ThermoPro TP20 Review – Is it better than a Maverick?
Maverick have always been one biggest brands in the world of digital meat thermometers creating some of the best BBQ thermometers around. But if you’ve done any research or have owned a Maverick you may have come across some of the build quality problems that sometimes make their products useless. Well, ThermoPro from iTronics has set to fix these problems and is slowly becoming renowned for making a BBQ thermometer that can match those of Maverick. Their best and most successful product is the ThermoPro TP20 and that’s what we’re here to review today.
What’s Included with the ThermoPro TP20
- 1 x Digital Thermometer Receiver
- 1 x Digital Thermometer Transmitter
- 2 x Food Temperature Probe
- 4 x AAA batteries – 2 for the receiver and 2 for the transmitter
- 1 x ThermoPro TP20 Manual
- Temperature Range: 32˚F to 572˚F (0˚C to 300˚C)
- Battery: 4 x AAA batteries
- Temperature Accuracy: ±1.8˚F (±1˚C) from 32 to 212°F (0 to 100°C)
- Resolution: 1°
- Probe Length: 6 ½” food grade stainless steel probe and 3″ oven/bbq stainless steel probe
- Cable Length: 40″ stainless steel mesh cable
- Remote Range: Up to 300 feet
- Certifications: FCC certified, CE certified, ROHS, FDA approved probe
- Probe and Wire can withstand up to 716˚F (380˚C)
- Uses: BBQ, Oven, Smoker, Meat, Food
As the ThermoPro TP20 is a dual probe, wireless BBQ thermometer, it has a transmitter where the two temperature probes attach. This is left with the grill or smoker, or whatever it is that you’re cooking on and then it uses a radio frequency signal to send the data from the probes to the receiver that you take around with you wherever you want. This means that you can do anything else whilst your food cooks and is incredibly useful for using on smokers when cooking something low and slow. As there are two probes it allows you to monitor the temperature of two different things at once. A general configuration is to place one of these probes in to the meat you’re cooking and the other in the pit to act as an ambient temperature probe.
The transmitter and receiver both have a very simple set up. Using the included batteries you power them up and then they will automatically connect to each other.
Preprogramed with many different types of meat and different tastes to each. For example, there is a pre-set for beef that then has multiple tastes – rare, medium, well done etc. There is also the ability to set your own temperatures and times and we recommend using our Times and Temperatures Charts to make sure your meat is done to perfection. All of these setting are saved when the unit is switched off.
The receiver has a large LCD display that is fully backlit, making it perfect in lower light situations.
The TP20 has a range of alarms to notify you when certain actions take place:
- There is a lost link alarm that will notify you if the link between the transmitter and receiver is lost.
- There are alarms for programmed times and temperatures. So, you can program in a specific temperature you want your meat to be at when it notifies you. This also works for times.
The TP20 has a count up and countdown timer that can be programmed with two time duration options (99min 59sec or 99hr 59min)
The receiver has a few nice features including, a splash proof casing, a pull out counter top stand and a belt clip for easily keep it on you.
The probes feature metal mesh coated wires that can withstand temperatures up to 716˚F (380˚C). They also feature a “Step-Down” tip, which is where the end of the probe is slightly thinner than the rest of the probe to allow you to easily insert it into the meat.
There is the option to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius.
Design and Build Quality
The general design of the ThermoPro TP20 is very good. It’s quite standard on the face of things, but this isn’t a bad thing as the two unit system works well and is tried and tested. The units look good and the user interface is simple enough for anyone to use with a little practice. The fact that the receiver has a built in backlit screen is a great feature that many other BBQ thermometers don’t have and it makes using it much easier. The design of the probes is the stand-out feature for us. Having the step down tip is such a simple but effective feature that we’re not sure why all companies haven’t incorporated it yet.
The build quality of the TP20 is also very good. The main unit feels very sturdy and is comfortable in the hand. It’s made form mostly plastic and rubber but has a durable feel to it. We expect it to last a long time and be able to survive harsh bumps and bashes. The belt clip and the stand do feel slightly flimsy as they are a fairly thin plastic, but this isn’t a huge problem.
