meat smoking session feeling a bit skeptical, but I came out a devoted convert of wireless meat thermometers!
Meater – The Only True Wireless Meat Thermometer
We looked at a lot of high quality wireless thermometers while making our review list, and the most impressive by far were these two sets from the Meater company. This is a great option if you are comfortable using WiFi and have a couple of smartphones or tablets handy.
The Meater thermometer is a standout product in the wireless thermometer marketplace, as this is currently the only truly wireless thermometer. If you really want to cut the cord then this is the thermometer for you!
Premium Meater Block Set
The Premium Meater Block comes with everything you need to monitor up to 4 pieces of meat on your grill or smoker. The wooden storage case doubles as the base station and also recharges your temperature probes.
Since the probes communicate with the base station using the Meater cloud, you never have to mess with wires or slip them through holes in your grill’s lid. You can even use it with a rotisserie rack since there are no wires to get tangled around the spit.
The coolest thing about the probes is that a single one can measure the temperature inside your grill and your meat’s temperature at the same time! No more using the inaccurate lid thermometer or tying up a probe just for watching your cooking temp. The probes work for a full 24 hours before they run out of juice, so long smoking sessions are no problem.
The base station has a range of 165 feet and uses your smartphone or tablet as a receiver. Then your wireless network can link it to another phone, computer or device such as Alexa inside your home, creating a chain of devices passing the info from your grill to you. This way, you can receive alerts while walking around your property or while sitting on the couch inside.
The Meater has a guided cooking system that walks you through every step and helps produce consistent results. You can set custom alerts and notifications based on both cooking times and temperatures. The Meater will even estimate when your food will be ready to eat.
The premium Meater is on the pricey side, but if you often grill for crowds or smoke big cuts of meat it is well worth it. Being able to watch football while waiting out the brisket stall is priceless! The Meater is also the best wireless thermometer for smoking meat or making rotisserie since it is completely cordless.
Budget Meater Set
For those with a more limited budget or who don’t need as many probes, you have another option. The New Meater Block has all the benefits and features of the premium set but comes with a single probe instead of four. It is typically priced at less than half the cost of the premium version too.
Whether you prefer the premium set or opt for the less-expensive single-probe model, your Meater is a great investment for your grill or smoker. It comes with a 1-year limited warranty and the company provides tech support if you run into connectivity problems.
ThermoPro TP20 Digital Wireless Thermometer
If you prefer an inexpensive and simple wireless thermometer system then you should take a look at the ThermaPro TP20. This digital thermometer is surprisingly user-friendly and is quite durable to boot.
The ThermaPro comes with a receiver, base station and two thermometer probes with 36-inch long wires. You won’t need to use a smartphone or mess with your WiFi to use it either. Setting up your wireless BBQ thermometer takes a few minutes at most and isn’t difficult at all.
Once you’ve placed your probes and connected them to the base you can clip the receiver to your belt and wander at will. The large digital display keeps track of your current and target temperatures and alerts you when things are ready.
The probes are rated to over 700°F, so you can use one to monitor your meat and the other to watch your grill’s temp. Or you can use the ThermaPro for two pieces of meat if you want. The long wires make this unit suitable for use in smokers, grills, and ovens.
The range of this remote meat thermometer is impressive as well. The ThermaPro base can communicate with the receiver from up to 300 feet away! Your range may be more limited if there’s a lot of metal around your grill or if you’re inside your home, however.
The ThermaPro 2 probe thermometer is covered under a 1-year warranty and the company offers an extended warranty for up to three years. The weak point with this system are the probes (and wires), as they will eventually wear out from the heat. The extended warranty covers them, so it might be a good idea to get the extra coverage.
Inkbird Wireless Bluetooth BBQ Thermometer
For bigger families or those who want a system with more temperature probes, the Inkbird barbecue thermometer has got you covered. This attractive wireless thermometer is compact and designed for use with a grill or smoker.
The Inkbird is a 6 probe thermometer with 46-inch long wires and clips to stabilize the probes inside the cooker. These probes are safe at temps up to 480°F, so you can use them to monitor food or the temperature inside your grill.
The base station comes in two pieces and is powered by a rechargeable battery.
The base unit has a rotating screen, so you can view the display from any angle. It only displays the reading for a single probe, however, and you have to scroll to see the other readings.
The base fits into a holder with a magnetized backing and numbered slots to keep track of the probes. You can attach the 2-piece base station to the metal sides of your grill or smoker. The base lasts up to 60 hours when fully-juiced and works with a common USB charging cable.
You can monitor things from the base station, or you can pair the Inkbird to a smartphone or tablet and use their app to track your food through the remote sensor.
This way you can monitor the readings from multiple probes at the same time without having to scroll between them. It also has a range of up to 150 feet and can send the signal indoors if you’re watching a game while your food cooks.
