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Braai-Q

Temperature Measurement - Probes, Apps

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Hi All

I have seen various comments on probes and measuring devices but there appear to be newer models out and some seem better than others for certain things so hope I'm not duplicating an existing thread (I searched) but thought that a thread on this might be helpful.

What has prompted this post is the fact that I did a big low and slow cook today and my temperature got a little higher than I wanted it. I used the deflector stone versus foil and it took ages to build temperature back up but I thought it was stable and I went off and got on with the garden. The temp sneaked in a further 5-10 degrees. Easily fixed but I was thinking that it would have been handy to have had an alert that I was over my target temperature. Preferably on my iPhone.

I've come down to this: https://www.thermoworks.com/Signals as a four probe solution. I have had a look at Meater+ but have read some comments on the forum that suggest that maybe the first generation wasn't so great and that their second generation had better signal transmission. They have not released multiple probes although I can see from their site that Meater Block is under development (4 probes). 

Interested in group opinion as I always used a Thermapen (Thermoworks in the US) but the fitted probes would be ideal. Comments on how well they fit with the KK, reliability of signal, waterproofing, killer features, other brands to consider. 

Grateful for any insights from the group. I'll write up a review on whatever I buy with some pictures. 

Thanks

 

Alex

 

Edited by Braai-Q

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I really don’t think you should be concerned with a 10°+/- swing!

That said, any of the devices you mentioned will work beautifully, pick the one with features you find useful.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I have numerous devices for remote monitoring. I'm not thrilled with the Meater +. I'll use it for rotisserie cooks other than that I have other options. 

 

I've used a Maverick 732 in the past. Two probe, clumsy menu, and crappy probes. 

 

Anything from Thermoworks is decent quality. I currently use a Smoke on my KK's. Decent two probe unit. 

 

I also have a ThermaQ Blue that I use on my Wood Fired Oven and Primo Oval Jr. Very high quality. Uses K-type probes so there are lots of different probe options. The unit itself and individual probes are not cheap but a high quality setup. 

 

Just ordered a CyberQ Cloud. We'll see how that goes once it arrives. 

 

Stick with anything from Thermoworks - you can't go wrong. 

 

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I am very partial to Thermoworks products and love my Signals, works like a charm. Mind you I have to keep it in a heated box to use in the mid winter. 

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I use ThermoWorks Smoke (pre-Signals), and also Dots if needed (they use the same probes). Also used their ThermaQ before the Smoke came out. I need to upgrade to the Signals at some point.

I have an original Meater with the upgraded, "longer" range + base but haven't used it yet.

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5 hours ago, 5698k said:

I really don’t think you should be concerned with a 10°+/- swing!

That said, any of the devices you mentioned will work beautifully, pick the one with features you find useful.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I'd ordinarily agree with you @5698k but the bark on two of the briskets was a bit more carbonised than what I would like and I tend to leave the temperature in the middle or towards the low end on a 130-150 cook so if there is a swing, it's not going to impact the cook. I rarely cook with the stone but must have reasoned on protecting the meat as I knew I would be leaving it unchecked for a fair time. Going up to 160 over a number of hours made a difference. Probably should have moved the meat around a bit more but I was in the middle of a big job in the garden that had me fully occupied.

I can make a decision on features but the devil is in the detail. I've had superficially wonderful looking products with unintelligible menu systems that entirely compromise them or a great product but the software connectivity to remote devices might as well have been with a piece of fishing line and a tin can! I didn't think it would hurt to ask and see what the group thought as there is a lot of expertise around these parts. 😎

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14 hours ago, ckreef said:

I have numerous devices for remote monitoring. I'm not thrilled with the Meater +. I'll use it for rotisserie cooks other than that I have other options. 

 

I've used a Maverick 732 in the past. Two probe, clumsy menu, and crappy probes. 

 

Anything from Thermoworks is decent quality. I currently use a Smoke on my KK's. Decent two probe unit. 

 

I also have a ThermaQ Blue that I use on my Wood Fired Oven and Primo Oval Jr. Very high quality. Uses K-type probes so there are lots of different probe options. The unit itself and individual probes are not cheap but a high quality setup. 

 

Just ordered a CyberQ Cloud. We'll see how that goes once it arrives. 

 

Stick with anything from Thermoworks - you can't go wrong. 

 

Thanks @ckreef - really helpful comments. 👍 Assume the attraction of the Meater+ for rotisserie is wireless? Less worried about that function as I tend to judge my eye and use a Thermapen to double check if I'm not sure so wired probes would be fine. 

The ThermaQ Blue is on my list - it's sold by Thermapen / Thermoworks in the UK so I took that as an endorsement. It looks very flexible but I was concerned that it might be like an entanglement of Christmas tree lights (prior to LED) with the probe wires and it didn't look that sturdy. 

