What’s the secret to the perfect grilled or smoked meat? You can fuss about spices and secret sauces all you want, but nothing beats getting a piece of perfectly cooked meat.
Balancing the need for a nice crunchy crust on the outside and that juicy, tender interior is an art.
Here you can combine art and science and skip to the head of the class. Using a good smoker thermometer helps ensure you cook your meat enough so it’s safe to eat without drying it out too much.
The Thermopro TP-08 makes it simple to strike the right balance.
Thermopro TP-08 Review
The Thermopro TP-08 looks impressive and comes in at a reasonable price. The probe has its own console and connects to the monitoring device wirelessly.
What I Like:
- I admit it — it’s a fun gadget. Be warned; you’ll be measuring the temperature of everything you cook.
- The probe attaches to its console with a heatproof cord. This cable allows you to leave the probe in the meat while it’s cooking. If you’re using it for smoking meat, insert the probe, unwind the cord and position the console part outside the door. The cable is about 40-inches long, so there’s a fair bit of play in it.
- You can kick back on the sofa and monitor your meat’s progress. The wireless monitoring console has a range of 300 feet. If the link is interrupted for some reason, the console warns you.
- The monitor alerts you if your smoker exceeds your maximum temperature. It also informs you when your food reaches the desired temperature.
- The backlit display is easy to read, even in bright sunshine.
- You’re able to choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius at the flip of a switch. This feature comes in handy when you’re trying that recipe from your buddy in Sweden.
- You can set the timer up to 24 hours in advance.
- The timer counts down and up so you can keep track of how the other foods are progressing.
- There is a range of fixed settings. Thermopro bases these settings on the recommendations for doneness by the USDA. Set your type of meat and the required level of doneness, and the thermometer works out the ideal temperature.
- The dual-probe function makes it possible to monitor the meat temperature and the ambient temperature inside the grill or smoker at the same time.
- It will measure temperatures of up to 542°F. The probe will withstand the heat of up to 716°F.
What I Don’t Like:
- It doesn’t have an “Up” or “Down” button. You have to hold down the button to increase the temperature setting. If you hold it down for too long, it’s easy to overshoot the mark. Then you have to start again.
The electronic build is mediocre, so it’s easy to damage the device if you’re not careful. Considering the nature of the tool and the price, though, this is understandable.
The build quality is suitable for this price. The bumpers will come loose pretty easily. That’s a cosmetic issue, but it will annoy some users.
Of more importance is that the consoles aren’t heatproof. The probe and the cord will withstand high heat cooking, but if you get the console too close to the heat, you’ll fry the circuits. If you leave it out in direct sunlight for too long, that can have the same effect.
Placing the console in a shaded spot, or in a container or bag that protects it goes a long way here. The consoles are not water-resistant, so keep them clear of splashes.
The probes are good quality but don’t ever submerge them in water. When you clean them, it’s best to wipe them down with a paper towel. If there’s anything sticky, you may use a damp cloth and gentle rubbing action to remove it.
Easy To Use
As smart devices evolve, manufacturers pack them with more features. There are cases where this is fun. Remember how dreary things were when your phone’s primary purpose was to make calls? But with a meat thermometer, there’s a limit to how useful those extra features are.
The Thermopro TP-08 takes a little getting used to. It’s easy to find the right buttons, but if you don’t read the manual, you won’t know you have to hit the “Mode” button to finish setting a range. The instruction manual is a little confusing. I suggest looking over the section where it explains how to care for the device and then watching this Thermopro video.
From there, it’s pretty straightforward. Use the same tips you would with a regular thermometer. Place it in the thickest part of the meat, and get it as close to the center as possible. Don’t let it touch a bone or fat because they conduct heat better than meat.
Temperature Range & Speed
The probe will pick up temperatures of between 32°F to 572°F (0°C to 300°C). That’s more than enough range for any piece of meat, or even candy. It’s accurate to within 1.8°F, and that’s pretty impressive at this price range.
The manufacturer says that the probe will withstand a temperature of up to 716°, but I’m not convinced I’d push it that far.
The speed of data transfer is okay. The unit fires up quite quickly. The buttons are a little quick on the draw. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to shoot past the right setting.
The company has kept the features relatively simple but useful. If I had to narrow down my favorite feature, it’s that I can monitor the meat and smoker temperature from a comfortable distance.
- Long meat probe with a tapered design to get accurate temperatures from large or small pieces of meat.
- It has an ambient temperature probe to monitor the temperature inside the grill or smoker.
- The receiver range is up to 300 feet.
- It includes high-quality probes, with the alternative to buy extras if you like.
- “Plug and Play” device — insert the batteries, and it’s ready to use. There’s no need to sync the console and monitor.
- Alerts that let you know when your food is ready and when your smoker/ grill has gone over the maximum temperatures.
- Kitchen timer included in the design.
- The thermometer has an accuracy of up to 1.8°F.
- It has a wide temperature range. The probe accurately measures temperatures of up to 542°F.
- One-year guarantee standard with purchase. Extend this to a three-year warranty for free by registering your product on the site.
- Set for up to 24 hours at a time.
- Customer service is outstanding.
The company initially offered a lifetime warranty on the probes, but that has fallen away. You now get an industry-standard one-year warranty against manufacturer’s defects. When you register on the company’s site, they will upgrade your warranty to three years without any additional cost.
What I find impressive is the way the company stands by its products. If you have a defective product, call them. You don’t have to send in the faulty item; they’ll simply send you a replacement.
Their customer service is excellent.
Should You Buy It?
Thermopro has an excellent reputation for innovation, service, and listening to their client’s feedback. The Thermopro TP-08 is proof of that. Could the build quality be better? It could, but not in this price range.
The Thermopro TP-08 is an excellent choice if you want a reliable and convenient dual smoker thermometer without breaking the bank. As it stays in the food while it’s cooking, there’s no need to open the cover and let all the heat out during cooking.
The included presets make this thermometer your cheat sheet. Purists might fume over this little trick, but they’ll be too busy munching away to voice their discontent.