Someone much smarter than me once gave me this advice: 'The secret to wealth is to build something which will never break.' This is great advice, but the tragedy of the modern era is that very few manufacturers take it to heart. Like with many products, the market for grill thermometer
s is full of poorly conceived concepts and shabby products. This article will walk you through what you need to know when buying a grill thermometer, and hopefully help you select the perfect thermometer for your needs.
Let's start with the basics. When you look past all of the add-ons and fancy new technology, there are only two key considerations: accuracy and reliability. So where do these qualities come from? They come naturally through simplicity. The more complexity you build into a product, the higher the chance that something will go wrong. Keep in mind that grill thermometers are, fundamentally, incredibly simple products which perform a very basic task. It may be interesting or cool to buy a $50 talking remote thermometer, but how much value does that really add to your life over a $10 one which does its job well?
Maybe you're the type that just loves cool new gadgets. No problem with that, but.there are still some other simple rules to keep in mind. The first is to focus on accuracy. Most thermometers on the market are quite accurate, but digital thermometers track temperature faster and can be significantly easier to read.
Reliability is also of the utmost importance. Whether you are considering a digital thermometer or a bi-metal thermometer, look for a few simple things. Does it look or feel cheap? How sturdy is the material that makes up the probe and housing. If you are set on buying a digital thermometer, ensure that the housing is made of flame and heat resistant materials like silicone. How much clearance is there between the probe and the housing (is it sufficiently long to provide space between the heat source and the housing)?
Getting More Complicated
Once you have found a small number of thermometers that are well reviewed, meet your requirements and appear to be reliable and accurate, there are a few more considerations which can be used to further narrow down your search.
I live by Alton Brown's axiom that there is no place in the kitchen for a unitasker, or a product that fulfills only one specific also applies to grill thermometers. If you like to use an oven to cook meat, you need to buy a thermometer which is also useful for keeping tabs on oven-cooked food. Are you a beer brewer? Some, but not all, grill thermometers can also be used to gauge the temperature of your wort. Are you a candy maker? Many, but not all, grill thermometers also double as candy thermometers.
You should also start thinking about additional functionalities that would be useful to you. If you love to entertain and cook for large numbers of people, a wireless or remote grill thermometer will free you up to do other work in the kitchen while your meat grills. This type of thermometer is also great if you like to kick back with your friends and family and watch the game instead of hover around the kitchen. Just set the receiver up next to your beer and glance over occasionally to see when your meat is done.
Hopefully this helped. If you don't want to read through all that text, here is a simple and quick checklist to keep in mind when you start shopping for a new grill thermometer.
1) Reliability and accuracy are key. Keep a close eye on product reviews and brand name, as well as manufacturing and design quality.
2) Simplicity never fails. More complexity means a higher probability of error or failure.
3) Stay away from unitaskers! Think about other roles you need a thermometer to fill and search out a model which suits all of your needs.
4) Your thermometer should suit your needs. If you need mobility, choose a wireless thermometer. If you like to hover over your meat, don't waste money on bells and whistles.
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