I had also looked at the CyberQ controllers but not sure I need a controller as I've not had a problem maintaining temperatures, my biggest mistake when I started was impatience. I need to do more reading on them. I've also seen Smart Fire BBQ but need to do some more research as I don't think (but might be wrong) that it doesn't offer facility for multiple probes. I'd like to have a unit that I can expand into and if a controller + monitoring offers better flexibility, I might go that way. 

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5 hours ago, MacKenzie said:

I am very partial to Thermoworks products and love my Signals, works like a charm. Mind you I have to keep it in a heated box to use in the mid winter. 

Lot of love for Thermoworks. A heated box? 😁 I love the commitment. That's just brilliant.  

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1 hour ago, jonj said:

I use ThermoWorks Smoke (pre-Signals), and also Dots if needed (they use the same probes). Also used their ThermaQ before the Smoke came out. I need to upgrade to the Signals at some point.

I have an original Meater with the upgraded, "longer" range + base but haven't used it yet.

Thanks @jonjInteroperability is a really good point I hadn't thought on regarding the probes and their couplings. 

What was the attraction of the Meater? Wireless probes I assume?

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I have accumulated a number of devices based on advice from this forum.  

I have the CyberQ and have used it just once.  It was useful for managing a very long low and slow cook, particularly as I knew I would need to top the coals up during the day and wouldn't have time to keep checking the fire.  Super simple to set up and no complaints. However, I haven't bothered to use it again because I use my Meater to monitor low and slow cooks too.  

The Meater tells me the temp at the level of the meat and I can watch the progress of the cook on my phone.  There are issues with range so it is good to get the Meater+ or the Meater block.  I just daisy chain my old style Meater through a second phone and have had no issues with that.  

I also bought the Maverick XR-50 but have not had cause to use it yet.  I thought it might come in handy when I have multiple things to monitor but that may well become redundant when I finally get the Meater block with four thermometers.  The fact is, I am lazy, can't be bothered to be threading probes through holes and I like the Meater interface so it gets my vote.  

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1 hour ago, Braai-Q said:

 

The ThermaQ Blue is on my list - it's sold by Thermapen / Thermoworks in the UK so I took that as an endorsement. It looks very flexible but I was concerned that it might be like an entanglement of Christmas tree lights (prior to LED) with the probe wires and it didn't look that sturdy. 

 

 

The ThermaQ Blue is the sturdiest unit I've ever owned. Really well built. I doubt it would break if you dropped it on concrete. It's also water proof so if a surprise thunder shower popped up, no worries. Also their K-type probes aren't cheap but the best probes I've ever owned. Like any wired unit you have probe wires but it runs off of AA batteries so you don't have a power cord. I'm still on my original batteries and it's still reading full battery bars. That's with using it a lot and even leaving it running for 24+ hours on a couple of occasions. Blue tooth range isn't bad but they also make a wifi version. Unfortunately they only come with 2 probe ports. 

 

Can you tell I really like the unit for what it is B)

 

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I also own a Meater (original and + versions) - I was an original backer in their Kickstarter campaign (long story, not worth repeating). It's the only probe of its kind on the market - no probe wires! Only thing you can use remotely while doing a rotisserie cook. The + version solved the short range issue with the original, using the same setup as the Block. Block is in production now, I believe. 

I have a Guru (it's in actual use as I type this). LOVE IT! Great peace of mind on very long cooks. 

The new version of the Maverick (XR-50) it a HUGE improvement over the original versions. Much easier to setup and has multiple probes (2 meat, 2 grill). I use it as my main temperature only device. 

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@Braii-Q My reason for obtaining a Meater was only for rotisserie cooking, as Tony notes. However, I was not impressed with the range on the original without leaving a secondary device at the grill, so I didn't use it in cooking. 

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3 hours ago, jonj said:

@Braii-Q My reason for obtaining a Meater was only for rotisserie cooking, as Tony notes. However, I was not impressed with the range on the original without leaving a secondary device at the grill, so I didn't use it in cooking. 

I believe that you can reach out to them and order the new + block, without the probe, if you already have the original Meater? Works a whole lot better than the original for range. 

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7 minutes ago, tony b said:

I believe that you can reach out to them and order the new + block, without the probe, if you already have the original Meater? Works a whole lot better than the original for range. 

Yes. I did exactly that. Highly recommend.

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I was a backer on the Meater campaign and took delivery of the Meater block a few weeks ago.  I have been impressed with unit and having four probes is great.  I used it the other night to do a reverse sear on a rack of lamb that was cut down to two bones per piece which left me with four pieces total.  Perfect for the four Meater probes.  The ambient temp sensors all stayed within a degree or two of each other and the lamb came out perfect.  I also have the Thermoworks Smoke and it is a solid performer.  I will say that since I got the Meater, I have not used the smoke.  It is also nice to be able to insert the probes before taking the meat out to the grill and they are super easy to clean.  The big bonus is that you do not have to deal with the wires and no need to cover the block  from rain as it is inside.  The Meater block sits inside in my pub (other side of the wall from the grill location) and the connection is solid.  

