The MeatStick wireless meat thermometer. First Impressions, no wires, worth the hype?
Updated: Apr 30
Over a month ago I got a pleasant surprise in my inbox! The people over at The MeatStick reached out and wondered if I would like to review their product? What average Joe doesn't want a chance to test out a product? Well, I've had it for almost a month, and after a vacation and traveling for my real job (the one that pays the bills, please like and share the site *hint* *hint*) today I finally got a chance to break it out and fire up the Kamado Joe. BTW, if any other company would like me to test out a product please reach out!
What is the hype on this style? No wires! If you are curious on wired and wireless, wifi and bluetooth versions of products you can check out these articles here: What is a wireless thermometer and a speaker write up about Denon Heos vs Sonos
So the model I get the opportunity to test out is the MeatStick 4x which offers wireless connectivity to the base station shown below and connects to a pretty awesome app to the phone via Bluetooth.
Now, just as any average Joe does, I tore it out of the box and did not read instructions. Nor did I do a firmware update, or charge it. Part of this was my busy life, swiss cheese brain, being busy, waking up early to get everything on the smoker, to many hockey pucks to the head... I did clean it tho.
Here are a couple of my Inkbirds I use during some cooks. They haven't been getting as much use as I've just been using my instant read, time and touch. I'll break them out when I'm cooking for a party or group of people. If you did read the article on the wireless thermometers you would had seen my first one which was a Bluetooth version that had two units and no app. The technology has come a long long way.
It does come with a sticker for your beer fridge as well!
The base of this unit feels pretty sturdy and well it can survive a drop onto concrete from the shelf of a Kamado Joe Classic 2 with no visible damage! Whoops...
The app set up is great and super easy to get connected and going. Which might had been why I just went with it and got started without looking for updates. No issues connecting at all. The 4x does come with the Xtender which will help increase the Bluetooth connection and it does offer a wifi bridge accessory option. I've had no issues with disconnects or loss of signals moving around the front to the back yard or throughout the house.
I did get it set up for a pre selected pulled pork option which will ALARM when criteria is met. As seen in the next picture below.
Now, I did toss the meat on once the smoke was clear, however it wasn't fully up to temp. The MeatStick did it's job and notified me it wasn't at my minimum temp. Over and Over and Over. I readjusted my parameters and it still alarmed despite being above the threshold. This is my fault as I put it on early, but I also did not update the firmware, so I don't know if you can adjust the settings during the cook or just precook. I will have to test this feature on the next cook. I just silenced the alarm in the app for the time being and that did the trick on the notifications. I will tell you the alarm is a pleasant sounding alarm, so if you are doing an overnight cook it can wake you up without jolting you out of bed like some of the other probes sounding like a fire alarm. Below is the actual alarm notification from the app.
Here is the MeatStick inserted into the pork butt it's much thicker than a normal probe. So with smaller cuts this one may not do the trick, but they do offer a MeatStick Mini version. This might be the good time to mention why it's called the 4x. It actually has 4 temp probes in it. 3 internal and one ambient temperature.
Another nice feature about the MeatStick? Since the ambient temp is built into the probe it gives you more grill space to cook with. I've had my KJ loaded with a few pork butts, or ribs, brisket etc. and with a seperate ambient temp probe can it be hard to find real estate. Check out the picture below, 2 internal wired and 1 ambient wire on this cook. If I had another butt or two on there would have been very little room.
Over time wired probes will fail. They can vary in price and sometimes it's cheaper to get a whole new unit all together. We will see how well the MeatStick holds up vs. the wired probes. The other good news is that it says it is dishwasher safe. So it should make cleaning a breeze. Wire probes can't go in the dishwasher and the wires can get soot, grease and whatever on them. The MeatStick does offer a warranty add on starting less than $10 a year up to a little less than $30 for 3 years.
As you can see it graphs the cook in an easy to read and understand graphic. I will note the batter is in red as I noted before I did not charge it. The advertised battery life is 70 hours on a full charge. Mine charged for the app setup which may have taken 5 minutes or so. I did hit the rapid charge button, not to charge it but I like pressing buttons. You can see this is a little over 10 hours in. It also seems to estimate a time remaining and I'm not sure how that is calculated. I did hit a stall on the pork butt and the temp didn't increase, the remaining time did not decrease. Not sure if its a setting or a firmware update. I'll have to explore more of that feature later.
Let's get down to the nitty gritty. The most popular true wireless temperature probe is the Meater. Let's take a look at the spec break down on the MeatStick vs. the Meater. Based on specs alone there is a clear hands down favorite.
The Meater notes the probes can internally go to a 212 degree max which is the same as the MeatStick but that's about the only side by side where they are equals.
How does it compare price wise? Head on over to The MeatSticks website they have some bundle deals going on right now or you can check the Amazon links below.
So you can see as of this article the MeatStick is about $25 bucks more but packs more features and add ons.
Recently ThermoPro has entered the market as well. How does the Temp Spike stack up vs. the MeatStick? Let's take a look at some of it's features and price. It's website states a 500ft range and 36 hour battery life as well as dishwasher safe. The Temp Spike beats the Meater in these features and matches it's 2 temperature readers. However, the Temp Spike vs. the MeatStick falls short on its features. Price... well that's another story. It's often heavily discounted and sometimes people mistake the ThermoPro brand as the ThermoWorks and it's product such as the instant read ThermaPen. I won't dive deep into the other brands out there. I wouldn't be surprised to see one from InkBird in the future. It's MSRP is $99.00
I use the Kamado Joe Classic II and the Pit Barrel Cooker! Check out flavorflamebbq.com for more information on the Kamado Joe, accessories, fuel, meats and more! FFBBQ participates in some affiliate programs so by purchasing from links you are helping support the site and we may earn some commissions! So far FFBBQ has made a few dollars! Thanks for helping to keep the flame going!