Tappecue Touch Review
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The Tappecue Touch WiFi Meat Thermometer is an impressive piece of technology. It is a water-resistant, multiple-probe, WiFi meat thermometer that has a touchscreen as well as a mobile app that controls its functions.
Oh, and just in case you were looking for a clavichord-assisted robot voice telling you to check your meat, the Touch has that as well:
Perhaps the best feature of the Tappecue Touch is its functionality in terms of the array of attachments you can add to it.
- You can add a blower fan to regulate your smoker temperature through the Tappecue’s Cruise Control fan system.
- There is the ability to control up to eight different temperature probes through either splitter attachments or adding 4 dual-sensor probes.
- An exciting feature that is still in beta-testing is the AirProbe attachment that is a wire-free probe (like the MEATER). I have the AirProbe and will discuss it here and more in-depth in a future post.
So, how does the Tappecue measure up to similar WiFi meat thermometers such as the Thermoworks Signals, the SmokeBloq, and the FireBoard meat thermometers?
That is what I will examine in this full review of the Tappecue Touch. I will assess all of the Tappecue’s features as well as its usability, accuracy, durability, and price relative to the competition.
The Tappecue Touch WiFi Meat Thermometer
The Tappecue Touch is a touchscreen WiFi meat thermometer that can support numerous different probes and attachments. This added functionality through its attachments, along with its touchscreen, is what makes the Touch different from other WiFi meat thermometers.
As mentioned earlier, the Tappecue Touch can support up to 8 different probes if you use probe splitters for the 4 probe ports. The Thermoworks Signals can support 4 probes and the FireBoard WiFi thermometer can support up to 6 probes.
And just like the Thermoworks Signals and the Fireboard thermometers, you can control a blower fan for your smoker. You can buy the Tappecue Touch by itself and add attachments later or buy what they call the “Tappecue Cruise Control System” that comes with 3 probes and a blower fan and all of its attachments.
I purchased the Cruise Control System version. For today I will focus on just the Touch and its capabilities and I will give a full update of all of the Cruise Control System’s capabilities in the near future.
The Tappecue also is the only WiFi model that uses a touchscreen on the thermometer body that you can use to change settings. You do this through the use of the included stylus pen.
Perhaps the most intriguing innovation that the Touch brings to the market is the ability to connect to its newest product, the wireless AirProbe thermometer.
The Tappecue AirProbe
Note: The AirProbe is only available as of right now to people that have purchased a Tappecue Touch thermometer. I wish I could say I was cool enough to get an inside scoop but no, I just happened to have bought the thermometer.
The AirProbe has no wires and has an ambient temperature sensor on one end and a food temperature sensor on the tip. The AirProbe is a direct competitor of the very popular MEATER WiFi meat thermometer.
I will discuss the AirProbe more in a post very soon, but for now, the main takeaway is the Touch’s ability to connect to wireless probes as well as wire-connected ones.
Although I don’t see the AirProbe as being useful for smoking anything over 4 hours (you need to charge it every 4 hours), it does have intriguing qualities.
The one scenario that comes to mind is using the AirProbe on a rotisserie while cooking tri-tip or a whole chicken.
You could use it for grilling or smoking chicken, large steaks, pork tenderloins, or anything that takes under 4 hours to smoke or cook.
The Tappecue Cruise Control System
Another feature of the Touch is that you can attach a blower fan to your smoker to regulate its chamber temperature. Tappecue calls this the Cruise Control System. The blower fan will regulate your smoker’s desired temperature up or down according to what the Tappecue’s ambient temperature probe is reading.
The Cruise Control system comes with a probe splitter that you can attach the blower unit as well as the ambient temperature probe so that they can talk to each other.
This fan blower unit system works with multiple types of BBQs such as kettles, drum cookers, ceramics, stick burners, etc. Be advised that Kamado style grills will need a separate mounting bracket that Tappecue also sells.
Once I get the Cruise Control set up I will give you a full review of how it works, hopefully sometime soon.
Features of the Tappecue Touch
Here are all of the important features of the Tappecue Touch. If you go to the Tappecue website you can just purchase the Touch base unit by itself and then add what features you would like.
This is what the base Tappecue Touch and a typical probe combo come with:
- Water-Resistant Body with 4 Probe Channel Ports
Although not completely waterproof, the Touch should be safe to use in most weather situations. Rated IPX-5, Tappecue states that the Touch is designed for most weather conditions and should be fine in the rain, but probably not submerged water.
- Up to 572 Degrees Fahrenheit Measuring Range
The Touch is capable of measuring temperatures up to 572 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Touchscreen Display
The Touch has a 2.8″ TFT Resistive Touchscreen that is split into 4 different color-coded sections for each thermometer probe port. The screen splits into more sections the more probes you have, up until 8.
These colors correspond to the different colored probes you can use. There is an included stylus pen that makes the touchscreen a lot easier than if you just use your finger.
