A complete MeatGeek review of the best Bluetooth grill thermometers on the market. Our extensive research and testing lets us bring you the pros and cons of the best thermometers on the market today. We bring you our top picks for quality and value.
Bluetooth vs. Wi-Fi
Every self-respecting chef and aspiring grillmaster has a reliable meat thermometer in their arsenal, but it’s no longer enough to just read temperatures accurately. A meat thermometer needs to be wireless-enabled and capable of many different smart functions. This lets you monitor your meat conveniently from a distance, right on your phone. That’s the idea behind the myriad of Wi-Fi meat thermometers on the market today.
Wi-Fi Meat Thermometers are awesome. They offer more wireless range, allowing you to monitor the internal temperature of your meat from virtually anywhere in the world — if both you and your thermometer have an internet connection. But what happens when you don’t? Ever tried taking a Wi-Fi thermometer camping? That’s a situation where a good Bluetooth thermometer really shines.
Wi-Fi capable devices are also more expensive then stand-alone Bluetooth thermometers. We found many of our readers liked the idea of owning a Wi-Fi temp reader but didn’t always want to spend the extra money. This is what led us on a journey to discover the best Bluetooth thermometers.
While Wi-Fi thermometers need a Wi-Fi signal in range, Bluetooth thermometers pair directly with your smartphone via Bluetooth — no need for an internet connection. You can grill at the park, the beach, or the campsite without needing to carry around your Wi-Fi router (and who does that, anyway). And if your home Wi-Fi doesn’t reach out to the grill well enough to work, just fire up the Bluetooth.
Bluetooth won’t have as much range as Wi-Fi thermometer. Most devices will top out at about 150 feet with perfect line-of-sight. That number will drop when walls and fences get in the way, though some work better through walls than others. We found a couple of thermometers that can get as far as 300 feet if you really need the extra range, but 150 feet should be enough to do most tasks around the kitchen or campsite, or let you relax on the deck while the meat is on the grill out back.
Sound like something you’re interested in? Keep reading to see our Top 5 Best Bluetooth Thermometers for 2020. If you do more grilling than BBQ (smoking) you might be better off saving a few bucks and grabbing one of our recommended instant read-devices for quick spot checking.
Best Bluetooth Thermometers
1. ThermoWorks BlueDOT – Best Overall
Our Top Pick for the best Bluetooth Thermometer on the market is the ThermoWorks BlueDOT.
Compact, tough and superbly simple, this is the Bluetooth-enabled version of the DOT: ThermoWorks’s best alarm thermometer. Quick to setup, easy to operate, and still totally-affordable, it’s got everything we want in a Bluetooth thermometer with none of the frills, and blows many cheaper alternatives out of the water in terms of quality and reliability.
What We Like
The BlueDOT is ridiculously simple. There’s a small, round, backlit display that shows both current and target temperatures. On the front are two navigation buttons for setting the alarm, and on the back is a power button — and that’s it. No frills.
It’s tough and compact — IP65 rated for splash resistance and dustproof construction. The BlueDOT is built to stand up to the rigors of a commercial kitchen, so it can handle your kitchen like a champ. Just don’t try dunking it underwater or baking it in the oven.
The BlueDOT comes with a ThermoWorks Pro-Series probe, which has a total range from -58°F to 572°F and is accurate to within ±1.8°F of the actual temperature. It’s pretty fast — not the fastest probe we’ve used, but plenty fast enough for everything from smoked briskets to thin steaks. Whatever you’re cooking, this probe will let you know exactly how hot it is and exactly when it’s done. The cable is roughly 4 feet long.
The ThermoWorks App is as good as it gets. It’s one of the simplest and most intuitive smart thermometer apps we’ve tried. It’s easy and quick to navigate and set up.
You can set high and low alarms, chart your cooks with graphs, and even change how often the thermometer updates its temperature on the display. While the device itself can only set a maximum temperature alarm, the app lets you set a minimum temperature alarm, too.
The only things missing are presets for foods you cook regularly, like brisket or pork, and note-taking in the cooking graph/log area.
