- Good companion app
- Can use without a smartphone
- Guided Cook System
- Advanced Estimator Algorithm
- Probes aren’t color-coded
- Probes are large
- No microUSB charging cable included
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Wi-Fi enabled
- 165 foot/50 meter range
- 24 hours of battery life
- OLED display with touch-capacitive control
- Optional microUSB port
- Measures up to 212°F with internal probe
- Measures up to 527°F with ambient probe
If you’re not the best cook, there’s no shame in investing in some gadgetry that will help you in the kitchen. A probe-style meat thermometer is an excellent place to start. While some people are experienced enough to cook steak either by eye or the thumb-press technique, others of us have served up charred chunks or completely raw meat more times than we’d like to admit.
A meat thermometer will help you get your proteins up to exactly the correct temperature — and just as importantly, take them off the heat before they overcook. While you can get a digital meat thermometer probe for under $20, and one with a wireless receiver for around $50, if you can splash a little more cash you could bag yourself the Meater Block.
The world’s first truly wireless meat thermometer, the rather impressive Meater Block cuts the cables altogether with four totally wire-free probes, a block charger and controller unit, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, and a wicked-good companion app that holds your hand through the cooking process.
Look and feel: 5/5
For starters, the Meater Block is seriously handsome. The clean, sleek design means this would look great in a contemporary kitchen, while the wood finish on the block means it would also not seem out of place in a more traditional environment. It’s something you really wouldn’t mind having out on your kitchen counter rather than be in a rush to hide it back in the cupboard.
The block itself has a lovely, heavyweight feel to it, and it stands perfectly with the fold-out metal stand and its gorgeous OLED display. The sleek black display has very tidy white icons and lights up well when in use. The probes themselves are surprisingly lightweight (as we’ll discuss in more detail, we do wish they could be slimmer) and they have a lovely brushed stainless steel finish with black heat-resistant ceramic handles.
Setting up the Meater Block does take a few minutes, but the iOS and Android apps give you a complete step-by-step walkthrough of how to connect it to your phone and your Wi-Fi network, so as long as you have your Wi-Fi password on hand, it’s not exactly an ordeal.
Once you’re ready to use a probe, ensure that it is inserted into the thickest part of the meat or fish and that it’s in the protein past the safety notch. Next, you simply load up the app to select your type of protein, tell the app how you’d like it cooked, then follow the app’s instructions and timings and thanks to the “Guided Cook System” with its “Advanced Estimator Algorithm,” the device will tell you how long the food needs to rest for.
The app is intuitive to use, the graphics are all clean and easy-to-read, and you even get to see graphs of the cooking process. Obviously you can set up all four probes to cook independently, so could cook one steak rare and one medium-rare, for example. To differentiate between the probes, the Meater Block set includes numbered metal tabs that you can attach to the probes…and while this system works, I would have preferred a color-coded system for quicker at-a-glance checking.
You can check on the internal temperature of the food at any time via the app, and thanks to the ambient temperature sensor on the handle end of the probe, check on the temperature of the cooking area too — obviously of use if you’re cooking a roast in the oven, or using a BBQ or smoker. The Meater’s “Cloud” functionality means you can also check on the progress of your cooking from anywhere you have internet connectivity, and it can also hook up to any Amazon Echo devices you have.
The only real complaint we have with the Meater probes is that they are quite thick and certainly thicker than rival products. This is obviously because of all the tech they have packed inside them — dual sensors and a battery — but it does mean they can leave unsightly holes in your food. Arguably, you are just going to eat it anyway, and at least using this tool, you’ll know it’s properly cooked.
Cleaning the probes is a simple affair. They are water-resistant, so you can wash them under the tap with a dish sponge and some mild liquid soap. They cannot be submerged in water, so you can’t soak them to get the food debris off, but it is important to clean them properly — especially the ends of the probes so that they can juice up successfully again.
Performance and power: 5/5
While some people have complained about the probe’s connectivity dropping out, we had no issues with the connection during our testing. With 24 hours of battery life, there were no problems with the probes conking out during cooking and the temperature readings appeared accurate, achieving the cooking levels of “doneness” we were hoping for with both meat and fish.
Overall rating: 3.5/5
If you’re looking to upgrade an existing probe-style meat thermometer and can afford it, we can thoroughly recommend the Meater Block. If you’re not sure a meat thermometer is for you, then we’d suggest trying a cheaper version first to see if it’s something you’re actually going to use. The Meater Block is the top-of-the-range product from Apption Labs, but you can also buy a single Meater probe for around $85. Anyone who cooks a lot of meat, who uses a smoker or any other kind of outdoor cooker, will get their money’s worth from this product, especially if they’re not terribly experienced. Just think how much you’ll save in throwing out ruined food by ensuring perfect results with the Meater Block.
Really, any points off come down to its high price and the minor complaints with the probes. Also, for such a steep price, you’d think it’d come with the charging cable. All that said, the performance of the device itself and its ease of use make it a compelling tool to add to kitchen gear arsenal.
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