There have been countless reviews of the ThermoPro TP 20 meat thermometer. Some of them are outdated with false information.
Reading through some of the reviews you can tell that they clearly have never touched or used the TP 20 model with their own hands.
Well, I have used this thermometer over the past month and I will share with you the good and bad points of this thermometer.
The ThermoPro TP-20 dual probe wireless remote meat thermometer is a very popular thermometer in the world of bbq and grilling.
Why is it so popular? It might be the 300-foot range between the transmitter and receiver. That’s an entire football field. But what else does this thermometer have to offer other than the impressive wireless range? The TP-20 does indeed have a lot of the features that are important to bbq enthusiasts.
I’m going to look at what the TP-20 brings to the table in terms of features, usability, durability, and price relative to similar thermometers. I will also compare it head-to-head with the very similar Veken 4-probe Wireless Meat thermometer as well as some Bluetooth and cloud-based meat thermometers. Spoiler alert, the TP 20 does have some competition on its hands.
Is this thermometer worth the hype? Let’s take a closer look.
Main Features of The ThermoPro TP-20 Meat Thermometer
The ThermoPro TP-20 wireless meat thermometer was created with the bbq enthusiast in mind. Along with its stellar 300 foot transmission range it comes with other features that are essential for monitoring your cook.
ThermoPro TP 20 Transmitter and Receiver Features
Both the transmitter and the receiver of the ThermoPro TP 20 have LCD ( liquid crystal display) screens with dual probe temperature displays. The transmitter will automatically shift between probe 1 and probe 2 displays.
The receiver and transmitter bodies are enclosed with soft rubber sleeves that are helpful when trying to grip them. The sleeves also add a layer of protection against the usual wear and tear a bbq thermometer will go through in its lifetime. They are also both rated splash proof so you are covered if you ever have a water gun fight nearby. It isn’t waterproof.
The TP 20 has only two ports for probes on both the transmitter and the receiver.
Another feature to consider is that only the receiver display has backlight capabilities. The display will stay lit for 15 seconds after you press the light button.
The transmitter (the unit you would have by your grill) has no lighting feature for its display. If you happen to be separated from the receiver and are trying to read the display at night you will have some difficulty.
The receiver will let you select between 11 different meat and user-defined modes. An example would be setting probe 2 to the GPOUL (ground poultry) setting. That setting coincides with a temperature setting of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, the USDA’s recommended serving temperature for ground poultry.
You can also set one of the probes to track the high temperature of the bbq or grill you are using. Switching to the BBQ mode will allow you to set these alarms in case your grill gets too hot or too cold.
Let me go into a little more detail on this.
Hi and Low Temperature Alarms
A majority of the reviews of the TP 20 meat thermometer online are out of date as they don’t include this thermometer’s low temperature alarm capabilities.
Apparently the original version of the ThermoPro TP-20 did not include a low temperature alarm setting. A low temperature alarm is critical and necessary if you are doing some bbqing at extended periods of time. The newest version (as of 2019) does have the low temperature alarm feature.
Why is a low temperature alarm important? If you’ve ever woken up to find your offset smoker hovering at 135 degrees Fahreneheit with a brisket inside you’ll understand.
A beeping sound will let you know when your probe has reached either the high or low temperature alarm. Simply push any button (other than the power button) to silence it.
The temperature will continue to blink until you do something like raise or lower the temperature of your cooking chamber.
And a final note, the transmitter has a belt clip in case you want to look ultra cool with a thermometer attached to your belt.
Two Long Stainless Steel Food Temperature Probes
The ThermoPro TP-20 comes with two, 6.5″ temperature probes. These are longer than any probes I have currently and are great if you are cooking a really big piece of meat. The one drawback to the long probes is that they are a bit unwieldy when usning them on smaller gelatinous pieces of meat, such as chicken thighs that need to cook a little longer.
The probes and wires can withstand heat up to 716 degrees Fahrenheit. The monitoring temperature range of the probes are between 32 and 572 degrees Fahrenheit (0 to 300 degrees Celsius).
