Technology keeps surprising with something new and that is also the case when it comes to bbq thermometers.
Combining a smartphone with a thermometer seemed like something abstract just a decade ago, but today it is a fact. Sadly, it is not high-level yet, but there are several brands on the market that decided to develop in this direction.
For those who don’t know, a bluetooth BBQ thermometer makes it possible to connect to an app on your smartphone or tablet using bluetooth. That way you can remotely monitor the whole cooking process, or even set alarms that will notify you when the meat is finally ready.
I have prepared for you a little list of the best bbq thermometers but keep in mind that this technology still requires a lot of work on the manufacturers’ part in order to eliminate most problems (poor range and app errors).
I suggest that before buying you check the upsides and downsides of all options.
Weber iGrill 2
The Best Bluetooth BBQ Thermometers: Favorite Picks
This type of thermometer doesn’t come with a rich offer on the market, which is why I only chose several noteworthy options. Take into account your surroundings and the range offered by a particular model because the most important thing is to be able to connect to the device at large distances, after all.
1. Best Overall Weber iGrill 2
The first option is among some of the most popular ones on the market in the bluetooth thermometer category.
It is characterized by simplicity, very good response time, multi-functional app and the ability to use up to four probes (the basic set contains two)
Many years ago Weber purchased the company responsible for creation of iGrill, and them kept the whole design in the same form, only adding their own logo.
iGrill 2 was created for those who wish to monitor the temperature with a special app on a smartphone or tablet.
Simply monitoring the temperature is not all, the sophisticated app offers chart analysis, setting non-standard alarms and notifies you when the meat is done already (as per your settings).
The app includes preprogrammed settings for all the most popular types of meats, with selection of the level of being done (it is possible to enter manual settings). On top of that, you will find a lot of interesting recipes and useful tips there.
The app is available for iOS and Android devices, free of charge of course.
Pairing iGrill 2 with a mobile device goes very fast, and the thermometer itself offers a huge range for bluetooth (one of the best on the market).
I picked this model due to the valued brand, great quality, functionality and good range. The limitation of the Bluetooth technology is the range, there are very few manufacturers on the market offering a thermometer that can indeed be used remotely while sitting at home for example.
2. Runner Up Inkbird IBT-4XS
A great alternative to iGrill2, also from a renowned brand in its industry. At first glance it looks very similar and comes with similar parameters but its costs much less.
When you buy Inkbird IBT-4XS, you also get two included probes (you can use up to 4).
The most important thing in a bluetooth thermometer is the range, and in this model the manufacturer claims the strength of the signal to be 150 feet (exactly the same as in iGrill 2).
The rest looks very similar which means a huge transmitter with a simple display that makes it possible to monitor temperature without pairing with a smartphone.
The remaining features can be found in the free app upon properly pairing your phone or tablet using bluetooth.
The app interface is very simple, it doesn’t take much time nor effort to set non-standard alarms and start monitoring the temperature while cooking. The intuitive interface is crucial to me because it’s the app you will spend most time with while monitoring cooking.
I also have to mention the adequately long probes ( Length 59"), when they’re too short they limit the freedom.
Sadly, I have noticed that IBT-4XS is not waterproof, it’s really a shame and I have to admit that I would be willing to pay more for that feature.
Other than that, considering the price and what you get, I can honestly recommend it to everyone looking for a good bluetooth thermometer but at a lower price.
I almost forgot, Inkbird offers one year of warranty on this model, which is also good news.
3. Best Tech The Meater+
An innovative project that is very often described as a real wireless bluetooth thermometer. It’s because of, among other things, the probes not having wires and all of the electronics being contained inside them.
At first glance it looks impressive and completely different from all the other thermometers on the market.
The Meater+ is a probe that allows to monitor two temperatures at the same time (inside the meat and in the surroundings).
The entire control revolves around the pretty advanced app for your smarpthone or tablet.
The probe is delivered in a wooden box that looks great but it serves an important function, it is used as a charger (batteries are required).
The Meater connects directly to your smartphone using the bluetooth technology. There are no transmitters etc. here, only the direct connection with your main device.
Sadly, that connection is very poor, up to 10 feet when it comes to the smoker and up to 30 feet when it comes to open space. Luckily, the manufacturer has solved this problem but it only applies to the newer models (including The Meater+).
The probe connects to the charger (wooden casing), which becomes a transmitter with stronger bluetooth signal of up to 165 feet.
Still have a problem with the range? In such case, use the wifi technology “meater link”. Simply connect the probe to a second phone/tablet, then to a modem at home and for the last stage connect to the main smartphone that you’re going to use to monitor the temperature with the app.
There are plenty of connecting options so I think that everyone will solve their problem with poor range using one of the methods.
When it comes to the app, I have to admit that it is the best out of all the available on the market. The interface is very intuitive and simple, making it possible to easily and quickly program the cooking.
Among the standard features are of course the choice of the meat type, preprogrammed temperatures, the ability to input your own settings etc. On top of that, a lot of other options were provided such as charts, non-standard notifications and much more.
As of now, The Meater+ is the only bluetooth meat thermometer that comes with wireless probes that make it possible to wirelessly monitor cooking.
What to look for in a bluetooth thermometer
Number of probes – You want to monitor not only the food but also the surroundings inside the smoker/grill at the same time? In such case, you need at least two probes and that is my minimal recommended number. The exception is a smoker where you don’t need to worry about the temperature control.
Range – Another very important thing, the range impacts how far you’ll be able to move away from the grill. If there’s a lot of trees and elements in your surroundings or if the signal has to go through several walls in the house, it is the best for the range to be as strong as possible.
Temperature range and accuracy – Pay attention to the temperature range and evaluate if such parameters suit you. When smoking, nearly any model will do, whereas with grilling some of them might have a temperature range that is too small. The accuracy is important as well because that’s what you’re buying a thermometer for, among other things.
Resistance to splashes – Contact with fluids is not huge when cooking, but falling rain is actually a common occurrence depending on the region. For that reason, it is better for a thermometer to be waterproof.
Warranty – The most common problem is probes which often need replacing even soon after the purchase. Protect yourself from this kind of situation by buying a thermometer only from a solid brand that is valued on the market.
Wifi vs. bluetooth bbq thermometers
There are several important differences between those thermometers, even though both serve the same purpose.
First and foremost, it’s better to emphasize that both types work at the same frequency but they differ in signal strength.
Bluetooth performs worse in terms of signal strength and to a large degree depends on your device as well. Not every smartphone is going to function the same, which is why it’s better to carefully consider the choice.
Wifi comes with a stronger range and makes it possible to connect to other devices at home (router) broadcasting the signal even further. It is a better solution in case of problems with bluetooth range.
A Bluetooth thermometer comes with a transmitter that sends signal to your device in order to connect to a dedicated app (in that case the receiver is a smartphone). It removes the necessity to manufacture a dedicated receiver as is the case with a standard wireless thermometer.
The app comes with many interesting features, charts, non-standard alarms etc., although it does have one important downside. Every smartphone app uses a lot of battery power which causes a legitimate problem in case of many hours of smoking.
In such situation, a better solution is a thermometer with a simple battery-powered receiver that has a much longer operating time.
In conclusion, comparing pros and cons I can say that bluetooth is for those who value convenience and better functionality at the expense of poorer range. A wifi thermometer, on the other hand, is an option for those who have a serious problem with range and battery life in the phone due to an active app.
A great solution is a thermometer that makes it possible to connect using not only bluetooth but also wifi. That way you can find out which version works better in your surroundings.