Tracking Meals From Your Phone: 3 Best Smoker Thermometers of 2019
Bluetooth smoker thermometers have been around for a while now, and I couldn’t believe I’d never thought of using one until recently. And when I did some research into the current market, I found that there were massive price differences for what seemed to be basically the same product.
Finding a quality smoker thermometers that not only suits your needs but also sits within your budget range may seem daunting, even if you know where and how to look.
There are many options and factors to consider before making the final decision. In this guide we’ve composed customer reviews, online and in person interviews, and days of research into a comprehensive guide that you won’t find a better version of online.
All three products on my list are similarly priced, between $40 and $80. The Nutrichef Wireless comes in at the lowest price, and best budget option. The Morpilot Smart Wireless wins my overall choice for its affordability and great features across the board. And the Inkbird, while a little more expensive, is the classiest and most professional model on my list.
At the end of the day, the main differences you’ll find are to do with the durability of the device and the accessibility of the app. While a major concern for many Bluetooth thermometers is the accuracy of its reading, each of my three choices are reliable and consistent. That being said, if you do choose to stray from this list, be sure to find a thermometer that is both certified for accuracy, and backed by extensive customer reviews.
Choose Your Budget
No. of Probes
Morpilot Smart Wireless Pro
How We Picked?
This guide compares our top picks divided into 3 price-ranges for easy browsing (Here is the full list of the 19 products we tested). You can jump between price ranges using the menu below. Finally, there’s a useful buyer’s guide at the bottom of the page that helps explain what to look for when buying a smoker thermometer table.
This buyer’s guide is suited to everyone from beginners interested in learning which smoker thermometer to buy or what's good about them, to serious chefs out to know what's missing from each and how best to use them.
My Best Overall selection takes into account affordability, Bluetooth range, temperature accuracy and any additional features that may sway the final vote. As the best combination of all these points, the Morpilot was a standout winner. Competitive or leading the way in almost every category, it was an easy decision.
The Morpilot Smart Meter Pro is the best all-around product on my list.
It has a pleasant app interface, great Bluetooth and temperature ranges, and is accurate to within less than 2 degrees.
Who Should Buy?
Anyone who likes to use a variety of cooking techniques like oven roasting, smoking and grilling; with 11 different meat type cooking options, the Morpilot Smart Wireless Pro is the most user-friendly on my top pick list.
Full Morpilot Review
This is pretty much everything I was looking for in a Bluetooth meat thermometer. It comes with 4 probes (with two more sockets available if needed) which is the first thing to like about it. The probes are claimed to be accurate within a 1.8F, plus or minus, and this has been pretty much spot on in practice. Not that I ever really need to know within one degree precisely, but it’s nice to have that level of accuracy.
My favorite part of the Morpilot Pro is its Smart application. It gives you 11 different meat type cooking modes, which is lined up to meet USDA cooking guidelines for standards like ‘medium rare beef steak’ and poultry options (but it also lets you customise these to personal preference). The alarm features are spot on, and the design of the app is pleasant and simple to use. That’s a big thing for me; it may sound superficial, but I love a product that cares about presentation. It makes me want to use it more often.
The Bluetooth range is up to 160ft, which lets you monitor your food from inside and outside the house; or even over at your neighbor’s yard. This figure is slightly reduced when you put a few walls between yourself and the signal, but generally speaking this range is more than generous.
The main user complaints I’ve found have had to do with battery life, power issues and bluetooth connectivity (although not nearly as many of these last complaints). The quoted battery life is 200 hours, although in reality it may be less than this with regular use. In any case, the Morpilot uses standard AA batteries which can be replaced without much hassle.
- Larger than average Bluetooth range
- Simple app and user interface
- Useful features like tracking your temperature history, choosing specific meat types and cooking to personal taste preferences
- 47’’ stainless steel mesh cable is longer than many competitors, giving you more freedom to place your Bluetooth device out of the heat zone
- Count-down alarm and push notifications sent to your phone when food is prepared
- Potential battery issues, may need to be replaced sooner than listed (200 hours)
- Smart device requires Bluetooth 4.0 to connect efficiently.
Coming in at my most affordable pick, the Nutrichef isn’t really cutting back on features. You’ve still got all the main selling points for a Bluetooth thermometer, like range and app interface. Where it falls behind the Morpilot is in its Bluetooth connectivity, and the fact that it only comes with 2 probes, rather than 4.
Nutrichef Meat Thermometer Review
If it weren’t for some customer complaints about the consistency of the Bluetooth connection, the Nutrichef would have been a strong competitor for my Best Overall choice.
It has a great range, decent temperature capacity and the EasyBBQ app is a treat to use.
Who Should Buy?
For those who like to get things done in the house while they grill outside, the Nutrichef has the largest range of all my Bluetooth meat thermometer reviews.
Full Nutrichef Review
This is another great and affordable Bluetooth thermometer option, with the largest range of any devices on my list (200ft). Nutrichef have programmed the device with their EasyBBQ app, which includes all the cool features of top models like: Temperature History Timeline, Alarm and Alert Notifications, along with a number of cooking options and meat types.
