You can never go wrong with a classic BBQ meal, but there will always be inconsistencies — unevenly cooked meat, dryness, slight rawness, and more. It seems like every batch of ribs comes with a price. This is where a temperature controller comes to the rescue. Temperature controllers are an innovative way to sharpen your grilling skills. They take the pressure off of you by steadying the temperature automatically for even and thorough cooking. While this is the primary purpose of a basic temperature controller, my picks for the best kamado temperature controller go above and beyond.
I’ve taken the consensus of numerous consumer reviews from around the world to curate my list of the top 5 temperature controllers in the market. Before I get into the list, let’s discuss why you should consider getting a temperature controller.
Benefits of Using An Automatic Temperature Controller
The biggest advantage of using an automatic temperature controller is in the name itself — to control the temperature. This function gives rise to a number of other benefits, which include –
Moderates Oxygen Flow
Temperature controllers work by attaching a fan to one smoker’s intake, which moderates the oxygen flow to match the temperature you’ve set. Oftentimes, the temperature you set on the smokers isn’t the temperature on the grill, which can lead to overcooking or burning.
Controls Temperature Swings
Smokers tend to have “temperature swings.” This is when a grill’s temperature jumps above the temperature you’ve set and then plummets unexpectedly. These swings throw off the taste of your meat and can also lead to accidents.
Temperature controllers solve this issue by closely monitoring the temperature of your grill and controlling air flow to keep the temperature constant. You never have to worry about burning your food.
Lastly, temperature controllers are very cheap in comparison to other electrical kitchen appliances. They are small gadgets that usually run on one battery. Unlike other cooking gadgets, they don’t require much maintenance and are reusable for a long time.
Comparison Chart For Best Kamado Temperature Controller
5 Best Kamado Temperature Controller Reviews
For the following picks, I’ve prioritized performance, quality, longevity, and affordability above all else. With that, I can promise that one of the products from this lineup will catch your interest. Here are my selections for the best kamado temperature controller –
- Power Source: Battery
- Proves: 2
- Max Temperature: 716 °F
- Wireless Range: Up to 300 ft.
- Control: Bluetooth
First on my list is the ThermoPro TP20 thermometer. This is my top pick because of its multiple features, convenient functionality, and hassle-free interactivity.
As its name suggests, the TP20 features a complete hands-free monitor. Without wires holding the device down, you can easily control the gadget from up to 300 ft. away. This is great for outdoor cookouts, where you can keep your hands busy with other tasks without checking on the grill constantly.
Much like a walkie-talkie, you’re given two devices – one that is the actual thermometer and the other is the monitor. You don’t need to connect anything to your phone or plug in a bunch of wires. Plus, the monitor comes with a timer feature that alerts you when your food is done cooking.
If you’re new to BBQ meals, then this thermometer can come in handy. It features many presets, such as 12 meat options and 5 taste options from rare to well done.
This way, you can toggle the presets and leave the rest to the thermometer. All you have to do is flip the meat between minutes and turn the grill off when it’s done.
Whether it be a nighttime cookout or an indoor BBQ dinner, this thermometer is suitable for both night and day use. The LCD is clear and comprehensible and has backlit, which enables you to use it even in low-light environments.
The settings, units, and toggle buttons are easy to read and do not have that much of a learning curve. In fact, you can fully understand the ins and outs of this thermometer after the first use.
Lastly, the probes are made of durable stainless steel, which means they are resistant to rust and damage. This material also helps the device to pick up temperature readings quicker and more accurately.
- Wireless monitor, easily control the gadget from up to 300 feet away
- No Bluetooth, phone, or plug-ins needed, a simple setup process
- Includes 12 meat options and 5 taste options from rare to well done
- Spacious LCD display with clear and comprehensible readings
- Durable stainless steel probes give accurate and quick readings
- Features timer, alerts the user when food is done cooking
- Buttons may come loose after long use
- Drains batteries quickly
In my opinion, the T20 is the perfect option for an outdoor use temperature controller. It has an excellent wireless range, convenient features such as a timer and preset, and clear indicators.
- Power Source: Battery
- Proves: 2
- Max Temperature: 572 °F
- Wireless Range: Not Compatible
- Control: Manual
Next up is yet another ThermoPro option — the TP-17. This meat thermometer has a sleek and silver minimalistic design with accuracy and speed readings to add on top of it. From alarms to presets, this singular device has everything you can expect from a temperature controller.
Simply turn on the thermometer and attach the probes to the meat on your grill, smoker, or oven. Its heat-resistant properties allow it to function within high temperatures, from anywhere between 14 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because of this, the thermometer is able to carry out its alarm feature. When the temperature drops below or jumps higher than the temperature you’ve already set, the device alerts you by flashing its screen and beeping. So, you never have to worry about dealing with burnt or overcooked food.
