Warmer weather is just around the corner and people are starting to outfit themselves with the tools and gear needed for those longer balmy nights. Patio furniture is starting to come out of storage, lights are being strung around decks and patios, and fire pits are making their long-awaited reappearance. The best part though would have to be the reemergence of the trusty grill or barbecue. These lean and mean cooking machines are being cleansed, prepped, and prepared for another season of outdoor cookouts with family.
Grills are one of the cleanest sources of cooking and also one of the healthiest as it doesn’t require any artery clogging oils or sprays to do their job. Your food has a better flavor and seasonings sear into the dishes, instead of being burnt on. Hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, pork chops, and fish are gracing your table with a fresh taste, vegetables are being eaten by even the picky eaters in your family, and even the appetizers have a new savory taste to them.
What is the one thing that could ruin these summertime cookouts though? How about under cooked meat or incorrect cooking temperatures removing the natural flavor of the dish? That is why a grill thermometer is an excellent investment and can not only save you a ruin dish on you table but also a trip to the local emergency room!
What is a Grill Thermometer?
A grill thermometer is a tool that is used to check the internal temperature of a food item to ensure that it is cooked safely as per recommendations from national food guides. These recommendations are set in such a manner that allows cooks to prepare dishes that are not uncooked or raw while maintaining the flavor of the food.
Chefs and cooks in numerous styles of restaurants use grill thermometers to double check the quality of food being sent out and more people are starting to use them in their home cooking; especially the types of dishes that are done on a grill.
A grill thermometer generally has a pointy tip that is inserted into the food item and the internal temperature will flash on the screen. Once the inside of the food (typically fish, meat, pork, and/or poultry) has reached the recommended temperature; it is deemed fit for human consumption and is considered “grilled”.
Importance of Using a Grill Thermometer
You might be asking yourself, “do I really need a grill thermometer?”. The answer is yes and the number one reason why a grill thermometer is extremely important is because it prevents illness that are caused by eating contaminated meat. Undercooked or raw meat can carry bacteria that enters the body through food consumption. These little bacteria can then cause stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea, and fevers, essentially, food poisoning.
Another reason that a grill thermometer is important is because it helps you prevent overcooking your meat products. There is nothing harder to stomach then spending all this money and time on the prefect grilled meal to find that the meat is tough, dry, and burned. A grill thermometer takes the chance that you will overcook the meat out of the equation, so each dish is truly grilled to perfection.
You can even use a grill thermometer to ensure that your leftovers are warmed to the correct temperature and not overheated, causing it to become rubbery and tough.
How to Use a Grill Thermometer
While use of a grill thermometer is fairly straight forwarded, keep these tips in mind for the best and flavorful results.
- Aim for approximately five degrees below the recommended temperature for the meat you are preparing as it will continue to cook while in a heat source (sauce, the grill itself, warming rack, etc.).
- Always insert the grill thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and not the bone as this can give an inaccurate reading.
- Clean your grill thermometer as per manufacturer’s instructions the same way you would clean your other grilling utensils – with hot water and soap – to prevent potential contamination.
So Many to Choose From
If you’ve started the research process when it comes to looking for a new grill thermometer, whether it is the first timey you are purchasing one or it’s your tenth; it is easy to become overwhelmed when faced with all the options on the market. From generic tools that first hit the market and were catered to chefs and restaurants, to the new gadgets that can connect via Bluetooth to your device – there is truly something for everyone in the market for a new grill thermometer.
Some grills have built in temperatures gauges, but it is important to remember that these gauges are for the temperatures inside the grill and not the food itself that is being cooked. Even a steak that is cooked on a high temperature for a short period of time is not necessarily cooked completely through.
What to Look for in a Grill Thermometer
With so many options to choose from, it is important to narrow down what you are looking for in a grill thermometer. Do you want an expensive one for fine-dining or would you prefer a cheaper model until you are sure of what you are looking for? The following questions should help you begin to formulate what you are looking for when it comes to a personal grill thermometer.
