Published: January 11, 2013
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Let’s cut to the chase here, having a great BBQ thermometer is a must have tool for any serious barbecue enthusiast and since there is a ton of meat and BBQ thermometers on the market, I want to provide you with some basic tips on what to look for when purchasing a thermometer. [See Related: 3 Reasons Why Your Finger Isn’t a good Thermometer]
The first and important aspect to look for is Durability. The environment in which BBQ competitors are asked to compete in is often “hostile” with various hazards such as: fellow competitors, drunks, weather, grease, heat, cold, wind and rain and therefore your tools must be and should be durable enough to withstand these hazards and last through multiple barbecue seasons. Also think about a water resistant thermometer just case you accidentally spill some water on your thermometer it will not be destroyed.
When looking for a durable thermometer you should look for high quality stainless steel probes which are thick. The reasoning behind the thick part of the probe is because with thick pieces of meat you need to be able to reach the correct place to get an accurate read of the temperature.
My good friends at Thermoworks who are the creators behind the ever popular Thermapen, also make two very important suggestions in what to look for when you are looking for a durable thermometer. The one suggestion that I would have never thought of is making sure that you have a heavy duty braided cable.
The reasoning behind this is because: ” [the] heavy smoker doors are opening and closing all season on your thermometer cable, and therefore the cable will become frayed.” Another suggestion that they have is to use a “Type K thermocouple meter.” If you aren’t sure what a Type K thermocouple meter is, thermoworks explains what is a Type K Thermocouple meter: “They are heavy duty, versatile and in many cases, waterproof… The housing allows the probes to clip firmly in place, and they can withstand a drop, or two,” so after reading that it makes complete sense why you should make sure that your meter is a Type K!
A recent trend that is appearing more and more on the BBQ competition circuit are Wireless thermometers. Wireless thermometers are great because you can monitor the temperatures inside your barbecue pit while you enjoy the company of your barbecue friends or if you are in need of some serious shut eye during the night! Some great wireless and temperature control devices: IGrill; BBQ Guru; The Stoker System and others. One important point, don’t sacrifice accuracy for wireless. [See Related: What Temperature Unit is the Best]
Another important aspects to look for is speed and accuracy. We all know that “if you are looking you an’t cooking,” so being able to quickly open your pit door, and place the probe into the meat and then get a temperature and then close the door as quickly as possible so not all the heat escapes. I don’t need to tell you the importance of making sure that the temperature that you are getting is correct and accurate, there is a big difference between overcooked and rare meat trust me, and will give you piece of mind when you’re going through your processes.
With such an important tool in your toolbox you must know what to look for in a thermometer. It requires some thought and also some research, and don’t forget to share these tips with your friends, I am sure that they will be happy that you did.
Also of Interest:
- Another Barbecue Product Review by Thermoworks: Two-Channel Thermocouple With Alarm
- Review and Rating Chef Alarm Commercial Quality Probe-Style
- Don’t forget to become a Fan of Grilling with Rich on Facebook!
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