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On 5/5/2019 at 6:17 PM, tekobo said:

I have accumulated a number of devices based on advice from this forum.  

I have the CyberQ and have used it just once.  It was useful for managing a very long low and slow cook, particularly as I knew I would need to top the coals up during the day and wouldn't have time to keep checking the fire.  Super simple to set up and no complaints. However, I haven't bothered to use it again because I use my Meater to monitor low and slow cooks too.  

The Meater tells me the temp at the level of the meat and I can watch the progress of the cook on my phone.  There are issues with range so it is good to get the Meater+ or the Meater block.  I just daisy chain my old style Meater through a second phone and have had no issues with that.  

I also bought the Maverick XR-50 but have not had cause to use it yet.  I thought it might come in handy when I have multiple things to monitor but that may well become redundant when I finally get the Meater block with four thermometers.  The fact is, I am lazy, can't be bothered to be threading probes through holes and I like the Meater interface so it gets my vote.  

Thanks @tekobo, that was my concern regarding getting something like a CyberQ. None of the cooks I've ever done have really demanded that level of control. 

I like the look of the Meater+ and the lack of wires is of great appeal. Are you able to add additional probes to it? The block looks like a good deal for multiple probes but I wasn't on the Kickstarter for it so it says Q2 shipping. Debating whether I buy the + and see if they can add more probes later or do a version without the independent controller. 

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On 5/5/2019 at 6:58 PM, ckreef said:

 

The ThermaQ Blue is the sturdiest unit I've ever owned. Really well built. I doubt it would break if you dropped it on concrete. It's also water proof so if a surprise thunder shower popped up, no worries. Also their K-type probes aren't cheap but the best probes I've ever owned. Like any wired unit you have probe wires but it runs off of AA batteries so you don't have a power cord. I'm still on my original batteries and it's still reading full battery bars. That's with using it a lot and even leaving it running for 24+ hours on a couple of occasions. Blue tooth range isn't bad but they also make a wifi version. Unfortunately they only come with 2 probe ports. 

 

Can you tell I really like the unit for what it is B)

 

It sounds great and sounds like you're sold but if I'm buying a multi-probe unit, I think I'd need to get 4 probes. 

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On 5/5/2019 at 8:22 PM, tony b said:

I also own a Meater (original and + versions) - I was an original backer in their Kickstarter campaign (long story, not worth repeating). It's the only probe of its kind on the market - no probe wires! Only thing you can use remotely while doing a rotisserie cook. The + version solved the short range issue with the original, using the same setup as the Block. Block is in production now, I believe. 

I have a Guru (it's in actual use as I type this). LOVE IT! Great peace of mind on very long cooks. 

The new version of the Maverick (XR-50) it a HUGE improvement over the original versions. Much easier to setup and has multiple probes (2 meat, 2 grill). I use it as my main temperature only device. 

Thanks Tony. I'm a fan of tools of purposes but wireless and app control has huge appeal for me.

What do you call 'very long cooks' - I tend to do 12-14 hour at most so trying to understand where a controller comes into its own. 

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1 hour ago, Keith B said:

I was a backer on the Meater campaign and took delivery of the Meater block a few weeks ago.  I have been impressed with unit and having four probes is great.  I used it the other night to do a reverse sear on a rack of lamb that was cut down to two bones per piece which left me with four pieces total.  Perfect for the four Meater probes.  The ambient temp sensors all stayed within a degree or two of each other and the lamb came out perfect.  I also have the Thermoworks Smoke and it is a solid performer.  I will say that since I got the Meater, I have not used the smoke.  It is also nice to be able to insert the probes before taking the meat out to the grill and they are super easy to clean.  The big bonus is that you do not have to deal with the wires and no need to cover the block  from rain as it is inside.  The Meater block sits inside in my pub (other side of the wall from the grill location) and the connection is solid.  

Thanks Keith. Interesting to hear about the Meater Block. I'd have to wait for it and it's a Thermoworks Smoke vs Meater Block debate for me but the app/wireless is swinging it for me. Problem is as I'm not a backer of the KS, I'd have to wait for shipping which was said to be Q2 which is a bit vague.

If you have a Meater+ and get a Block, can you run 5 probes? I've tried to determine an answer from the website and downloaded the app as well but it won't play until it finds hardware. 

I must be honest, the language of the Meater was a bit off putting, referring to the end of the probe as 'the pointy end' and some of the language in the interface seems to cater to people who if they need that sort of dumbing down, probably shouldn't be near fire.

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