Plus, the thermometer will also notify you if you need to use more fuel. For grills, BBQs, and smokers specifically, the thermometer has a HI/LOW temp range alarm feature.
You can monitor the temperatures of two different pieces of meat at once without switching out the probes or using multiple devices. If you’re not aware of which temperature is best for your meal, you can just select any of the 6 meat presets.
The monitor itself features four buttons that are labeled and can be toggled easily. For your convenience, the side of the monitor includes a list of recommended internal temperatures for different meats.
Moreover, the large LCD display has clear indicators and backlit to help you use it in low light conditions.
- Heat resistant properties allow it to function within high temperatures
- Alarm and flash feature to alert the user when temperature swings occur
- Notifies user when fuel is needed, HI/LOW feature for BBQs, grills, etc.
- Monitors temperatures of two different pieces of meat at once
- 6 meat presets, including a list of recommended internal temperatures
- Large LCD display with backlight for low light conditions
- Slightly large probes
- Occasional errors in reading
This temperature controller is best suited for indoor environments and for beginners to BBQs, smokers, or grills. It allows users to free their hands and multitask while also monitoring their food.
- Power Source: Battery
- Proves: 1
- Max Temperature: 527 °F
- Wireless Range: Up to 165 ft.
- Control: Bluetooth, Apps
Powered by a single AAA battery, the MEATER plus smart temperature controller is a Bluetooth-operated device that comes with a multitude of in-app features.
With a fully wireless setup, users can enjoy the freedom of multitasking while simultaneously monitoring meat on stoves, grills, ovens, smokers, etc.
First, you need to download the free app that is available for both iOS and Android. Then, launch the app on your phone and turn on the probe. After a few taps, your meat thermometer is ready to use.
The thermometer has a single probe with 2 sensors. With double sensors, the thermometer can monitor the temperature inside of the meat that is up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, it can read an external meat temperature of up to 527 degrees Fahrenheit.
Consumers praised the guided cook system feature the most. This feature assists users through each and every step of a recipe for minimal mistakes. With the app, you can create customized notifications, whether it be for time or temperature. So, beginners to cooking will find this very advantageous.
Plus, the advanced estimator algorithm feature helps you create personalized alerts and alarms that can assist you in keeping track of your meal plan and diet. It also aids in time management, which is great for busy home cooks.
You can monitor your food as it cooks from a distance of 165 ft, both indoor and outdoor, with an uninterrupted connection. Moreover, you can advance the connectivity range by using the MEATER Link Wi-Fi and MEATER Cloud to connect to your Alexa and use your PC as a monitor.
When the day’s cooking is done, you don’t need to worry about cleaning up with this thermometer. The MEATER Plus is completely dishwasher safe.
- Includes free iOS/Android app, Bluetooth connectivity, and in-app features
- Reads internal heat of up to 212°F and external heat of up to 527 °F
- Guided cook system feature assists users with recipes
- Allows users to extend connectivity range, connects to Alexa and PC
- Dishwasher safe can be used on stoves, ovens, grills, smokers, and more.
- The app may crash occasionally
This meat thermometer is the best for beginner cooks. Both the guided cook system and advanced estimator algorithm are excellent specs for an inexperienced home cook getting into new recipes.
- Power Source: Battery
- Proves: 6 pieces
- Max Temperature: 485 °F
- Wireless Range: Up to 200 ft.
- Control: Bluetooth, Apps
Since 2014, NutriChef has been dominating the indoor and outdoor kitchen machinery industry. Its portfolio consists of cookware, BBQ, grilling, dehydrator, food processors, and the list goes on. And this BBQ thermometer is another flagship addition to the NutriChef family.
With this smart thermometer, you’ll never have to worry about overcooking or undercooking your food. It’s easy to use and connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
And, to give you the utmost flexibility, the device comes with integration with its smartphone apps, both for iOS and Android.
However, I’ve got a bit of complaint regarding its wireless range. It costs you somewhat near the ThermoPro TP20, yet the outdoor range is 200 ft. Additionally, its indoor wireless range is only 100 ft.
With its LCD display, you can track the food’s temperature easily. The thermometer also has a backlight. It seemed to be helpful to me, especially during evening or night parties.
This NutriChef offers you a better deal than TP20 in terms of probes. The temperature controller comes with 6 probes that you can use to measure the food temperature accurately. What’s even better, these are easy to insert and remove.
