There is no other cooking technique quite like smoking. Smoked meat just falls off the bone and has a richness and flavor that is craveable. While a smoker is a significant piece of technology to invest into, both in price and in the space it takes up, a smoker can allow you to smoke your own meat, making you a favorite for barbecue parties as well as opening up a wide world of delicacies like smoked salmon. If you have decided to invest in a smoker it is equally important that you choose a high-quality thermometer so that you can smoke your meats safely and effectively.
Accurate temperature readings are extremely important when you are smoking meat. There are a wide variety of thermometers available, each with their own specifications to meet particular needs, but for a good general thermometer for your smoker consider the ThermoPro tp20 or tp08.
ThermoPro TP08 vs TP20
ThermoPro is a respected maker of smoker thermometers and both their tp20 and tp08 are excellent smoker thermometers. ThermoPro offers prices slightly lower than the Maverick while still providing a great design and plenty of good features.
The ThermoPro tp08 is about $10 cheaper than the tp20. The tp08 is a dual probe thermometer that features a transmitter as well as a receiver so that you can leave the thermometer probe and transmitter at the smoker while you do what you like around the house.
The transmitter uses a food probe to determine temperature, then sends a radio frequency signal to the receiver so that you can see what temperature your food is at no matter where you are up to 300 feet from the probe. The ability to smoke your food while not having to physically be there to watch it is huge, as most foods take a long time to smoke.
The tp08 is ready to use right out of the box, as soon as you put in some batteries. It has a range of alarms to let you know when temperature changes and time is up. Customizable timers and temperature range alerts allow you to be notified of temperature changes outside of your specified range or when your timer is done.
The design of the tp08 looks good and feels comfortable in your hand. It offers a good size screen and buttons, but the layout of buttons and labels can be confusing. The probes work well and are made of stainless steel. The transmitter and receiver which are made of plastic and rubber and are fairly durable, but the rubber bumper around the edge becomes loose overtime. Furthermore the tp08 is not splash proof like the tp20 is.
The speed of this thermometer is relatively low, but the accuracy is very good. This is understandable as it is designed as a long cook thermometer, not as an instant read thermometer.
- $10 cheaper than the TP 20
- Allows you to go up to 300 feet from the probe and still read the receiver
- Ready to use right out of the box
- Customizable timer and temperature range alerts
- No pre-programmed temperature settings
- Layout of buttons and labels can be confusing
- Transmitter and receiver are made of plastic and rubber that loosens over time
- Not splash-proof
For an upgrade over the tp08 consider paying an additional $10 for the tp20. Once you have gone through the investment for your smoker, it will likely be worth an additional $10 for all of the additional features offered by the tp20. If, however, you prefer a simpler and more affordable model, the tp08 is a good option as well.
The tp20 has nine pre-programmed meat cooking times and five extra temperatures for doneness from rare to well-done so that you can quickly and easily set the exact right temperature for whatever meat you need to cook. While you can get the same temperatures from the tp08, you will have to set it manually each time for each meat.
The tp20 offers two probes so that you can measure both the meat and the ambient temperature in your smoker, as opposed to the probe only for meat offered by the tp08.
The tp20 offers a larger screen for easier programming and measuring and is generally more user-friendly. A rubber sleeve case protects your thermometer from any accidental drops and splashes.
Like the tp08, the tp20 receiver can be used up to 300 feet from the transmitter and is ready to go out of the box. The tp20 comes with a hands-free belt clip and countertop stand for the receiver so that it will always be near at hand no matter where you go.
- 9 pre-programmed meat cooking times
- Five additional temperatures for doneness control
- Two probes so that you can measure both the meat and the ambient temperature in your smoker
- Splash proof and drop resistant
- Hands-free belt clip and countertop stand
- $10 more expensive than the tp08
- Does not read temperature very quickly so not a good fit if you are looking for a quick read thermometer