The Best Smart Meat ThermometersSmart Meat Thermometers
So what actually is a smart meat thermometer and why should you use one instead of your trusty digital one? Smart meat thermometers, as the name might give away, are digital thermometers that you insert into meat when it's cooking. They are offered with a connected app to track temperature and cooking time estimates.
These thermometers will pair with your smartphone or tablet so you know exactly when your rib-eye is a perfect medium rare or your pork shoulder fall apart tender. Like smart ovens, many offer cooking pre-sets, meaning you're able to select the type of meat and degree of doneness you want on the app, and then receive an alert when the right temperature is achieved. Smart meat thermometers are still relatively new, so the technology is not without flaws, but there are several solid options on the market.
Best smart meat thermometers: our top 5 picks
Best all-around: Meater
Best for high heat: GrillEye GE0001
Best multi-purpose thermometer: SuperMechanical's Range
Best app: The MeatStick
Best oven performance: Loki
Best smart meat thermometer: Meater+
We chose the Meater+ thermometer as our favorite. Here's why:
Meater has been in the smart meat thermometer game longer than most, and they learned from the shortcomings of their original thermometer. Their newest iteration, the Meater+, performed admirably against our criteria. When it comes to working distance, it has one of the longest wireless ranges. Most reviewers praised its accurate temperatures. This accuracy and an incredibly intuitive, helpful app mean that you can depend on your Meater smart meat thermometer to consistently produce evenly-cooked meat at your desired doneness. The detailed in-app alerts and analytics are impressively useful, both for current and future cooking. We loved Meater's sleek, minimal design— many reviewers praised its streamlined look and easy care.
How we choose the best smart meat thermometer
Now, smart meat thermometers tend to cost a pretty penny over their standard digital siblings, so we set the bar high for what we expected them to achieve. Here are the key elements that make one stand out from the pack:
First and foremost, how long is their connected range? Smart thermometers connect to your phone via Bluetooth, so it's important that you're able is move away from where the food is cooking and still use the app. It's a hassle to have to leave your phone right by the stove or grill the whole time you're cooking.
The Meater+ claims to have a 165 square foot range, but reviewers say 30-40 feet is more accurate. However, this is still formidable compared to the others. Range and GrillEye's connection lasts about 20-30 feet, and The MeatStick often can't connect at all when a closed grill top is in the way. Loki, which unlike the others, connects through WiFI, should hypothetically have a much longer range. However, reviewers bemoan its unreliable ability to stay tethered to the WiFi.
We also want to make sure the thermometer gives accurate readings. After all, with delicate meats like fish or a filet mignon, being a few degrees off could mean the difference between tender and rubbery. Or, in the case of chicken, a bad bout of salmonella. Most reviewers report that the Meater+ temperature readings are highly accurate compared to readings from other thermometers, staying within a degree or two. Loki was similarly praised for temperature accuracy. However, GrillEye, and the MeatStick were all noted for consistently inconsistent temperatures, sometimes up to 10-15 degrees.
Celsius and Fahrenheit
We expect a top smart meat thermometer to give readings in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. Here, all the thermometers succeeded.
Ambient probe included
Also crucial is an ambient probe, meaning an mechanism that tracks the air temperature inside the cooking vessel, versus just a single temperature reading from inside the meat. With an ambient probe, you'll know if the grill flares up or if you're running low on fuel. Meater, the MeatStick, and Loki all have an ambient temperature reader on the end of the meat that the thermometer sticks out.
Furthermore, the ideal smart meat thermometer should tolerate both being in a grill and the oven for maximum efficiency. A large temperature range tolerance is ideal, meaning you could go from low-and-slow smoking to a searing hot broil with no trouble. Our only beef with Meater is a slightly limited range, as its internal temperature limit is 212F and its external temperature tops out at 537F. This is surpassed by GrillEye's impressive 716F external limit and the MeatStick's 570F upper boundary. That being said, Meater is actually able to be used in both a grill and oven, while some competitors fall short.
Useful app with included pre-sets
We also looked for an easy to use app, one that's intuitive, straight-forward, informative, and works with both iPhones and Androids. The perfect app should have both cooking pre-sets for common cuts of meat (pork, chicken, beef, etc.) and an easy-to-read temperature tracker. A timer for predicted doneness is desirable. The app should alert you when your food is ready to take off the heat, and if it's truly top notch, give extra notice ahead of time.
Meater, GrillEye, the MeatStick, and Loki are all compatible with both iOS and Android devices. All five apps will send you alerts when your meat has reached the desired temperature, but only Meater, Range, and Loki give helpful graphs afterward of the cooking progress, that you can use to predict future cook times. The Meater smart meat thermometer has the only app that sends alerts for post-cooking resting times and offers both pre-programmed selections and USDA cooking guidelines to choose from.
