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What is the Best Smoker Thermometer? Accurate & Convenient Options (2021)

by Outdoor Cooking Pros October 29, 2021

What is the Best Smoker Thermometer? Accurate & Convenient Options (2021)

A smoker thermometer is similar to a meat thermometer with one difference - it can also measure the ambient temperature. Not all of them can do this, but at least they have to be heat resistant and accurate. Again, not all of them are, so how do you know which ones can deliver? You can’t go wrong if you follow our experts’ choices below.

Reviews of the Top Smoker Thermometers

1. VAUNO Wireless Meat Thermometer - Editor’s Choice

 


The wireless meat thermometer from Vauno earns the top spot because it can measure ambient temperatures and has a stable signal up to 490 feet away. It is very durable with an intuitive interface, waterproof, and has preset settings to name a few.

The meat thermometer can measure the temperature of 2 lumps of meat plus the ambient smoker temperature with 3 separate probes. It also has a built-in timer that will notify you when the meat temperature is perfect.

It is a highly versatile tool that our team relied on heavily during test BBQing. Whether it was frying, smoking, grilling, or baking, the meat thermometer produced accurate results. 

Pros

  • IPX7 waterproof rating
  • Very long wireless thermometer range
  • Celsius and Fahrenheit selector
  • Comes with 2 meat probes and 1 for ambient temperature
  • USDA doneness levels preprogrammed
  • Versatile tool
  • Highly accurate
  • User-friendly interface
  • Large LCD screen
  • Count up and down timer

Cons

  • Lots of info displayed on the screen
  • Timer only goes to 99 min

2. Lavatools Javelin PRO - Premium Option

 

Lavatools Javelin PRO


The Lavatools Javelin PRO is an affordable and basic model for those who don’t need all the bells and whistles. The simplicity of it also makes it easier to use. Don’t let something easy and straightforward fool you, the Javelin PRO is a very versatile BBQ thermometer that can monitor temperatures during grilling, cooking, smoking, and more.

The thermometer is shaped in a way to make it comfortable for both right and left-handed people and is NSF certified. You can get your temperature reading within 1 to 3 seconds! 

Don’t worry about durability as the BBQ thermometer has an IP65 waterproof and dustproof rating.

Pros

  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Intelligent stabilization alert
  • Small and compact
  • Fast response
  • Versatile tool
  • Digital thermometer
  • Used and recommended by professionals
  • IP65 protection rating
  • Ambidextrous design

Cons

  • Not a wireless digital meat thermometer
  • Not for induction cooking 

3. Veken Wireless Meat Thermometer - Best Budget

 

 


The Veken wireless meat thermometer is another model packed full of features. You have your choice from 3 different colors with very accurate temperature readings with up to four probes.

The wireless range of this BBQ thermometer is also an amazing 490 feet, giving you plenty of space to multitask. The readings of the internal meat temperature are displayed within 2 to 3 seconds with supreme precision.

Both the transmitter and the receiver of the thermometer come paired, so the setup and programming are very easy. There are also preset temperature settings with USDA-recommended 5 levels of doneness. 

Pros

  • Comes with everything you need including batteries
  • Long-range
  • Accurate and fast temperature readings
  • The alarm goes off when smoker temperatures are ideal
  • Excellent for smokers and grills
  • Back-lit LCD screen
  • Fahrenheit and Celsius options
  • Stainless steel meat probes

Cons

  • Needs to be kept away from heat
  • Timer doesn’t go too high 

4. ThermoPro TP28

 

 


The ThermoPro TP28 is a wireless remote digital cooking tool that has the transmitter and receiver plus two meat probes. One probe monitors the meat while the other measures the smoking chamber until it reaches the desired temperature.

The remote range of the TP28 outdoes all the other smoker thermometers at 500 feet! Most of us won’t leave the BBQ pit, but knowing the signal is stable and strong enough to penetrate obstacles gives us peace of mind. 

The timer and smart alarm on this BBQ thermometer can count up or down that’s excellent for monitoring extra side dishes.

Pros

  • Comes with USDA preset temperatures 
  • 4 alarm modes
  • Long range transmitter
  • Dual probes
  • Large backlit LCD screen
  • Low battery indicator
  • Celsius and Fahrenheit display
  • 10 kinds of meat presets
  • Probe winder

Cons

  • Programming can be a bit complicated
  • No case

5. NutriChef PWIRBBQ299

 

NutriChef PWIRBBQ299


NutriChef creates many products, but the PWIRBBQ299 BBQ thermometer with dual probe comes with a ton of features and accessories. For starters, the carrying case really makes a difference for storage. The PWIRBBQ299 is a Bluetooth meat thermometer, which means it has a compatible app.

