If you have ever tried your hand in cooking BBQ, then you know the importance of having a highly accurate smoker thermometer at hand. Without a smoker thermometer, cooking BBQ to perfection is like a shot in the dark with an almost unsurmountable level of guesswork required.
The reason for this is that in order to produce a perfect BBQ, temperature must be regulated and consistent throughout the process. That is why a thermometer for smoking is mandatory before you try your hand on preparing BBQ for the family.
You should also be wary of using the built-in thermometers in grills as these tend to not be as accurate as you would hope. This is why we highly recommend you still buy a separate quality smoker thermometer, especially if you love a good BBQ party a couple of times a month.
To help you along the way, we have compiled a list of the best thermometer for smoking. If you are not satisfied with our selection, we also offer you an in-depth buying guide that should help you weed out the lesser quality smoker thermometers out of your list.
Well, then let us begin our hunt for the top smoker thermometers for your BBQ needs.
In a hurry and just don’t have the time to fully read through our, admittedly, lengthy article?
We completely understand your plight. That’s why we took it upon ourselves to give you our top pick among our ‘best of’ list. This decision was based on our tests, guideline pointers, and overall positive online feedback from customers.
Best Overall Pick: Alpha Grillers Instant Red Meat Thermometer
Overall Rating: 4.7/5
The Alpha Grillers Thermometer is an impressive piece of cooking equipment that excels on all fronts. It is extremely accurate, easy to use, and durable. Add to the fact that its is quite affordable as well and you have yourself one of the best smoker thermometers in the market.
Smoker Thermometer Buying Guide
Before we go ahead and give you the main meat of our article, pun intended, we will first guide you through a list of must-know information regarding smoker thermometers. Having a good grasp!
#1. The Number of Probes You Need
This is the most important question in regards to thermometers and BBQs. This is also subjective and depends on the occasion. There are many varieties of smoker thermometers with some having the ability to check one area of its temperature, while others provide a whopping six temperature probes.
If you are cooking a relatively substantially sized meal, having the ability to check the temperature of each core part of the meat will pay dividends when it comes to the result later on. That said, thermometers with multiple probes are also quite expensive. If you are looking for a budget thermometer, you might find yourself being limited to one or two probe thermometers.
You should also consider the material used for each thermometer probe. I advise you refrain from getting ones with silicone tips as it is less resilient as compared to thermometers with probes made from stainless-steel.
#2. Choosing Between Traditional and Wireless Thermometers
If you are aiming for convenience and safety, a wireless thermometer is the way to go. This type of thermometer can give you the details without even needing to open or go near the grill. The one thing to note about wireless thermometers though is that there is no uniform design or blueprint for it.
Some models utilize a direct connection between the thermometer and the monitor while other will require connection to be made with your smartphone or tablet. A fair warning though, we suggest you steer clear away from wireless thermometers that use Wi-Fi if your router has poor performance. To be safe, we recommend you get the thermometer that comes with its own monitor if you can afford it.
#3. Compatibility with Your Grill/Smoker
Finally, you would definitely want to avoid getting a thermometer that is too large for your smoker. There are two thermometer variants available: ones that read the temperature of the environment that it is in, and another that is equipped with a probe that you stick into the food.
If you choose the latter, you should consider whether it will be able to fit into the smoker grill once the lid has been closed. As for the former, remember to clean it after every use as it is susceptible to damages due to smoke and grease.
While the holes in your smoker can be enlarged in the event that your thermometer probe doesn’t fit, that just means more work. I suggest you simply circumvent that problem altogether and measure your smoker grill before buying a probe thermometer.
Thermometer Maintenance Tips
Since thermometer for smoking BBQ tend to be placed within an extremely hostile environment, it is important to take proper care of this equipment. While smoker thermometers are typically durable, it doesn’t hurt to give it some assistance to assure that it remains accurate and that it lasts for as long as possible.
We included this segment into the article due to how many complaints we saw online about their thermometer breaking down after only a couple of uses. We also noticed how most did not follow certain rules in smoker thermometer care.
Before we begin though, I would like to first advise you to go with thermometers from well-known brands and avoid the super cheap ones as much as possible. Remember the old adage of ‘You get what you pay for’? That applies to almost every purchase that you make. That said, here are crucial maintenance tips that you should remember when using smoker thermometers.
Avoid cleaning the thermometer probe by submerging it underwater. This is one sure way to damage the device. Instead, use a dry paper towel or clean cloth to wipe the probe clean of any grime or grease.
