FireBoard Spark Review
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FireBoard just announced the release of their first instant-read thermometer, the FireBoard Spark.
The Spark is not only an instant-read meat thermometer, it also has a probe port to connect a temperature probe for longer cooks. It is also WiFi and Bluetooth compatible.
You do have to purchase a separate 100K Thermistor probe to connect to the 2.5mm probe port located at the end of the Spark.
When you place the Spark in “sync mode”, it acts as a remote monitor for all of your other FireBoard devices.
Let’s take a look at what else the FireBoard SPARK Instant-Read thermometer has to offer.
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FireBoard Spark Instant-Read Thermometer
This is the first instant-read thermometer from FireBoard. If you are unfamiliar with the FireBoard company, they are the makers of the best-in-class FireBoard 2 series of cloud-connected WiFi food thermometers.
I’ve reviewed the FireBoard 2 Drive and the FireBoard 2 Pro, and I give them both my highest grades when it comes to a WiFi meat thermometer.
The first thing you will notice about the Spark is the price tag of $149.
This price point is higher than all of the other highly-rated meat thermometers I’ve reviewed.
The top-rated Thermapen ONE has a price of $105.
So, is this higher price justified?
It depends on your needs as a cook. The FireBoard Spark has some innovative features that no other instant-read thermometer has right now.
What are these features?
Ted Conrad, one of the co-founders of FireBoard, recently hosted a product launch video on Facebook.
In the video, he goes over a lot of the features of the FireBoard Spark as well as how these features are best put to use in a restaurant or home cooking scenario.
Here’s the video: https://fb.watch/9aC1EY1VOG/
FireBoard Spark Features and Specifications
Here are the features of the FireBoard Spark Instant-Read Thermometer:
- Dimensions of 6.25″ Wx 1.44″ Hx 1.06″ D
- Type-K thermocouple probe with +-0.7°F accuracy with a measuring range of -58°F to 572°F.
- Leave-in Probe Port is 2.5mm and uses 100K Thermistor temperature probes
- NIST-Traceable calibration certificate
- Sync Mode allows you to connect to other FireBoard thermometers for remote monitoring.
- NFC scanner
- USB-C rechargeable Li-Ion 2600 ma Battery /12+ hours of normal use between charges.
- WiFi 2.4Ghz, Bluetooth BLE 4.0, and FireBoard Cloud-enabled.
- Magnetic back that sticks to metal surfaces.
- Rated IP66 Waterproof
- LCD Backlit display that’s 192mm x 64 mm.
Is the FireBoard Spark easy to use? Using the Spark as an instant-read thermometer is pretty straightforward, just extend the probe and insert it into food.
However, the Spark has other features that you can access through its display screen as well as the FireBoard mobile app.
It might take you around 10 to 15 minutes to familiarize yourself with the Spark and its features if this is your first time with a FireBoard product.
To access the device menu screen of the Spark, simply press and hold down the multi-purpose function button on the end of the body nearest to where the probe folds out.
Single-button presses will scroll through the menu selections and confirm a selection by holding the button down.
In the device menu, you can switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius displays, decimal temperature readings, adjust the brightness and contrast of the screen, and turn the invert screen option on or off.
The Spark will also vibrate when it captures a successful reading, also known as haptic feedback. The Spark will also show the three most recently captured instant readings down the left side of the device display in small digits.
If you would like to use the Spark to remotely monitor another FireBoard you can do so by switching it to “sync mode” in either the settings menu on the device or toggling it on via the mobile app.
The Spark features a Type-K thermocouple probe and comes with a NIST-Traceable calibration certificate. This means that a technician at FireBoard Labs tests the accuracy of your thermometer by hand, and signs off on it.
The Spark is rated accurate to within +-0.7°F, which is incredibly accurate.
To put this accuracy to the test, I compared its performance with the Thermapen ONE in a series of temperature tests using a sous vide water bath.
The Thermapen ONE is rated accurate to within +-0.5°F with temperature readings within one second, and is currently the most accurate instant-read thermometer on the market.
In the video below, I inserted both thermometers’ probes into a sous vide water bath set to around 130°F.
Which one was faster? Honestly, it is hard to tell with the naked eye and both are incredibly fast and accurate.
Using a sous vide bath is a decent test of a thermometer’s ability but it isn’t foolproof, hence I’m hesitant to declare an outright winner.
Any cook would be incredibly happy with either thermometer in their kitchen.
The durability of a product is measured over time. I like that the Spark is rated IP66 waterproof.
This means that the Spark can get wet with some rain or you can wash it off under a faucet. I wouldn’t submerge it in water, however.
The body feels very solid when you pick it up, with a little more weight to it than your average thermometer. The Spark comes in at around 5.2 ounces compared to the average weight of 3.5 to 4.1 ounces of other top-rated thermometers.
The price tag is steep at $149, so this is definitely an investment. To put it into perspective, the Thermapen ONE costs $105.
Both of these thermometers are the best instant-read thermometers you can currently buy.
Can you buy an accurate meat thermometer for less? Certainly.
Just like automobiles, there are different levels of quality and performance.
If you have the money, why not invest in the best?
I would consider the Spark to be an investment in your cooking future.
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Final Thoughts of the FireBoard Spark
The FireBoard Spark has a lot of features that you won’t find in other instant-read meat thermometers.
It’s WiFi and Bluetooth compatible with a probe port to attach another temperature probe for longer cooks.
It is also connected to the FireBoard Cloud, which means that any firmware updates will also update on the Spark.
The Spark can also connect to any other FireBoards on your account and act as a remote display.
No other instant-read meat thermometer has a display that’s capable of multiple screens.
Out of all of these nice features, I believe the display screen might be the most overlooked but, for me, the best feature of all.
It rotates 360°F and is visible at all times, no need to motion-activate the light, it is on and ready to go.
It is also incredibly fast and accurate, comparable to the Thermapen ONE, and it has the best display screen of any instant-read meat thermometer on the market.
I guess the question remains, will you find any of these extra, cool features useful?
And, if you don’t have another FireBoard to connect to the Spark, is there enough value to justify spending $149?
I look at anything I buy in terms of value and not price.
Price is what you pay, value is what you get.
If you are someone that will utilize all of the other features of the Spark, then I think you will get a lot of value from it.
If you’re a casual cook that just needs to check temperatures every so often then a purchase of the Spark is probably not justified.
Setting the price aside, the Spark is one of the nicest instant-read thermometers you can buy right now.