Discover the 16 Best Smoker Thermometer Models for Efficient Cooks

June 8, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

The best model goes to the FireBoard 2 thermometer. It is incredibly accurate, has a good number of probes, has an easy to read display, and is very durable. 

One of my friends was recently complaining that the dial on their smoker was reporting the wrong temperature. I advised them to get a smoker thermometer and then helped them do the research to discover the best thermometer on the market. 

In this post, I will reveal the best smoker thermometer, provide some alternate options, and introduce you to a great buying guide. 

best smoker thermometer

Comparison of the Best Smoker Thermometers

Product Type No. of Probes Power Source Dimensions (Inches) Weight (Oz.) More Information
FireBoard 2
FireBoard 2 Meat Thermometer
Wired 3 Internal Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery 4.4 x 2.8 x 1.1 8 Buy on FireBoard Labs
ThermoPro TP27 Thermometer
ThermoPro TP27 Thermometer
Wireless 4 AAA Batteries 10.12 x 7.56 x 2.68 16 Buy on Amazon
ThermoWorks Smoke X4
ThermoWorks Smoke X4
Wired 3 AA Batteries 3 x 2.3 8.9 Buy on Thermo Works
Weber Ambient Temperature Probe
Weber Ambient Temperature Probe
Wired 1 Battery Operated 2.65 x 4.3 x 0.5 2.82 Buy on Amazon
VAUNO Thermometer
VAUNO Thermometer
Wired 3 AAA Batteries 10.04 x 3.86 x 2.83 1.21 Buy on Amazon
Lavatools OVT2 Element Digital Thermometer
Lavatools OVT2 Element Digital Thermometer
Wired 1 AA Batteries 10.04 x 3.86 x 2.83 6.4 Buy on Amazon
ThermoPro TP08B
ThermoPro TP08B
Wired 2 AAA Batteries 6.5 x 2.6 x 6.1  12.6 Buy on Amazon
Inkbird IBT-4XC
Inkbird IBT-4XC
Wired 4 Lithium Ion Battery 6.46 x 4.45 x 2.32 12.3 Buy on Amazon
Tappecue True Thermometer
Tappecue True Thermometer
Wired 4 Lithium Ion Battery 4 x 2 x 4 16 Buy on Amazon
ThermoPro TP25 Thermometer
ThermoPro TP25 Thermometer
Wired 4 Lithium Ion Battery 10.25 x 6.81 x 2.64 32 Buy on Amazon

The Best Smoker Thermometers

Here are the top smoker thermometers for you to check out:

1. FireBoard 2

Best Smoker Thermometer

Specs 

  • Type: Wired
  • No. of Probes: 3
  • Power Source: Internal Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery
  • Dimensions: 4.4 x 2.8 x 1.1 inches 
  • Weight: 8 oz. 

High Accuracy

One of the top reasons that this is the best smoker thermometer on this list has to do with the accurate temperature readings. It isn’t easy to find a thermometer that takes ambient readings accurately, but this one does it perfectly each and every time. I made sure to test it against commercial thermometers to ensure that the readings were on point.

That being said, this is an expensive and sophisticated piece of tech. So, it may not be the right option for occasional cooks.

Good Number of Probes

Now, one of the probes is a dedicated ambient temperature probe. So, this is first and foremost a smoker thermometer. In addition to this, though, you get two meat probes. The temperature accuracy of these are excellent as well. So, you can keep track of the rate at which your food is cooked too.

Person Using Meat Thermometer While Barbecuing

Easy to Read Display

I also like that this smoker thermometer has a large, easy to read display. Now, there are some other readings on the screen, but the number is displayed in a large font so that you can see what it is at a single glance. This is also a good feature when the display is a short distance away from you.

Durable

One of the reasons that this smoker thermometer is a real investment is because it is so durable. The probes have been designed to withstand really high heat and can easily be used as a grilling thermometer too.

The main unit is also well-built and quite hardy. So, even if this is something that you use on a regular basis, you will have peace of mind knowing that it is going to last quite a while.

I also like that it comes with a rechargeable battery.

Pros

  • Highly accurate
  • Ambient and food probes
  • Large display screen
  • Durable

Cons

  • Not ideal for beginner cooks

2. ThermoPro TP27 Thermometer

Runner Up

Specs 

  • Type: Wireless
  • No. of Probes: 4
  • Power Source: AAA Batteries
  • Dimensions: 10.12 x 7.56 x 2.68 inches 
  • Weight: 16 oz. 