It works with Android or iOS systems so there is no need for a separate transmitter and receiver design for Bluetooth meat thermometers. 

The double stainless steel probe design is durable and safe, and you have the choice of adding up to six probes to really increase the number of applications you can do at once.

Pros

  • Comes with a travel case
  • Smoker, grill, BBQ thermometer
  • Can add multiple probes
  • Bluetooth meat thermometer
  • 100M wireless range with Android or iOS
  • Done alarm
  • Adjustable temperature monitoring
  • Free app download

Cons

  • No IP rating
  • Names for preset temperatures can’t be too long 

6. NutriChef PWIRBBQ80

 


    If the PWIRBBQ299 from NutriChef impressed you, then the PWIRBBQ80 will as well. This model is another Bluetooth meat thermometer that works with Android or iOS. The wireless range is an impressive 328 feet outdoors and a 100-foot range indoors.

    Your smartphone will alert you when your smoker and your meats have reached the target temperatures. The PWIRBBQ80 is a thermometer with a dual probe out of the box, but you have the option of adding 4 more for a total of 6.

    The small unit is compact, but the screen is still very large and takes up most of the surface for a clear readout. 

    Pros

    • Long range
    • Each meat probe is heat resistant up to 482 degrees F
    • Pro cooking presets
    • Works with Android or iOS
    • Alarm and alert notifications
    • Safe to leave outside
    • Small and compact
    • Large screen

    Cons

    • Doesn’t pair with Apple Watches
    • Basic app 

    7. BFOUR Meat Thermometer

     


    Many of our expert chefs liked the small handheld design, which is why the BFOUR meat thermometer made it onto our list. This particular thermometer is a dual probe design but you have the option of picking the one with 6.

    The Bluetooth meat thermometer offers a range of 200 feet and superior wireless stability with Bluetooth version 5.0. There isn’t a BBQ thermometer on our list that has as many certifications as this one, with a Red Dot Design Award under its belt and approval from RoHS, FCC, and CE.

    Pros

    • Wide temperature range from 33 to 572 degrees F
    • Digital thermometer readout
    • Large display
    • Alarm sounds when the internal temperature hits the target
    • Has a compatible app
    • Reliable smoker thermometer
    • Dual probe or 6 probe options
    • Can withstand temperatures
    • Accurate reading 
    • Durable thermometer
    • Works with Android or Apple phone
    • USDA preset temperatures

    Cons

    • Better for ambient temperature than for meat
    • No landscape view on the iPad 

    8. Nicewell Dual Probe Meat Thermometer

     


    For those who want a simple, hands-on, easy-grip smoker and grill thermometer, the Nicewell Dual Probe is an excellent choice. The simple-looking unit has a high-precision sensor built in that makes it a near-instant read thermometer with extreme temperature accuracy.

    The wide temperature range will further guarantee accurate temperature readings and the BBQ thermometer folds up easily for storage. It’s also a very smart thermometer with automatic features such as the auto shutoff once you fold it back to save power.

    The settings can all be done on the surface of this 8th best smoker thermometer such as switching from C to F. 

    Pros

    • Very small thermometer
    • Accurate thermometer
    • Easy control buttons
    • Auto shutoff
    • Folds back for storage and power saving
    • Hold temperature function
    • Rotatable
    • Oven-safe probe wire
    • Wide temperature range
    • Backlit screen 
    • Magnetic back

    Cons

    • No alert when it turns off
    • Magnet could be stronger

    Smoker Thermometers Buyer’s Guide

    Mastering temperatures within your smoker is part skill and part tool. Your choice of the meat thermometer for grilling and smoking will impact your results. You need it to do all you expect and more. The best smoker thermometers will definitely have the features below to give you consistent results every time.

    Need a smoker first? Check out the best smokers for beginners here.

    Thermometer Type

    Your first consideration is the type of BBQ thermometer you choose. This is a very broad category that encompasses the number of probes and if you can add more meat probes and if the grill thermometers are instant-read or wireless smoker thermometer options.

