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For long and slow barbecuing, it's especially important to monitor grill temperature.
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What You Need To Know
With slow and low barbecuing, it’s especially important to monitor the temperature of the fire without opening the grill lid. If your grill doesn’t have a built-in thermometer, it’s a good idea to buy one. We tested eight oven and barbecue thermometers, digital and dial-faced, all of which could slip through the grill lid’s vent holes. We found a surprising range of features and prices—from $7.99 to $99. Our two favorites turned out to be the cheapest models tested, and our highly recommended model gives you simultaneous meat and oven temperature readings. On the grill, a heatproof silicone finger-grip under the dial allows you to take the thermometer out of the lid vents and check the temperature of the meat.
Everything We Tested
Testers loved the easy-to-read screen, ability to simultaneously check the food and oven temperatures, and bargain price. On the grill, a heatproof silicone finger-grip under the dial allows you to take the thermometer out of the lid vents and check the temperature of the meat. Update: Since our testing, the manufacturer has replaced the heatproof finger-grip under the dial with a larger piece of silicone that wraps around the back and sides of the thermometer face. No other features have changed. We tested the updated model and still Highly Recommend it.
The 1 3/4-inch dial face was a bit hard to read, but this bargain probe gets the job done.
Recommended with reservations
The screen is easy to read, and the probe’s wire extends nearly three feet for easy maneuverability, but it took far too long—roughly 45 seconds—to register an accurate temperature reading.
Your basic dial-faced probe, with a hefty price tag and a longer-than-average time to register the temperature.
This larger version of Tel-Tru’s BQ250 includes a range chart for “smoke,” “barbecue,” and “grill,” but takes too long to register the temperature.
If the on/off switches on the transmitter and the receiver were more accessible and the remote range was truly 100 feet, this digital instrument might be as convenient as it advertises.
Not only was this thermometer’s probe far too short, but its temperature reading was roughly 60 degrees off.
One tester commented that this enormous model—five inches in diameter, with oversized numbers—would be “perfect for people wearing beer goggles.” Otherwise, the dial’s advertised adjustable head requires several minutes with a screwdriver, and the model takes more than that to gauge the temperature. Besides, who needs a thermometer that weighs more than a pound?
Reviews you can trust
Reviews you can trust
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.