The probes’ stainless steel mesh cables are 40 inches long which will enable you to keep the thermometer’s transmitter away from the heat of the grill. The probes are covered by a three year warranty if you register them at ThermoPro’s website.
The two probes connect to the two probe ports on the transmitter. There are only two ports to connect to so you only have the ability to monitor two temperatures. You can use one probe to monitor the ambient temperature inside your grill while the other monitors food temperature.
If you have more than one piece of meat on the bbq you will need additional thermometers to monitor both the ambient temperature and multiple pieces of meat. This is something to remember if you’re the type to put a lot of meat on the bbq.
An additional feature is the inclusion of one grill clip that allows one of the probes to not touch the hot grill grates below.
The Usability and Accuracy of the ThermoPro TP 20 Meat Thermometer
I tested the accuracy ThermoPro TP 20 meat thermometer alongside the Veken 4-probe meat thermometer in graduated temperature water baths using ice and a sous vide machine. As you can see, they both performed quite well.
There is a learning curve involved whenever you’re operating a new gadget. I have to admit I wasn’t a fan of the amount of buttons I saw on the TP 20 out of the box. The button in the middle appeared to have FOUR different functions (it doesn’t). My thoughts were, “I just want to grill a chicken, not memorize a controller like I’m playing Mortal Kombat.”
However, after using it a few times my button anxiety went away and now that middle button is a piece of cake. It’s actually the timer button with start, stop and clear functions.
I will now do a quick overview of the main buttons:
- The Mode button- Allows you to switch between the two probes as well as the timer function.
- The Meat Button- Allows you to scroll through the aforementioned 11 different preset meat and user defined settings.
- The Taste button – Lets you set temperature done preferences like medium, medium well, etc. for certain meats
- The Up and Down buttons- Press either button to raise and lower temperatures as well as raise or lower time on the timer.
- The Light Bulb/ Fahrenheit/ Celsius button – Press once to illuminate diplay, hold down 2 seconds to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius
- The S./S./ Clear Button- Timer button allowing you to start,stop, pause and clear the timer.
The buttons, as I mentioned before, take a little getting used to, but after a few uses I didn’t need the manual anymore. From a usability standpoint I think most people should be able to operate it with no problems.
The Wireless Range of the ThermoPro TP 20 Meat Thermometer
Perhaps the biggest selling point of the ThermoPro TP 20 is the prolific 300-foot wireless range. Is the range that far? Yes. I have checked the range on numerous occasions by walking down the street away from my house.
I walked with my head down, focused on the thermometer, turning the receiver on and off at 50-foot intervals.
What I found out, other than you get really weird looks by your neighbors, is that the wireless range can go well past 300 feet.
The one thing I did notice is that it took a little bit for it to reconnect to the receiver. In some cases it was around 20 to 30 seconds.
Not a huge deal but something to be aware of.
The Competition: The ThermoPro TP 20 vs. The Veken 4-Probe Wireless Thermometer
Another wireless meat thermometer garnering attention amongst grilling enthusiasts is the Veken 4-Probe Wireless Meat Thermometer.
It boasts of a wireless range up to 490 feet. I had to see this for myself so I bought one. After using it I am liable to agree with that claim.
Unconcerned by the possible odd looks by neighbors I took another walk down the street with both the Veken and the ThermoPro TP 20 in both hands.
Turning the receivers of both off at roughly 50-foot increments I noticed the Veken reconnected with its transmitter a lot faster than the ThermoPro.
I don’t have the exact measurements but according to a Google map walk of my neighborhood the Veken cut out about 100 feet past the ThermoPro.
Along with the longer range, there are two other areas that I feel the Veken does better than ThermoPro TP 20. There is also one critical and crucial feature that the ThermoPro TP 20 has that the Veken doesn’t.
The first feature the Veken wireless thermometer has that the ThermoPro TP 20 doesn’t is its 4 probe capabilities.
Not only does it come with 4 probes, the transmitter and receiver screens have displays for all four probes. That’s a win for the Veken over the ThermoPro.