- Do you want an expensive model that will be inserted into the meat prior to cooking and remain there until the correct internal temperature has been reached?
- Are you looking for an analog or digital system? Analog grill thermometers will use a timer to determine when the meat has reached the correct temperature but will have to be re-calibrated and reset after each check. Digital grill thermometers will automatically flash the temperature at any given time but can run higher in price range.
- Are you looking for a grill thermometer for each type of meat or an all-for-one deal? Please keep in mind that the type of grill thermometer that can be changed to each type of meat isn’t always recommended, regardless of the price, as they tend to allow people to overcook their meat to the wrong temperature.
Top 6 Best Grill Thermometers
Once you start shopping for grill thermometers, you are going to open the doors to a market sector that you didn’t even realize existed. There are numerous options and each one has a slightly different feature to make it better than the competitor. While the function of each grill thermometer remains the same, it can be daunting to figure out what is the best one for your needs when it comes to grilling. Luckily, we are compiled a list of the top six best grill thermometers for your browsing pleasure and we’ve broken down just what makes each one special.
You know how it can be quite stressful when you are outside trying to grill but you also have things cooking on the stove to accompany your meal? Having to run from one location to the other so that the food doesn’t become burnt or overcooked? The Maverick Digital BBQ Thermometer removes this stress from grilling and instead, uses your WIFI and an app that can be installed on your smart phone, tablet, or other device to monitor the temperature of the meat on the grill. Monitor the temperature of your grill with ease and don’t worry about the battery charge on the thermometer as this one will use wireless connection for up to 4 hours or you can connect it to the battery pack (also rechargeable) and have unlimited life!
This app also offers you the chance to upload pictures of your perfect grilled meat to your social media pages so you can show off your culinary and grilling skills. You can even download multiple recipes off the internet to enhance and grow your culinary skills to a new level.
Who Should Purchase a Maverick BBQ Thermometer?
This product would be best for the techie in the family as it takes the guesswork out of grilling and offers the perfect internal temperatures of the grilling meat right to your hand, or rather, the device in your hand. This thermometer can track the temperatures of multiple meals on the grill and will let you know when it’s time to remove the meat from the heat source.
Have a picky eater in your family and thus you have to always prepare more than one meal on the grill? Maybe you’re having a dinner party and you need to prepare a variety of dishes for your guests. This is why the Weber Wireless Bluetooth Grill Thermometer is a worthwhile investment. This thermometer features two different probes that safely checks the temperature of two different meats at the same time. The probes are color-coded to ensure that you have the recommended temperature for different types of meat.
This thermometer also connects to your smart device via the aforementioned Bluetooth technology and allows you to monitor the temperature of your meat while you are completing other tasks with the Weber app that is available through the app store on your device. It will even notify you when you are out of range for the app to correctly gauge the temperature.
It’s water-resistant and allows you to cleanse the probes without any hassles. Once you are done cleaning up this thermometer, simply place it on the holding device that has an adhesive backing!
Who Should Purchase a Weber 2 Wireless Bluetooth Thermometer?
This thermometer would be best used by someone who plans to cook numerous types of meat dishes during their grilling season. The entertainer or the chef for a picky eater will definitely appreciate the convenience and ease of this thermometer.
This intricate hybrid thermometer is prefect for the budding chef of the family or the person who tends to entertain large crowds at any given time. The Maverick Redi-Chek Thermometer allows you to monitor the temperature of the meat on your grill from up to 160 feet away while the Wi-Fi connection is hooked up to your smart device. The accompany app for this thermometer will notify you if you are getting too far away for an accurate reading and it can connect four probes at one time so you can truly keep a watch over your grill (note that the thermometer comes complete with two probes but additional ones can be purchased at an extra cost).
You can even use the pre-loaded temperatures for 15 different kinds of meat to truly make the perfect dish for your table.
Who Should Purchase the Maverick Bluetooth BBQ Thermometer?