One of the benefits of the illuminated colorful screen is that you can see it at night.
- 6″ Long Probes
The probes are nice and long with a threshold of 472 degrees Fahrenheit. The cables are extremely long at 6 feet. They are some of the longest, if not longest probe cables on the market.
- WiFi, Cloud-Based Connectivity as well as Offline Mode
If you don’t want to connect or are unable to connect to WiFi, not to worry, you can use the touch in offline mode. It has a purported 180 ft. Bluetooth range. I have yet to test the length of this but I presume it is a line-of-sight distance they are referencing.
- Google Home and Amazon Alexa Compatible
You can connect the Touch to Google Home or Alexa if you are one of those people that need robot-assistance for things. And yes, that statement was smothered in sarcasm.
- Rechargeable 2400 mAh battery
The Touch has a rechargeable Lithium-Ion 3.8V, 2400 mAh (milliamp Hour) battery. The battery will last up to 20 hours in power save mode. However, if you are running the fan also you can use the thermometer while it is plugged in. The Touch comes with a 5V-1A charger included.
Mobile App with Session History
The Touch has a mobile app that is compatible with Apple and Android phones. The app will send your phone alerts when high and low-temperature alarms have been reached.
The mobile app is easy to use and everything is customizable such as probe temperature settings.
You can also view and export your cooking history, with up to 5 free sessions per month to export. The cooking history graphs are easy to read and are set up in 20-minute increments.
How easy is the Tappecue to use? Like most new gadgets, it takes some time acclimating to using it. I will say this, please use the stylus when operating the touchscreen, you will find it nearly impossible to hit the right screen option with adult fingers.
That leads me to my biggest gripe with the Tappecue Touch. You have to configure your WiFi and account via the thermometer’s touch screen. This is an exercise in extreme patience and one wonders why this wasn’t integrated into the app.
Is this aspect a deal-breaker? No, just something to be aware of.
There have been some reports of people having problems connecting to their WiFi. I have yet to have any difficulty in the times I’ve used the Touch.
On a tech-savviness scale of 1-10, I would put it at a 6. It’s not difficult to operate, but for the technology-challenged, you might need some help.
I tested the Touch along with the Thermoworks Smoke X4 and the Thermoworks Signals thermometers in a 140-degree sous vide water bath. The Tappecue measured the temperatures right in line with the other two.
I would rate the Touch as pretty accurate.
The durability of any device is measured over time. For the time being, I would rate the Touch as more durable than most barbeque thermometers. I rate it more durable than the Fireboard WiFi thermometer because of its water-resistant rating of IP X-5.
The FireBoard has a separate waterproof case you can purchase for $55, making it a non-starter for me and pricing itself out of the discussion.
Update June 2020: Fireboard Labs just released their Fireboard 2 series of WiFi meat thermometers. The Fireboard 2 is water resistant and the Fireboard 2 Drive thermometer has the drive fan technology integrated into the thermometer. No need for extra cables.
The Thermoworks Signals is rated IP 66 in terms of water-proofing. In terms of durability rankings, this one goes to the Thermoworks Signals with the Tappecue not far behind.
As I said, durability is a quality revealed over time. I leave all of my reviews open for updating so I will definitely be tracking this area the more I use these thermometers and I will update you if anything significant pops up.
Price Relative to the Competition
Where does the Tappecue stand in terms of price in the WiFi meat thermometer market?
The Touch comes in at a lower price point than both the Fireboard and the Thermoworks Signals WiFi thermometers.
However, you can just purchase the Touch by itself for $111 and add probes at $22 each from the Tappecue website. This puts it in a lower price range similar to the SmokeBloq thermometer, which is generally listed at $140.
The one thing to note is the improved functionality the Touch has in comparison to the other models. The ability to connect to new products such as the wire-free AirProbe makes it a compelling choice.
Is the Tappecue Touch Worth Your Money?
I would say so. I like the direction they’re heading with the addition of the AirProbe as an attachment option. This tells me that the people at Innovating Solutions (the makers of Tappecue) aren’t content to rest on their laurels and are adding value and flexibility to their products.
Is the Tappecue a better thermometer than the Thermoworks Signals, Fireboard, or SmokeBloq WiFi thermometers? That is yet to be determined.
The Signals is a great thermometer but I have had some glitches with their mobile app in terms of the ability to close out cooking sessions.
I would like to see the Fireboard thermometer get an upgraded shell that is more water-resistant (like the others) than the current one. I got my wish, the new Fireboard 2 model is water-resistant.
The SmokeBloq is a great thermometer that comes in at a lower price point but doesn’t have the functionality of the Tappecue. There are no blower fan attachment capabilities or support for wire-free probes like the Tappecue does.
I will be doing a more comprehensive review of the WiFi thermometer category in the near future. For now, I would rate the Tappecue Touch WiFi thermometer a thermometer that is worth your money.
Thanks for reading.