If you want to cook a perfect smoked steak, then a thermometer is as important as any other cooking tool.
Most people rely on the built-in thermometers which come with their smokers but they are not very accurate and manufacturers don’t spend much time and money building a decent thermometer.
They are all focused on cooking performance and the included thermometer is only good to tell you the temperature of the air and not the internal food temperature.
That’s why you should pick an external thermometer unit.
Down below, you can find the list I prepared with the reviews of the best smoker thermometers you can find on the market today.
Note: If you are in a hurry, you can use the table of contents below to quickly navigate through the article or simply click here to jump into our editor’s conclusion.
Table of Contents
- 1 Quick Comparison Table
- 2 Why You Need a Smoker Thermometer?
- 3 Reviews of the Best Smoker Thermometer
- 4 Final Thoughts
- 5 How to Use a Smoker Thermometer
- 6 What to Consider when Picking a Smoker Thermometer?
- 7 FAQs
In a Rush? Here's Our Winner!
Quick Comparison Table
32 - 572 °F (0 - 300 °C)
6.4 × 2.4 × 5.9
32 - 572 °F (0 - 300 °C)
2.5 × 1 × 4.8
-22 - 572 °F
(-30 - 300 °C)
2.2 x 2.2 x 3.2
100 - 550 °F (38 - 280 °C)
4.8 × 3.4 × 3.5
-58°F - 572°F
(-50 - 300°C)
6.7 x 1.1 x 2.2
Why You Need a Smoker Thermometer?
The main reason why most people get an external smoker thermometer is that the already built-in thermometer is not accurate enough and cannot tell the internal temperature of their food.
The manufacturers focus more on the cooking performance of the device and just include a standard thermometer, good enough to only read the air’s temperature inside the cooking chamber.
The digital and analog external smoker thermometers give you accurate readings of your food’s temperature, making it much easier to know when to remove the meat from the heat.
I know that there are ways to check the meat doneness test by comparing with your hand but they are not 100% accurate and considering the affordable price these thermometers come, it is better to just pick one instead.
Perfectly Cooked Food
If you don’t have a good thermometer, there is a high chance that you will overcook or undercook your food. There is no way to tell for sure if your food has reached the recommended internal temperature if you don’t use an external thermometer.
More Reliable Solution for Measuring Temperatures
There are a lot of traditional ways to measure and predict the food/meat temperature without using a thermometer. These methods are not accurate and I recommend you to avoid these methods.
There is no way you can tell the exact internal meat temperature by comparing it with your hand. Of course, you can tell the average or if it is near a specific temperature but when cooking delicate cuts of meat, such as wagyu, you need to tell the exact temperature in order to achieve the best results.
Reviews of the Best Smoker Thermometer
1. ThermoPro TP20 - Best Overall Smoker Thermometer
First, on this list, we have one of the best-rated smokers and grill thermometers on the market right now.
It is a wireless thermometer, which has a variety of features, all packed into a reasonable price.
It comes with dual probes and two transmitters, one to be left on the grill/smoker and the other one to carry around.
On the outside, it has a shock-proof, durable design, with a clear and easy to read backlit LCD display. The interface is very simple and easy to use by everyone.
The two included probes can be used at the same time to measure the temperature of the smoker and the food internal temperature, from a range of up to 300 feet away.
The temperature measuring range is from 32°F to 572°F, so no capabilities of measuring below freezing point, but that shouldn’t be a problem for most people.
What I like most about this model are the pre-programmed cooking temperature profiles. You can select one of many pre-programmed temperature profiles on the transmitter, based on the food and doneness you want. The unit will then notify you with an alarm alert when the temperature is reached or goes under the desired levels.
And, on top of that, you can even create customized profiles based on your preferences.
Overall, if you are looking for a good quality, full of features meat thermometer, then ThermoPro would be a great choice.
- Also Read: ThermoPro TP20 Full Review
2. Maverick ET-733 - Runner-Up Winner
Next, we have another well-known brand when it comes to smoker thermometers.
The Maverick ET733 model is one of the best selling models of the Maverick brand.
This model has a good reputation for accurate readings and continuous great reviews from its customers.