The big display is easy to read at a glance. Pretty much everything you need to know is displayed, and there’s a nice 10-second backlight you can turn on or off with the press of a button. Don’t underestimate this — being able to quickly look over and see where your food stands can be mighty handy when you’re juggling multiple cooking tasks.
The BlueDOT runs off 2 AAA batteries, and gets a respectable 500 hours of runtime out of them. That’s not as much runtime as some of the other thermometers in our testing, but enough to do quite a quite a few all-day smokes without needing to replace the batteries. QUITE a few.
It’s still affordable. The BlueDOT in the same ballpark as thermometers like the Inkbird and IGrills, but it’s much higher quality. And it’s a lot cheaper than ThermoWorks’s old ThermaQ Blue.
What We Don’t Like
- Bluetooth range is only about 95 feet with direct line-of-sight. Obstacles can hurt this figure even further, so we’d really like to see it get closer to 150 to 200 feet.
- You can’t mute it. We’d like to be able to turn off the alarm when trying to cook quietly.
- The app doesn’t have presets for foods you make often.
2. Signals – Most Versatile
Replacing the old ThermaQ Blue is ThermoWorks Signals, which stands out from other Bluetooth thermometers thanks to its Wi-Fi capability.
The Signals is a lot like the BlueDOT’s big brother — same idea, more features. It’s the most expensive thermometer in our roundup, but it also holds our #1 spot for the best Wi-Fi grill thermometer, so you get the whole package here. You can see the complete Signals review here (or just read below for the summary). Of course, if you don’t need the Wi-Fi side, you might be better off saving a few bucks and going with the BlueDOT or Inkbird.
It’s got both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This way, you can use its full Wi-Fi capabilities at home then switch to Bluetooth in places where Wi-Fi isn’t available, like the campsite. You can switch between them seamlessly too, just by toggling one on/off on your phone. Bluetooth range is roughly 95 feet.
The Signals comes with 4 Pro-Series probes.
These thermistor probes have a range from -58°F to 572°F and are accurate to within ±1.8°F. Our testing found them to be right on the money. Being equipped with four probe channels gives you enough flexibility to monitor multiple roasts or pit temps simultaneously. The Signals works with a wide selection of probes from ThermoWorks and from other manufacturers.
The body is IP66-rated, meaning it’s dust-resistant and splashproof. The build is also totally rock solid and insanely durable, built for the rigors of the commercial kitchen, but just as at home by your backyard grill.
The display is large and easy to read to at a glance. Everything you need to know is always displayed right in front, and there’s no need to scroll through to turn certain features on or off. It’s also got a bright backlight that can be toggled on or off.
It stands up nice and stable on its own. You can place it firmly on the countertop or grill-side table, or use the two magnets on the back to mount it to your grill, oven, or fridge.
Navigation and use are insanely easy. All the controls you need are located right on the front, including navigation, backlight, and volume.
The rechargeable battery lasts 16 hours on a single charge. It recharges via an unusual USB-C cable.
The ThermoWorks app is ridiculously easy to use. Everything is straightforward, but it’s also packed with all the features you need, like alarms and cooking graphs. You can even change how often the temperature refreshes. Setup is quick and painless, unlike many other thermometers.
What We Don’t Like
- Bluetooth Range is limited. We’d like to get more than 95 feet, and some other Bluetooth Thermometers can.
- It’s expensive. Like we said earlier, there are cheaper options to choose from if you don’t need the Wi-Fi capabilities.
- The probe connectors melt at high temperatures. ThermoWorks rates them for about 700°F. That’s way more than your typical 225°F pit but in the range of a searing hot grill.
- You can’t mute the buttons. You can mute alarms, but the navigation buttons on the front will always beep.
3. Inkbird IBT-4XS – Value Pick
Our favorite Bluetooth thermometer before we tried the BlueDOT, the Inkbird rolls ease-of-use, durability, and price into a convenient package.
The IBT-4XS is a wireless Bluetooth meat thermometer, with four probe channels and compatibility with both iOS and Android phones, built for grilling and smoking as well as cooking or baking in the kitchen. It is smart, capable, and easy to use.