This thermometer is more expensive than others on this list but for good reason. This thermometer does everything for your grilled meat with the exception of cooking it. Use this thermometer if you are a budding chef, trying your hand at grilling different varieties of meat of the first time (think big-game over beef, etc.), or you are known for throwing together a dinner party in minutes with fantastic dishes each time!
This massive in terms of quality grill thermometer from GrillEye is one of the top dogs in the kitchen or on the grill. This thermometer uses wireless connection to connect your thermometer to the app on your smart device which when then alert you for a number of reasons – you’ve gone out of range of the grill, your meat has reached the recommended temperature, or your meat has reached a preset temperature that you’ve chosen to suit your culinary tastes. You can even enhance the performance of your thermometer over time because the app allows you to download updates to the device, so your recommendations are always up to date.
Got a lot of dishes on the grill? Are you in the process of cooking fish for some, poultry for others, and red meat for the rest? Then you will be glad to know that while this thermometer only comes with two probes, you can connect up to eight! The color coordination on the probes keeps it straight on the app which meat is cooking at what temperature, allowing you to unwind with your guests and family without running around worrying about the grill.
Who Should Purchase the GrillEye Pro Grill Thermometer?
This is the gift that you give the chef in your life, this is the gift that you give yourself to truly become the winner of the grill. This thermometer is probably more advanced that what some people needs if they just plan to grill every once in a while, but if you are known for your talent in the kitchen; this is the thermometer for you.
This grill thermometer might be tiny but it’s powerful as it watches, monitors, and alerts you via a LED screen to when your meat on the grill is done to perfection. It’s a wireless connection, using Bluetooth technology, to power the thermometer and the app which works with any brand name of grills on the market today.
The single probe is perfect for the person who only wants to ensure that their meat is cooked thorough and the app will also alert you if the temperature range of your grill is too high or too low for the meat.
Who Should Purchase the Weber Mini Smart Grill Thermometer?
This is the perfect thermometer for the casual griller or the griller who only tends to cook one dish at a time on the grill. The Weber Mini Smart Grill Thermometer is also perfect for the amateur chef in your life or the person who just wants to test the temperature of certain cuts of meat for safety reasons. At a reasonable price and advanced technology, this is also the best thermometer for a first-time user.
Don’t need a lot of technology in the kitchen or you know someone who feels this way? What about having a small budget but wanting a grill thermometer? Then you want to check out the Napoleon PRO BBQ Thermometer. This compact and sleek thermometer can be clipped on your belt and will maintain its monitoring up to 200 feet away. You will be alerted if you come out of the range and it will also track the length of time the meat has been on the grill, along with the temperature it has been at. This thermometer really will take the guesswork out of grilling and leave you with juicy, tender meat off the grill each time!
Who Should Purchase the Napoleon PRO BBQ Thermometer?
This thermometer is perfect for the person in your life that doesn’t need fancy technology or apps to tell when the food is cooked to perfection. This is the most simplistic thermometer mentioned yet and those in your life that would prefer not to be wrapped up in technology will appreciate the LED screen that allows them to know the status of the meat on the grill.
The Wrap Up
Choosing the right grill thermometer should be treated with the same relevance that you use while choosing your grill. These devices can make the difference in the food that you are setting on the table for your family to consume and they are also important in ensuring that all meat dishes are grilled to the appropriate temperatures for human consumption.
Numerous health professionals and practitioners issue warnings at the start of grilling season to reiterate the importance of cooking meat, poultry, and fish to the correct temperatures as the cases of food poisoning spike during these months.
To determine the best grill thermometer for your household, make a list of the types of dishes you prepare the most during the season, the amount of grilling you typically do for the family, and how much you are willing to spend on this device. Do you want and/or need one with special features like the products mentioned above? Is a LED screen more beneficial to you then a digital one?
Once you have narrowed down the type of grill thermometer you are looking for, you are ready to start shopping – so get ready to have the best grilling season yet!
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