When it comes to durability, this temperature controller is equally impressive. The probes are made from stainless steel, which can resist extreme heat (485 °F) and corrosion. So, you can cook anything from steaks to chicken breasts.
For adventurous, it’s not always possible to get a power cord connection, especially during wildlife camping. Keeping their thoughts in mind, NutriChef built this as a battery-operated device.
If compared to the Meater Plus, this one got a longer battery backup. You can expect it to last for around six hours before recharging. Maybe it’s because of the dual AA batteries inside, whereas Meater Plus has a single battery.
Overall, it’s the perfect solution for grilling outdoors without worrying about cords getting in your way or running out of juice mid-grill.
- Compatible with both iOS and Android devices
- 6 probes give a flexible cooking experience
- Notification feature enables secure monitoring even if you’re not nearby
- Stainless steel construction to enhance durability
- Several probes to measure multiple food temperatures simultaneously
- Losing wireless range causes to erase temperature history
- Bluetooth connection is frequently lost in older OS phones
There are plenty of options on the market, but I’m sold by NutriChef’s smart thermometer for longer battery backup and multiple stock probes. Finally, it’s super affordable, making it the best grill temperature controller choice for budget seekers like me.
- Power Source: Battery
- Proves: 4 pieces
- Max Temperature: 572 °F
- Wireless Range: Up to 500 ft.
- Control: Bluetooth 5.0, Apps
The TP25 is the latest edition by ThermoPro. So, each feature is one step ahead of its predecessors, TP17 and TP20.
With the TP25, you’ll never have to worry about burning your meat again! This Bluetooth smoker controller allows you to monitor the cooking temperature from up to 500 ft. away. So, you can relax and take care of other hassles.
It’s effortless to use, even for first-timers. Simply insert the probe into the meat and close the lid. The internal temperature will be displayed on the LCD screen.
The heat controller comes with four different color probes – black, blue, white, and yellow. You can use probes to measure the temperature of various types of meat.
When it comes to the probes’ heat resistance, they can withstand up to 572 °F, which is comparably higher than the NutriChef kamado temperature controller.
Because of the high heat-resistance support, you can use this device for any meat, including chicken, beef, pork, and fish.
Getting this versatile thermometer can help you cook your meat to perfection with 9 built-in presets in the app. You can apply them as per your cooking requirement.
All you’ve to do is select the type of meat you want to cook and the desired temperature. The ThermoPro controller will do the rest!
Another feature that I found very useful is the timer. You can set different temperatures – 5, 10, and 15 degrees away from the required heat. It also has a loud alarm that’ll notify you when the meat is done cooking.
Among all specs, the unique one is its cooking time estimator. This feature allows you to input the weight and type of meat you’re cooking, and it’ll estimate the cooking time for you. It’s a great way to ensure that your meat is perfectly cooked.
- Wide range of wireless connectivity makes cooking a breeze
- Probes can handle up to 572 °F temperature
- Cooking time estimator is a convenient feature for all-level chefs
- 9 built-in temp. presets for different meat items
- Multiple timers for getting alert before foods get thoroughly cooked
- Battery drains faster than others
- The iOS app has a lot of bugs
It’s, so far, the best kamado temperature controller I’ve ever used. The extended wireless range is impressive compared to other market-available options. Its only downside is that the battery life is not very long.
Before You Buy, What to Look for?
Most stock gas grill automatic temperature control devices come with a basic regulator system that does the job.
But for those who want to take their cooking to the next level, a more sophisticated solution is a must-have. In this section, you can learn the essential features you should look for when buying a kamado temp controller.
When it comes to choosing a temperature controller, versatility is the key. Your device should be compatible with the make and model of your kamado grill. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a controller that doesn’t work with your grill!
Another thing to consider is whether the device can work with other grills or not. You might want to use your controller with more than one grill in the future. So, check if it’s functional with multiple types.
Probes Material And Temperature Resistance
Kamado is all about a long period of heating. And you measure the heat with probes of the controller. Because of that, it’s vital to have high-quality probes.
When it comes to kamado heat controllers, there are a few different materials you can choose from.
A decent one should’ve either steel or ceramic-made probes. This can usually resist 200 °F to 530 °F of temperature. Therefore, even if you’re cooking rough meat, it can handle the heat for longer.
Number of Probes
Why is the number of temperature probes so important? Well, the more probes a controller has, the more accurate it’ll be at maintaining a consistent temperature.
This is because each probe monitors the temperature in a different part of the grill. So, if one probe is reading a higher temperature than another, the controller will adjust accordingly.
Not only that. If you cook multiple steaks or meat pieces , having more probes can save a lot of your time, as you can use them simultaneously. I recommend going with a controller that has at least four probes.
