Unless you’re the kind of guy who can tell if your brisket is done just by poking it, it’s usually a good idea to have a meat thermometer handy. Even those fellows who can tell their briskets are done just by poking them, learned how to do that by first owning an accurate thermometer. A good thermometer is important, perhaps one of the most important tools any experienced (or inexperienced) griller can have, because let’s be honest, that little lid thermometer won’t cut it if you want to get serious about perfecting your meats.
Types of Thermometers
There are two paths you can realistically take on your thermometer-buying journey; the first and most common is the probe thermometer, which will stay in your meats, or lay on your grilling surface (to measure the ambient temperature) for an extremely accurate reading for the duration of the cook. This style is most practical for smokers or any application where the cook time is long and the window between perfect “doneness” and “over-doneness” is only a few degrees.
The other common type is the instant-read variety, which, as the name implies, is stuck into food throughout the cook for an instant reading of the internal temperature at that very moment. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and it really depends what and how you’re going to be cooking.
Let’s be clear about one thing though, a good thermometer (probed or instant-read) can be used for the barbecue of course, but also any other applications in the kitchen that would necessitate a highly accurate temperature reading (roasting, frying, baking, etc). A nice thermometer is an excellent investment for any cooking enthusiast.
Which Probe Thermometer Should You Get?
So, which are the best? While all probe thermometers will “work” the same in principle (same with instant-reads) the differences arise in the quality of the components, and like with a computer or a car, it’s more about what’s “under the hood” than what’s on the outside. Though brand can be a good indicator of quality and reputation.
Our most popular probed thermometer, and one of the most practical and newest entries in the market, is the MEATER and the MEATER+. The MEATER is a wireless probe thermometer. The entire MEATER “stick” is the probe and the temperature reading is beamed directly to your phone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The MEATER is a practical choice because there’re no wires, and no fuss. The box it comes in is even the box that you charge it in, pretty convenient and un-wasteful, eh? The difference between the standard MEATER and the MEATER Plus model is the range of connectivity. The MEATER Plus features five times the effective range.
Now, if you don’t mind a few probes sticking out, another excellent option is the ThermoWorks Smoke. ThermoWorks is one of the top names in the thermometer game, and for good reason. The Smoke comes with a meat probe and a probe designed specifically to capture an ambient reading of the grilling surface, it also comes with a receiver, so you can step away from the grill and still know your temperatures. ThermoWorks is serious about thermometry and their products are used by far more than just backyard grilling enthusiasts. Many of our customers who compete in local and national barbecue competitions rely on ThermoWorks to make sure their meat wins them award.
Another excellent probe option is the
. The Barbecue Brain features space for up-to six probes, though comes with two, and can be connected to your phone via Wi-Fi, so you don’t need to babysit your grill, unless you enjoy that, of course. With the Brain, you also get the most bang for your buck. Let’s move on to instant-read…
For instant-read thermometers, the first option is obvious, that is Thermoworks’ newest flagship model: the Thermapen ONE. This boasts an almost instantaneous temperature reading. The accuracy has also been improved to within half a degree. If you find yourself reaching for a thermometer everyday, then you can’t go wrong with the Thermapen ONE, they’re trusted by award-winning pit masters around North America.
The Brander Sidekick features two to four-second readings, a 39” long wire probe (so you actually get both types of thermometers), and a bottle opener! Who doesn’t love multi-functional products? It is impressively accurate and for the price, cannot be beat. It also includes some of the high-end features, such as a backlight and magnetic back, making you able to see readings at night time, as well as store your thermometer on the side of your barbecue.
We have a huge selection of thermometers at Barbecues Galore because we know the importance of a great one that suits the user. However, we've only covered a small fraction of what we in stock. To see more options, you can browse our website. If you have thermometer-related questions, don't hesitate to call us at one of our locations.
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