    Of course, a digital meat thermometer with just one probe is the most basic, but it’s also the least useful if your purpose is to measure the air and meat simultaneously. This is why our culinary team chose meat thermometers that offer at least 2 probes. 

    Even if your cooking food meat thermometer comes with just 1 or 2, some can allow users to add up to 6 probes. This will cost you a bit more, so we suggest going for ones that come with as many meat probes as you need to get a better grasp of the price.

    The top smoker thermometers will most definitely be easy to use and easy to read. There are a few main types, which are single probe, dual probe or more, and infrared thermometers – all of which can be wired or wireless.

    As we said, single probe smoker thermometers are not the most versatile, which only gives you the option to choose one thing to measure. In the case of smokers, you will have to pick between measuring the ambient temperatures or the meats. You may think single probes are more affordable, and they are, but the difference is negligible between a single and dual, which is why our team says to just go for the double. 

    As we also said, you can add onto the top smoker thermometer and increase the number of probes up to 6 and sometimes more. With more probes, you can get the accurate temperatures of the air within your smoker and multiple meats. More probes mean more wires, but that’s a drawback that you have to contend with.

    Infrared thermometers are great choices for those who don’t trust the build of these tools. Unlike the ones with probes, infrared units aren’t leave-in types, so you won’t have to worry about temperature resistance as much. They aren’t the best for reading oven temperature or even the heat in the smoker chamber, which is why you don’t see this type of smoker thermometers reviewed.

    Then comes the question of wired or wireless designs. In this day and age, we’re really not surprised that wireless remote digital cooking devices are a thing. For measuring the internal temperature of your smoker, we have wireless meat thermometer options.

    A wireless digital meat thermometer has a very obvious benefit - you can monitor your smoker from anywhere within range, and the range is usually very wide. A wireless meat thermometer can either come with a transmitter and receiver to pair up, or it can work together with your smartphone. 

    A wired option requires you to stay put and monitor the cooking process. Both wired and wireless cooking food meat thermometer designs serve the same purpose, so our BBQ chefs suggest going for wireless ones for the sake of convenience.

    You also have the choice of an analog or digital cooking food meat thermometers, which brings us to our next point. 

    Display

    Yes, analog BBQ thermometers exist, but you don’t see any make an appearance on our smoker thermometer reviews list because they aren’t easy to read and they are usually only for meat temperatures. Digital smoker thermometers are easy to read with clear numbers and information on a backlit LCD screen.

    Hopefully, the screen is big enough to take up a good portion of the thermometer’s surface so you can get the readout at a glance. You also want the remote digital cooking food tool to be fast and accurate. It doesn’t matter if the single or dual temperature sensors are sensitive and fast-acting if the display doesn’t show the information quickly.

    It’s also useful to think about what information you definitely want the smoker grill thermometer display to show. While you may think you want it to display everything, our experts advise only to have the temperature setting and 1 to 2 other tidbits of information. 

    Why? Because the display can get really cluttered and the more the screen shows, the smaller the numbers will be, which makes the smoker grill thermometer more difficult to read. Also, having a backlit screen will also make the wired or wireless thermometer easier to read at any time of the day. 

    Cable Length

    The cable length for the probe is important because a longer cable will keep users at bay and protect them from heat injuries. Longer wires also give grill masters more room to move, but they may also get tangled with each other. Our pitmasters say to go for a smart wireless meat thermometer if you want to completely eliminate this consideration.

    Temperature Range

    To be an accurate wired or wireless thermometer, you have to have a unit that can measure as wide a range as possible. How can you have a smart wireless meat thermometer if the temperature is out of its range?

    Smoking meat tends to be best at a certain range of heat (200 to 250 F), so just make sure the smoker grill BBQ thermometer is within that range for both the meat and the air inside the chamber.

    Accuracy 

    You want a smoker and grill thermometer that delivers a real-time temperature rating that’s as accurate as possible. Some manufacturers are honest and say the devices may be off by just a few degrees, but our professionals say to not tolerate anything above a 1-degree variance.

    The accuracy of your thermometer can make or break your outdoor cooking experience. Over or under-smoked meat is generally not what we’re going for, so make sure the meat thermometer for grilling and smoking is up to the task.

    Something that many remote digital cooking food thermometers on our list have presets for doneness recommended by the FDA. There are aso ones that have settings for various types of meats that come with alarms when your food has reached the desired temperature to eliminate any guesswork.

