Only the most skilled pitmasters and grillmasters can tell if a piece of meat is cooked to its optimal temperature by sight and touch alone. Still, the best always carry a thermometer because there is no point in guessing when it comes to a $150 brisket. When cooking anything, using the right tools for the job yield the most delicious results. In terms of grilling or smoking, besides the grills or smokers themselves, the most valuable tool in your arsenal to deliver pitmaster-level results is a meat thermometer.
In recent years, technology really has improved on the capabilities of the grill thermometer, providing more insights and aid to the griller than ever before. But, that doesn’t mean you must adopt that technology. An old-school analog thermometer does the same job, only slower. So, for your next barbecue, make sure you have at least one of these top grill thermometers at the ready.
This compact and straightforward thermometer is trusted by chefs everywhere. It has a handy sheath and clothes clip for quick access and is waterproof (like most thermometers these days). It has a thin probe for temping thinner cuts of meat and is a very affordable option.
Meater was one of the first to the wireless, app-connected meat thermometer party. Since then, dozens of other companies have imitated Meater’s concept, but never quite replicated it. Meater allows you to set and forget your meat for a slow smoke and also provides quick instant reads for grilling. The Meater Plus edition gives you up to 165 feet of freedom and the signal booster doubles as the probe charger. Meater has worked out many of the bugs of the smartphone-controlled app since its inception. The app offers a user-friendly cooking platform that provides an ambient temperature readout, accurate estimated time frames for target cooking temps, the ability to store/share your cooks, and a useful members section with discussion forums and recipes.
If you like to put away the smartphone during your grilling sessions, but still want the tech of remote meat temping technology, the Thermopro TP07S is perfect. An alarm sounds when your food has reached its desired temp, and it offers dual probes and up to 300 feet of freedom. It’s important to keep in mind that with any wireless technology, walls drastically cut down on connectivity. Another bonus of this device is a great warranty from Thermpro, which is three years when you register the product.
This wireless meat thermometer for Enzoo is a roided-up version of the Thermopro model. The Enzoo offers 500 feet of connectivity and a nifty storage case. This model is perfect for the advanced griller or smoker who likes to cook multiple items for big crowds. Like the Thermopro, this thermometer also is backed by a three-year warranty.
For long, slow cooks, you need to be able to keep your grill or smoker at a consistent temp. Most grills and smokers already come equipped with a temperature gauge. But if yours happens to break or just isn’t cutting it, this temperature gauge is an excellent option. It fits all grills with a 13- to 16-inch opening.
If you’re an old soul who’s technology averse, this OG instant-read thermometer from Rubbermaid will be your best friend at the barbecue. No frills, no apps, just straight-up temperature reads. At under $10, you can buy multiple in case you lose a couple. Keep in mind, this is not a leave-in thermometer.
Sous vide cooking has gained as much, if not more, popularity as digital grilling thermometers. With this digital thermometer from Meatstick, you can insert it in your meat for lengthy sous vide cooks, then it can be directly transferred to the grill for a heavy sear without overcooking. It’s the perfect tool for precision cooking.
Thermometers these days can do a lot more for you than just temp your food. But, can they open your beer? This waterproof meat thermometer from Alpha Grillers can! Its long probe can also read temps upward of 572 degrees Fahrenheit, in case you’re planning on making candy or heating fry oil on your grill. Both of which are highly unadvisable, but you do you.
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