The Inkbird is backed by a 1-year warranty and the company is very receptive to comments and suggestions. This is a tough little wireless thermometer, too.
Smartro ST55 Wireless Digital Meat Thermometer
If you’re looking for a budget-priced wireless thermometer that doesn’t skimp on features, then the Smartro ST55 is a great option. This is an excellent choice for folks who want to get an idea of what a wireless system can do for their BBQ.
It comes with a backlit digital base station and three color-coded temperature probes.
The probes have a curved section coated in silicon, so they are easy to adjust on the fly without burning your hands or using a pair of grill gloves. The base is easy to see and adjust using the touchscreen controls.
The probes can simultaneously monitor three pieces of meat, or you can use one probe to keep track of your grill’s temperature. The base pairs with your smartphone so you can monitor your food from up to 100 feet away. The range is a bit more limited indoors, however.
You can use the Smartro presets or set custom alerts for specific temperatures or cooking times. Their free app makes it easy to follow your meat’s progress on your phone as you relax with your guests.
This system is ideal for smaller families and folks who want to use it for multiple types of cooking. It’s suitable for grills, smokers and oven cooking, but you can also use it in a deep-fat fryer or to fry a whole turkey. The stainless steel probes are durable and can handle temperatures up to 572°F.
The Smartro comes with a 1-year limited warranty, and the manufacturer also sells extended warranties on their website. Requesting a replacement probe is as easy as sending an email!
Maverick ET732 Long Range Meat Thermometer Set
If you’re looking to keep things simple, then the Maverick ET732 remote meat thermometer may be the one for you. This practical system is straightforward and easy to use but is a bit more limited than the other options on our list.
The Maverick comes with a base station, digital receiver and two temperature probes with 36-inch long wires. The wireless thermometer has a long range of up to 300 feet and works inside and out, though you might have a more limited range indoors. The signal works well going through windows but can struggle to communicate through solid walls.
You can use the probes to monitor two pieces of meat simultaneously or use one of the probes to watch your smoker’s temperature. The probes are suitable for use in a smoker, grill or oven, but are not waterproof. You shouldn’t use this thermometer for deep-fat frying and you’ll need to be careful when washing the probes.
It’s very easy to set the wireless thermometer up and select your preferred alert temperatures. The Maverick will send out an alarm to the receiver when your food is ready. Or you can use one of the 15 presets programmed into the thermometer instead of choosing your own temperature.
The Maverick is a basic wireless thermometer without a lot of extra functions, but it does a good job and is fairly accurate. The probes are not terribly durable, however, and you should plan on replacing them yearly if you use your thermometer frequently. The company sells replacements, so they are easy to find.
The only downside to this wireless set is the warranty. Unlike the other wireless thermometers in our review, the Maverick only comes with a 90-day limited warranty. Considering the price, you may feel the other options are a better deal.
|Some more great thermometer guides|
|Instant Read Thermometer|
|Dual Probe Thermometer|
Why Choose Wireless?
There are a lot of options when buying a wireless thermometer for your outdoor cooking. You can always opt for an inexpensive digital probe, but what if you want to leave the thermometer in place while your meat cooks?
Pitmasters know that you lose heat every time you open your grill or smoker.
This isn’t a huge issue if you’re searing a steak or grilling some asparagus. But for indirectly cooking a chicken or smoking a brisket, you can really set yourself back by checking on your meat too often. When the temperature inside drops, your meat stops cooking and won’t continue until the heat comes back up.
Using a wireless thermometer, you can leave the temperature probe in your meat and wander around while your food cooks. You don’t have to babysit the grill, and the base station and/or receiver can keep you updated on your food’s status with a quick glance. Your food cooks faster because you won’t have to constantly open the door to check it!
Wireless systems are especially useful when you’re doing an extended session of meat-smoking or hosting an outdoor party. It can get boring sitting by the smoker for hours while your pork shoulder cooks. Instead, using a wireless thermometer you can get on with your other tasks and not have to worry about your meat overcooking.
Benefits of Using a Wireless Meat Thermometer
- Probe stays in the food while the base station keeps you updated on your food’s temperature and cooking time. You don’t have to poke your food repeatedly.
- No need to lift the lid or open the door to check on your meat.
- Can monitor your food using the base, or remotely using the receiver or your smartphone.
- Never risk overcooking your meat again!
- Multiple probes allow you to monitor several items at once.
- Can be used with any grill or smoker, and many also work with ovens, air fryers, and even deep-fat fryers.
What to Look for in a Wireless Thermometer
You have a lot of options when buying a wireless thermometer, but how do you identify the best product for your family?