Another superior feature is that the transmitter on the Veken has a light function. Not a deal breaker for the ThermoPro, but it is nice when you’re bbqing at night and you’re right by the grill and away from the receiver. You can just press the light button to see the temperatures.
However, the one critical function that the Veken thermometer lacks is the ability to set a low temperature alarm. This pretty much rules out long cooks using a natural heat source like charcoal or wood. If the temperature dips down you would never know to add more fuel to the fire.
If you are using a propane grill or pellet smoker this wouldn’t be a problem because of the regulated heat source. I would recommend the Veken if you do a lot of long cooks on those types of cookers.
Overall I think the Veken has a lot of great features and for the situations mentioned above (propane and pellet smokers) I would recommend it over the Thermopro. It is also less expensive. But if you are using any other type of grill or smoker that uses charcoal or wood heat sources, the ThermoPro wins out because of its low temperature alarm capabilities.
One other thing to consider is that ThermoPro is an established company in the thermometer industry that stands behind their products. You can register your thermometer after you receive it on their website and extend the warranty to three years. Their customer track record is impeccable.
Veken is a relative newcomer in the thermometer space, but they also offer a two year replacement warranty out of the box as well as a three year extension if you email them. That’s five years of coverage, not bad. As far as their support, it appears their customer service representive is prompt in responding to customer complaints.
Bluetooth Alternatives to the ThermoPro TP 20: The Tenergy Solis Digital Meat Thermometer
I’ve included two other alternatives to the ThermoPro TP 20 in this review to show you its relative value in the market place.
The first thermometer I want to discuss is the Tenergy Solis Digital Meat Thermometer. It is a six-probe Bluetooth meat thermometer that connects to your smart phone and tablet. I chose the Tenergy Thermometer as a representative of all of the similar Bluetooth meat thermometers on the market. The Soraken, the Nutri-Chef are a few of the thermometers with similar capabilities.
The Tenergy Solis Bluetooth meat thermometer is a nice thermometer that has both high and low temperature capabilities on all six of its probe channels. It is however restricted to the transmission range of the Bluetooth device you are using, so it loses out to the ThermoPro in terms of transmission length.
A Waterproof, WiFi and Cloud-Based Alternative to ThermoPro TP 20: The SmokeBloq Wireless Meat Thermometer
If you live in a region where it rains as much as where I live then you will appreciate the SmokeBloq Wireless Meat Thermometer.
It is a waterproof, cloud-based meat thermometer that connects to your home internet router and allows you to access it from anywhere through the cloud.
I love this thermometer. As you can see it costs quite a bit more but actually is the least expensive of the weatherproof cloud-based meat thermometers on the market. If you do a lot of smoking and grilling in bad weather this is a great device to have. I’ve used it numerous times in the rain with no problems.
Final Thoughts on the ThermoPro TP 20 Meat Thermometer
The TP 20 meat thermometer does have a lot of features that are good to have in a bbq meat thermometer. I would say the one aspect that sets it apart from other wireless transmitter to receiver thermometers is the ability to set the low temperature alarm. If the Veken 4-probe meat thermometer had this feature then that would be a different story. The 300-foot wireless range on the TP 20 is as advertised. The temperature accuracy of the probes are good and the usability of the buttons on the transmitter aren’t too difficult after a few uses.
I would recommend this wireless meat thermometer if you don’t want to be reliant on a bluetooth device or have really bad WiFi or internet service where you are using it. It also is a better choice if you are using charcoal and wood for fuel and you need to maintain a certain temperature.
I wouldn’t recommend this thermometer if you don’t need to maintain a low temperature because you are using a propane or pellet grill. I think the Veken 4 probe meat thermometer would be better because of its lower price with more probes and a better wireless range.
I also wouldn’t recommend this thermometer if you do a lot of smoking and want to keep track of your cooks. I would then suggest a device like the SmokeBloq Wireless Thermometer, whose app keeps track of temperature and cooking history.
Thanks for reading my review of the ThermoPro TP 20 meat thermometer, now go grill something already!