One nice differentiators is the actual screen itself. While the point of the Bluetooth thermometer is to check the temperature from your smartphone, it’s still convenient to be able to check the actual device screen when you walk by. The Nutrichef has a nice clear LCD display, which lists both the preset temperature and the real-time temperature in large digital figures. It’s a small thing, but definitely useful when you’re trying to do a few things at once and don’t want to burn your dinner.
On to the not-so-great parts.
Unfortunately, Bluetooth technology is still at a stage where it’s often difficult to tell which device is at fault. While I want to believe every reviewer that claims the Nutrichef’s Bluetooth system is completely useless, I also have a fair bit of experience with Bluetooth connections failing at seemingly random moments. Most of the time, the issue was my phone; other times the device was at fault.
That being said, I’ve read a number of user complaints about poor connectivity with the Nutrichef. Sometimes this is a matter of the range not being quite what it’s supposed to be (in one case, just 15ft away was the limit as opposed to the listed 200ft), other times they cannot connect to the device at all. Whether this is a manufacturer error, user error, or just bad luck, I’m not sure--it’s also worth saying that the vast majority of reviewers have found the connection and quality to be great.
- EasyBBQ app is great and simple to navigate
- LCD screen with real-time and preset temperature listed
- Smart app features like alarms, alerts and push notifications
- Only includes 2 probes
- Bluetooth connectivity issues
My Best Professional choice means that you should feel comfortable cooking for an audience with this device. It’s accurate, has a stylish user-friendly display and application, and the fine-probe design means that you can test your internal temperature without making a noticeable mark.
Inkbird Thermometer Review
winner of my Best Professional choice, and decked out with special features, the Inkbird is a quality thermometer for any home.
Especially good for preparing delicate meals, with its thin probe (so you don’t tear up the meat), the IBT-4XS is something of a luxury option in the meat thermometer industry.
Who Should Buy?
Being the most expensive on my list, the Inkbird is a value decision. With added features like rotating LCD display and some extra room for comfort on your probe wires, this is the best option for kitchen oven cooking on my list.
Full Inkbird Review
The Inkbird IBT-4XS gives you a few luxury features for your money. The rechargeable battery design is nice, meaning that you don’t really have to think about battery life or buying replacements, but it isn’t such a big deal for me, really. I’m more impressed by the thought they’ve put into their magnetic stick design.
The Inkbird comes with a built-in magnet that lets you stick it on your fridge (or other metal surface, like a steel grill for example…). That’s a useful touch in itself, but they’ve also manufactured the IBT-4XS to have a rotatable LCD display. The probes wires connect at the base of the Bluetooth reader, but this isn’t always where you want them. The rotating design lets you stick the reader at whatever angle you like, and the temperature reading will always come out the right way up. Again, I appreciate the little things, and this is a winning feature for me from Inkbird.
On the downside, this is slightly more expensive than the other thermometers on my list.
The added value comes from the extra care in design and user-friendly features, but this is never free. Also, it’s worth noting that there have been a few complaints about the accuracy of the Inkbird’s temperature readings. A few users have mentioned that the probes are wildly inaccurate, giving readings of 572 degrees while sitting at room temperature! This may be that they got a bad batch, but the manufacturer also mentions that you need to ensure the probes are fully inserted into the Bluetooth device before use. It may look like they are in, but it’s worth double checking and really making sure of it--otherwise, you can get some crazy readings like our unfortunate reviewers past.
It’s also worth doing a full probe test before using them live on your food. Take some ice water, some boiling water, and get a thermometer to measure room temperature: then test these known temperatures against what the probes give you. That’s the best way to check if there are any defects before you waste any meat!
- The Inkbird has an extended reach on other probes (4.9ft), so that you really can get the most out of its magnet design.
- Simple user app that will save your cooking preferences after you power off
- Temperature accurate within 2 degrees (but make sure you plug it in all the way!)
- Rechargeable battery
- Thin probes that don’t tear up the meat
- Most expensive on my list
- Some Bluetooth connectivity complaints, indoors will be less than the 150ft listed.
How to choose a Bluetooth meat thermometer
Bluetooth meat thermometers are another great example of technology making our lives simpler. Meat thermometers in general have already come a long way, with many smokers and pellet grills coming with inclusive meat probes that display the temperature of each meat digitally (read more here on the pros and cons of pellet grills). Also, they’re becoming more durable with steel cases that can withstand intense temperatures above 700 degrees Farenheit.
However, the problem has always been ‘how can I keep a continuous eye on my food without standing by the grill?’ We’re living in modern times, and sometimes we want to grill, smoke or roast without spending a full day with our food.
The Bluetooth Solution
Bluetooth has found its way into many industries--to the point of becoming a running joke about making any product better: what if it had Bluetooth? The solution to the checking your meat’s internal temperature also comes at the feet of this awesome technology. Since most people these days carry their smartphone with them wherever they go, we have access to a lot more information than generations past. This information isn’t just Wikipedia pages and social media; it can include live data in real-time.
