Product Review: Smoke

The Smoke in action.
The Smoke in action.

I love using my digital thermometers. I love the quick, accurate reading I get from the Thermopop and even quicker response from the Thermapen Mk4. So when Thermoworks released a new device that caters to BBQ’ers like myself, I had to pretend my other awesome digital thermometers wouldn’t suffice and that I needed yet another one. Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on the Smoke the day before making turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.

The total package. See what I did there?
The total package (see what I did there?).

The Smoke is a wireless, dual probe thermometer for BBQ that monitors both the temperature of the food and of the pit. I took pictures of the unboxing so you could see exactly what comes in the package:

Straight out of the box.
Straight outta Compton the box.

 

All of the contents laid out.
All of the contents laid out.

From left to right in the picture above, the contents are as follows:

  • High temp cooking probe
  • Base unit
  • High temp air probe
  • Wireless Smoke receiver
  • Grate clip
  • Lanyard

Assembly is quite easy. Just press the power buttons on both devices and plug in the probes.

Referring to the picture above, I’ll review what each button on the front of the base unit means:

SET: used to set alarms. You can set both high and low alarms for each probe.

VOL: changes the alarm volume setting or sets mute.

UP and DOWN ARROWS: used to adjust the high and low alarms.

LIGHT ICON: turns the backlight on for 20 seconds.

ON/OFF: turns alarm on and off. You can have the alarm off if you just want to monitor temps and not be alerted.

The backsides.
The backsides.

I show this picture of the back of the devices for a few reasons. First, the buttons:

ON/OFF: turns device on. Hold for three seconds to turn off.

°C/°F: changes display between Celcius and Fahrenheit. Device defaults to Fahrenheit.

CAL: this button is used for calibration purposes. The device is pretty accurate, so you may never need to use it. However, it’s nice to have just in case.

TRANSMISSION BUTTON: used to turn the transmission to the receiver on and off. Can be used to connect multiple receivers if buying additional ones.

Next, those silver rectangles are magnets. These come in helpful if you want to stick the base unit to the smoker or its metal appendages (however, I mainly use it to stick to the side of my fridge when not in use). Third, the base unit has a kick stand that folds out to stand on its own. And finally, I post this pic to show the batteries are easy to access and replace if needs be (they take AA batteries).

After you’ve powered on the base unit, turn on the wireless receiver. At first, the receiver will show “con”, which means it is in the process of connecting to the base unit. This may take a few seconds to connect. The connection is strong enough up to 300 feet apart, but is reduced when obstacles such as walls or doors stand between the two devices. With that said, I’ve walked around my house and have had no issues with the connection (with the base unit outside).

It only takes a few seconds to connect to the base unit.
It only takes a few seconds to connect to the base unit.

One thing I’ve noticed with the wireless receiver is that there is some latency between its connection with the base unit. It’s most noticeable when getting your smoker/grill up to temps. The picture I share here shows a small bit of lag between the two devices.

Just a small example of the latency between the base unit and wireless controller.
Just a small example of the latency between the base unit and wireless controller.

The bit of lag should be expected with wireless connections like this and it isn’t even a bother.

PROS & CONS

PROS

  • Accurate, simultaneous temperature readings
  • Wireless receiver works up to 300 feet away from base unit
  • Probes can handle temps up to 572°F (which I don’t recommend cooking your meat to)
  • Can swap out air probe for a different probe (sold separately) spring you can monitor temps of two food items at once
  • Backlight on both base unit and receiver

CONS

  • Wires to the probes can get tangled, especially when storing, and are a little tricky to unwind fully due to their stiff nature
  • If alarm is set, it has to be turned off on both the receiver and the base. You can turn off the one on the receiver, but the base unit outside will continue chirping until you go out there to turn it off.
  • No mobile app to sync up with. However, Thermoworks is planning to release the Smoke Gateway which will be compatible with a smartphone app later this year.

I’ve used the Smoke many times now and I can honestly say I love it. I can’t imagine BBQ’ing without it. Thermoworks makes high quality digital thermometers and they’ve hit another home run with the Smoke!

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