Obviously, you’ll want to consider how you’ll use your new set-up. If you plan to make a lot of rotisserie chickens, for instance, then your best bet is the entirely-wireless Meater system. If you are guided by price, you may prefer the budget Smartro digital thermometer.
Wireless thermometers are quite versatile and come in a wide range of styles. Here are the points to consider before you buy a wireless system for your grill or smoker:
There are a few things you’ll want to think about when it comes to your wireless thermometer’s temperature probes.
Number of Probes
How many probes can your thermometer monitor at a time, and how many do you need?
Wireless systems typically come with 2 to 6 probes, and your device can only monitor as many pieces of meat as you have probes. If you use a probe to keep an eye on your grill’s temperature, that’s one less you have to monitor your meat with.
I think most pitmasters would prefer having at least two probes, and for bigger cuts of meat or BBQ parties, having as many as 6 is surely helpful. Personally, I find I need to frequently watch 4 pieces of meat at a time, so that’s my personal minimum.
Dual or Single-Use
Some manufacturers claim their wireless systems have dual-use thermometer probes, but the term doesn’t always mean what we think it means.
The Meater probes are truly dual-use, in that each probe can measure the temperature inside the grill at the same time it measures the temperature of the food it’s inserted into. A single Meater probe gives you two readings (grill and food).
For most wireless thermometers, the probes can either track the temp of a piece of meat OR the temp inside your grill. A single probe can only track one of these temps at a time. But these systems may still be advertised as having dual-use probes.
Be sure you read the fine print so you know what your system’s probes can do, regardless of whether the manufacturer calls them “dual-use.”
Since most grilling thermometers still use wires or cords to connect the probes to the base station, you’ll need to be sure those wires are long enough for your needs.
If you often smoke big cuts of meat, you may need some extra cord-length to “crutch” it with the probe inside. Thermometers with longer wires are the best choice to use with smokers and give you extra length to work with when wrapping your meat in foil, butcher paper or parchment.
The probes and wires are also the main points of failure for wireless thermometers. Over time, the heat will damage them and they’ll likely need replacing every couple of years. Check and see if your manufacturer sells extras or covers them under warranty.
Monitoring Station and Receiver
All wireless thermometers come with a base station that displays the info from your temperature probes. This station sits next to your grill or smoker, and you can use it to monitor your meat remotely as long as you’re able to see the display.
Some systems also come with a separate receiver you can carry around with you if you don’t want to be tethered to the grill. These systems are usually very easy to set up and don’t require use of your WiFi network. They may have a limited range, however.
Alternatively, many wireless thermometers can also use a smartphone or tablet as the receiver. You can download an app and monitor your meat’s temperature right from your phone.
These systems can be a bit more complicated to set-up and usually require access to your WiFi network. You may also need to use several devices linked together if you’re trying to cover a larger area or moving between your yard and home.
Most wireless thermometers come with built-in programs for cooking different types of meat to various levels of doneness (think rare, medium-rare, etc). These systems will alert you when your meat reaches the desired temperature or cooking time.
Fancier systems often have custom alerts. You may be able to set an alarm when your brisket hits a specific temp or drops below the desired one. Some systems are very flexible and let you set alerts for cooking times, temperatures and even the temperature of your grill or smoker.
Countdown timers can help you keep track of how much longer you have until your food’s ready. Some can even factor in the resting time for your food as well.
All wireless thermometers require a power source.
Some systems use rechargeable batteries for power. You’ll need to connect your base station to your computer or use a USB cable and adapter to juice it up before a BBQ. Fully-charged, these grilling thermometers often get a good 24-60 hours of use before they run low.
The downside to these rechargeable thermometers is they lose their charge capacity over time. Your thermometer might originally hold a charge for 60 hours, but after a few years, it may only be able to handle half of that.
Other system’s use disposable batteries for their power, most typically a few AA batteries. The great thing is that they will always have the maximum amount of juice when you add new batteries. But you’ll also need to keep batteries on hand and be ready to swap them out mid-barbeque or in the middle of a smoking session.
Wireless thermometers come in a wide range of prices but are usually more expensive than the instant-read variety.
A typical budget set-up is usually in the $30-60 range but premium thermometer sets can easily run over a hundred. You’ll get more functionality from a premium set, but a budget option can still get the job done.
Many of the less-expensive sets, like the ThermaPro and Smartro, have a lot of features packed into their small packages and do a great job. They may be a bit more limited than the amazing Meater thermometers but you’ll still make some great barbecue with them.
Warranty and Support
Most wireless thermometers come with at least a 1-year limited warranty that covers the base station and temperature probes/wires. You might be able to buy an extended plan, but it may not be worth it for a cheap wireless thermometer.
You’ll have to check the details of your system’s warranty to see what is covered and for how long. It’s always a good idea to check out the company’s website and see how easy it is to make a claim or get support if you have a problem.