Internal Meat Temperatures
Meat thermometers differ from your oven, smoker, bbq or grill thermometer in one major way: they measure what’s going on beneath the surface of your food, while other thermometers measure the temperature of your cooking environment. You can preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheit, but the middle of your Thanksgiving turkey won’t be ready to eat for another couple of hours. With an internal meat thermometer, you can measure the exact temperature of your food. Here’s a brief list for you, so you know what temps to look out for on your meat thermometer:
Chicken: 165F - 175F
Well Done Beef: 160F and above
Fish and Shellfish: 145F
These temperatures are what you want to see on your meat thermometer to know that the meat is safe to be eaten. If you were cooking some thick chicken breasts, for example, the outer skin or layer might brown and cook very quickly. One way to know if it’s done would be to slice right through the middle and check the color. But with a meat thermometer, you simply need to poke the needle into the middle of the fillet, then check the temperature reading against this list.
The benefit of Bluetooth readers is that you can walk away and still keep an eye on things. That way, when your food is approaching the necessary temperature, you can set an alarm and come back to check on it. That way you don’t waste countless minutes or hours fretting over your meats, worrying that you’ll under or overcook and disappoint (or worse, endanger) your guests!
How do Bluetooth smoker thermometers work?
The good thing is that the fancy technological work has already been done by the designers, and we are left with a simple, easy-to-use interface. Like any thermometer, there is a temperature reader on one end. This will come as a probe or needle, and this is the end you need to place into your meat, seafood, or other dish. The probe is then connected by a protective wire (I know, it’s isn’t truly wireless!) to its Bluetooth device.
When you are connected via Bluetooth to the thermometer device, your smartphone will receive a signal from the device which gives the current temperature reading. This is then converted into the application (which varies from product to product), which can be read easily on your phone’s display.
How to use a Bluetooth meat thermometer
The first thing to do will be to set-up the application that matches your thermometer device. Each application will be slightly different, giving you a different layout and some variety in information options. The Morpilot Bluetooth meat thermometer reviewed above, for example, gives you 11 different meat type cooking options; ranging from pork to BBQ smoke. This is pretty useful since it lets you track how the meat is progressing (for beef steak, you can set it to rare, medium, etc. and it will alert you based on your taste preference!).
Once you’ve set-up the application, you can decide if you want to keep a continuous eye on your internal meat temperature, or if you just want to check-in from time to time. It’s important to note that most models will give you a separate temperature range for each of these methods (some user complaints have been issued saying that the manufacturer lied about the temperature capacity, but it’s clear that they simply didn’t read this instruction in advance and were disappointed!).
Continuous method: These temperature ranges will usually be smaller, since the thermometer will be exposed to high heat for the entirety of the cooking process.
Short-time method: This is the highest temperature range that the probe can handle without being damaged, and is meant only for a brief check-in on your food. Longer exposure at the higher end of this range will only damage your thermometer.
Battery Life, Smart Features and Alarms
I won’t go into too much detail on this, since it’s pretty self-explanatory. However, it’s worth noting some cool features that you should look for in bluetooth applications:
Temperature timeline: This is a useful feature that lets you track not just the current internal temperature of your food, but the past history. It lets you take a look at how quickly your food is heating up (which can also tell you a lot about how well your grill or oven is functioning), and allows to predict how soon it will be ready for eating.
Meat type and cooking method presets: Many apps now include preset temperatures and cooking methods that let you cook your food to a specific taste. The best example of this is pairing your device with USDA recommendations for different steak methods. For example, rare, medium rare, or well done. You just preset the application to your desired meat and cooking method (grill, smoke, roast, etc.) and it will alert you when the dish is ready.
Alerts and push notifications: The alert system is the basis of the Bluetooth meat thermometer, and any device that doesn’t include it should not really be taken seriously. Be sure to set your alarm or push notification a little before you meat reaches the desired temperature--especially if you’re busy doing something around the house and will need a few minutes to get to the grill and take it out.
The main advantage of Bluetooth meat thermometers is that they actually have a fail-safe. Unlike many Bluetooth devices (like speakers, for example) when the Bluetooth connection fails, you’re left feeling like a fool, empty-handed. Since Bluetooth meat thermometers aren’t entirely wireless, this actually works in their favor. If you’re ever in a rush and your phone can’t connect to the device, it isn’t the end of the world. This is why all of the devices on my list have nice clear LCD displays--so that you can still read the temperatures manually if your phone is down for one reason or another.
At the end of the day, the best smoker thermometers are there to make your life easier, and let you get things done while your meal is being prepared. They’ll save you some serious time and effort (which, if you’re working, translates into money), and fortunately we’re at a point where the technology is reliable and durable to high temperatures. Take a look at my Bluetooth meat thermometers reviews, then leave a comment to let us know if you’ve found one that you think should be included, what you liked or disliked about the review, or if you found our Buyer’s Guide helpful.