Wireless Feature

If you are looking for a wireless thermometer, then this is the one that I would suggest. The thermometer uses RF wireless technology. Now, the connectivity is quite good and I was able to walk away from the grill without the connection dropping.

However, the manufacturer has overstated the range of this smoker thermometer. It isn’t nearly as close to 150 feet, so you will still need to stay within a certain distance of your smoker.

Plenty of Probes

One of the things that I really like about this smoker thermometer is that it comes with four probes. One of these are the ambient probe and the rest are for reading the internal temperature of your meat.

Not only can you get the ambient grill temperature, but you can also keep track of multiple food items at the same time.

Great Accuracy

I found that there was excellent temperature accuracy for all of the probes. They never varied by more than a few degrees at a time and they usually righted themselves fairly quickly. So, getting an accurate reading is a breeze with this smoker thermometer.

This means that your cooking process, as a whole will be a lot more efficient too. As far as wireless meat thermometers go, this is certainly at the top of the list.

Great Display

I really like that this ambient and meat probe thermometer is equipped with a large LCD screen. This makes it a lot easier for you to see the temperature at a glance.

Another feature that I really like is that this is a backlit LCD display. This makes cooking at night or in a dim area a lot easier to manage.

Pros

  • Wireless design
  • Multiple probes
  • Accurate
  • Easy to read display

Cons

  • Limited Range

3. ThermoWorks Smoke X4

Best Long Range Connectivity

Specs 

  • Type: Wired
  • No. of Probes: 3 
  • Power Source: AA Batteries
  • Dimensions: 3 x 2.3 inches 
  • Weight: 8.9 oz. 

Long Distance Connection

If you don’t want to hang around your smoker as your meat is cooking, then this is the thermometer that I would recommend to you. This is because it has a range of over 6,500 feet! This means that you can easily be in several rooms away and you will still receive the signal without any drops in connection.

Numerous Probes

You also get four probes with this setup. This allows you to check both the internal temperature as well as the ambient temp inside the grill. In short, you are covered on all sides.

ThermoWorks Long-Range Remote BBQ Alarm Thermometer

Excellent Accuracy

I also really like the accuracy with this smoker thermometer. I tested in against commercial thermometers and it was a complete match. Also, the temperature was transmitted through quick, with minimal delays, letting me make split second decisions.

In fact, the only complaint that I could make about this thermometer is that it is expensive and may be too much of an investment for casual smokers.

Alarms

This is a BBQ alarm thermometer, which means that you can set alarms for minimum and maximum temperature. As such, if the ambient temperature gets too low or too high for your liking, you will be notified immediately. This way, you can make the necessary adjustments to the smoker and ensure that your meat is cooking at an appropriate rate again.

Pros

  • Long distance range
  • High number of probes
  • Accurate
  • Can set alarm notifications

Cons

  • Expensive

4. Weber Ambient Temperature Probe

Best for Weber

Specs 

  • Type: Wired
  • No. of Probes: 1 
  • Power Source: Batteries
  • Dimensions: 2.65 x 4.3 x 0.5 inches 
  • Weight: 2.82 oz. 

Compatible With Weber Devices

If you have a Weber iGrill device or any other Weber Connected Bluetooth devices, then this is the thermometer for you! What I like about this thermometer is that it gives old fashioned grilling a modern update.

Accurate Thermometer

As a fan of Weber, I was curious about how well this smoker thermometer would hold up. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was on par with a commercial thermometer. So, if you are looking for accuracy, this thermometer will provide it. There were also barely any fluctuations either.

Syncs With Smartphone App

If you aren’t a fan of the displays that come with most smoker thermometers, then you will be pleased that this one allows you to synch to an app on your phone. So, as long as you have your phone with you, you will be able to view the cooking temp of the smoker.

Now, I do want to warn you that the connection drops at times. Due to this, it is a good idea to keep checking the app to make sure that the two points are still connected.

Simple Setup

I do like how easy it is to set up this thermometer. Just use the clamps to set it up on the grill grate and you are good to go!

Pros

  • Compatible with Weber
  • High accuracy
  • Syncs with smartphone app
  • Simple setup

Cons

  • Disconnection with app

5. VAUNO Thermometer

Specs

  • Type: Wired
  • No. of Probes: 3 
  • Power Source: AAA Batteries
  • Dimensions: 10.04 x 3.86 x 2.83 inches 
  • Weight: 1.21 oz. 