Inkbird reached out to us and asked if we would like to test out and review the IBT-4XS for them. While we knew they were a manufacture of temperature controllers, we had reservations about how well it would perform when grilling and smoking.
The device is small and sharp-looking and features only two buttons — an On/Off switch on the bottom and a touch-button on the front screen (kind of like the touch-button found on newer iPhone models). On the front, you’ll also find the 4 ports for attaching the meat probes, and on the back, a micro-USB port for charging.
When you turn the Inkbird on, you will see the current temperature reading (if a probe is plugged in) displayed on the front in large red font. You’ll also see a probe indicator, battery level, Bluetooth indicator if your phone is paired, and a temperature unit display (C or F). You can even rotate the display by tapping the Power/Pairing button twice.
The Inkbird Thermometer has magnets on the back as well, so you can mount the device easily to the side of your grill, or your oven if you’re cooking inside. They’re actually quite heavy-duty magnets, so the device feels secure and shouldn’t go anywhere. That’ll free up some space on the counter.
The Inkbird IBT-4XS runs off a 1000 mAh lithium-ion battery, which is charged via micro-USB. A USB charging cable is included, and Inkbird really talks up the 1.64 ft length in their marketing materials. Personally, I wish the cable was longer; it’s just a bit too short to charge comfortably on a wall outlet. The battery is supposed to last up to 60 hours of use, but we haven’t had a chance to try that out. The device will go into a sleep mode if left on with no input from a probe. Fully charging the device takes about two hours, and you can’t charge it while it’s turned on and monitoring meat.
Pairing the device to your phone via Bluetooth is very simple:
- Download the BBQ Go App from the App Store
- Turn your phone’s Bluetooth on
- Follow the instructions in the app and press the Connect button while the light is flashing.
The app recognized the device right away, and it took about 2 seconds to connect. In the future, your phone and the thermometer will automatically pair when you have the app open, so you can just fire it up and go.It works with both iOS and Android smartphones.
Inkbird says the device has a range of up to 150 feet, and while we didn’t measure distance exactly, that appeared to be about right when taking a short walk away from the grill. That should be more than enough distance to head into the kitchen while the food is on the grill or smoker, unless you have a very large yard or live in an apartment complex. If the Inkbird’s transmission distance isn’t enough for your needs, we recommend a WiFi thermometer.
Now for the part we’ve all been waiting for. Here’s where a lot of Bluetooth devices fall short — after all, the device is only as good as the data you can see and understand.
When you open the app, you will see four different temperatures displayed — one for each of the four probes. There’s a selection of presets you can choose from, such as Beef, Chicken, Pork, Hot Smoke, etc. and several preset temperatures for each, like Rare (125°F), Medium-Rare (130°F), and so on. You can delete these presets, customize them, and add your own temperature settings. The small round icon by each probe keeps track of the progress of the meat as it gets closer to its target temperature.
Each probe can be set differently, and you can set timers and desired temperatures for each one. The app will alert you either when the temperature is reached or the timer is up. You can choose different colors for each of the probes to help keep track of them.
At the top, there is also a menu that displays current Firmware version, lets you toggle between Fahrenheit and Celsius, and offers the option to turn off notifications if the device and phone become disconnected (out of range, dead battery, etc). You can set an Alarm Interval for repeating temperature alarms for the same probe and enable or disable the alarm ringtone or vibration. You can even change the language between English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, or Dutch.
Last, there is a Temperature Graph function, which lets you keep track of your grill and smoke sessions in a handy chart.
Overall, the app shows that this device was manufactured by a company with experience in home automation technology. The entire app interface is very simple and easy to use, and should have you out on the grill without much setup.
Using the Inkbird
The probe cables are each about 4.9 feet long, which is enough for even very large grills and smokers where your thermometer needs to be far away from the heat. For regular grilling, however, we found that they are just too long, and tangle with each other easily, especially when flipping the steaks. This would be less of an issue when smoking for long periods of time, but was quite frustrating on the steaks. There isn’t necessarily much any thermometer could do to prevent this issue, but some kind of cord-wrap, or organizer would be nice. The quality of the braided cables seems more than adequate for a thermometer in this price range.
