Reviews you can trust.

See why.

The Best Remote-Probe Thermometers

Babysitting food can be a real slog; remote-probe thermometers untether you from the oven or grill and let you monitor food temperature from afar.

By and

Last Updated Jan. 21, 2022. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 21: Schnitzel and Roesti

Update, January 2022

When we originally tested remote-probe thermometers in 2019, we didn’t find much to like about Wi-Fi thermometers. A new product has changed our minds. While we still think that the ThermoWorks Smoke 2-Channel Alarm is the best remote-probe thermometer for most cooks, we now also highly recommend the FireBoard 2. With six channels and an easy-to-use smartphone app, this Wi-Fi data logger is a great upgrade for cooks who regularly roast or smoke multiple pieces of food at a time.  

See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

We’ve all been there: You’re hungry and eager to eat, but your food is taking forever to come up to the right temperature. You open the oven or grill every few minutes, insert your thermometer, and pray for that magic number to display. Soon enough, your beautiful steak or side of salmon is riddled with holes—and still not done. It’s a double-edged sword: The more you open the oven door or lift the grill lid, the longer your food will take to cook, but you don’t want to miss that elusive perfect temperature. 

Our winning clip-on probe thermometer, the ChefAlarm by ThermoWorks, helps with this problem. It features a probe that is connected by a thin wire to a base that sits outside the grill or oven. The probe is inserted into the food you’re cooking and the base displays the temperature readout, allowing you to monitor temperature without opening the oven door or lifting the grill lid. However, this thermometer has a limitation: You can read the temperature only when standing next to the stove or grill. Remote-probe thermometers, which are similar in design and operation to clip-on probe thermometers, get around this restriction by also transmitting their temperature data to portable receivers. This makes them handy for monitoring the progress of foods that cook for longer periods and require no babysitting or hands-on attention, such as barbecue or roasts. You can walk away from the grill, smoker, or oven and go about your day; the receiver lets you know when your food has reached its target temperature.

Before we started testing, we learned that there are two types of remote-probe thermometers: pager-style and smartphone-connected. Pager-style thermometers send their temperature data via radio frequency from the base to a handheld monitor (much like a walkie-talkie or baby monitor). Smartphone-connected thermometers rely on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth (which are not the same—more on that later) to transmit temperature data from the base to an app on your phone. 

To find the best remote-probe thermometer, we tested a mix of models. Some of the models used Bluetooth, while others used Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Two of the Bluetooth thermometers were “smart-probe” thermometers. Instead of wired probes that plug into bases that sit near the stovetop, oven, or grill, the probe itself transmits the temperature data wirelessly via Bluetooth to your phone—no base required. 

We used each to monitor pork butt on a gas grill for 4 hours and whole chickens roasted on a charcoal grill for 1 hour; we also used a later Wi-Fi thermometer to monitor air and food temperatures while making North Carolina Barbecue Pork and Kansas City-Style B...

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.
*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
accolades badge

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.

Miye Bromberg

Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.