Highly Durable

One of the things that really stands out about this thermometer is that it is incredibly durable. To begin with, the cables are made from stainless steel mesh that can withstand high temperatures, making it suitable for prolonged use in a smoker. The temperature range that it can withstand even makes it suitable for grills.

As for the receiver units, the housing is made to protect all the electrical components and is water resistant to a certain degree. This means that you can use this thermometer for longer without noticing any wear or tear.

Accurate Temperature Readings

This is definitely one of the more accurate thermometers on the market. I tested both the ambient thermometer as well as the food probe and I discovered that they were both highly accurate.

They were more or less in line with the commercial thermometer I tested them against so you can trust the readings without any issue.

Alarm Features

I really like the fact that you can set an alarm when you want to check the ambient grill temperature. You can set perimeters for high and low temperatures, ensuring that the temperature inside the cooking chamber is just right for whatever you are smoking.

This feature is also a good way to let you know if you need to be adding more fuel to certain types of smokers to raise the temperature.

Grilled Steak on a Pan and Wireless Digital Meat Thermometer

Well Organized Display

Now, due to the multiple probes, there is a lot of information on this display screen. However, it is organized really well. As a result, you can easily tell the ambient temp from the internal food temp without any issue.

The only problem that I have with this thermometer is that it can be tricky to setup and there is a learning curve involved. Once you get the hang of it, though, it is fairly easy to use.

Pros

  • Highly durable
  • Accurate readings
  • Alarm features
  • Well organized display

Cons

  • Tricky to setup

6. Lavatools OVT2 Element Digital Thermometer

Specs

  • Type: Wired
  • No. of Probes: 1
  • Power Source: AA Batteries
  • Dimensions: 10.04 x 3.86 x 2.83 inches 
  • Weight: 6.4 oz. 

Good Accuracy

If you are not a fan of numerous probes, the this is the thermometer for you. Here, there is just a single probe with a dual sensor. Despite this compact packaging, both sensors are highly accurate. So, you can trust the readings that you are seeing.

Can Set Alarms

I really like the fact that this thermometer helps you to keep track of what is going on inside your smoking chamber. You can set lower and upper limits for acceptable temperature fluctuations. And, if the heat goes above or below these settings, the alarms will go off.

Cooking Estimated

I like the fact that the thermometer can also calculate the cooking times for the meat based on the ambient temp as well as your desired internal temperature.

The downside of a thermometer that is so sophisticated is that it can be a little difficult to learn how to use.

Affordable

As you will have noticed, a lot of the thermometers on this list are quite pricey. However, this Lavatools model is a great deal more affordable than many of them. So, if you are on a budget or don’t want to invest in such a pricey thermometer, this is the top option for you.

Pros

  • Good accuracy
  • Alarm function
  • Cooking estimates
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Difficult to set up

7. ThermoPro TP08B

Specs 

  • Type: Wired
  • No. of Probes: 2
  • Power Source: AAA Batteries 
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.6 x 6.1 inches 
  • Weight: 12.6oz. 

Good Accuracy

Considering that this is a ThermoPro thermometer, the accuracy of the readings – both ambient and food – aren’t all that surprising. Still, it was nice to see that the probes were on par with the commercial thermometer that I checked them against. This is especially true since the price of this model is quite affordable.

Great Features

If you like being in charge of all aspects of your cook, then you will love what this thermometer has in store for you. You can set alarms for the ambient temperature, create perimeters for both probes, and a lot more. As a result, you will know exactly what is happening every step of the way.

The only issue that I have this thermometer is that the quality is a bit questionable. The receiver units feel a little flimsy and I’m not sure how long they will last.

Pork Roast on the Grill with the Thermometer

Great Display

Now, this thermometer is equipped with two units. The first is the remote. This is where you make all the adjustments to the settings and ensure that the necessary alarms in place.

Then you have a secondary unit. What is great about this one is that the layout is so simplistic. The main two readings are for the ambient temp and the food. These are displayed in large numbers and so you can see them and understand them at a glance.

Pros

  • Good accuracy
  • Great features
  • Great display

Cons

  • Questionable durability

8. Inkbird IBT-4XC

Specs

  • Type: Wired
  • No. of Probes: 4 
  • Power Source: Lithium Ion Battery
  • Dimensions: 6.46 x 4.45 x 2.32 inches 
  • Weight: 12.3oz. 