Included in the package are two metal clips in the same style as many other meat thermometers. These clips can be used to mount the probes to the grill to monitor the ambient temperature. Doing so is very simple and gave a steady reading that matched the grill’s own thermometer.
With the temperature probes firmly planted in the thickest part of the steak, the Inkbird gave us a pretty accurate internal temperature; Inkbird says it’s accurate to ±2°F, and an instant-read thermometer agrees with that assessment.
We set the probes in each of our steaks, and set the app to the Beef preset, 120 °F Rare. We had a few problems getting the readings right on our first steak, as the probe was not correctly inserted and was poking out the other side into the grill. The IBT-4XS promptly let us know that the steak was super-overdone, flashing and buzzing until we removed the steak and fixed the probe. From there it was relative smooth grilling.
For some reason, however, the device only alerted us when one of the steaks had reached its desired temperature of 120 °F. While my phone vibrated and the device itself beeped quite loudly with that steak, it was completely silent when the second steak reached 120 °F, even letting the temperature creep past the target. After playing with the settings, we couldn’t figure out whether this was human error or a glitch, but after testing out the device a few more times, we couldn’t recreate this issue. Perhaps there was a setting we had forgotten to customize.
And how did the steaks turn out? After removing them from the heat and letting them rest for several minutes, we sliced into some perfectly rare steaks: seared on the outside but still juicy and red all the way through.
It’s easy to overcook steaks, and the Inkbird helps to the job right.
Pros & Cons
- The Inkbird can handle up to 4 probes at once. 4 food probes are included, as well as two clips for mounting probes as ambient sensors to monitor the grill temperature. The probes are accurate within ±1°F of the true temperature and work very well. The probe cables are also very long — 4.9 feet each. That makes working with them on the grill easy (but also makes them hard to store neatly, which we’ll get to).
- Temperature range is from 32°F to 572°F — more than enough for most smoking and grilling jobs.
- The device itself is compact and durable. You can fit the thermometer in your hand and it feels well built. On the back are magnets for mounting to the side of the grill, oven, or fridge.
- On that pont, the probe cables are also durable, made of braided metal. We have no reservations about their ability to withstand heavy use.
- It runs off an internal 1000 mAh Li-ion battery which can be charged via micro-USB. The battery is rated to last 60 hours of use — more than enough for several long smoking sessions. It also comes with a 1.64-foot micro-USB charging cable (Inkbird is very particular about that number for some reason…)
- Bluetooth range is about 150 feet. We find the Inkbird really does get about that much range, even with some walls and doors in the way. 150 feet of range put it squarely in typical territory for Bluetooth thermometers.
- The app is super-easy to set up, intuitive to use, and displays all four probe temperatures at once. There are a host of smart features available, and you can set min/max temperatures for each piece of meat individually. There’s a wide variety of preset options to choose from, and you can customize each of these presets precisely to your liking.
- When the target temperature is reached, the app will let you know by setting off an alarm that rings and vibrates your phone (quite loudly) until you turn it off and attend to your meat.
- Don’t forget the graphs and logs. Want to see exactly how long it took to smoke that piece of meat and how hot the temperature got and when? The app will let you do that. You can even export them via .csv to archive and study later.
- There’s a 12-month warranty. Inkbird believes in their product, and wants you to, too.
Yeah, there are a few things we don’t like. These include…
- The body is not waterproof or weatherproof. When you’re planning on leaving your thermometer outside all day while smoking a massive piece of meat, it’s nice to not have to worry about it getting wet from unexpected rain or thunderstorms. It’s also nice to have it protected against splashing grease and water when cooking. That would be a welcome improvement.
- The cables are long, but hard to wind up. They get tangled easily when cooking with several of them at once. It’s great to have this extra length when you’re doing a lot of smoking on a huge pit, but the extra length is a bit frustrating when you’re not. There’s no convenient way to wind them up.
- The probes are not color-coded. This would be a welcome addition to the kit that would make telling the difference between probes so much easier. As it stands, there’s no way to tell which probe is which while it’s on the grill.
