What percentage of meat would you estimate you’ve overcooked in your lifetime? Even if your answer is 1 percent (you liar), you know the pain of taking a choice cut of beef, pork or poultry and ruining it. It’s super deflating to cut into what you’re hoping is a bright red, medium-rare steak only to see the bleak beigeness of well-done. Blech. Praise be to the meat gods, because Meater, a wireless smart meat thermometer, is here to ensure you never feel that way again.
What Is It?
Welp, for starters, it’s the best meat thermometer I’ve ever used. Ever. And I’ve gone through all the various wired probes, digital thermometers, analog thermometers, and anything else. All have let me down. Not Meater. It’s a dual sensor probe that wirelessly monitors internal and ambient temperatures concurrently. It’s so idiotproof that if you overcook anything, you should throw away your stove and just settle for Seamless moving forward. All the photos of steak in this story, I’ve cooked with Meater.
How Does It Work?
Freaking flawlessly. Download the Meater app (it’s available on iOS and Android), and link your Meater probe via Bluetooth and insert the probe into the meat. There’s a small indented line on the unit to show you just how deep to push. Then select you can either select the type of meat you’re cooking and the doneness you want—or enter a custom cook and just select the temperature of the meat—and plop it on the grill or in the oven. Stick within 30 or so feet of the probe to keep monitoring the cook, and you’ll get continuous updates. You’ll even get a 10 minute countdown to the end of the cook, which is absurdly helpful if you’re trying to get other dishes prepped and ready.
Why Does Ambient Temperature Matter?
Because despite most grills or smokers possessing built-in thermometers, they’re notoriously unreliable. And when you’re trying to get something precise, you’ll want an accurate heat reading. Even when I set my oven in my home to one temperature, the Meater shows that it’s consistently off by 15 degrees.
How Do You Charge It?
Simply stick it back in the holder and it’ll charge itself from a AA battery, which you can easily replace.
What Cuts Does It Work Best With?
Technically, everything you can buy from the butcher, but where I’ve found it most helpful are very thick cuts of meat. It can be tough to determine when the middle is done without completely blackening the outside, so the internal and ambient temps become vital to cooking thicker steaks/pork chops/roasts perfectly. I’ve done a number of 2 or 3-inch Tomahawks and ribeyes with the Meater and only had optimal results.
So It’s Literally Perfect? No Drawbacks?
Pretty much. My gripes are few and very nitpicky. The range of 30 feet is moderately inhibiting, but there’s an additional product called a Meater Link WiFi that taps into—you guessed it—your WiFi network and extends your range to about 165 feet. But even if you do move out of range, the minute you’re back, the app reconnects.
And if you’re using a smoker, like a Big Green Egg, the range can drop to about 10 or so feet. But if smoke and air can escape from your smoker, then so can the radio frequency required for the probe, so you should be fine. I used the Meater in a Tomahawk cut on a Big Green Egg and it came out absolutely perfect.
Lastly, it’s not a flaw of the device, but a reminder to user: your meat needs to rest and you have to account for a rise in temperature while it’s doing that. If you ultimately want your steak to be medium-rare, or around 120 degrees, you’ll need to set the alert to about 110 degrees and then remove it from the heat source. Remove it at 120 and it’ll be about 130 when you slice in.
What Are the Temperature Limits?
Meater measures either in Fahrenheit or Celsius up to 212 degrees F, for internal temps. That’s beyond enough for any meats, even smoked, especially when you consider that your meat is moistureless and completely ruined at 212 degrees F. The max ambient temp it’ll register is 527 degrees F, which allows for flare ups and high-heat searing. The stainless steel probe and ceramic handle are beyond sturdy, so no worries about melting the thing.
Should I Buy One?
If you want to cook steaks like this, then yes. Yes, you should.