Barbecuing on a smoker brings a whole new depth of flavour and tenderness to your meat joint. But reaching the correct internal temperature of meat when cooking on a smoker can be a little bit harder to figure out, and the external thermometer on your smoker may not give you a totally accurate reading of the air temperature inside.
It’s always best to play it safe when there’s food involved, so a good quality smoking thermometer is a must have for anyone that loves cooking in their smoker. Not only will it give you an indication as to whether your meat, whether it be brisket, chicken or pork is cooking at the correct temperature internally, but it will also give you an accurate reading as to whether the temperature inside the smoker is too hot or too cold.
But where do you even begin when it comes to finding one that will meet all of your needs? Well, we’ve done all the hard work for you, and put together a list of our favorite smoker thermometers, along with a guide on what to look out for when you are considering buying one.
Best Smoker Thermometers - Comparison Table
Best Smoker Thermometers - Our Reviews
Equipped with dual probe technology, this wireless meat thermometer from ThermoPro allows you to monitor the temperature of two separate joints of meat at the same time, or simultaneously use one as a temperature probe for the surrounding oven heat.
Super easy to set up and ready to use straight out of the box, it is pre-programmed with USDA approved temperatures for ground beef, ground poultry, beef, veal, chicken, pork, lamb and fish, so you can be certain that whatever you’re cooking, it’ll be safe to eat.
It also includes an alarm function that will beep loudly when your meat has reached the desired temperature, preventing you from accidentally overcooking or burning it, and it has a countdown and count-up timer that will help you manage your cooking time effectively.
It even includes a programme that lets you know when a steak has reached the perfect level of ‘doneness’, so you can get that perfect medium-rare finish without any guess work. As well as all of these incredible features, the backlit LCD screen makes grilling at night time easy - perfect if you’re throwing a barbecue party!
Designed specifically for use on a smoker or barbecue, this smoker thermometer from Inteli-topia is easy to install, comes with a metal shield to clip onto your smoker for easy placement, and is able to read both the smoker and your food at the same time.
Bluetooth compatible, the free app will let you monitor temperature progress from up to 96 feet away and the pre-programmed settings will alert you when your food has reached the perfect temperature.
Complete with two thermometer probes, you can accurately measure the internal temperature of two joints of meat at the same time, giving you greater scope to cook more at once, and the large LCD display is easy to read both in daylight and at nighttime.
People that previously purchased this smoker thermometer were impressed with the Bluetooth connectivity between the thermometer and the app, making this thermometer a great choice for anybody looking for a low-maintenance way of monitoring temperature.
Perfect for large parties and gatherings, this wireless meat thermometer from Soraken comes with 4 probes that allow you to monitor a variety of meats all at the same time.
With a few simple steps, the wireless function allows you to check all of these temperatures on your phone without even having to get out of your chair, and with 11 preset cooking temperatures that let you know when you’re meat has reached the correct temperature, this smoker thermometer takes all the guesswork out of smoking food.
The timer function will let you know when your food is cooked, preventing any chance of burning or overcooking, and the backlit screen will help you to keep cooking even after dark. It also has a handy magnetic strip on the back that you can stick to your smoker, so you won’t have to find somewhere to place it.
This smoker thermometer includes a probe rack that you can use to clip to a grill rack and read the air temperature at that rack’s height - ideal if you’re using your smoker to barbecue on.
With a probe wire that is able to withstand heat up to 715°F, this meat thermometer from Thermoprobe is a fantastic tool to help you cook safely. To make things even easier, there are 7 preset temperature programmes that give you the correct cooking temperature for a variety of meat joints.
Also using dual probe technology, you can monitor the cooking temperature of two joints of meat at the same time, or check the inside temperature of your smoker whilst your food is cooking. The built in countdown and count-up timers remove the need to set a separate timer whilst your food is cooking, and they will alert you when the timer has finished.
Equipped with multiple placement options, you can use it’s magnetic back to stick to your smoker, or use the flip out stand to stand on a nearby countertop, and it’s compact, convenient size means it won’t take up too much room or get in the way whilst you’re cooking.
Customers that brought this smoker thermometer were impressed by the accuracy of it’s temperature readings, as well as how easy it was to use.
This smoker thermometer from Inkbird comes complete with a rechargeable battery, meaning it won’t give out during the cooking process leaving you guessing, and will give you up to 40 hours of power from a single charge.
Available to purchase with either two or four temperature probes, you can monitor the cooking temperature of several meat joints at the same time, or use one to monitor the surrounding cooking temperature within your smoker.
With 12 preset modes for monitoring the temperature of various meats, you can rest assured that you’re cooking at a safe heat, and the built-in alarm will alert you when the correct temperature has been reached.
Equipped with Bluetooth capabilities, you can monitor the temperature of the meat in your smoker from up to 150 feet away, and there is even a temperature graph within the app so you can easily and quickly read if the temperature is increasing or decreasing. The LCD screen is also rotatable, so it can still be read regardless of which angle the wires are going into the smoker from.