Inkbird Final Summery
For the price, the Inkbird IBT-4XS provides an excellent value for a wireless Bluetooth meat thermometer. While some might need the full power and versatility of our best wireless thermometer, the Fireboard 2, the InkBird is a simple lightweight solution for the more modest enthusiast. It’s easy to setup and use, it reads temperatures quite accurately, and while not bombproof, it’s well-built and durable enough for everyday use.
There are a few things we would like to see, such as weatherproofing and impact-resistance. The cables are a bit long and easily tangle when dealing with multiple pieces of meat. It would also be nice to have some kind of color-coding so you can more easily keep track of which probe is plugged into which port at a glance. You can set different colors for each probe on the app, but there is nothing included to mark the physical probes.
Overall, the Inkbird IBX4S is a solid Bluetooth meat thermometer. It’s durable, high-quality, and compact. The temperature probes are accurate and consistent. The internal battery is powerful and easy to charge, with a long life of 60 hours. Inkbird offers more probes than most, and the user-friendly app provides a whole host of features. It’s also reasonably-priced, making it the benchmark to which we compare the other top Bluetooth thermometers.
The IGrill2 is a compact, stylish Bluetooth thermometer that tends to fly under the radar, but packs a punch with its small size and mid-range price.
It’s a great device with plenty of features, accurate temperature readings, and 4 probe channels. Our only complaints are that Bluetooth signal is sometimes weak, and the build isn’t as heavy-duty as we would like.
- It’s compact — only about 2” by 2”, it fits in the palm of your hand and weighs practically nothing.
- It works with up to 4 probes at once. That’s as many as the Inkbird and the Signals, and 3 more than the BlueDOT. It comes with two meat probes, which IDevices touts as “pro-level” and ready to withstand high temperatures and steam. You can purchase additional meat probes and ambient probes with grill clips for a full setup. Probe cables are 48” long.
- The probes are consistent and accurate. IDevices says they’re correct up to within 1 degree of true temperature. Our tests agree that the 1° figure is correct.
- Bluetooth range tops out at 150 feet. This competes with virtually every other Bluetooth thermometer in this price range, and is 50% more than the #1 BlueDot. The Bluetooth signal is consistent, unlike a lot of cheaper options.
- The app has preset and custom settings for alarms and alerts. The Minimum possible temperature you can set is -22°F, while the maximum is 572°F. Alarms and alerts pop up on your phone, and you can, of course, create cooking logs and graphs and export them as spreadsheets. The app is available for both iOS and Android.
- The app can pair to more than one iGrill at once. This is handy if you’re having a super-big BBQ and want to use more than 4 probes simultaneously.
- There are magnets on the back panel for mounting. You can stick it on the side of your grill, the fridge, the oven, etc.
- Battery life is touted as 200 hours. While that’s not nearly as much as the ThermaQ’s 4000, it’s more than enough for most of us. You’ll get many grilling sessions out of the 2 AA batteries included. Auto Shut Off turns it off after a period of inactivity, preserving that battery life and ensuring you get 200 hours of good use.
- The illuminated display on the front makes reading the probes at a glance easy.
- The Bluetooth doesn’t go through walls as well as others. Yes, line-of-sight range is 150 feet, but try walking around the house while the thermometer is attached to the grill, and you’ll have some issues.
- The body is not the most durable. Compared to other thermometers like the BlueDOT, the IGrill 2 feels cheap and lightweight, and we’ve heard from some people that it doesn’t hold up well over the long run.
Overall, the iGrill3 is another great device with a lot of capability and features, accurate readings, and 4 probe channels. But the Bluetooth signal can be weak, and the build isn’t as heavy-duty as we would like. The iGrill3 offers a few new features when it comes to integration with the app, but there are several limitations. The iGrill3 can only be mounted to Weber grills and smokers. Additionally, it is not compatible with older devices like iPhone4, iPad Gen II, etc. We’re getting close to moving the iGrill down to #5 on our list and moving up the Grilleye.
Looking for a Bluetooth thermometer with some serious range? Perhaps you’re looking for the GrillEye and its impressive 300-foot Bluetooth range – twice what any other thermometer offers.