Great Battery Life

One of the top perks of this thermometer is that it has an excellent battery life. This has two advantages for you. First, this makes it a suitable option for those longer cooks like with brisket. You don’t have to worry about your thermometer running out of juice and you will be able to get accurate readings throughout.

The other advantage is that you can use this thermometer for consecutive cooks and not have to always charge it in between. This makes it a lot more effortless for you to use.

Easy to Read Display

I like how minimalistic the display is. You only get the main readings. As a result, you will always be able to tell the ambient temp and internal temp without any issue at all. This will make it easier for you to make decisions on the fly regarding your cook.

I do have to mention that there are certain graphs with this thermometer that aren’t as easy to read. These can take a minute to interpret.

Good Connectivity

While the thermometer itself has wired probes, it can transmit information to your smartphone app. So, you don’t have to be in the same place as the smoker to know how the cook is going. Best of all, the connection is pretty strong and isn’t prone to dropping.

Easy to Store

There are some thermometers that come with magnets but I have found that the Inkbird design is really great. The magnet is built into the screen, allowing you to mount it on the smoker. Due to the compact nature of the thermometer, there is no need to worry about the receiver falling off.

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Easy to read display
  • Good connectivity
  • Easy to store

Cons

  • Some graphs are difficult to read

9. Tappecue True Thermometer

Specs

  • Type: Wired
  • No. of Probes: 4
  • Power Source: Lithium Ion Battery
  • Dimensions: 4 x 2 x 4 inches 
  • Weight: 16oz. 

Multiple Dual Sensor Probes

One of my favorite things about these probes is that each one acts as a dual sensor. This means that each probe can tell you the ambient temp as well as the internal temp. What is so great about this is that you can get an accurate reading of the temperature in the chamber, increasing the accuracy and efficiency of your cook.

Good Connectivity

Now, the probes are attached to the receiver with wires. However, you can download the app and then sync it to the receiver unit. You can then walk away from the grill and still get live updates on temperature changes as they are happening. The connection between the app and the receiver is quite good.

That being said, I am not the biggest fan of this app. It is a bit clunky and isn’t easy to use. Due to this, you do end up wasting some time trying to get the settings just right.

Good Battery Life

The battery life on the receiver is quite impressive. As a result, you can easily set it up for longer cooks and have peace of mind knowing that it is going to last for the entire session. You also have to replace the batteries less often, allowing you to have one cook after the other.

Grilled Hamburgers with Meat Thermometer

Pros

  • Multiple dual sensors
  • Good connectivity
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • App is tricky to use

10. ThermoPro TP25 Thermometer

Specs 

  • Type: Wired
  • No. of Probes: 4 
  • Power Source: Lithium Ion Battery
  • Dimensions: 10.25 x 6.81 x 2.64 inches 
  • Weight: 32 oz. 

Multiple Probes

You get four probes with this thermometer, one of these is dedicated to the ambient temperature inside the cooking temperature. This is a great number because it allows you to keep track of different types of food and the ambient temp all at once.

In particular, this thermometer will work well for larger grills where the food is spaced out a bit more and may be cooking at different rates.

Accurate Readings

I checked the accuracy of each of the probes and I am happy to report that they all hold up. There are a few fluctuations here and there but these are minor. Also, these sort out so quickly that your cook or the estimated cooking time of your food will not be impacted in any way.

The only issue here is that the range of the receiver to the app isn’t that great. You have to stay fairly close if you don’t want the connection to suddenly drop.

Easy to Read Display

I really like the manner in which the temperatures are arranged on the display screen. It is separated into four quadrants and the readings in each quadrant are quite large. This means that you can make a quick assessment of the cooking chamber conditions as well as the rate at which your food is cooking.

Good Value

I have to say that for this price, you do get to enjoy quite a few features. This includes the multiple probes, the accurate readings, and more. So, if you don’t want to spend a great deal of money but still want to get serious bang for your buck, this is the thermometer to consider.

Pros

  • Multiple probes
  • Accurate readings
  • Easy to read display
  • Good value

Cons

  • Range is not great

11. ThermoPro TempSpike Thermometer

Specs

  • Type: Wireless
  • No. of Probes: 1 
  • Power Source: Lithium Ion Battery
  • Dimensions: 7.01 x 2.24 x 1.85 inches 
  • Weight: 4.9oz. 