The probes are usually quite good. They can withstand a large range of temperatures and the wires seem think enough to withstand the general problems that they would face. Some people have had problems with the probes breaking which could be a number of things. We’ll cover some usual problems and how to fix them later in the post. For us, the probes have been fine, they are fairly accurate and can hold a stable reading. They aren’t particularly quick, but this is very different to an instant read thermometer so we can forgive for that.
What a lot of other thermometers have trouble with, especially Bluetooth thermometers, is that the range of the signal can be quite short, or can be heavily affected by obstacles and walls. This is no problem for the TP20 and it can comfortably transmit the signal through multiple walls and up to 300 ft. If the signal does drop then it is usually a few seconds before it picks it back up.
Ease of Use
The ease of use is the strongest point of the ThermoPro TP20. The set up is the easiest out of any wireless thermometer we’ve used. You simple put the batteries in, turn each unit on, plug the probes in and it’ll work. That’s it. Then you have a bunch of great, preprogramed meat temperatures to choose from that will likely cover everything you need. Simply scroll through these to find what you’re looking for and you’re ready to cook.
If you decide to go a bit more in depth and start customizing your temperatures and times you shouldn’t have any problems at all. One quick look in the manual and you’ll be able to customize everything. This is all made so easy by the clutter free interface and large screen. Also, the buttons are big and simple. There are 4 buttons that you’ll be using regularly and they are all clearly labelled and easy to understand.
ThermoPro TP20 vs Maverick ET-733
You’re probably wondering which one is better. This is a tough decision, but we think the Maverick just wins it.
It has a few more features and is a little bit easier to program. The features are mostly just pre-set meat times and temperatures so that isn’t a huge deal, although it’s nice to have them.
But the ThermoPro has a clearer display and is easier to read. It is also roughly $10 cheaper. We can’t really justify the extra $10 for the Maverick because the additional features are easy to live without.
So, it depends on what you want. If you want the best of the two, go for the Maverick. If you want the best value of the two, go for the ThermoPro.
Check out our review of the Maverick ET-733 for more information.
As you can probably tell, we’re big fans of the TP20. It has a great range of features and is incredibly easy to use. There are a few problems with the probes here and there, but overall this is a great product that will make cooking outdoors a lot easier and more rewarding.
If you’re looking for a first time, dual probe, wireless thermometer then this is an excellent choice. It will save you loads of time and will help you perfect the results of your cook, all at a very reasonable price.
Also, if you do have trouble with the probes, ThermoPro promise to replace any probe free of charge, no questions asked. You won’t get much better customer service than that.
Check the latest ThermoPro TP20 price on Amazon.
How to make the most out of your ThermoPro TP20
- Try to keep the temperatures that you expose the probes to below the highest rated temperature. This is one of the biggest killers of probes and is a probable cause as to why people have problems with them. We’d also recommend to be careful that they don’t touch the grate of your grill or smoker as the metal is likely to be a lot hotter than the surrounding air and could cause the probe some damage.
- Keep the tips of the probes nice and clean. A build-up of carbon on the tip can insulate the sensor, giving a false reading. Obviously, this is bad for cooking, but it also increases the risk of overshooting the maximum temperature. Simply grab a wet sponge or paper towel and wipe off any carbon you see.
- When cleaning the probes be careful not to get water on the cables, this is another cause of damage that people don’t realise can kill your probes. When washing them, wipe down the probe and try not to fully submerge the cables.
- Make sure all your connections are pushed in hard. There have been several reports of disgruntled customers thinking their thermometers are not working when in actuality they just haven’t read the instructions properly. A lot of people simply needed to push the probes into the monitors further.
- One of the most important parts of using a digital smoker thermometer correctly is the placement of the probe. If you’re looking to place the probe on the outside of the meat then we recommend keeping it around 2 inches away from the surface of the meat and about 1 inch above the grate. Feel free to play around, but you’ll see some surprisingly drastic changes in temperatures with very little movement of the probe. When placing a probe inside the meat, try and aim for the very center.
- You can find the ThermoPro TP20 manual here.
We hope this has helped you decide if the ThermoPro TP20 is the right BBQ thermometer for you. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions and we’ll get back to you.