Check the temperature rating of the device. Most units will have a heat resistance of up to 370 degrees Celsius, so make sure to keep it under that number.
Proper storage is key when it comes to making sure thermometer probes last for as long as possible. If you are using wired thermometer probes, avoid twisting the wires when storing it in your cabinet or drawer to prevent wear and tear damage.
The Best Thermometers for Smoking BBQ
Now, that you have a good understanding of what to look for and how to care for your smoker thermometer, we will be introducing you to four best-selling items in this category. If you are still unsure of what to get, check out our recommendations below to help you decide.
# 1. Alpha Grillers Instant Red Meat Thermometer
The most important feature you would want in a thermometer is accuracy. The Alpha Griller might be one of the more affordable options in the market, but this did not reflect its performance. In fact, with a +1-degree Fahrenheit accuracy rating, the Alpha Griller is one of the more reliable affordable thermometers that you can get. That accuracy rating is a pretty solid all things considered.
As for features, it comes with an automatic on and off feature. The thermometer turns on automatically once you detach the probe from the body/monitor. To turn it off, you simply need to attach the probe back to its position. This streamlined design makes for a highly convenient experience as you would have no need to contend with buttons.
Additionally, we found the magnetic attachment at the back of the thermometer to be quite helpful. You can attach it to the ref rather than storing it in the drawer. This basically allows you to use the Alpha Griller thermometer at once, whenever you need it.
The Alpha Griller is a straight up smoker thermometer probe with a solid build and accurate temperature reading. The affordable price tag further makes this an enticing product. Overall, this is a well-rounded choice for those who are looking for something affordable and reliable.
#2. VAUNO Wireless Digital Meat Thermometer
This well-rounded thermometer comes with some nifty features and an excellent wireless performance. It features three thermometer probes that allow cooks to monitor the food temperature efficiently from any distance. This is a wireless functionality and can maintain connectivity for up to 490-feet in an open area.
You can also program a timer that notifies you when the meat has been cooked to perfection. The device is also pre-programmed with USDA approved ‘doneness’ level or you can set your own temperature settings. Since both probe and monitor are directly link, the device does not require any synchronization before displaying the temperature.
The VAUNO Wireless Digital Meat Thermometer features all the functionalities that you would want with this type of equipment. As a wireless thermometer, it provides excellent range. It also comes with features that would undoubtedly help offer more convenience when grilling and BBQing.
#3. ENZOO Wireless Meat Thermometer
Another incredibly helpful and accurate thermometer for smoking BBQ is ENZOO’s Wireless Meat Thermometer. This smoker thermometer features four probes and an outstanding 500-feet wireless range. This means that you can pretty much keep track of your grill anywhere at home.
This thermometer uses four 7-inch probes that are made from food grade stainless-steel for health safety. The monito also has a large LCD screen with backlighting for maximum legibility, even in low-light environment. In addition, the probe can withstand up to 380 degrees Celsius which makes it suitable for all of your grilling needs.
ENZOO is a heavy-duty thermometer that also offers some nice features to help you ensure you deliver the best tasting BBQ possible. It also provides up to four high-quality probes for that extra flexibility when cooking multiple meats simultaneously.
#4.Thermo-Pro TP-17 Dual Probe Digital Cooking Meat Thermometer
The Thermo-Pro TP-17 is one of the more affordable brands in the market that still manages to deliver top-mark performance. Despite the affordable price tag, the TP-17 still manages to implement some basic thermometer features to help you during cooking. These features include an alarm, C/F format option, and a timer.
Additionally, the Thermo-Pro TP-17 also features two USDA approved stainless-steel probes. This means that you can use this thermometer to monitor two separate meats at the same time. This thermometer is also quite flexible in regards to placement options. You can either place it inside your kitchen drawer or (thanks to its magnetic attachment) stick it on the refrigerator.
Not much to complain with this great value for money thermometer. While the dual probe does have some issues with having highly accurate temp reading, this is an all-around solid thermometer for smoking. Friendly reminder though, this thermometer is not waterproof so don’t wash or submerge the probes underwater as it is extremely sensitive to moisture.
In order to perfect your BBQ, you will need a trusty and accurate thermometer by your side. While choosing the best thermometer for smoking can be a bit daunting, as long as you know what you need and have a good understanding about the specs of each model, you will be able to zero in on the right choice. Use our buying guide or our ‘best of’ list to narrow down your choices.