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iDevices Kitchen Thermometer review: This meat thermometer is well-done

iDevices' $80 Kitchen Thermometer tracks the temperature of your food and sends you push notifications when it reaches its target.

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Megan Wollerton
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Megan Wollerton

Senior Writer/Editor

Megan Wollerton covers renewable energy, climate change and other environmental topics for CNET. Before starting at CNET in 2013, she wrote for NBC Universal's DVICE (now SYFY). Megan has a master's degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College, both in international relations. She is a board member of the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. When Megan isn't writing, she's planning far-flung adventures.

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iDevices' Kitchen Thermometer is a two-probe digital meat thermometer that costs $80 in the US, £65 in the UK and AU$100 in Australia. Where traditional models chime, requiring you to be within earshot, this Bluetooth-enabled version sends push notifications to your phone regarding your food's doneness.

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8.3

iDevices Kitchen Thermometer

The Good

The iDevices Kitchen Thermometer and companion app take oven-hovering out of your cooking equation by alerting you when your food reaches an optimal temperature.

The Bad

The app has plenty of useful features, but it isn't particularly well designed.

The Bottom Line

This dual-probe Kitchen Thermometer is expensive, but you can trust it to turn out perfectly prepared food with little to no effort on your part.

If you're dreaming of running a few errands while that brisket smokes, though, you're out of luck -- the thermometer and your phone have a 150-foot (45 meter) operating range.

Even so, this app-connected thermometer offers more independence than standard digital thermometers. Its temperature readings were also very close to the two professional-grade thermocouples I used for comparison. Yes, 80 bucks is a lot to spend on two meat probes, but the added convenience is hard to ignore.

Cooking with iDevices' Kitchen Thermometer (pictures)

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At a glance

The Kitchen Thermometer has a white plastic finish and metal accents. It measures 3.75 inches long by 3.25 inches wide by 2 inches tall and weighs 5.9 ounces (95 by 83 by 51mm; 167 grams). While it's clearly larger than the brand's $40/£35/AU$50 Kitchen Thermometer Mini , this palm-size gadget is still pretty compact.

Snap it on the included magnetic base for seamless mounting to your oven or any oven-adjacent spot that's magnetic. An industrial-strength adhesive is also included for mounting to non-magnetic surfaces.

The device comes with two meat probes and two probe wraps for tangle-free storage. Each probe cord is 48 inches (1.2 meters) long, which can easily reach from a nearby spot into your oven. This unit is battery-powered, but unlike the Kitchen Thermometer Mini or iGrill Mini , which take CR2032 coin batteries, this model requires two AA batteries. I'm more likely to have a couple of spare AAs hanging around, so that's a vote in the Kitchen Thermometer's favor.

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Colin West McDonald/CNET

Press the power button on the display to turn your unit on and hold it down to switch it off again. The digital screen will flash "On" or "Off" to alert you to its power status. When powered on and connected to at least one probe, the screen will show the temperature. If you're using both thermometer probes, use the arrow keys to switch between the temperature readings. LED indicators lights line up with each probe jack so you know which reading you're getting. There's also a Bluetooth LED indicator light that blinks blue when it's pairing and stays illuminated when it's successfully paired.

The iDevices app is available on both Android and iOS devices. Specifically, the Android app is compatible with phones running 4.3 or later, and the iOS app is compatible with iPad Mini, iPad 3 and newer, iPhone 4s and newer, and the fifth-generation iPod Touch and newer -- all Apple products need to be running iOS 7 or later. Bluetooth must be enabled on your device to use the Kitchen Thermometer's connected features.

When you turn on the Kitchen Thermometer and launch the app, a Bluetooth pairing request will pop up. Select "pair," and your Kitchen Thermometer will immediately appear as a connected device. Attach at least one probe and it will start taking temperature readings.

Click on the probe's "home screen" to get a more detailed reading, complete with a line graph marking the temperature and timestamps to track how long it's taking. A drop-down menu at the top of the app shows all of your connected devices -- you can monitor up to four different probes at the same time.

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Colin West McDonald/CNET

Search through a list of peak temperature presets to find a number of common meats like beef, fish, pork, lamb, and poultry. Peak temperature presets suggest ideal temperatures; 165 degrees for chicken, 140 degrees for a pork roast cooked to medium, and so on. You can also search via temperature range for specific cooking methods like cold smoke or BBQ.

And, if iDevices doesn't have your meat of choice in its preloaded database, you can create your own presets. Once the probe senses that your food has reached the desired peak or range temp, you will receive a notification on your phone. You also have the option to set a timer, search through recipes, and export the temperature graph.

I don't like that the app is only usable if the thermometer itself is on. Say you want to browse through the presets before cooking, you'd have to turn on the thermometer, let it pair, and then access the app. That wastes precious battery life before the thermometer is even needed.

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Ry Crist/CNET

In depth

I convection-roasted a whole chicken at 350 degrees and a pork tenderloin at 450 degrees to test iDevices' Kitchen Thermometer. Two laboratory-grade thermocouple probes attached to a temperature tracking data logger acted as my models for accuracy.

I tested the chicken using Wi-Fi and the pork using LTE and never had a connectivity issue -- whether my phone was 2 feet from the thermometers or closer to the 150-foot max. Every time the probe sensed that the food had reached its peak temperature, I received a push notification.

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Screenshot by Megan Wollerton/CNET

I do think iDevices could improve its graph views. In certain modes you can't even tell which probe's information you're reviewing and the scaling is odd. Take the full-screen example above. I can't tell if I'm looking at a reading from the first or second probe and the dotted line, which takes up the majority of the graph, is completely arbitrary. Only the solid line reflects real temperature readings, given that I connected the temperature probe a little after 3:00 p.m.

As far as temperature-reading accuracy, though, I was impressed. The Kitchen Thermometer stayed within 2 to 4 degrees of both thermocouples' readings, after some initial tweaking. I got as close as I could to matching the location of the thermocouples to the probes, since poor placement can distort the comparison and the overall cooking results.

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Megan Wollerton/CNET

During the pork test, one of the Kitchen Thermometer probes signaled that it had reached its medium temp designation of 140 degrees much more quickly than the others. A reexamination revealed that the probe was touching the bottom pan, totally skewing the results. Something similar happened during the chicken test, too, but repositioning the probes quickly brought the readings back in line with the thermocouples.

The verdict

iDevices' Kitchen Thermometer sets itself apart from more reasonably priced digital thermometers, such as the $16 Taylor 1470 Digital Cooking Thermometer/Timer, by sending notifications to your phone when your food is ready. That's a desirable feature since you might not always be within listening range of your thermometer's alarm. (Some models don't even have audible alarms, requiring you to do regular status checks.)

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Colin West McDonald/CNET

Still, you are limited to its 150-foot Bluetooth range. If you're cooking something all day and want to leave the house, you won't be able to check in on your food. The app could also use some updates as far as graph design. But, you won't have to compulsively check your food ever again. For that peace of mind alone, I would definitely recommend iDevices' Kitchen Thermometer.

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8.3

iDevices Kitchen Thermometer

Score Breakdown

Performance 9Features 8Design 7.5Usability 8
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