The BlueDot took first place as the best Bluetooth thermometer. Below is the product review, including the feedback from our testing and everything you need to know about the Dot.
The BlueDOT is ThermoWorks’ Bluetooth-enabled version of their DOT alarm thermometer, perfect for grilling, roasting and everyday cooking. Here’s how it stacks up against some of the best Bluetooth thermometers out there.
Overview + Why We Like It
It doesn’t get much simpler than the BlueDOT. Think of it like your basic instant read thermometer but with a probe cable, large display – the original DOT, but with Bluetooth. It’s reasonably-priced but commercial quality, just as you would expect from top-dog ThermoWorks.
What’s It Good For?
The BlueDOT is a good choice for almost any cooking that calls for a thermometer – whether that’s roasting a turkey in the oven, making Sous Vide steak, baking breads and cakes or candy-making. You could even use it for low-and-slow smoking on the smoker, though it can accept only one probe – making monitoring the smoker’s ambient temperature difficult.
Unboxing and First Impressions
Just like when we ordered our Signals, kudos to ThermoWorks for shipping this thing so quickly; we got it the day after the order was placed.
The BlueDOT comes in a small, simple box that looks just the like box Signals came in. On the the front of the box are the words “Simple and Accurate” – which is exactly what this meat thermometer is.
When you unbox it, you will find:
- The BlueDot (with batteries included)
- (1) Pro-Series Meat Probe
- An Instruction Card With Temperature Chart
On the back of the box are all the specs you need to know. Some of the more important are:
- Probe Range: -58F to 572F
- Probe Cable Range: 700F Max
- Probe Accuracy: +/- 1.8F (from -4F to 248F)
+/- (from 248F to 392F)
+/- 5.4F (From 392 to 572F)
- Water Resistance: IP65 Dustproof and Splash-Proof
- Probe Type: Thermistors
- Battery: 2x AAA (500 Hours with Bluetooth on)
- Charge Time: 12 Hours
Tough Build, Simple Design, ThermoWorks Reliability
When they said simple, they weren’t kidding. This device is as streamlined as a Bluetooth thermometer can get.
The BlueDOT fits in the palm of your hand, has two arrow buttons on either side for setting target alarm temperature, and a power button on the back. On the side is a single port for plugging in the probe.
On the back, there are two small magnets for mounting the BlueDot to your grill, fridge, or oven – just like on the Signals, it snaps on firmly and securely. The sealed battery compartment is also located back there. It requires a small Phillips screwdriver to open.
Holding down the power button powers the device on or off, while pressing it once toggles the backlight. The backlight will turn itself off after 10 seconds.
The bottom is flat so the device can stand up on level surfaces, but there is also a small flip-out stand to help it lean back. Leaning it back makes it easier to see the display and temperatures.
The BlueDOT is definitely solidly built. Though perhaps not as tough as the Signals, it’ll still handle a spill onto the deck or kitchen floor without incident. The one place we don’t think feels very sturdy, however, is the fold-out stand; we could see the stand snapping when dropped onto a hard kitchen floor.
ThermoWorks says the BlueDOT is IP65-rated. That means it’s entirely dust-resistant, as well as resistant to water spray.. It is NOT rated for full immersion or to any specific impact-resistance. The weak point there is probably with the battery compartment, which would need a very tight seal to withstand all water and immersion.
So, we’ll apply the caveat we usually apply to thermometers we review: the DOT can handle everyday drops and spills like a champ, but we wouldn’t push its limits. ThermoWorks does offer a 2-year warranty against defects on their end.
Easy LCD Display + Streamlined Operation
In keeping with the DOT’s theme of simple and easy, the LCD display is straightforward and uncomplicated. On top, it shows the Current Temperature (in either F or C) and a Bluetooth symbol when it’s ready to connect. Below is the set Alarm Temperature, also in C or F. If there’s no probe plugged in, the display flashes “No Probe.”
To set the target alarm temperature, just use the Up or Down buttons. To turn Bluetooth off, hold down the power button and the right arrow button simultaneously for about 6 seconds. If you don’t want to use the alarm, holding down both arrows at the same time will deactivate it.
That’s it. There’s not much to the BlueDOT – and we like that. The only thing it’s really missing is a Mute button, like the one the Signal has. Using the arrow keys to set an alarm means lots and lots of beeping, and the option to silence that beeping would be welcome.
Pro-Series Probes: Fast and Accurate
The BlueDOT comes with a single thermometer probe. In this case, it’s one of ThermoWorks Pro-Series High Temp meat probes- the same model included with the Signals.