It takes up to 6 probes at once, though it’s not the most accurate at reading temperatures. The build also feels cheap and flimsy, knocking it down to last place on the list.
- The GrillEye has 6 probe ports, allowing you to monitor quite a bit of meat at once and mix in an ambient probe or two. Two meat probes and two ambient probes are included with the package.
- GrillEye probes are FDA-certified for use with food. Made with space-grade aluminum, they’re the first in the world to claim that honor. We’re not exactly sure what benefit that lends over non-certified probes, but it certainly sounds cool.
- The LED screen shows two temperature readings — target and current. The screen is coated in an anti-glare polymer coating reflects sunlight and keeps things easy to read. It’s actually quite glossy and stylish to look at in person.
- The body is compact and lightweight. An adjustable stand, made of space-grade aluminum, lets you set its angle and height so you can stand it up and read it easily.
- The GrillEye app lets you set target temperatures and alarms with both sound and vibration. The app is similar to the others on the market, giving you similar functionality with charts, graphs, logs, and more.
- Bluetooth range is up to 300 feet. This is twice what any other thermometer offers, three times what the BlueDOT is capable of, and easily the GrillEye’s main selling point. The Bluetooth signal is strong, consistent and works through walls, though those will affect the overall total range.
- The probes are not consistent or accurate. They tend to be off, and sometimes they even wildly fluctuate. We’ve seen them as far as 34°F off what they should be. This discrepancy is even noted in the documentation, and is surprising for a meat thermometer of any quality. It’s a great way to accidentally ruin some expensive steak.
- The build quality really could be better. The device looks great, as we mentioned, but it just doesn’t hold up the way we’d expect from a thermometer this expensive. It’s also not waterproof, which would be most welcome and boost our opinion of this thermometer significantly.
Overall, we like the GrillEye. It has powerful Bluetooth capabilities and range and can work with up to 6 probes at once. But it’s not accurate in its temperature readings, and the build feels cheap and flimsy, which knocks it a bit lower down the list.
Buyer’s Guide – What to Look For When Choosing a Bluetooth Thermometer
What exactly are you looking for when choosing a Bluetooth meat thermometer? Ask yourself these questions when looking at your next device…
How Many Probes/Channels Does It Have? Are There Ambient Probes?
This will do a lot to determine what devices you’ll consider. How many probe channels does the thermometer have, and how many probes does it come with? Most will come with about 4 probe channels, enough for three meat probes and one ambient probe.
How Consistent and Accurate Are the Probes?
Most thermometer devices come with high-quality probes (Thermistors or RTD probes) that are very accurate, often within 1°F of the true temperature. Others, not so much. Some probes are just inconsistent and poor, and will report widely-swinging, inaccurate temperatures — sometimes as much as 30 or 50 degrees off! Be sure to read some reviews and make sure the device you pick has reliable, quality probes that will report the right temperature and not ruin your brisket by accident.
How Much Range Does It Get? How Strong is the Bluetooth?
Most Bluetooth thermometers offer about 150 feet of range, line-of-sight, meaning that walls and other obstructions will severely limit the range. A few devices, such as the Inkbird, have stronger signals that we find are less affected by walls, while others get even less than the advertised 150 feet. A few devices boast ranges of 300 feet.
How Smart Is It?
You wouldn’t be getting a Bluetooth thermometer if it weren’t for the smart features and the app. Most thermometer apps will have a variety of presets for different meats (Steak, BBQ, Chicken, Pork) that can all be customized to your own definition of “Medium-Rare.” They’ll all have minimum and maximum temperatures you can set and alerts, alarms, and notifications that pop up on your phone when those temperatures are reached.
Most will also have cooking graphs and charts, so you can create logs of your smoking and grilling sessions, see what went wrong, and export them to go over later. Some even let you share these logs with your grilling buddies on social media!
Nobody wants their thermometer to die while the meat is on the grill. Make sure the device gets good battery life, and that the battery can be easily recharged or replaced. Some devices even claim to get 3000 hours of life off two AAs.