What’s The Best Meat Thermometer for Grilling Meat on the Barbecue? This is a question I received in an email and I figured I would address it here, figuring if someone sent me an email asking this question they may not be the only person wanting to know, and this would answer their question and address those wondering the same thing. The best meat thermometer when grilling meat can’t be easily answered without going into specifically the type of meat thermometer a person wants to use and their price level and options desired.
There are 3 classes of meat thermometers I will cover and they rang in manufactures, features, use and price. These 3 classes cover your Analog, Instant Read Digital and Leave In WiFi Thermometers.
These work when you insert the probe into the meat and wait for the needle to reach the temp of the meat. An instant-read dial is not designed to remain in the meat while it cooks, its made to use toward the end of the cook to check final temperature of your meat. Analog thermometers are often more difficult to read due to the notches in the dial reading being hard to see sometimes. They often have the longest response times before final temps are revealed, and have few features, none. If you simply want a nice analog thermometer I suggest trying the OXO Good Grips Analog Thermometer. These shouldn’t cost any more than $20 bucks for a good one.
Instant Read Digital Thermometers
These usually have the fast response times and easier to use for checking the temperature of large cuts of meat, like brisket or pork butt, at several spots. Use toward the end of estimated cooking time to check final temperature. Most have handy features such as auto shutoff and temperature hold, which lets you see the displayed temperature longer. The meat temperature is indicated on a digital readout or by indicator light on the handle. Like any instant-read thermometer the meat probe is not designed to remain in the meat during cooking. A great instant read meat thermometer I would suggest using is the ThermoWorks Thermapen. This is the top of the line! Usually you can find Instant Read Digital Thermometers ranging from $40 – $200 bucks, but remember, you get what you pay for.
Leave In WiFi Thermometers
These offer the most options and flexibility when cooking. These have a probe which you leave in the meat while cooking, it monitors the temperature of the meat without you having to open the grill or smoker door, and can also be used as an instant read. A cord connects the probe to a base unit with a digital screen. This unit can be placed on your grills shelf and some can be attached to the side or legs of your grill by a magnet. These pack the most features, including timers, audible alerts, and programmable temperatures. The best part is some are wireless, allowing you to keep an eye on the temperature while you’re more than 100 feet away, usually on the secondary unit that comes with it or by an app on your smartphone. I suggest trying the Maverick ET-733 Wireless Thermometer, it’s affordable and a brand with a good reputation. These can run anywhere in the price range from $50 – $200 bucks. Make sure the unit you’re looking to get has the features and options you want before spending your hard-earned money.
This is just a small view of the many options out there to choose from. Personally I would only use a an Instant Read or a Leave In WiFi as these each would best serve my needs and what I would use them for.
Let us know what type and brand of meat thermometer you use. Plus don’t forget to tell use what you like and dislike about your unit, plus what features you would like to see added or removed from your unit. Thanks!