To become a barbecue master, you need to take the guess work out of your cooking. You could have food instincts that are akin to Gordon Ramsay‘s, Jamie Oliver’s and Wolfgang Puck’s combined, but you ain’t going to know the inside temperature of your large piece of meat without a meat thermometer. Because sticking your finger inside certainly won’t work (ouch).
So if you take cooking on your quality smoker from the Barbecue Smoker Guide seriously, you are going to need one of these bad boys.
Seeing as there are tons of the devices on the market, I will narrow your search down by recommending the top 3 best wireless models at the end of this article. So if you’ve got the Best Electric Smoker, don’t consider cooking something on it until you pick one up.
Before that, here’s some general advice on thermometers in general.
What to look for
“Don’t buy a crappy thermometer. Buy the best and you’ll only cry once.” Greg Rempe of the BBQCentral Radio show once said. And he is right. Like with everything, buy something that is cheap and you will likely pay the price sooner or later. Buy something quality that is reliable and it will pay you back over time.
Therefore, the first and most important aspect to look for is durability. These little babies are going to be exposed to a large helping of grease, extremes of temperature and multiple barbecue sessions. So you don’t want it malfunctioning at the slightest knock.
Speed and accuracy
Another important aspect when choosing your thermometer is the speed and accuracy of it. Accuracy is obviously important as you obviously need an accurate reading on your food temperature. And there can be a small difference between raw and rare-cooked food if you like your food that way, so making sure your device has a reading that is bang on the money is vital.
You need the speed because to plunge the probe into your cooking food, you are often sticking your arm in a hot oven. So you don’t want a model that takes so long to read the temp that your arm starts cooking in the oven in the process.
To plunge the probe into thick pieces of meat, you are going to want a stainless-steel model that is also thick enough to not buckle under the force. So don’t buy skinny, plastic models or they can snap off it plunged into thick pieces of cooking meat.
Here are the top 3 wireless thermometers on the market today, considering price and performance:
Taylor Digital Thermometer
This little gem is battery operated via a simple on/off switch. You also won’t have any problem probing your big bits of meat with this thermometer as it features a four-foot long stainless-steel probe. The probe is connected to the monitor via a special cable that is long and durable enough so that you can close the oven door with the probe inside and read the temp without heat blazing over your face from an open oven door. Pretty handy. The temperature range is 30 to 395F.
CDN DTQ450X ProAccurate
With the ProAccurate the monitor is attached to the probe itself so won’t be able to read temperatures while not opening the door. Well you could try and leave the device inside and read the monitor through the oven glass…actually don’t. You won’t need to actually as one of the selling points of this one is it delivers temperature readings in 3-6 seconds. Most thermometers take around 1 minute.
This pocket-sized gadget is also shatterproof and waterproof and thin enough to probe thin cuts of meat, fish or poultry.
Pyrex Digital Probe Oven Thermometer
Like a combination of the two above, this battery-operated thermometer with oven-safe probe keeps track of internal temperature in fahrenheit and celsius degrees. It also has a Timer alarm for when your food is ready.