Pro-Series probes are professional-quality, built for use in commercial kitchens. They are thermistors – which means they aren’t quite as fast or as accurate as Thermocouples. But the difference is miniscule: they’re accurate to within +/- 1.8F, read temperatures practically instantly, and are accurate up to 572F and down to -58F. To break in the BlueDOT’s probe, we did our usual boiling-water-and-ice test, where it came in right on the money.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: thermocouples are not necessarily better than thermistors. Only in rare cases will the small difference in speed or accuracy matter. Where the probe is placed into the food will likely have more of an impact than minor differences in temperature accuracy. This goes especially for larger roasts and barbecue, where cook time is longer and more stable than when cooking thin cuts like chicken breast.
We’ll also reiterate a lesson we learned while smoking with the Signals: the metal probes are fine with high heat, but the plastic probe connectors are only rated to 700F. Let the grill get too hot and you may get some unsavory plastic melted onto your food.
Some other options for Pro-Series probes include their High Temp Air Probe, which is meant for taking ambient temperatures, as well as a needle version that is submersible in water for Sous Vide. And it should be mentioned that the cables are 47” long.
Bluetooth Connectivity + Intuitive ThermoWorks App
Pairing your DOT with your phone via Bluetooth is a snap. You’ll first need to download the ThermoWorks app. Hold down the power button and right arrow until the Bluetooth symbol pops up, then open the ThermoWorks app and select Devices from the main menu. The DOT will be listed there for pairing with.
Go back to the app’s home page, and the DOT’s current temperature and alarm settings will be displayed front and center. Using the app also gives you some more alarm options; while the device only lets you set a max temp alarm on the display, the app will let you set a minimum temperature as well – helpful if you’d like to smoke some meat. There is also a graph function for charting and logging your cooks visually, just as on most smart meat thermometers.
We are overall big fans of the ThermoWorks app, too. It’s the simplest smart thermometer app out there and the easiest to use and navigate. Probe temperatures are laid out right in front of you, and you’re even given the option of selecting how often the temperature is refreshed on the screen: 2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 seconds. You can customize probe names too.
Another perk to the ThermoWorks app is that it can work with multiple devices at once, monitoring the probes and temperatures from each. This way, the DOT can be combined with another thermometer for monitoring an ambient temp, roasting multiple foods or even cooking in a number of different smokers at once.
Our one complaint with the ThermoWorks app? No built-in notetaking, which is included in the graph section of many other thermometers. This is mostly a problem for barbecue aficionados and meat geeks like ourselves but, note taking could come in handy for roasts and birds, too.
ThermoWorks says the Bluetooth range maxes out at 95 feet, though obstacles and walls can significantly shorten that. We were able to get more than 100 feet when outdoors with a clear line-of-sight, and maybe about 75-80 feet in the house. Your mileage will likely vary.
Honestly, we’d like a little more range. 95 feet isn’t terrible, and is about right for most Bluetooth thermometers, but we think ThermoWorks can do be better. Maybe 150 – 200+.
Batteries and Battery Life
The BlueDOT runs off 2 AAA batteries. ThermoWorks says you can get 500 hours out of those batteries with Bluetooth running. We haven’t had a chance to let it run for 500 hours in order to find out, but we can say their other devices are usually very close to their projected battery life. And of course, the more you play with the buttons or use the backlight, the shorter battery life will be.
DOT Alarms: Loud But Not Too Loud
One of our favorite things about the Signals was how loud the alarm was on the physical device; cranked all the way up, you could hear the alarm from inside the house with the door closed.
The DOT isn’t quite as loud, maxing out at 70dB compared to the Signals 90dB. But it’s still loud enough to hear from the next room over. If you want to wander away from the grill or oven, the app will also beep and vibrate when you’ve hit the high or low temperature threshold.
We do still wish there was some way to mute the alarm volume or at least turn it down, as on the Signals. Sometimes, you just need to keep things quiet around the house.
How it Stacks Up: BlueDOT in Action + Final Thoughts
The BlueDOT really is as straightforward and easy to operate as it sounds. Using it to watch the doneness of a roast in the oven or to get those steaks on the grill just right requires nothing more than putting the probe in, turning it on and setting your desired final temperature. That’s all it takes you make sure your food is cooked thoroughly, safely and exactly as how you want it.
It’s a compact and durable device that comes with a reliably accurate probe, works with ThermoWorks stupidly-easy app, and gets great battery life. It’s affordable, too; you can pick one up for about the same as our other favorite Bluetooth thermometer, the Inkbird.
If you’re barbecuing meats the old-fashioned way, you’ll probably want a second thermometer for monitoring the pit temp. But If you want a reliable and smart Bluetooth thermometer without any bells and whistles – whether for grilling, baking or roasting – The BlueDOT should be at the top of your list.
What We Like
- Durable Build is IP65 Rated
- Flip-up Stand
- Easy setup
- Big, Clear Digits on Display
- Simple, Intuitive ThermoWorks App
- Accurate, Commercial-Grade Probes + Plenty of Temp Range
- ThermoWorks 2-Year Warranty
What We Don’t Like
- No Note Taking in App
- No Mute or Volume Control
- Would like longer Bluetooth range