Wireless Design

If you are looking for a wireless design, this is certainly one of the best options that you can get. This is because this thermometer really lives up to its name. It functions as claimed. I also love how compact the design is. It is nice, sleek, and subtle.

Accurate Readings

It can be a bit of a hit or a miss when it comes to accuracy for wireless thermometers. The good news is that the accuracy is really great with this design. It has a dual sensor so the thermometer is able to keep track of both temperatures at the same time.

The only issue is that there is a lot of information on the app that syncs up to the thermometer. Due to this, it can take you a while to sort out and understand the readings on the screen.

Good Connectivity

Connectivity is another thing that you have to be careful with when it comes to these kinds of thermometers but once again, I was pleasantly surprised by what the TempSpike had to offer. It held the connection well over a short distance and the connection drops were far and few in between.

Person Checking Meat Temp After Pulling from the Grill

Easy to Use

This might be a sophisticated design but it was actually quite easy to use. Simply turn on the thermometer and place in the desired cut of meat. Use the app to set your settings and you are on your way.

Pros

  • Wireless design
  • High accuracy
  • Good connectivity
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Tricky to read screen

12. SMARTRO X50 Thermometer

Specs

  • Type: Wired 
  • No. of Probes: 4  
  • Power Source: AA Batteries 
  • Dimensions: 12.08 x 0.99 x 0.2 inches 
  • Weight: 34.8oz. 

Multiple Probes

There are four probes with this thermometer, one of them being for the ambient temp. This is great if you are cooking for a larger crowd, have a larger grill, or want to cook several types of food at once.

The only issue here is that these probes aren’t very durable. So, you have to be careful with how you use them or risk breaking them.

Accurate Readings

I tested out the food probes as well as the ambient temp probe and they were all almost right on the money. There are minor differences between the probes but this is only by a degree or so and will not affect the cooking process in any way.

Can Set Alarms

I like that you can set alarms for the cooking chamber. This way, you can make sure that the temperature within the chamber stays within a very specific range. As you are aware, this is important when smoking delicate foods as you can’t risk cooking them at too high of a temperature.

Well Organized Display

I really like the way that the information is organized on the display screen. Each probe has its own quadrant and there is information in that quadrant for a corresponding probe. The information is organized well, making it easy for you to read and understand the information there.

Pros

  • Multiple probes
  • Accurate readings
  • Can set alarms
  • Well organized display

Cons

  • Probes aren’t very durable

13. Chef iQ Smart Thermometer

Specs 

  • Type: Wireless
  • No. of Probes: 1 
  • Power Source: Lithium Polymer Battery
  • Dimensions: 8.09 x 7.95 x 4.88 inches 
  • Weight: 34.56oz. 

Wireless Design

This wireless thermometer has a dual sensor probe design. One end tracks the cooking rate of the food and the other monitors the ambient temp of the cooking chamber.

I think that this is one of my more favorite wireless designs. This is because the probe that is inserted into the meat has been designed to be thinner than most other wireless probes. As a result, this helps to keep moisture trapped inside the food during the smoking process.

Good Accuracy

I tested out both ends of the thermometer, using a commercial grade thermometer for reference. I t was really cool to see how accurate the readings were time and time again. This really does offer you peace of mind while you are smoking your food.

Good Connectivity

As far as these types of thermometers go, I have to say that the connectivity was great. Not only could I move quite a distance away from the receiver, but the connection was strong as well. Not once in all the times that I used this thermometer that I noticed a drop in the connection.

Golden Roasted Turkey with Meat Thermometer

Useful Features

There are plenty of useful features with this thermometer. My favorite has to be that the hub also works as a speaker. As a result, it can read the temp readings to you without you needing to glance at the thermometer. The settings also ensure that your cook goes just as smooth as you want it to.

The only problem I would point out here is that the estimated cooking time is wrong so you shouldn’t rely on it and focus on the internal temperature readings instead.

Pros

  • Wireless design
  • Good accuracy
  • Good connectivity
  • Useful features

Cons

  • Cooking time estimates is off

14. Inkbird IBBQ4T

Specs

  • Type: Wired
  • No. of Probes: 4 
  • Power Source: Lithium Ion  
  • Dimensions: 7.52 x 6.14 x 1.85 inches 
  • Weight: 15.8oz. 

Multiple Probes

There are three food probes and one ambient probe. As a result, you can easily cook for a crowd or cook lots of different foods at the same time. The probes are color coded, making it easier for you to tell them apart and set the settings for each of them.