    Connectivity Options

    A wireless digital cooking food meat thermometer will offer Bluetooth connectivity[1]. With Bluetooth 5.0, the range is much greater - sometimes up to 500 feet! You will usually be able to get around 200 to 300 feet outdoors, with a shorter remote range indoors due to walls and obstacles.

    If you don’t mind standing next to your smoker or grill for however long it takes, then the remote range won’t matter as much. However, most of us have other dishes to manage and maybe even do some mingling with guests, so our experts say the long range connection will definitely be something you appreciate. 

    Timer

    The timer should alert you whenever the set temperature is reached. A count up and down timer will be useful, but there are some thermometers that only go up to a certain time. For smoking, it’s a low and slow process so if you’re looking to smoke large and thick pieces of meat, make sure the timer can accommodate.

    Even if the thermometer only goes up to 1 hour, for example, you still have the option of resetting it when the accurate temperature hits, but most people wouldn’t want to go through with the hassle.

    Price and Warranty

    The perfect price is different for everyone, which is why our team always includes a variety of products to suit every budget. You can find meat thermometers around 50 to well over 200 on our list. 

    It’s important to understand that a more budget choice, such as one that's only around 10 bucks, won’t get you much in terms of extra features, and you’re most likely going to be looking at single probes.

    Our experts, each with decades of experience say that a meat thermometer is an investment, and one that’s very worth it. Don’t worry too much about the price because it will more than pay for itself in the long run unless you choose a cheap and poorly built thermometer that will need replacing multiple times.

    As for the warranty, definitely make sure your purchase comes with one. Even the best of the best smoker thermometer can run into issues so it’s good to know that you’re protected even if nothing ever happens. As our team always says, any company worth its salt will have a warranty. Our last tip is to not settle for anything less than a year. 

    How to Set Up a Smoker Thermometer

    Placement has a lot to do with getting the most accurate temperatures, which is why our team will address it in detail.

    Where to Place a Smoker Thermometer

    Depending on the type of smoker you go for and the meat thermometer you choose, the placement will vary. Our experts will shed some light on tips that will help you find the best spot.

    The best place to get the ambient temperature reading is off the grill but close to the meat. Remember that the smoker temperature isn’t always evenly balanced within the chamber, which is why the closer you are to the meat, the better because that’s the temperature that’s smoking.

    That being said, don’t put the probe right against the meat, because you will end up getting a false reading that’s hotter than the air in the chamber.

    You may be wondering why our team isn’t suggesting using the dome thermometer, which is the one built into your smoker for an accurate reading. This is because dome thermometers are measuring the chamber air that is the furthest from your meat, which makes it very inaccurate. Also, an in-built thermometer is usually a dial thermometer, or analog, which can make them difficult to read and the margin of error even greater. 

    How to Use and Maintain a Smoker Thermometer

    Even the toughest smoker thermometers with high IP ratings need to be maintained. So how can you make sure you don’t destroy your new investment?

    How to Avoid Damage

    Even if your smoker meat thermometer has an IP rating, we would still suggest against immersion when you’re cleaning it. Make sure to keep the unit clean and away from heat sources to avoid going over the temperature range it can withstand.

    Store your thermometer well in a cool and dry place and if your unit has wires, make sure they don’t tangle with each other and don’t store them at awkward angles. 

    Want to see more options? You can also check our best grill thermometers list

    FAQ

    What is the most accurate smoker thermometer?

    The most accurate meat  thermometer is the Vauno Wireless Meat Thermometer. This particular model boasts an accurate temperature rating of only a 1-degree variance. It’s easy to set up with the transmitter and receiver already paired and is highly recommended by our experts and users alike. 

    What thermometer do pitmasters use?

    Pitmasters use instant-read digital thermometers that are either wired or wireless. These thermometers are sensitive, accurate, and very easy to use. The wireless options eliminate the need for messy cables, which makes them more popular than the wired alternatives. 

    Check out more smoker accessories! We also reviewed the best smoker stands here.

    Our Top Pick For aSmoker Thermometer:

    Vauno Wireless Meat Thermometer


    With accurate readings and a very easy setup, there is no question why our experts chose the Vauno wireless option as the best smoker thermometer. It comes with 3 probes that are very well made, preset temperatures so you can never go wrong, and a wide temperature range that makes it one of the most accurate options out there for consistent results.

    We have more guides for your grilling needs. Read them next:

    Outdoor Cooking Pros
    Outdoor Cooking Pros


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