Thermoworks Smoke Review
Continuing with our Thermoworks reviews, today we have the Thermoworks Smoke Review. This is Thermoworks’ attempt at a dedicated two probe wireless BBQ thermometer and is a direct rival to the likes of the Maverick ET-733 and the Thermopro TP20. Taking from the best of their other products, like the recently reviewed ChefAlarm, Thermoworks have created a high quality and very competent two probe BBQ thermometer. But how does it compare to the other products on the market, and should you buy one? Well, the team here at King of the Coals are here to answer that, so keep reading.
Whilst the Smoke uses traditional radio frequency signals to communicate with the receiver, Thermoworks have introduced a new product, called the Smoke Gateway. This allows the Smoke to work on your WiFi and has an accompanying mobile app to make monitoring your temps even easier. Keep reading to find out more, or use the contents beneath to skip to the Smoke Gateway.
What’s Included with the Thermoworks Smoke
- Thermoworks Smoke Base Unit
- 6 inch Pro-Series High Temp Cooking Probe with 47 inch cable
- Pro-Series High-Temp Air Probe & Grate Clip
- Wireless Smoke Receiver w/Lanyard
- Operating Instructions
- Two Year Warranty
-58 to 572°F (-50 to 300°C)
±1.8°F (±1.0°C) from -4 to 248°F (-20 to 120°C)
±3.6°F (±2.0°C) from -58 to -4°F / 248 to 392°F (-50 to -20°C / 120 to 200°C)
±5.4°F (±3.0°C) from 392 to 572°F (200 to 300°C)
Smoke: 3.78 H x 4.68 W x 1.01 D inches (96 H x 119 W x 25.6 D mm)
Receiver: 4.21 H x 2.05 W x 1.01 D inches (107 H x 52 W x 25.6 D mm)
Smoke: 2 H x 2.95 W inches (51 H x 75 W mm)
Receiver: 2.15 H x 1.30 W inches (54.6 H x 33 W mm)
47 inches (1.2m)
Smoke: 2x AA
Receiver: 2x AA
The Thermoworks Smoke features a two channel system that can use two temperature probes simultaneously. The Smoke uses the same commercial-grade Pro-Series probes that Thermoworks uses on the ChefAlarm and the Dot. This means that all the probes are completely interchangeable so if you already own a ChefAlarm or Dot then you can use your probes with this. The two channels allow for you to track the temperature of the meat and the pit. Or if you want to you can set both to track the temperature of the meat, or both of the pit. There’s a lot of flexibility with Thermoworks’ probes. Included is a meat probe and an air probe, you can buy extra probes or use the probes from the ChefAlarm or Dot to double up one set of readings.
Both the receiver and the transmitter of the Smoke are made from high quality plastics with a mould-in build that creates almost perfect seals for splash proof protection. The Smoke transmitter and receiver are both rated to IP65.
One of the biggest problems with wireless thermometers is that their range is sometimes not enough for your needs, especially if you’re taking the receiver inside or aren’t in direct line of sight of the transmitter. The Smoke offers up to a 300 feet line of sight range and, whilst there are some drops when we went inside, the connection mostly remained strong enough for us to use the receiver through several walls.
The Smoke transmitter has a big, backlit screen with large digit displays to make reading your temps as painless as possible. It also has easy to use Min/Max and Hi/Low alarms with an adjustable volume, so you can set the Smoke up exactly as you’d like. The receiver also has a large backlit display with audible and vibration alarms.
If you’re part of a BBQ team or do any kind of competition or enthusiast barbecuing, then you’ll be glad to hear that the Smoke allows multiple receivers to be added to a single transmitter. This makes it super easy for the whole team to see the temperature, so you’ll never miss the perfect time to remove your brisket. For more information on extra receivers, check out the Thermoworks website.
The Smoke and each receiver take two AA batteries to power it and can last up to 1,800 hours so you’ll very rarely have to change the batteries. Just keep some in backup for when they inevitably run out.
Design and Build Quality
The design and build quality of the Smoke’s transmitter and receiver are about as good as we’ve ever tried. They’re both made from high quality plastics and are splash proof and very rugged. The build quality is what you expect from Thermoworks, it’s some of the very best on the market and we expect them to last a long time and be able to withstand some knocks and bumps.
The design of the Smoke is also what we’ve come to expect from Thermoworks. It’s very simple, clean and easy to use. There are multiple buttons, each with very few uses to make controlling the system as easy as possible. The large backlit display is clear and simple to read and the receiver is equally as readable and well build. There isn’t much we can fault the Smoke on in this category, although it would have been nice to have a clip to be able to hang the transmitter on smokers without a side table.
The probes are the best probes we’ve tried. They are super easy to use and are very reliable. Time will tell if they survive the frequent use, but from what other people have been saying, we have faith that they will.
Ease of Use
There’s a running theme with Thermoworks products and their ease of use, they are all incredibly simple to use. When you’re obsessing over getting the perfect brisket or pork butt, the last thing you want is to be distracted by a complicated bit of tech that is meant to be making your life easier. This is what the Smoke never does. The controls are incredibly intuitive and even the least tech-savvy person could figure out how to use the Smoke within minutes. The buttons are big and simple, most with only one use that is clearly printed on it to make using the Smoke easier than any other dual probe thermometer we’ve tried.
