We have been reviewing digital grill thermometers since 2014. In that time, we have spent more than 90 hours researching and testing to find the best grill thermometers on the market. The best digital grill thermometer we found was the Weber iGrill2. The Weber iGrill2 pairs with your smartphone or tablet so you can track temperature changes and receive notifications when the meat is cooked according to your presets.
The Weber iGrill2 lets you monitor up to four steaks at a time and keeps accurate temperature readings. Using this thermometer, the steaks we grilled during testing were cooked to our exact specifications.
The inexpensive Polder Classic Digital Thermometer and Timer is easy to program and accurate within 2 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, its display has large, easy-to-see numbers, and at 43 inches, the thermometer’s cord is longer than most.
Weber iGrill Mini
Weber iGrill Mini is a digital grill thermometer with a wide temperature range that displays its information exclusively on your smartphone or device. The convenient phone app makes it easy to monitor your meat, from up to 150 feet away, so it cooks the way you want it.
The Weber iGrill2 does more than most digital grill thermometers. It has a wide temperature range and an impressive response time of just three seconds. However, the time it took during our tests to get a full reading when cooking four steaks to different rarity averaged at 16.25 seconds. This is fast, but the fastest reading thermometer, the Supermechanical Coal Range Smart Thermometer, took about half that time.
The Weber iGrill2 doesn’t have to be paired with your smartphone to tell you the temperature of your meat, but the app works with both Android and iOS devices, and it’s a handy tool. Simply use the app to select the type of meat you’re grilling and your preferred level of doneness, insert the probes, tap the start button, and your part is done. The iGrill2 has a wireless range of 150 feet, which is far enough for most tasks you’re likely to engage in while grilling, though some wireless thermometers have a range of up to 300 feet. In our tests, we confirmed the manufacturer’s claim that the temperature readings are accurate within 1 degree Fahrenheit. Using the presets, we grilled our steaks to rare, medium-rare, medium and medium-well perfection.
The modestly priced Polder Classic Digital Thermometer and Timer is easy to use and provides accurate temperature readings. It also quickly and correctly tracks how long your food has been on the grill. Despite it low price, this thermometer is accurate within 2 degrees Fahrenheit, according to our testing.
We also found it a breeze to use. During testing, we grilled four steaks: one rare, one medium-rare, one medium and one medium-well. It was easy to set the thermometer’s timers and maximum temperatures to get the correct doneness.
This thermometer’s display is much like that on a smart watch, with big numbers you can see from a distance. In addition, while most digital grill thermometers sit on a stand, the Polder Classic has a handy flexible display that can bend 180 degrees. You can attach it to your grill using the two magnets on the back, or you can bend the screen to a 90-degree viewing angle and put it on a nearby surface. The Polder Classic Digital Thermometer and Timer has a 43-inch cord, which is longer than those on most digital grill thermometers.
However, there are a couple of drawbacks. For example, it doesn’t automatically turn off, so you need to keep spare batteries around in case you forget to do so manually. Also, its display isn’t lit, which means it’s difficult, and sometimes impossible, to read at night without some other light source. In addition, it isn’t water-resistant, so you need to be careful when using it around liquids. Still, for the price, this useful, accurate thermometer is worth considering.
Easiest to Use
The Weber iGrill Mini is a small but powerful digital grill thermometer that provides you with precise temperature readings and features loud alarms. This BBQ thermometer has a wide temperature range that reads temperatures as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 572 degrees Fahrenheit.
The thermometer’s readings are displayed exclusively on your smartphone, since there’s no digital display on the thermometer itself. To compensate, a circular LED indicator rests on top of the thermometer. The light goes from green to yellow, orange and finally red when the thermometer reaches the target temperature. Both the device and your phone beep when the meat is done.
It has a range of 150 feet, which should give you plenty of space between your grill and whatever you’re doing while the food cooks, although some thermometers we tested had ranges of 300 feet or more.
This is an extremely easy thermometer to use. We found the Weber app to be incredibly helpful. Pairing the iGrill Mini to an iPhone and iPad was easy, and the app is simple to navigate. The app is also available for Android devices through the Google Play Store.
