If you're finally looking to make the step up to getting a good grill surface thermometer then look no further. My review on Ivation's brilliant long range wireless thermometer will hopefully convince you that this is the only thermometer you need.
I've written a lot on here about grilling temperatures, how to use thermometers, and even how to install grill thermometers. But I haven't written a lot about the thermometers themselves.
So i thought it’s high time I finally put together a full review on my trusted Ivation wireless long range thermometer.
I’ve had a few different thermometers over the past years, but the one that has served me the best is the Ivation.
It’s a dual probe thermometer that gives you two key readings. One reads the grill or smoker surface (or oven) temperature to help you get an accurate read of the temperature you’re cooking at. The other is a meat probe that crucially reads the internal temperature of your meat, helping you know exactly when it is done.
A lot of thermometers only feature one probe, which can be frustrating as you’ll constantly be having to flip between getting a read between the grill surface, and getting a read on the meat itself. The importance of the Ivation creating a two probe model can’t be overstated.
None of this would be valuable without accuracy however, and the Ivation boasts a really accurate read. Nowhere is this accuracy seen better than in its speed in recalibrating meat temperature once moved or placed on a new piece of meat.
I’ve written a lot about how important it is to maintain a consistent temperature in your smoker or grill, and this just wouldn’t be possible without a dependable and accurate grill thermometer.
The Ivation’s wireless capabilities enable you to read the temperature of your meat within a radius of up to a staggering 300 feet. If you do happen to stand outside of that area, the thermometer features an alarm that’ll let you know that you’re out of range. The alarm will even know when your BBQ temperature is too high or too low!
It also has a countdown timer and its LCD screen makes it easy to use, even in dim light.
You can set a temperature range for your food to cook within. If you go outside of this then the thermometer will beep, alerting you to recalibrate the vents or coals on your grill or smoker.
One thing I found a bit tricky is getting them to turn on and synchronize on first attempt. The instructions say that after inserting batteries into each unit (the transmitter and the receiver), you should turn on both simultaneously. Even if you do that, they don’t always synchronize. A little bit frustrating, but I got there in the end.
Once you’re all synched up, you set your target temperature range. This can be done by pressing and holding the [insert] button, which will increase the temperature. You can also set a timer, which can be done with the same button.
These probes can actually be removed really easily, which makes them easy to clean after use.
How does it perform?
I’ve written in great detail before about the importance of accuracy when choosing a grill thermometer, so when I was looking for a new one I prioritized temperature accuracy over everything else.
This thermometer by Ivation has a strong reputation for maintaining excellent reading accuracy, down to 2 degrees fahrenheit.
Not just this, but it has a very wide reading range. Its reading range goes from as low as 32 degrees F, all the way up to 572F (although the probes can actually withstand up to 716°F). For my understanding of other thermometers, the ability to hold this range while still maintaining accuracy is very impressive. It’s also great for BBQ, as your cooking temperatures will easily fall within these parameters.
Unlike some other thermometers, this isn’t an instant read thermometer. This isn’t a problem though as it tends to update its reading every 10 or 15 seconds, which isn’t a significant delay at all. Your grill surface or meat temperature is also very unlikely to deviate wildly within this time. Ultimately, if you had to choose between an instant reading or an accurate one, I know which I’d go for.
Ultimately we just need this to be good at reading temperatures, but if you’re spending a bit more then it’s nice to have a few additions to help you get the most out of it.
Some thermometers have built-in temperature presets that help guide you what internal and cooking temperatures you should be aiming for with certain types of meat. The Ivation doesn’t have this, but I don’t see this as a problem. Once you’re familiar with grilling or smoking meats like pork or beef, you’ll know these target temperatures off the top of your head soon enough.
You can still set target temperatures though. So if you’re aiming for an internal temperature of (for example) 140F for brisket, then you can simply set this as your preset for the meat probe, and it will alert you once it reaches this.
The Ivation has a handheld reader, which receives information from the thermometers transmitter. This means that as long as you have the receiver by your side and you’re within range of 300 feet then you can monitor the progress of your grill and food at your convenience.
Some other models (like Weber’s) are able to pair up to your phone or laptop via a purpose built app, and it’s a shame that the Ivation doesn’t have this. As far as I understand, these offer a greater range distance between you and the thermometer as they pair via WiFi rather than Bluetooth. It would be nice if Ivation had this feature, but I know a few technophobes who might not agree!
It has a great display that’s easy to read and boasts clear lighting. If you’re cooking in low light then the display remains easy to read - which is great news as I love an evening grill!