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The Thermoworks Smoke Thermometer is a dual-probe remote meat thermometer that transmits cooking data between its transmitter and receiver devices.
The Smoke is one of the top thermometers in the remote meat thermometer category.
Since the Thermoworks Smoke’s debut a few years ago, they have released the Smoke X series of thermometers.
The Smoke X series includes the two-probe Smoke X2 and the four-probe Smoke X4, both featuring a longer wireless range and Billows Fan control capabilities.
The original Smoke model features a durable water-resistant IP65 rating for its base unit and receiver as well as the best-in-class accuracy for which Thermoworks is well-known.
At a price tag of $99, I believe the original Smoke thermometer by Thermoworks represents a great value if you’re looking for a dual-probe remote meat thermometer for your smoker or grill.
In this review of the Thermoworks Smoke Remote BBQ Alarm thermometer, I will discuss its features, usability, accuracy, durability, and price.
I’ll also show you that it still warrants serious consideration in an inundated market of remote meat thermometers.
Thermoworks Smoke Thermometer Review
The Thermoworks Smoke is a dual-probe remote wireless BBQ alarm thermometer whose primary function is monitoring the temperature of your food and its cooking chamber.
In case you didn’t know, Thermoworks is the premier manufacturer of meat thermometers on the market today.
Regarded as indispensable cooking tools by professional chefs, BBQ competition teams, top cooking magazines, and culinary enthusiasts, Thermoworks thermometers are the best you can buy.
I have tested many of their meat thermometers and I love them for their high quality.
The Smoke is no exception with a durable transmitter and receiver that feel solid with a splashproof IP rating of 65.
The Smoke comes equipped with a cooking probe and an air probe. This allows you to track the temperature of one piece of food as well as the ambient temperature inside your grill or smoker.
You can change track two pieces of food if you purchase another cooking probe to replace the air probe.
If you require more probes then I would highly suggest you look at the four-probe Smoke X4 by Thermoworks. (see comparisons below)
Let’s look at the features of the Smoke thermometer.
The Thermoworks Smoke includes:
- The Smoke transmitter and receiver
The Smoke has 2 channels, one for meat and one for your cooking chamber. You can also buy another cooking probe and track two pieces of meat instead.
The transmitter and receiver are pre-paired out of the box and no synchronization is required on your part. Both units are well built with molded-in seals that are rated waterproof to IP65.
Both the transmitter and receiver display the current temperature as well as the high and low-temperature alarm settings and the maximum and minimum temperatures reached during the cooking session.
The displays on both are illuminated for 30 seconds when you press their light buttons.
- Pro-Series High-Temperature Cooking Probe
This probe is 6 inches long and curves at a right angle near the handle making it easy to extract from your food. The probe cable is 47 inches long.
- Pr0-Series High-Temperature Air Probe and Grate Clip
This probe measures the air temperature of your cooking chamber. It comes with a grate clip to keep it off the hot grates of your grill or smoker. It also has a 47-inch cable.
- Stylish Neck Lanyard
There is a neck lanyard included that you can attach to the receiver if you so desire. If you like the BBQ Flavor Flav look then you’ll love this feature.
- Probe Range
Both the cooking probe and the air probe have a temperature measuring range between -58 degrees Fahrenheit and 572 degrees Fahrenheit (-50 to 300 °C).
- Probe Cable Heat Resistance
The maximum temperature that the probe cables can withstand is 700 degrees Fahrenheit or 370 degrees Celsius.
The smoke is rated accurate to +-1.8°F up to 248°F and +-3.6°F up to 392°F.
- IP Water Resistance Rating
Both the transmitter and receiver feature molded-in seals that make them water-resistant with an IP rating of 65. This means that both of them should handle some rain and still be ok.
- Backlight Illumination Time
The transmitter and receiver displays are backlit for 30 seconds when you press their respective light buttons.
- Maximum Alarm Decibel
The maximum sound for the Smoke transmitter is 90 decibels and the receiver is 75 decibels. An example of 90 decibels is someone shouting.
- Probe type
The cooking probe and the air probe are both thermistor-type probes. The cooking probe is 6 inches long and the diameter reduces to .08 inches at the tip for accurate readings.
- Wireless Signal Range
The reported line-of-sight wireless signal range between transmitter and receiver is 300 feet. This is a best-case scenario and doesn’t account for obstacles such as walls, trees, fences, etc.
- Battery Type
Both the Smoke and its receiver take 2-AAA batteries and have an estimated life of 1800 hours before replacement.
- Transmitter Size
The Smoke is 3.78 inches tall and 4.68 inches wide with a display screen that’s 2 inches tall and 3 inches wide.
- Receiver Size
The receiver is 4 inches tall and 2 inches wide with a display screen size of 2 inches tall by 1.3 inches wide.
The Smoke is pretty easy to use. The display is divided into two sections, each with its own alarm settings.
To set an alarm, just press “SET” and use the up or down arrows on the bottom of the display to set your desired temperature for HI or LOW-temperature alarms.
The Smoke comes with a meat probe and an air probe (also known as an ambient probe) so you will typically use one channel to track your meat temperature and one to track your smoker or grill temperature.
Having a low alarm setting is critical if you need to maintain a certain pit temperature if you’re smoking meat.
You can also turn the alarm off for just one or both probes by pressing the ON/OFF buttons on the right of the display.
Alarms can be muted by pressing any button on the display. You can change the volume of the alarms by pressing the VOL button till you reach your desired setting.
The light button on the bottom right will illuminate the display for 20 seconds.
The buttons on the back are straightforward. The CAL button allows you to calibrate the Smoke but you will probably never need to do so.
