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The Thermoworks Signals is a wireless, 4-Channel Bbq alarm thermometer with WiFi and Bluetooth technology.
That’s quite a mouthful.
The Signals comes with everything you need to monitor meat on your bbq. It has 4 probes with 4 dedicated screen sections with high and low-temperature alerts.
The body itself is water-resistant with an IP66 rating, meaning it can withstand a rain shower outside by your grill.
It works in conjunction with the Thermoworks BBQ app that is Apple or Android device compatible.
And to top it off, you can connect a blower fan to your smoker or grill through the Signals and it will control the temperature remotely. Pretty cool.
The Signals is one of many WiFi meat thermometers available on the market today. With so many to choose from it can be difficult to choose a good one. I consider the Signals a good one.
The Signals direct competition in the WiFi meat thermometer category includes the Tappecue Touch, the Fireboard 2 meat thermometer, and the SmokeBloq WiFi meat thermometer.
The Signals also has a very close cousin in the Thermoworks Smoke X4, it is basically the non-Internet version of the Signals. You can check out my review of the Smoke X4 here.
In this review, will discuss all of the features, usability, accuracy, and durability of the Thermoworks Signals WiFi thermometer.
Let’s get to it.
Thermoworks Signals WiFi Meat Thermometer
The Signals is a 4-channel WiFi meat thermometer made by Thermoworks.
If you don’t know by now, Thermoworks is the premier maker of meat thermometers on the market today. Along with their partners in the United Kingdom, Electronic Temperature Instruments, LTD., they are the people behind the best instant-read meat thermometer on the market, the Thermapen MK4.
Not only does Thermoworks produce quality thermometers, but their customer service is also impeccable. Should you ever run into problems with your thermometer their Utah-based team of experts is friendly and prompt.
If your thermometer should ever malfunction within the terms of the warranty and it can’t be fixed, they will either fix it or send you a new one. That’s customer service.
Now that I’ve acquainted you with the company behind the Signals thermometer, let’s take a look at its features and how easy it is to use.
Features of the Signals Thermometer
Here are the important features of the Signals thermometer:
- Six Inch Probes with Large Temperature Range
The Signals comes with four Thermoworks Pro-Series High-Temperature Probes. (3 cooking and 1 ambient air probe) The temperature measuring range is between -58 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit. The maximum temperature for the cables is 700 degrees Fahrenheit and 644 degrees Fahrenheit for the transitions.
- Eight Colored Rings
What are the rings for? They are for you to keep track of each probe from the device to each piece of food. Let’s say you’re cooking steaks and chicken, for the chicken probe you could use the green ring to specify it and keep track of its temperature, separate from the steaks.
Another nice feature is that you can synchronize the probe’s color in the app. (See the Thermoworks BBQ app section.)
- 47 Inch Probe Cables
At almost 4 feet, these cables should be long enough to reach down into a barrel smoker to monitor a piece of meat.
The Signals is rated to be accurate within +-1.8 degrees Fahrenheit up to 248 degrees Fahrenheit.
- IP66 Water-Resistant
The housing of the Signals is sealed and water-resistant-rated IP66, meaning it can withstand getting wet outside in the rain.
- 20 Second Backlight
The backlight stays on for 20 seconds, which is nice because most thermometers’ backlights stay on for 10 seconds. If you’ve checked on your meat on an overnight smoke you know how helpful this feature is.
- Bluetooth Version 4.2
The Signals connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth 4.2 technology. Its signal range is 95 feet (line-of-sight with no obstructions.)
- 16 Hour Battery Life
The Signals has a built-in rechargeable battery that is charged via a USB-C cable connected to a 12V adapter. The battery is rated to last 16 hours between charges.
- Screen Display 1.88 Inches Height by 3.97 Inches Wide
The screen display is a good size with different sections for each probe. Each section displays the probe temperature, high and low-temperature alarms, and what the probe is being used for. (the type of meat, or pit temperature)
As far as WiFi meat thermometers go, the Signals isn’t too difficult to use. Like most new gadgets it will take some time becoming acquainted with all of its features.
The Signals can be used as a standalone thermometer, a Bluetooth Thermometer (thermometer to your phone), or a WiFi thermometer (thermometer to an internet router to phone).
The main unit has 7 buttons overall. You can use these to control the Signals if you don’t want to connect to your phone or the internet.