Accurate Readings

I tested all the probes and they were highly accurate. However, what I really like about this thermometer is the fact that I can fine tune and calibrate the probes at any point. So, whenever I feel like the accuracy is slipping, I simply calibrate it until it is just right. This gives me a lot more control over my cooking.

Timer and Alarms

You can also add timers and alarms for each probe. This means that you can put as many reminders as you need throughout the cook. These features go a long way in ensuring that you don’t over smoke your meat, especially cuts that may be a bit more delicate.

Can Be Synced to Multiple Devices

What is pretty cool here is that you can sync several devices to the thermometer. This gives more people the opportunity to keep an eye on the cooking and to check on the final results as needed.

In fact, the only complaint that I have regarding this thermometer is that the app is rather frustrating to use.

Pros

  • Multiple probes
  • Accurate readings
  • Timers and alarms
  • Synced to multiple devices

Cons

  • App is tricky to use

15. Inkbird IBBQ-4BW

Specs

  • Type: Wired
  • No. of Probes: 4
  • Power Source: Lithium Polymer Battery
  • Dimensions: 18 x 0.01 x 0.01 inches
  • Weight: 6.5oz. 

In-Depth Details and Readings

If you are serious about your smoking skills, then this is definitely the thermometer for you. This is because this thermometer tracks all elements of the temperature and graphs them so that you can take a close look at how your cook is going.

The only downside to this level of detail is that it can make the Inkbird rather tricky to use. So, it is going to take some time to get you used to this interface.

Good Accuracy

The accuracy with this thermometer is excellent. After testing, I can conclude that both ambient and meat temps are accurate. What’s more is that you can actually calibrate the probes if they begin to show signs of inaccuracy. This way, you can always get accurate readings for your cooking chamber.

Can Set Alarms

I like that you can set high and low alarms for the ambient probe. In doing so, you will be informed the instant that the cooking chamber gets too cool or too hot. Then, it is just a matter of adjusting the smoker temperature to get things back on track. This way, you have greater control over your cook.

Grilled Steak Striploin on a Pan with Thermometer

Great Battery Life 

I was quite impressed with the battery life of this thermometer. Not only does it last a long time, but it is also easily to recharge. As a result, your thermometer is always ready for the next cook.

Pros

  • Detailed readings 
  • Good accuracy
  • Great alarm features 
  • Great battery life 

Cons

  • Difficult to use

16. TempPro H10B

Specs

  • Type: Wired
  • No. of Probes: 2  
  • Power Source: AAA Battery
  • Dimensions: 6.81 x 5.43 x 2.64 inches 
  • Weight: 12.3 oz.

Great Accuracy 

For this price point, it was really nice to see how accurate the probes were. Both the food and ambient probe worked incredibly well. They also maintained accurate readings throughout the cook. 

Can Set Alarms 

Another cool feature is that you can set alarms for your ambient temperature. Set the desired temperature range for your smoking, and you will be informed of when the lower or upper limits are reached. Not only does this help you to cook your food better, but you can also ensure that your smoking time is as calculated. 

The only complaint that I would make is that the screen can be a little difficult to see under certain lighting circumstances. 

Good Range

You can move the secondary receiver away from the main unit. I found that you can move it several feet away without losing connection. I wouldn’t recommend taking the receiver too far away but it does help you to be more mobile. 

Pros

  • Great accuracy
  • Can set alarms 
  • Good range

Cons

  • Display can be a little difficult to see

How to Choose a Smoker Thermometer?

Here are some tips to follow when choosing your own smoker thermometer:

Designated Thermometer vs. All Inclusive Thermometer

The first thing to consider is if you want a thermometer that is only meant for smokers or if you want one that can also take the food temperature.

The smoker thermometers that double meat thermometer models are more common. Not to mention, they are often more affordable too.

You also get meat probes, which prevents you from needing to buy any additional items for your grill.

The designated smoker thermometers are on the pricier side and they are also a bit more complicated to work as well. On the upside, they are the most accurate options.

Wired vs. Wireless Thermometer Models

You can find both wireless and wired smoker thermometers. The latter is more commonplace and certainly more affordable.

However, the wireless design means that you don’t have to keep a constant eye on your smoker. Instead, you can get involved with other tasks. Some have a Bluetooth connection, while others work over Wi-Fi. Then there are those that have both.

You also have the kind of wireless thermometer. This has a pen-like shape and often comes with dual probes – one on each end. The one that you stick into the meat is for internal temp and the other is for the smoker pit temperature.