No spendy add-ons
A solid smart meat thermometer should do all of the above on it's own, without the need for buying extra accessories or enhancements. Most of these thermometers hover around the same price range, so an additional $15 spent on an extender is unnecessary. Meater doesn't require any additional purchases to work optimally, so the $99 price tag will be all you need to spend. For a more affordable option, you could choose GrillEye or Range, which don't necessarily require add-ons. However, while they both accommodate up to 6 probes, each only comes with two of them at the standard price.
Easy to care for
For convenience, we wanted a meat thermometer that can be easily cleaned and able to withstand water. While you can't expect to throw any of them in the dishwasher, they should be able to be washed. Meater can be easily hand-washed, as it's water-resistant. The sleek, chopstick-like shape means cleaning only takes a matter of seconds. The MeatStick's similar shape means it's also a snap to wash.
Best for high-heat cooking: GrillEye
The GrillEye smart meat thermometer boasts a 300 ft Bluetooth range, but most reviewers call it closer to 20-30 feet. The biggest complaint shoppers had is the temperature accuracy of the two probes, often ranging up to 10F off from what other thermometers said. The specs on the accuracy are +34 or -34, which is an incredibly wide interval. However, we did love the huge temperature range, in fact the highest of all the thermometers, as this one can easily withstand up to 715F.
This thermometer is the only one to offer a manual temperature display, which is perfect if you don't want to touch your phone with messy hands. The GrillEye, like the Range can host up to an impressive 6 different probes, meaning you can track 6 temperatures at once. While the GrillEye claims to be water-resistant like Meater, most reviewers say otherwise, with some experiencing water-caused malfunctions. Another commonly cited complaint is the extremely loud built-in alarm, although that could be a positive thing for
Best multi-purpose thermometer: Range
A Range smart thermometer from Super Mechanical is the only one to look beyond grilling or baking, as it's also designed fro brewing and candy-making. Reviewers praised it's temperature precision, which even beat out Meater, as its usually accurate within one degree. However, it has the most limited temperature range of all the thermometers, topping out at 450F. Another issue is that it currently only works with iOS devices. We loved that the app creates handy spreadsheets showing temperature change over time, but many people said they found the app in general to be unintuitive and have some small bugs.
We also enjoyed Range's pre-sets, where you can choose between the “gourmet” setting and USDA approved, and are notified at each cooking stage (rare, medium rare, etc). Unfortunately, you can't use Range on most open flame grills since the heat level would be over the allowable threshold. Most reviewers enjoyed the results of their oven cooked meals, noting a respectable range of 20-30 feet, much like GrillEye. Clean-up can be an issue though, as the probes can't be soaked in water. Unlike the other meat thermometers, Range needs to stay plugged into a device at all time, which can be limiting.
Best app: The MeatStick
The MeatStick looks quite similar to Meater, but they differ in a few key ways. Like Meater, it's wireless and its interior sensor can withstand up to 212F. However, the ambient sensor can withstand a slightly higher 572F. Like GrillEye and Loki, some reviewers have complained of inaccurate temperature readings of 10-15 degrees. The app lets you set high and low “danger zones”, and will warn you when the temperature gets too hot. It will even calculate the time left for cooking to your ideal temperature. We especially liked the in-app graph that documented the temperature rise.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the MeatStick smart meat thermometer is that reviewers say it's almost necessary to buy an additional extender, called a bridge, in order to get a reasonable wireless range. You can purchase a thermometer with this bridge for $84.99 instead of the usual $64.99. Another major issue is that the MeatStick is designed for open air cooking, so it doesn't work as well inside an oven or enclosed grill.
You can buy it for $64.99, but keep an eye out for the MeatStick promo codes.
Best in-oven performance: Loki
Of all the thermometers we reviewed, Loki is the only one to work over WiFi (instead of Bluetooth.) The major advantage to this is that you're able to read your thermometer from your mobile device anywhere you have access to the web. In theory, this should make it much more convenient than Meater, but reviewers repeatedly complained about issues staying connected to the WiFi, sometimes two to three times per cook. Like GrillEye, you can track temperature on both the app and the device itself.
A Loki meat thermometer will work equally well in ovens, grills, and smokers with the second highest upper range of 500F. You can cook meats manually or use their pre-sets. With the app, you can set temperature alerts, monitor temperature, and watch your temperature profile over the cooking period. Chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, and steak all turned out well. Most reviewers found the temperature readings to be accurate, but 4/20 on Amazon said they noticed an error of about 10 degrees. While you won't need to splurge on any add-ons, the thermometer is far and away the most pricy of the lot at nearly $150.
This thermometer currently goes for $149.99, but Loki promo codes can help you save.