A remote meat thermometer is great little gadget that takes the guesswork out of deciding when your smoking meat is done. A cooking thermometer is a "gotta have it" tool when you're cooking. Smoker temperature variations due to the fire size and the weather make timed cooking next to impossible.
Checking the temperature of the meat with an
instant read digital or
dial-type thermometer will give you the same information…if you have all day to cook. Every time you open the smoker, you have to add 15 to 30 minutes to the smoking time due to lost heat. A remote meat thermometer solves that problem. Remote cooking thermometers include an electronic display unit and a sensing probe/cable assembly. A connector on the probe cable plugs into the display unit.
These remote thermometers allow you to monitor two separate cuts of meat. You could also use one probe for watching the meat temperature, and the other for keeping an eye on the smoker temperature. Position one of the probes right next to the smoking meat, and you'll know the exact cooking temperature of the food. The Polder dual probe remote thermometer and the Maverick dual probe thermometer are two models that are worth checking out.
The coolest remote thermometers come with a wireless pager that can have a range of up to 100 feet. The display unit transmits the temperature information to the pager so you can spend less time at the smoker and more time fixing the side dishes…or sleeping.
Basic remote thermometers display the temperature of the meat (in Fahrenheit or Celsius), and may also have the function of an alarm that beeps when a preset temperature is reached.
Features on other models might include both high and low temperature alarms, a clock, dual probe monitoring capability, timer functions, and remote pagers. Some are even programmable for the type of meat (beef, pork, chicken etc.) and level of doneness desired (rare, medium rare, medium etc.) Pretty handy if you haven't memorized the meat temperature chart!
There are several popular brands of remote meat thermometers.
Polder remote thermometers and
Taylor remote thermometers are two very popular brands. Others include Maverick, Oregon Scientific, Grill Alert and Weber. I use one with the Pyrex™ brand name stamped on it. It's simple, inexpensive, and does a good job.
To get the longest trouble free life from your remote meat thermometer, it's important to pay attention to the cautions and warnings listed in the owner pamphlets. Here are a few you should be aware of…
If you take care of your remote thermometer, it will provide you years of use. And if you don't, several of the manufacturers provide replacement probes for sale just in case yours gets damaged.