The ((.)) button is the signal button that you can turn on or off. You would turn it off if you wanted to use the Smoke as a standalone thermometer.
Another added benefit of the Smoke is that you can pair multiple wireless receivers to track your cook progress if you’re part of an entire bbq team.
Unfortunately, the wireless signal of the Smoke could be better. The reported distance of 300 feet will be hard to replicate in a normal home environment with walls and other obstacles in the way.
If you are inside your house and within 50 or 60 feet you should be ok. The signal will cut out if there are too many walls between you and the transmitter.
Thermoworks did come up with a solution to the signal range by offering a WiFi connector to the Smoke, called the Smoke Gateway. (see section after this one)
The wireless signal issue isn’t a deal-breaker if your smoker is within this range of where you will be monitoring your cook.
If you do have a lot of obstacles between your barbecue smoker and where you’re monitoring it from, the Smoke X series wireless signal range is legit.
You probably won’t get the reported 1.24 mile signal range, but I’ve gotten over 1,000 feet multiple times walking around my neighborhood.
The Smoke Gateway
The Smoke Gateway is a WiFi bridge for the original Smoke that will allow you to connect it to the internet via WiFi.
The Gateway WiFi bridge unfortunately is only compatible with the original Smoke and not the newer Smoke X series.
Using the Smoke Gateway you can then pair your Smoke thermometer to your mobile device and track your cook progress from anywhere in the world using the Thermoworks app.
At a regular price of $99, the Gateway is a nice addition to the Smoke, but you might want to look at the Smoke X4 or Thermoworks Signals first.
When you add the cost of the Smoke to the Gateway you’re looking at over $200. If you’re looking for internet connectivity I would suggest looking into the Signals thermometer.
Is the Smoke accurate? I tested it against the best-in-class Thermoworks ThermaPen MK4, an extremely accurate, instant-read thermocouple-type meat thermometer.
The Smoke performed similarly to the ThermaPen MK4 as well as the Thermoworks Smoke X4 in the accuracy tests. Mind you, I’m not suggesting the Smoke is as fast or accurate as the Thermapen, but it’s pretty darn close.
The Smoke, like all of Thermoworks products, is well-built and sturdy. The transmitter and receiver are both water-resistant with an IP rating of 65.
Both units just feel solid. This is especially apparent when you compare them to thermometers from other companies that have lighter plastic bodies.
The Smoke comes with a 2-year warranty from Thermoworks. The customer service from Thermoworks is second to none and they will take care of you if anything malfunctions.
At the current (November 2020) price tag of $99, the Smoke will dent your wallet a bit more than the standard remote meat thermometers from other companies.
The average range for a decent remote thermometer is $40 to $60. However, none of those have any type of waterproofing and aren’t anywhere near as accurate as the Smoke.
I mention this quote often but it is very true, price is what you pay, value is what you get.
The Smoke only has two probes and for those of you that need more then I would encourage you to check out the four-probe Smoke X4.
If you can’t make it work budget-wise then the four-probe ThermoPro TP-27 is another option. It costs a little less than the original Smoke and has a better signal, but doesn’t have the level of waterproofing or pinpoint accuracy.
Thermoworks Smoke vs Thermoworks Smoke X4
How does the Thermoworks Smoke compare with the newer Thermoworks Smoke X4 Remote Wireless Meat Thermometer?
Here are the main differences between the Smoke and Smoke X4:
- The Smoke X4 has a reported transmission signal range of 1.24 miles line-of-sight between the Smoke X4 transmitter and receiver. The Smoke’s reported wireless range is 300 feet.
- The Smoke X4 has four probes and channels and the Smoke has two probes and channels.
- There is a USB-C charge port on the base unit of the Smoke X4 for charging. The original Smoke model operates only on battery power.
- The Smoke X4 is rated splashproof to IP66 (high-pressure jets of water)and the Smoke is rated splashproof to IP65. (low-pressure jets of water)
- You can connect the Billows BBQ Temperature Control Fan with the Smoke X4, you can’t with the Smoke.
- The receiver of the Smoke X4 is flat and stands up easily while the Smoke receiver is curved on the bottom.
- If you purchase the Smoke Gateway, you can connect the original Smoke to your WiFi. The Smoke X series doesn’t have this feature.
- The Smoke and the Smoke X4 have many similarities as well. The Smoke X4 has all of the same features as the original Smoke save for the differences noted above. (Thanks Captain Obvious!)
The Thermoworks Smoke thermometer, like all Thermoworks thermometers, is well-made and highly accurate. It is relatively easy to use with plenty of information displayed on both the transmitter and receiver screens.
The Achilles’ heel of this thermometer is the wireless signal strength between the transmitter and receiver units. While the signal range should be sufficient for most grilling and smoking scenarios, it will cut out if more than a few obstacles are introduced, even within 60 feet.
If you have only two walls between you and the transmitter you should be fine.
My thoughts are that if your budget is $100 then you won’t find a more durable and accurate remote thermometer. It does have some range issues but if you have a straightforward setup it shouldn’t be a problem.
An alternative is the ThermoPro TP27 remote meat thermometer. It costs a little less, has a better signal, and comes with 4 probes. However, it isn’t as accurate, durable, or as waterproof as the Smoke.
I know, decisions, decisions.
If you do a lot of meat smoking and you can afford it, I would suggest you take a serious look at the Smoke X4. The wireless range is unsurpassed (I get about a quarter-mile in my heavily-wooded neighborhood) and it comes with four probes.
It does cost quite a bit more but it’ll save you a lot of time and consternation for years to come. Consider it an investment in your bbq future.