Probe meat thermometers are insanely helpful whether you’re cooking indoors or out. They help ensure you don’t serve your family and friends undercooked chicken or an overcooked steak. While most of them use wired probes attached to some type of display or hub, Meater’s probes are completely wireless. This means you don’t have to dodge a cable when flipping or moving things around the grill. They’re also easier to use when wrapping large cuts like pork shoulders or brisket.
With two models under its belt, the Traeger-owned company is debuting its latest version today: the Meater 2 Plus. While the device may look awfully similar to Meater’s previous cooking gadgets and it still uses the charger as a Bluetooth range booster, there are some significant upgrades here. The company has installed additional sensors for more precise temperature readings, while also increasing heat resistance and overall durability. It has managed to do this without drastically increasing the price, too.
The biggest change for the Meater 2 Plus is on the inside. The company has added four more internal temperature sensors for a total of five. There’s also still the ambient temperature sensor on the opposite end to keep tabs on grill temps while you’re cooking. Meater says the five internal sensors offer “the real core temperature of the meat,” which it says can help reduce any subpar results due to an error in probe placement (the app helps with that, too). All five can measure temps down to a tenth of a degree with an accuracy that’s within half a degree.
The Meater app displays the lowest temperature of the five sensors in the main view of the app and goes by that for any targets you may have set. Additionally, you can see the real-time temps of all five sensors by tapping on the one being displayed. As it did before, the company’s mobile app offers guidance on target temperatures based on the doneness level you desire. There are lots of options for different types and cuts of meat, but you can also go full manual mode if you’re doing something like reheating leftovers or know exactly what you want. Either way, the app calculates estimated finishing time based on internal and ambient temperatures. It also warns you when there’s five minutes left, when you hit the target and when the required rest time (if any) is over.
Meater also added a new Master Class feature to its app that will offer over 50 video courses that teach cooking techniques like two-zone BBQ, reverse searing and more. Step-by-step demos will include ingredient and tool checklists for easy shopping. There will also be detailed written instructions so you’re not constantly swiping back through videos. Meater says this is just the initial batch and it plans to release new classes on a weekly basis.
The other big physical updates are improved heat resistance and durability. First, the Meater 2 Plus can withstand open flames at temperatures up to 932 degrees Fahrenheit (500 Celsius). This allows you to keep the probe in place while you sear. What’s more, the Meater app will warn you when the device is getting too hot.
That’s over 400 degrees hotter than the max temperature rating of the Meater Plus (527 degrees Fahrenheit). Plus, much of the competition, like ThermoPro’s TempSpike, can only handle just under 600 degrees. The Meater 2 Plus also has nine degrees more when it comes to the hottest internal temperature, now topping out at 221 degrees. The Meater 2 Plus is fully waterproof, so you can use it to deep fry or sous vide, as well. And when you’re done, you can just pop it in the dishwasher. I’ve done it several times and it’s still working just fine.
The temperature and waterproof upgrades are made possible by a new full-metal, stainless steel probe design. The Meater 2 Plus is 30 percent slimmer than the Meater Plus and a new Zirconia ceramic band allows the Bluetooth signal to radiate from the device. Thanks to a “high-performance antenna” and “optimized RF design” specifically tuned for high heat, the Meater 2 Plus offers an expanded range of up to 250 feet. That’s up from 165 feet on the previous model. The company says the new version can technically achieve 2,500 feet, but that requires a direct line of sight and no RF interference.
Most of our backyards won’t accommodate that, and you’re going to walk into the house to grab a beer at some point. In my tests, I was able to venture from my deck all the way to the mailbox on the street without losing connection. Like other Meater products, the 2 Plus works with Meater Link for Wi-Fi and Meater Cloud, providing unlimited range, though you’ll need to connect the Meater 2 Plus to another phone, tablet or laptop for these features.
Meater also improved battery life and charging efficiency. The Meater 2 Plus can be recharged for up to two years with one AAA battery, doubling the longevity of the previous model which the company rated at 100 charges. A fully charged probe will still last over 24 hours before you’ll need to dock it, unchanged from the Meater Plus. However, the Meater 2 Plus charges to 50 percent in only 15 minutes, enough for a 12-hour low-and-slow barbeque session. And as the company points out, you’ll never have to worry about charging if you keep the probe docked when it’s not in use.
I’ve tested the Meater 2 Plus for three cooks so far and I’ve been impressed with the performance for all of them. It’s completely wild to me to be able to throw this thing in the dishwasher instead of spending several minutes scrubbing the probe like I typically have to for all of my wired accessories. Of course, the highlight is the increased precision, which gives you a more detailed look at what’s going on during your cook. It was especially handy while smoking a turkey breast, allowing me to make sure the center was safe to eat while monitoring the rest to make sure it didn’t get too far past the coveted 165-degree mark. I also had no issues with high-heat use, though most of my testing was sub-350 degrees and primarily low-and-slow smoking. Besides turkey, I also used it for Over the Top Chili, smoked meatloaf and reheating leftovers.
The Meater 2 Plus is available now on the company’s website for $119.95. That’s $10-$20 more than the Meater Plus, depending on your wood preference for the charger on that previous model.
This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/meater-2-plus-review-a-more-precise-and-durable-wireless-meat-thermometer-160039734.html?src=rss