Best Smoker Thermometers - Buyers Guide
What to look for when buying a smoker thermometer
If you’re a serious outdoor cook, then a smoker thermometer is a piece of equipment that you can’t do without. Not only is it imperative for keeping a close eye on the internal temperature of your food, and making sure that it is cooked correctly, but it can also allow you to create a variety of recipes that you’ve only ever dreamed of making in your smoker. But, before making your choice on which one to buy, there are some things to consider first.
Number of probes
If you’re throwing a large party and are looking to cook several joints of meat at the same time, then a smoker thermometer that has multiple probes would be a good investment. This will allow you to monitor the internal temperature of your separate meats, without needing to purchase a separate thermometer for each one.
Even if you’re only cooking one joint of meat, a second probe can be useful to monitor the internal air temperature of your oven for rises and falls, allowing you to maintain a constant, steady cooking temperature throughout.
Many smoker thermometers now come with wireless capabilities, which allow you to monitor the temperature either on your phone or tablet through an app. This is incredibly useful if you’re entertaining and would prefer to spend time with your guests, or if you’re slow-smoking something all day and don’t want to have to go out into your yard every half hour to check it’s progress.
Wireless enabled thermometers can also alert you when your meat has reached the correct internal cooking temperature, and allow you to keep an eye on the steadiness of the temperature without needing to open your smoker and risk losing any heat.
There can be a fair amount of guesswork involved when it comes to making sure that your food has reached the correct cooking temperature. Luckily, many smoker thermometers now come with pre-programmed settings that give you an accurate USDA approved temperature reading.
These programmes are fantastic as they will often come with modes for individual joints of meat, so whether you’re cooking chicken, pork, beef or even burgers you’ll be safe in the knowledge that it has been cooked at the right temperature.
Some thermometers even come with programmes that let you know if a steak has reached a certain level of ‘doneness’, which is ideal if you’re cooking a lot of steaks for different taste requirements.
Timers and alerts
Something to consider, especially if you’re cooking for a large crowd, buying a smoker thermometer that has a timer function. It can be all too easy to get swept up and lost in conversation and forget to keep an eye on the time, so a smoker thermometer with a timer will remove any risk of any of your delicious food getting burnt or overcooking.
Similarly, if your smoker thermometer has pre-programmed settings, these can alert you when the desired cooking temperature has been reached, and can also alert you of any dips in the temperature so you can quickly fix it before it becomes a problem.
The last thing you want when you’re cooking in your smoker is for your thermometer to run out of battery! Smoking food is a slow process, and it can take a few hours to achieve the level of taste and texture that makes smoked food so delicious, so make sure you get a smoker thermometer that has a good battery life.
Some thermometers come with rechargeable batteries, and can offer up to 40 hours of life from a single charge. These are definitely ideal if you use your smoker a lot, or if you’re planning to smoke something over a longer period of time.
Your smoker thermometer needs to be placed somewhere accessible, ideally near the smoker itself since it’s probes are going to be in the cooking chamber. Look for a smoker thermometer that has a magnetic back and will easily stick to your smoker, or one that can be screwed into the ventilation holes. If your smoker thermometer is plastic and comes with an insulating metal clip, be sure to use this to prevent it from melting.
Frequently Asked Questions
How accurate are smoker thermometers?
The metal probes on smoke detectors are specially designed to give an accurate reading, whether they’re placed inside the smoker to get a reading of the air temperature, or inserted into a joint of meat to check it’s internal temperature. Many thermometers come with a calibration mode so you can fine tune each probe within -/+1°F before each use - this is most easily done using boiling water as a benchmark.
Where should I place the probes?
If you’re looking to get a temperature reading from a joint of meat, you should insert the probe directly into the centre of it and try to get it right down to the middle of it’s thickness, making sure you’re not hitting any bone or cartilage. If you want a reading of the air temperature within your smoker, place the probe on the inside edge of your smoker a few inches above the grate. Anything higher than this may give you an inaccurate reading as the heat rises.
Can I leave the thermometer probes in whilst the meat is cooking?
For joints of meat, such as beef and whole chickens or turkeys, insert the probe into the meat before placing it in your smoker, and then leave it in there for the duration of the cooking process. This will help you get an accurate reading throughout and ensure that it is safe to eat when it comes to serving. By leaving the thermometer in you’re also reducing the risk of losing any heat by opening the door periodically to check.
Is a wireless thermometer better than a stationary one?
Ultimately, this is down to personal preference. However wireless thermometers give you the advantage of being able to move away from your smoker and carry on with other tasks, or attend to your guests, without having to periodically check back on it. Wireless thermometers will also send alerts to your phone so are a much more low-maintenance way of monitoring your smoker’s temperature.