This thermometer’s probe was accurate but not quite as accurate as the best digital thermometers we tested. The app alerts you when your meat has finished cooking according to the doneness level you set. The four steaks we cooked came out just as we wanted. The pork chop we grilled, however, with a setting of 160 degrees, was a little overdone.
Best for Wild Game
The multifaceted Maverick ET-735 BBQ thermometer can help you cook wild game with its preset temperatures for meats like deer, buffalo, elk and moose. This Maverick model also has preset temperatures for pork, chicken, turkey, fish, lamb and veal.
This digital grill thermometer uses Bluetooth to connect a transmitter to your Android or iOS device. Using its free mobile app, you can monitor your food’s temperature and set timers as well as receive notifications about how your food is faring on the grill. This thermometer comes with two 7-inch waterproof probes, and you can buy two more to simultaneously monitor the temperatures of different cuts of meat on the grill.
Best for Verbal Alerts
This modestly priced digital grill thermometer actually speaks, telling you when your food is nearly ready, when it’s done and when it’s overcooked. What’s more, it speaks in five languages: English, Spanish, German, French and Danish.
It communicates via a wireless transmitter that can connect as far as 330 feet away from your grill. As such, you can stay updated on your food’s temperature without standing next to the grill, freeing you to make other food or talk to guests. The transmitter’s display is backlit, so you can see what’s happening with your food after the sun goes down. The Oregon Scientific AW131 Grill-Right Talking Thermometer reads temperatures between 32 degrees and 572 degrees Fahrenheit, which is typical for the industry. It comes with a 5.75-inch probe. However, there’s only one probe, unlike with some higher-end thermometers.
Why Trust Us?
Since we started reviewing digital thermometers in 2014, we have spent more than 90 hours doing online research to find the best digital thermometers on the market, developing a testing methodology and then putting them to the test according to the same criteria. The results of our tests are presented in our side-by-side comparison chart and in-depth reviews. We contacted manufacturers, professionals and industry insiders to get informed opinions and gather information that would lend authority to our recommendations and ensure that we didn't overlook essential features.
How We Tested
To help you choose the best digital grill thermometer, we performed several tests while grilling steaks on a gas grill. We used a stopwatch to measure how long it took each thermometer to register a change in temperature. When grilling a steak, every second counts and leaving a slab of meat on for just a bit too long can mean the difference between a medium-rare and medium steak.
Many digital grill thermometers have built-in temperature presets and doneness levels for several types of meat. We tested the functionality of these presets by grilling four steaks to four degrees of doneness: rare, medium-rare, medium and medium-well.
Although instant-read thermometers are extremely accurate and fast at reading temperatures, they did not fit our ranking criteria. We instead focused on wireless probe thermometers, which allow you to step away from the grill while your meat is cooking.
Manufacturers provide their own specifications and data, such as response time, battery life and accuracy. Response time is measured after the thermometer calculates 62.3 percent of the temperature. As we discovered, this means it actually takes longer to get a true reading than the response time manufacturers advertise. If a manufacturer offers a downloadable app to complement the thermometer, we downloaded it and assessed its usefulness and how easy it is to navigate.
What Do Digital Grill Thermometers Cost?
You can buy a fine-quality digital grill thermometer for under $20, though prices vary considerably for these products, going as high as $70. However, even those in the low to mid-price range can do a good job if they are well designed.
Using a thermometer for food safety is "just common sense," said Mark Lambert, president of the National BBQ and Grillers Association. He believes people love digital grill thermometers for another reason: Convenience.
"Barbeque has gone mainstream, and many people like to participate, but don't always like the time commitment that comes with it," Lambert said. "They're busy and they don't have all day to sit by the grill. They like to be able to monitor the temperature and still go on about their lives. They can go inside, help their kids with homework, go to the store."
Lambert said digital grill thermometers also give BBQ enthusiasts confidence in their grilling so they don't overcook food to the point of dryness in an effort to avoid making anyone sick. When cooking meat, it gives people another measure of doneness rather than just gauging by how it feels to the touch or how it looks. "People know that it's properly cooked," Lambert said.
Scott Radmall is a Utah CPA whose career is in corporate finance, but as a self-taught cook, loves grilling at home because this combines his love of family and good food. He, too, depends on a top-quality thermometer because he wants the best results. “I typically use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of meats that I'm cooking. To some extent I use them for food safety, but it's really a matter of monitoring so I get the meat to the right level of cooking: safe, but not overcooked," he said.