The thing to keep in mind about wireless smoker thermometers is that few have the wireless range that they claim. So, it is important to go with a brand that is actually going to give you the distance that you need.

The Accuracy

It goes without saying but you need your thermometer probes to be accurate. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to know if the temperature reading that you are getting with a particular thermometer is accurate or not.

This is why it is best to read reviews ahead of time before making a purchase. And, even after you have bought a particular thermometer, make it a point to test it against another one, just to be certain.

Gold Roasted Meat and Smoker Thermometer

The Number of Probes

It is up to you to decide just how many probes your thermometer receiver unit can accommodate. Most models will come with up to four probes, including the ambient probe.

However, there are ones that can accommodate up to six probes or even more.

When making this decision, consider the size of your grill. Do you have the kind of surface area that can cook various types of meat at the same time? Or, perhaps you want to cook different cuts or sizes at the same time.

If you have a smaller grill and tend to cook the same foods in batches, then you aren’t going to require as many probes.

The Display

Believe it or not, the display is a lot more important than you may realize. I always advise going with a larger display screen. This way, you will find it a lot easier to read the numbers and get a clear picture of the ambient temp with just a glance.

I would also consider the complexity of the screen. See, some simply give you temperatures while others will have graphs and more in-depth information.

While a greater number of details is great for a more efficient cook, it can also make the screen trickier to read. If you are new to smoking or are still getting the hang of smoker thermometers, I would suggest going with something simple.

The Power Source

Some thermometers are operated only on a battery, while others can also be plugged into a power source.

With the ones that only operate on batteries, I would take a look at how long they can last on batteries. This will give you a rough idea of how often they will need to be topped up, especially if you smoke often.

For the ones that can be plugged into a power source, there are fewer issues. This is because there is less concern about you running out of battery life.

What Kind of Thermometer Do I Need for a Smoker?

This is a good question because a lot of people get confused between smoker thermometers and meat thermometers.

See, a smoker thermometer hooks up to the smoker itself. This way, the thermometer can relay the temperature inside the smoker chamber.

This function has two main benefits. First, it lets you know how accurate the gauge on your smoker is. Second, you will be able to deduce whether your food is cooking at the desired temperature.

A meat thermometer, on the other hand, is meant to monitor the temperature of the meat or food. As such, the probes of the thermometer are placed inside the meat or other food item. This lets you know the internal temperature of the food. In turn, you can figure out the doneness of your food.

A meat thermometer is available as a wired thermometer, a wireless meat thermometer, and an instant read thermometer.

Now, as you will see in the above list, I have included some meat thermometers. This is because they are equipped with either an additional probe or a dual sensor. This allows these thermometers to monitor the meat temperature as well as the smoker temperature.

Roasted Turkey with Potatoes and Meat Thermometer

A Note About Instant Read Thermometers

Now, you may be wondering what about instant read thermometers. Well, these kinds of thermometers doesn’t really work well as smoker thermometers. This is because they are typically placed into the meat during the cook, close to the end of the cook, or after the meat has been taken out of the smoker.

As a result, they don’t really work for ambient readings. There is also the fact that instant read thermometers aren’t equipped with another sensor to help you check the temperature of the smoker chamber.

How Accurate Are Smoker Thermometers?

The accuracy of a smoker thermometer can depend on the manufacturer and model. Due to this, it isn’t easy to know just how accurate a smoker thermometer will be.

On the one hand, buying a good brand and reading reviews ahead of time can help you to find one with a higher level of accuracy.

There is also a test that you can run. You can place a thermometer in ice water and then hot water to determine if the readings are accurate.

Also, if you use a smoker thermometer alongside a commercial thermometer, you can determine the level of accuracy. There are also some thermometers that come with calibrators that allow you to adjust the settings as needed.

In general, wired thermometers tend to be the most accurate options available as there is no disconnect between the probe and the receiver. With wireless designs, the margin for error is a little higher.

Of course, as I mentioned, other factors like brand and model do come into play here. Therefore, you will need to take these elements into consideration as well when making your decision.

The Final Verdict 

In the end, the FireBoard 2 is undoubtedly the best of the lot. This thermometer boasts excellent accuracy and durability. Also, it has plenty of probes and an easy to read display. 

That being said, I do suggest that you check out all the smoker thermometers on this list. They each have their own features and strengths. As such, you can never tell which one will be the right one for you! 

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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