There is a main power/Celsius/Fahrenheit button on the back and 6 buttons on the front of the device. Here are the buttons and their functions:
- CH- Press to select between the four different probe channels. If no settings are changed after 10 seconds, the display will revert back to normal.
- SET- Once you’ve scrolled to the right probe channel, press this button to change between each alarm option.
- DOWN and UP Arrows- Use these buttons to adjust your HI and LOW-temperature alarms up or down.
- LIGHT- Turns the backlight on for 20 seconds.
- VOL- Changes the volume on the alarm or mutes the alarm.
The button sounds can be muted if need be. It took me way too long to figure this out and this is a nice feature because the constant beeping can get annoying.
The Thermoworks BBQ App
Update: July 2020- Thermoworks just released an updated mobile app, the Thermoworks Cloud. It has a lot of advanced features and I consider it superior to the previous app that I discuss here. I will update this review with the new app soon.
The Thermoworks BBQ app is available online at the Apple or Google Play Stores. Once downloaded the app will ask for you to input your email and password as well as WiFi information.
The app is pretty straightforward and if you have your probes connected to the Signals the app will jump you right to the probe channels screen.
From there you can select each probe channel and edit the probe name, hi and low-temperature alarms, ring color to keep track of the probes, max/min temperatures, and export data.
However. you have to click on each probe channel to view each graph. There is not one graph that has all of the probes time and temperature on it.
You can save your cooking session in any of the probe channels and then go to ‘saved graphs’ in the menu. There you will see a graph with all of the different probe temperatures and times. But each probe’s designated line is in yellow and impossible to tell which is which. (see picture below)
You can export this graph as a CSV spreadsheet but that also just has Probe 1, Probe 2, etc. designations. You would have to remember what each probe was measuring and edit it accordingly.
Not the end of the world, but an app with separate colored lines with meat and chamber designations would greatly enhance the user’s experience. Moving on.
The Billows Fan
You can also attach a blower fan to your smoker and operate it via the Signals. The Billows Fan from Thermoworks works in conjunction with the Signals.
The fan is connected to the Signals via a USB-C splitter. The USB-C single end plugs into the Signals. The splitter end has one part going to power and the other part going to the fan.
The Billows fan will only operate from Channel 4 on the Signals device and it will automatically change it to fan mode.
The fan mode is preset to maintain a 225-degree chamber temperature but it can be adjusted.
For a complete overview of setting up and maintaining the Billows via the Signals check out the guide here.
I’ve used the Signals for 6 months now. There have been a couple of issues and I’m not sure if they’re user-based or design-based.
There was one time when the screen froze. I couldn’t turn it off and none of the buttons would work.
I went to the Thermoworks website and followed the suggestion of holding down the power button for 20 seconds to reset the thermometer. It worked and the Signals resumed proper functioning.
There was another time when the Thermoworks app was prompting me to do a firmware update and the Signals battery was drained. While I was updating the Signals died and I plugged in the power adapter.
The Signals display screen showed the screen below, even when plugged in and after attempting to reset.
It wasn’t until I went into the app to finish the update that the Signals reverted back to normal. This snafu was my fault but I thought I’d share in case it helps others.
I should also note that if you do run into problems with your Signals and it is malfunctioning the team at Thermoworks will fix the problem. They have the best customer service in the industry. The Signals comes with a 2-year warranty that covers most normal wear and tear scenarios.
Accuracy is the hallmark of all Thermoworks thermometers and the Signals is no exception. The Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 is the most accurate meat thermometer around so I tested the Signals against it.
Pretty darn close. I would rate the Signals extremely accurate.
The Signals comes with a two-year warranty covering normal wear-and-tear. The weather-resistant body is a plus and the base of the thermometer is sturdy so it won’t tip over. I haven’t had any issues in the 6 months I’ve been using it.
The Signals is durable and should handle any extended cooks out in the rain. I also like the sturdy base that won’t get knocked over with probes attached like some similar WiFi thermometers.
The Signals 4-Channel WiFi BBQ meat thermometer is one of the best WiFi thermometers on the market. The new updated Thermoworks Cloud app has remedied some of the issues that the previous app had in that it has multiple probe graphing capabilities and a lot of great advanced features.
The accuracy is great, the thermometer body is sturdy and water-resistant, and it has all the included bells-and-whistles that one comes to expect from a premium WiFi meat thermometer.
I hope to collect more data on long cooking sessions and how the Signals attached to the Billows fan performs. For right now I would rate this thermometer worth the money if you are someone looking to up your grilling and smoking game.