Radmall said he strives for "restaurant-quality" food at home, and an excellent thermometer is one of the tools that helps him achieve that. "I'm someone who really cares how things turn out, especially when it comes to food."
How Does Undercooked Meat Make You Sick?
Health experts say it is safe to eat rare and medium-rare meats under certain circumstances. However, it’s a good idea to keep a grill thermometer around so you can test meat and keep your family and friends healthy. According to a 2018 article by SFGate, the online companion to the San Francisco Chronicle, foodborne illnesses come with symptoms ranging from mild digestive upset to death.
It’s best to cook steaks, roasts and chops from beef, lamb and pork to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Ground red meat should register 160 degrees Fahrenheit internally, and poultry should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce the risk of illness.
If you eat undercooked meat, you could be exposed to these:
E. coli: This bacteria is found mostly in undercooked ground beef, and it can produce diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps. Symptoms typically start between two and eight days after eating the contaminated food and can last as long as a week.
E. coli bacteria are typically on the surface, so searing whole pieces of meat on high heat can sometimes kill off enough to make your meal safe. However, the bacteria may get pushed inside ground beef and mechanically tenderized meats during processing. As such, they need to be cooked all the way through.
Salmonella: You can get salmonella poisoning by eating undercooked or raw red meat or poultry. The symptoms include abdominal cramps, fever and diarrhea, and they typically develop 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Salmonella poisoning can last as long as a week, and people with compromised immune systems can die from it, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture data cited in the SFGate article.
Listeria: While listeria is often associated with prepackaged foods like lunch meat, you can get it from undercooked poultry, meat or seafood. It causes fever, muscle aches, diarrhea and nausea. Listeria is particularly hazardous for pregnant women, since it can cause miscarriage and other health problems. In addition, pregnant women are 20 times more likely to get sick with listeria than women who are not pregnant, the SFGate article states, citing information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Performance||Features||Warranty & Support||Accuracy||Temperature Range||Response Time (seconds)||Average Reading Time (seconds)||Wireless Range (feet)||Ease of Use||Number of Probes Included||Number of Probes Supported||Length of Probe (inches)||Length of Cord (inches)||Wireless Connectivity||Battery||Batteries Included||Automatic Shutoff||Temperature Reconfiguration||Android App||iOS App||Illuminated Display||Temperature Presets||Timer & Alarm||Water-and Splash-Resistant||Warranty||Telephone & Email||FAQs|
|Weber iGrill2||View Deal||5/5||10||10||8.8||±1°F||-22 to 572||3||16.25||150||100%||2||4||3.75||48||✓||2AA||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||1 Year||✓||✓|
|Weber iGrill Mini||View Deal||4.5/5||9.5||9||8.3||±2°F||-22 to 572||4||17.5||150||100%||1||1||3.75||48||✓||CR2032||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||-||✓||✓||✓||90 Days||✓||✓|
|Oregon Scientific AW131||View Deal||4.5/5||9||8||8.8||±1°F||32 to 572||7||-||330||89%||1||1||6||40||✓||2AA||✓||✓||✓||-||-||✓||✓||✓||-||1 Year||✓||✓|
|Maverick ET-733||View Deal||4.5/5||9.5||7.5||8.3||±2°F||32 to 572||5||24.5||300||89%||2||2||6||39||✓||2AAA||✓||-||✓||-||-||✓||✓||✓||✓||90 Days||✓||✓|
|Maverick ET-735||View Deal||4/5||8.8||8||8.3||±2°F||32 to 572||3||-||160||93%||2||4||7||42||✓||2AAA||-||✓||✓||✓||✓||-||-||✓||✓||90 Days||✓||✓|
|Weber 6741||View Deal||4/5||8.8||5.3||10||±1°F||32 to 572||8||-||250||89%||2||2||5.75||48||-||2AA||✓||-||-||-||-||✓||✓||✓||-||2 Years||✓||✓|
|Polder Classic||View Deal||3.5/5||8.5||4||8.8||±2°F||32 to 392||6||25||-||92%||1||1||3.75||43||-||1AA||✓||-||✓||-||-||-||-||✓||-||1 Year||✓||✓|