It comes with dual probes, which allow you to monitor the temperature of the smoker and the food at the same time and have the ability to measure temperatures up to 716°F.
The data is shown in the transmitter’s backlit screen, which also has a very good looking shiny black design, with two other color options: Copper and Red.
The operating range of the transmitter is up to 300 feet away, with a custom alarm feature which tells you when you are out of the range or the cooking temperature has gone above or beyond the programmed temperature.
The unit comes with 15 pre-programmed temperature preset for different kind of foods and with a feature for you to set the desired temperature preset.
One cool feature that I like is the battery save mode, which shuts off the backlight when it is not needed, resulting in longer battery life.
The package comes included with the remote receiver, remote transmitter, two probes, and 4 x AAA batteries.
Overall, the Maverick ET-733 is a good looking, easy-to-use smoker and food thermometer, which has a history of good reviews and accurate reading, making it the ideal choice for everyone.
- Also Read: Maverick ET-733 Full Review
3. iGrill 2 by Weber - Best Smart Smoker Thermometer
The development of technology has also started to be implemented into cooking devices.
That’s what Weber’s iGrill 2 food thermometer is all about: Smart thermometer taking advantage of technology to make your job easier in the kitchen.
The iGrill2 has a nice round design, with a single LED display on the front and a magnetic base on the back.
It comes with two food probes, but you can choose to use up to 4 probes without any problem.
The probes can monitor multiple cuts of meat at the same time and are capable of withstanding temperatures up to 716°F without any issues.
The unit measures temperatures ranging between -22°F to 572°F and uses your smartphone to show the measured temperature.
The magnetic base of the unit allows you to place it anywhere you find an iron material spot, making it ideal for oven, grill, smokers, etc.
The included batteries are capable of lasting up to 200 hours of running time however the device has some cool programmed settings to save battery life. If no devices and probes are connected with it, it will stay On for 5 more minutes, if only the probes are connected, it will stay on for 8 hours and if it detects your device and probes, it will stay always on.
Within the app, you can find different customizable settings, such as naming the probes, different temperature preset, timer, alarm settings, etc.
Alarm settings are very useful as it will let you know when the food reaches the desired temperature. It will also let you know when your food is getting closer to a certain temperature so you can get ready to remove it.
There are 4 different indicators on the unit, from left-to-right, indicating the 4 probes, so you can easily find which one is in use.
The Weber iGrill app is available for iOS and Android and you will get access to different instructional videos and support once you download and connect your device.
iGrill 2 is the perfect option for those who like the simplicity and convenience of using their smartphone to monitor their food. It has tons of features, long battery life and the capability to monitor multiple foods.
Next, we have a classic analog thermometer. These type of thermometers are still some of the most accurate thermometers you can buy, focusing only on delivering an accurate reading, without any other fancy features.
The unit has a simple stainless steel construction, which makes it very durable and rust resistant.
This particular model reads levels up to 550°F and it is very easy to use; you just have to mount it directly to the smoker, usually at the thickest part of the meat/food. There are no cables, probes or anything else to set up. Just put the device directly to the food.
The reading will be shown in the dial, which is color-coded based on temperatures, making it easier to read.
One thing which we didn’t like about this model is that you need to calibrate before using it even though the calibration is easy but still, it will require an additional step to set up.
To calibrate, fill a glass with ice water and dip the thermometer in. It should read 32°F. Then, put a pot on the boil on your stove and stick the thermometer in. It should read 212°F. If the reading is not correct, try it again.
Also, when sticking the thermometer into the food, you have to be careful to not stick it too close to the bone as it will not give you an accurate read. Usually, you should put it at the very least half an inch in.
Overall, this model is pretty straight-forward. It is only focused on doing the job of measuring the food temperature very accurately, without you having to set up and use probes, cables, and pairing transmitters.
The Kizen is an instant-read smoker thermometer we decided to include in this list.
It is a very affordable option for everyone and has tons of features from the other more expensive competitors.
It has a simple construction, built from quality plastic and feel pretty comfortable in hand.
It takes about 4 seconds to read the temperature of the food and shows it using the bright LCD screen.