One of the best things about the Thermoworks Smoke, is that the transmitter and receiver come pre-paired! So, there’s no more searching through the manual for hours trying to find out how to connect the transmitter and receiver as Thermoworks have already done that for you. If you’d like to add another receiver, then that’s about as easy as physically possible. All you have to do is turn the transmitter over and press a single button.
Thermoworks Smoke vs Thermoworks ChefAlarm vs Maverick ET-733
The Smoke and ChefAlarm are both very good thermometers, but with slightly different uses. The ChefAlarm is a great, single probe thermometer that will work fantastically well in almost any cooking environment. The Smoke is a dedicated, two probe wireless thermometer, just like the Maverick. We’d recommend the ChefAlarm if you want a good all-round thermometer that can be used for the indoor kitchen as well as the outdoor kitchen.
With the comparison of the Maverick and the Smoke, it’s inevitable which one will out on top. The Smoke is better made, easier to use and is much more reliable. But that doesn’t mean we’d always recommend it over the Maverick. The Smoke is almost $40 more than the Maverick. If you’re on a bit of a budget, then we’d recommend the Maverick ET-733 (or the ThermoPro TP20) almost every time. The Smoke really is a luxury, but you do get what you pay for.
Despite the Smoke winning in almost every way, it doesn’t have a clip or any way to hang it, whereas the Maverick does. This means that a side table must be used. This is far from a deal breaker but can cause some inconvenience if you’re cooking on something that doesn’t have somewhere to stand your Smoke.
In short, we’d recommend a Thermoworks product almost every time. It depends what you want as to which one though. Read our review of the ChefAlarm to see if it would suit you better that the Smoke.
The Smoke Gateway
The Smoke Gateway is a WiFi bridge for the Smoke thermometer. What that means is that it adds internet connectivity to your Smoke which allows you to track your cook from your smartphone or tablet from anywhere in the world.
How it works is the Smoke will connect to the Gateway using radio frequency and then the Gateway connects to your WiFi which then sends temperatures and alerts to the Gateway app on your smartphone or tablet. You can then track and monitor your cook with graphs, push notifications and additional alarms.
The actual Gateway unit is well built, using a very similar design to the Smoke. It is made from the same tough plastic and is also splash proof. It’s quite big and chunky and feels a bit awkward but as it’s only a bridge we can easily forgive that. It also can be kept inside, so you can easily hide it away right next to your router to maximise signal strength. It has a single button to power and connect it and uses a rechargeable battery that gives around 100 hours of battery life.
The connection process is relatively simple, and the Gateway app will guide you through the process. Once connected, you’ll have a huge variety of extra statistics and resources to monitor your cook. You can set and change alarms directly from the app, so you never actually have to go back outside. One thing to note is that the alarms set on the app are independent of the alarms on the Smoke transmitter. If you have used the CyberQ Cloud you might be a bit disappointed at the lack of features of the app, but there are still more than enough to help you get the best cook possible.
The Thermoworks Smoke follows the trend of other Thermoworks products in that it is a brilliant smoker thermometer, that is probably the best on the market right now. But you will have to pay a premium if you want to use it.
The Smoke has all the features you’ll need to keep track of your cook perfectly. It’s easy to use and very well built with some of the best probes we’ve used. The addition of the Smoke Gateway creates a whole new way of monitoring your cook, albeit at quite a steep additional cost. If you can stomach the high prices, then we’d highly recommend picking up at least the base Smoke unit. You can live without the Gateway, but if you’ve got a bit of money to spend and want to make your cooks even easier then pick that up as well. Due to the high quality and reliability of Thermoworks products you will likely end up paying less in the long run anyway compared to other models.
Check the latest price of the Smoke.
Check the latest price of the Smoke Gateway.
Note: The lowest internet prices for Thermoworks products are available directly at the Thermoworks website. There have been many reports of unscrupulous sellers who have purchased products at retail value and then are re-selling them at significantly elevated prices on Amazon, eBay and other websites, sometimes with promo codes to appear like they are providing the consumer with a better deal. We highly recommend buying directly from the Thermoworks website.
How to make the most of your new thermometer
- Always try to keep the meat temperature under the temperature rating of the thermometer. This is one of the biggest killers of digital thermometers. It’s easy to accidentally touch a grill grate or the inside of the oven which could be hundreds of degrees above the recommended max temperature. Going above the maximum is likely to damage the cable that the probe is attached to which can instantly kill the probe. The Smoke used Thermoworks’ Pro-Series probes so this is a smaller concern than some other thermometers.
- 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. Don’t fully submerge the cables though as this can easily damage them.
- 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 before thinking about returning the thermometer.
- One of the most important parts of using a digital thermometer correctly is the placement of the probe. When placing a probe inside the meat, try and aim for the very center as this is the area that will be cooked the least.
- Use our smoking times and temperatures charts to make sure you cook your food to the perfect temperature.
We hope this has helped you decide if the Thermoworks Smoke is the thermometer for you. If you have any addition questions, then feel free to ask in the comments or connect with us on Facebook.