The Meater is an easy way to keep an eye on your food's internal temperature -- as long as you're willing to trust its doneness recommendations.
A temperature probe is one of the most important tools you can have in your kitchen. They're often simple, inexpensive devices that you place in the dish you're cooking to make sure its internal temperature has reached a food-safe level.
The $69 Meater provides an upgrade to the traditional meat thermometer, thanks to the addition of wireless connectivity that lets you monitor your food's temperature from your smartphone. And the Meater's app includes guided cook modes that make it even easier to ensure that your meat is safe and ready to eat. Plus, the Meater was accurate in its measurements of food temperature.
The Meater makes a big impression with its minimalist design. The probe is just five inches long. It measures internal temperature of meat at its pointed end and ambient temperature at its wider end. The Meater's charger is a small wooden box that's powered with one AAA battery. The charger is magnetic, so you can stick it to the side of your fridge and not have to worry about losing or forgetting to use the Meater.
The highlight of using the Meater is the app, and there are two ways to use it: You can manually set the internal temperature to which you want your food to cook, or you can use guided cook in which you select the type of meat you want to cook (beef, pork, poultry, lamb or fish) and the cut of that meat that you're cooking. In both cases, the app will keep track of the internal temperature, the temperature you're trying to reach, and the ambient temperature (a useful tool if you're using a grill or smoker).
The internal temperatures at which the Meater app recommends you stop cooking could give persnickety cooks pause. That's because the app will send you an alert when your meat is just shy of the desired temperature and tell you to remove the dish from the heat. It then recommends that you allow time for the meat to rest, during which the internal temperature will rise to the original target. I was concerned when the app told me to remove a roast chicken when it was about eight degrees away from the desired temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, but it eventually hit that temperature in that test and those following. Long story short: The Meater is right in its suggestion to take your meat out early and let it rest to the right temperature, but I could see that recommendation turning off people who want to make sure their food is at the proper temperature.
The biggest annoyance with the Meater is its inability to connect directly to Wi-Fi. You have to use what's called a Meater Link to track the status of the probe on other devices that are on the same Wi-Fi network as the Meater and the original device with which you have a Bluetooth connection. There are a lot of devices available that make it a lot easier to connect to Wi-Fi, therefore having more freedom to move about and away from your gadget.
Overall, the Meater is an easy-to-use, sleek device that will make it easier to keep an eye on your meat. Invest in this project if you're interested in upgrading from a basic temperature probe.