Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Excellent range and convenience
on 30 May 2013
I purchased this product to avoid having to walk out to my smoker's location to verify the temperature and the fact that it measures both the chamber ("BBQ" temp) and meat ("Food" temp) at the same time. This convenience avoids having to rely only on one probe to estimate meat temperature, or opening the smoker to stick an instant thermometer, thus maintaining the heat more consistent throughout the cooking process. All the other features like food high temperature alarm and timer are nice to have, but if you are like me, you really don't need them. You can then concentrate on preparing the side dishes while just keeping the receiver at a readable location (I use the top of my fridge). Just make sure to insert the food probe on the cut of meat you want done first (poultry, for instance), then when they are done, clean and insert it in the next cut of meat (ribs), and so on. That way you will always be certain not to overcook them. The "BBQ" probe helps on determining when to "shake" the asses or replenish the coals. It even comes with a separate low BBQ temp alarm that helps you set that limit as well.
The range is excellent. I can have the smoker in my backyard and go to bed on my second floor (a total of 50ft away with 3 sheet-rock walls and a wooden floor in between), and can still get a signal. Nice for those "overnighter" beef briskets.
So far I have used it for approximately 52 hours of continuous cooking time (5 occasions) and still got the same batteries that came with the unit new in January.
The accuracy is not a big deal for me, even though I did put the probes into boiling water and iced water to confirm variability. I found the probes reacts somewhat slow to a sudden change (it took aprox. 30 seconds to stabilize), but the differences where not that much (both indicated 215°F in boiling water and 36°F in iced water). The chamber and food temperatures are always an estimate, no matter what smoker you have, plus it is always a difference in the piece of meat you have and where exactly you are placing the probe in the shoulder, ribs or whatever it is you are cooking, so a 5°F difference will not make a big deal of a difference. You do want to know where the shift is so you can account for that when deciding it is time to take the meat out or wait 15 more minutes...