If you are unable to read or your position makes it difficult to read, it has a voice readout feature which audibly tells the temperature for you to hear.
The probe is foldable for easy storage and it has an ultra-thin tip, making very easy to penetrate the meat.
This model is capable of reading temperatures ranging from -58°F to 572°F, with an accuracy of +(-) 1.8°F.
Overall, for such a simple device, with an affordable price, Kizen is a really good option. It is very accurate, has an LCD screen and voice read feature.
If you are looking for an instant-read smoker thermometer, then this might be the perfect option for you.
And, if you are looking for a more quality option, then you can check out the ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4. It’s more expensive but it is one of the best instant read thermometers you can buy.
Our Editor's Conclusion:
So, which one is the best smoker thermometer?
After reviewing all the upper mentioned models, we think that the winner is the ThermoPro TP20 Meat Thermometer.
It has everything you may want from such device: simple and durable design, lots of features, accurate, two probes, long range and comes at a very affordable price.
As a runner-up and if you are more for an analog, standard model, you may consider the DozyAnt model. It is pretty straight forward of showing the temperature in a simple and easy to understand analog dial.
How to Use a Smoker Thermometer
The food thermometers are very easy to use, however, there are people who may face difficulties, especially when it is their first time of using one or have to set up the device.
On most models, all you have to do is put the batteries in and you are ready to go. If you have a smart smoker thermometer, then you will have to pair it with a smartphone or another transmitter.
Also, one common mistake most beginners make is the incorrect placement of the probes. They place the probes either too deep or too close to the surface.
The perfect placement would be around 2 inches from the surface of the food and around 1 inch above the grate. It also depends on the food you are cooking, so feel free to experiment and try different placements. You will be surprised by the changes in the measured temperatures with very little movement of the probe.
Also, one thing you can do is to do several measurements in several places. Do one measurement near the surface, one in the center and one past the center to see the differences between these places and to create an idea of the overall temperature.
One last thing to have in mind is to make sure that all your connections are good. Check and push hard all the cables and probes, so they are all connected. A lot of people complain about their thermometer not working at all when they notice that they hadn’t connected correctly the probes.
What to Consider when Picking a Smoker Thermometer?
When you are looking for a good smoker thermometer, you should really consider the type of thermometer you pick to fit your preferences and needs:
Types of Thermometers
There are different types of thermometers on the market and you have to decide which model is the best option for you.
Most popular ones are the wireless digital thermometers, which usually have a range of up to 300 feet, more than enough for everyone. They have two transmitters, one which is left on the smoker and one which you carry around. They are also the most popular ones due to their feature-to-price ratio.
Another very popular model is instant read models. They are either analog or digital type. These models are very accurate and tell the temperature of the food very quickly. These models lack fancy features and come at the cheapest price point from all models.
The third type of thermometer is wireless Bluetooth or also known as smart thermometers. They have started to become more and more popular in recent years.
These models come with only one unit and are connected with your smartphone so you can monitor and control the unit using your phone.
These models have a lot of features and usually are a bit more expensive than the other models.
Here are a couple of frequently asked questions about smoker thermometers:
What is the maximum distance a wireless thermometer cover?
Usually, a wireless thermometer can read the temperature and stay connected in up to 300 feet away.
However, to be 100% sure, you can check the user manuals or read the instructions in the box as it is always stated there.
What is the maximum temperature a food thermometer can read?
Most models can read up to 716°F. There are only a few models which can read below the freezing point and above 716°F, so if you are interested in this type of measurement range, better check the instruction manual or read online before picking a model.
How often should I calibrate my food thermometer?
If you have a wireless thermometer, it is not necessary to calibrate it often. Once, in the beginning, should be enough.
The calibration process is only often required on analog instant read thermometer models. These models tend to go bad and not show the correct temperature as their probe is exposed all the time to different temperatures and are not battery powered to be turned off.
The calibration should be pretty easy to do. You just have to fill a glass with ice water and put the tip of the thermometer in. It should read 32°F. The same thing should be done with boiling water. Set a pot and water to boil on your stove. Once it reaches the boiling point, insert the thermometer and it should read 212°F.
If your thermometer doesn’t show the upper mentioned temperatures, repeat the process again.