Smoker Thermometer: 9 Pros and Cons

Meat Thermometer

There are many benefits to cooking with a smoker. But it can be a struggle to know when the meat is cooked.  Due to this, some people have been turning to using a smoker thermometer.   You’ll be able to cater to large or small groups with ease, create healthier food, and get a wide range of flavors.

 

To help you make that decision, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of a Smoker Thermometer that you’ll need to consider.

1. Pro: Knowing the Meat is Cooked

person slicing juicy medium rare meat on top of brown wooden cutting board

The smoker thermometer will be inserted into the meat, so you can check the internal temperature. This is one of the most reliable ways of making sure that your meat has been cooked properly. Most meat thermometers make this process easy.

You’ll be able to select the type of meat you are cooking, such as chicken, beef or pork. The smoker thermometer will then calculate the cooked temperature of the particular meat. You’ll also be able to set in custom temperatures.

Though it only takes a few seconds to set, it will protect you from the biggest risk of smoking meat.  That is  under cooking it and exposing your guests to harmful bacteria, such as e coli.

When the meat doesn’t get hot enough, the bacteria inside the skin isn’t destroyed. This can lead to a range of health problems, such as salmonella poisoning.

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2. Con: Additional Cost

One of the biggest arguments against using a smoker thermometer is the added cost.  However, this is often a misconception. There are plenty of affordable smoker thermometers, suitable for every price point. For example, you should be able to get a basic model for around $50. If you are willing to spend a little more, you can get more advanced models that offer more features such as dual probes.

This is important if you’re cooking different types of meat, as well as, Bluetooth functionality.  Dual probes are great if you’re cooking multiple pieces of meat.  This will allow you monitor the meat cooking progress without opening the smoker lid, and letter heat out, and can prevent cross-contamination of bacteria.

Over the long term, a good thermometer can help you save money. By getting the right temperature each time, you’ll be able to save money on wasted food. Often, a high-end cut of meat will cost more than the thermometer.

 

3. Pro: Make Cooking Easy

grilling meat on barbecu

A smoker thermometer is fairly easy to use. In some cases, you’ll be able to use it right out of the box. At other times, you’ll need to install an app on your smartphone first. After each use, you’ll need to wash it. If you do this, it will be able to last for a long time. There are a few features that you can get to make your smoker thermometer even easier to use.

For example, some meat thermometers come with two probes. You can put one in the meat and use the other to monitor the internal temperature of the grill. This will tell you whether or not you need to add more wood or open the air vents. This will make it easy to get the grill set-up properly.

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Another cool feature is Bluetooth functionality. This lets you check the thermometer from your phone without having to open the lid, and letting heat out.  You might even want to set-up an alert when it’s ready. This will allow you to mingle with your guests and enjoy the party, while you monitor the cooking process on your phone.

 

4. Pro: Use it On More Than Just Meat

smoker thermometers are largely associated with meat. But there are plenty of other ways that you can use your smoker thermometer. For example, you might want to use it on the stuffing inside the turkey. This will usually need to be over 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also use it on food like leftovers, eggs, and vegetables.

5. Con: Danger of False Reading.

 

There is the potential that the smoker thermometer can deliver a false reading, making you think a food is safe to eat when it isn’t. Often, this will be caused by the way that you have inserted it, such as the thermometer touching a bone.  For the reading to be accurate, you’ll need to make sure that the tine is deep enough in the meat. You’ll also need to make sure that you are putting it into the thickest part of the meat.

 

6. Con: Potential For Connection Problems

Some wireless smoker thermometer models report connection problems. Rebooting the phone or thermometer can solve the issue. It might also occur if you were outside of the effective range. If you experience these problems, consult the instruction manual.

 

7. Pro: Easy to Maintain

When you purchase a thermometer, it’s easy to keep it in good condition. You’ll only need to wash the tines. You don’t want to fully submerge it in water. You’ll also need to check that you are storing it properly. Occasionally, you will need to replace the batteries.

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As long as you do that, it should be able to last for many years.

 

8. Pro: Lots of Variety

There are plenty of types of meat thermometers, so it’s easy to find the right one to suit your style of cooking. Some people prefer to use an instant-read. This requires you to stick it into your food and wait a few seconds before you get the reading.

Others will prefer a wireless model, letting you check the temperature remotely. It also gives you a more interactive display, letting you set the temperature you want to achieve.

9. Pro: Better Flavors

what is a meat thermometer

Some people opt to cut into the meat, rather than using a smoker thermometer. Most chefs don’t recommend this approach. When you slice into the meat, all the juices are released.

As a result, by the time you serve it, the meat will be dry. When you use a meat thermometer, the juices stay inside the meat.  This produces a more flavorful cut of meat.

Another cool technique is to remove the meat from the grill just before it reaches the target temperature. You can then wrap it in foil and give it time to sit. As it does this, the meat will keep cooking. So, by the time you are ready to serve it, it will be at the perfect temperature.

 

Conclusion

Smoker Thermometers are one of the most important accessories when cooking on a smoker. As we’ve seen, the pros far outweigh the cons. For instance, they will accurately tell you the internal temperature of the meat. This will make it easy to avoid undercooked meat. If you want to start using this tool yourself, you might want to check out this descriptive smoker thermometer compilation.

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