Parties or camping can sometimes take a lot of time, depending on the item you’re gonna cook. And most smart kamado temperature controllers are cordless. Therefore, you need enough battery backup to support your whole event.
In general, most single AA battery-driven controllers can survive up to 6-8 hours. And for dual AA batteries, the timeframe can be as long as 24 hours, depending on the quality. Consider the battery as per your requirements.
“Please note that a higher battery backup increases the weight of the device. They also take more time to get fully charged.”
Another feature to look for is the alert support of the controller. The timer gives you an early notification before the food gets cooked entirely. Hence, you can prepare with the necessary steps.
This can be a great way to monitor the temperature of your kamado and ensure that it stays within a safe range.
Some controllers even have multiple alarms. You can set different temperatures for different parts of the kamado meat. Choose according to your preference.
Wireless Range (Wi-Fi/Bluetooth)
A heat controller is about flexibility during cooking. Having wireless control system allows you to monitor the heat from a distance.
They come both with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology. However, Wi-Fi is always better as its latency rate is comparably less than Bluetooth. Also, check if it loses reading data if the connection is lost.
If it has a wireless system, you also need to consider its range according to your household area.
For cooking outdoors, having a 200 ft. wireless range is good enough. For indoor cooking, 100 ft. is adequate.
Most controllers have a simple LCD readout that displays the current temperature. So, you don’t need hard work regarding display. Instead, look for the processed data it can show on display.
Some controllers can share concurrent temperature graphs and comparisons between multiple probes you’re using. These can give you a hassle-free cooking experience when cooking multiple meat pieces.
It allows you to choose the target temperature depending on the meat type and set it accordingly. However, it’s a bit advanced feature in kamado temp controllers, but having this preset system is a great help for newbies.
How Do Barbecue Temperature Controllers Work?
Most grills can’t maintain accurate low and slow even temperatures consistently over time. Temperature spikes will rapidly dry out your BBQ, and temperature dips will leave it tough, chewy, and even undercooked.
BBQ temperature controllers help to solve this issue by giving the grill an oven-like precision. Here’s a quick rundown on how they operate depending on the type:
Corded BBQ Controllers
First, you need to attach the controller to your grill. Then you can set the desired temperature. It’ll precisely pulse oxygen over the coals to stabilize and maintain the perfect temperature.
An internal computer constantly tracks all the heat fluctuations within the meat and adapts to these changes. To do so, it adjusts the calibrated fan system.
Portable/Battery Operated BBQ Temperature Controllers
Unlike corded ones, these can’t control the heat flow. The controllers come in with single or multiple probes. You just need to insert the probe into the meat piece. Just like before, set the temperature.
When the cooker, grill, or kamado reaches the set temperature, the device alarm will start buzzing. Depending on the controller type, you may also get a notification on your smartphone.
Frequently Asked Questions
ThermoPro T25 is the best temperature controller for any size of Big Green Egg if considering the wireless range and maximum temperature holding capacity.
Check out this guide if you’re looking for the best replacement gasket for Big Green Egg.
To control your Kamado Joe temperature, you need to play with the draft door and the vent (top). They both control how much heat goes inside the kamado. And you can adjust them according to your need.
The draft door is the first way you should use to control the kamado’s heat. You can find the draft door on the lower body of the machine. By opening the door, you can raise the heat as external air enters the grill.
On the contrary, closing the door gradually cools down the charcoal. Just like this, the top vent also allows you to control the heat of the grill. Depending on the model, you can raise the temperature from 175-700 degrees.
Like kamados, the only thing that controls a smoker’s temperature is the air in the PID. Fire needs air (oxygen) to burn the coals.
So, you should ensure you’ve got proper airflow coming in. As it enters, the heat goes up and gets into your cooking chamber. You can do this by adjusting the dampers.
A faulty hot plate can cause severe damage to your smoker, which will ruin your party and sometimes cause accidents. Check out the best hot plate for smoker to find the safest alternative to the stock ones.
Whether it’s a smoker or grill machine, you’ve to adjust the damper or lid to control and keep a specific temperature. If the heat constantly rises, open the damper and lid slightly to draw out some air before reaching 225 °F.
And if the temperature is coming down, adjust the damper again. Keep it that way when you feel the heat status isn’t dipping down or going up.
The longest wireless kamado temperature controller is ThermoPro TP25. It can work from up to 500 ft. distance with Bluetooth support.
In conclusion, the best kamado temperature controller does more than just moderate oxygen flow; it can assist you while you cook, guide you through recipes, alert you when you’re needed, and manage your time.
Hopefully, my picks opened your mind to exploring more innovative styles of meat thermometers.