Once in a while, we come across a cool BBQ gadget to help us become better pitmasters. This is the case with the Meatstick.
The Meat Stick is a high-quality, wireless thermometer that makes cooking meat simple and easy.
The main feature of these new-age thermometers is that they are truly wireless. There are many “wireless” thermometers, but many of those still use cables to transfer temperature readings from the probes to a monitor or receiver; you then wirelessly connect to the monitor via a smart device app or another monitor.
The Meatstick thermometer takes this concept to another level and brings it to this century, and adds true meaning to the term wireless meat thermometer. How? Well, the MeatStick uses no cables, at all!
Having no cables means this thermometer is highly versatile. It can be used in almost any cooking setting, including rotisseries. This is the true meaning of wireless! In fact, all the electronics components are packaged inside the probe and the stick’s ceramic head.
We’ll get more into how these little gadgets work further below and talk about the different MeatStick models.
With its many features, such as the ambient sensor and internal food sensor in one “stick,” this smart wireless thermometer works great in many cooking settings, including roasting, baking, grilling, and smoking meats.
While with some “cabled probe” wireless thermometers, you need to clamp an ambient thermometer to the grill’s grate and then the probe into the meat.
The MeatStick sensors are all embedded in the probe’s ends. The stainless steel probe houses the food temperature sensor, and the ceramic head on the opposite end houses the ambient temperature sensor.
This means this little stick can read and monitor both the grill and the food temperature with only one device and, yes, no cables at all.
The stick’s design is sleek and contemporary. It has a high-tech appearance and feels quite durable.
It is worth noting that thanks to its design, it is easy to clean design and dishwasher safe.
The MeatStick Models
Meatstick currently offers a variety of bundles and accessories for their thermometers, but the wireless meat thermometers are split into two options, The MeatStick and the MeatStick Mini.
Both models share many of the same characteristics, quality, and features. But there are differences between the two and cooking scenarios for both. Both Meatstick models are Bluetooth compatible for up to 30 feet or six feet in closed-lid grills or signal-restricting grills like the thick walls of a ceramic Kamado. They both can function wirelessly with the Meatstick app. So if you only purchase the stick with the base ( charger ), your range will be 6 to 30 feet.
However, combined with the Meatstick extender, both the Meatstick and the Meatstick MINI can operate at a range of 260 feet over a Bluetooth connection.
Meatstick also offers a WIFI Bridge, which links the Bluetooth base to a WIFI network. Then your home WIFI range is the only limiting factor, my friends.
The MeatStick Mini
The Mini shares the same DNA as the larger stick with some minor differences. The main difference is that the Mini does not have an ambient temperature sensor. There are other compromises in other to reduce its size and weight.
For example, the Mini stick can only safely operate up to temperatures of 185 degrees Fahrenheit before the App starts alerting you to remove it and let it cool.
Another noticeable difference is its size. The Mini is only about three and a half inches long small enough to fit in smaller cuts of meat. A smaller frame also means a smaller battery, which offers a shorter running time.
MeatStick vs MeatStick Mini
|Length:||5.3 inches||3.7 inches|
|Running Time:||24+ hours||8+ hours|
|Sensors:||Ambient Temperature – up to 572 Degrees F|
Probe ( food sensor ) – up to 212 Degrees F
|Probe ( food sensor ) – up to 185 Degrees F|
|Good For:||Larger Meat Cuts ( Pork Butts, Briskets )||Smaller Meat Cuts|
First Impressions – Unboxing the MeatStick
The MeatStick wireless thermometer arrives in a nice box where you greet the stick and its base. If you opted for the Stick X or Mini X, you get the stick and the Bluetooth extender.
Unboxing the stick feels like getting a new iPhone. You get a simple set of instructions and can be ready to use in a few minutes.
The MeatStick base or extender, depending on the bundle you get, does require two AA batteries. The base will charge the stick once it is put in place and you press the power button.
Setting up the MeatStick
Once you get the Meatstick out of the box, the next step is to download the MeatStick app. You’d think you need to read a manual to set this thing up, but you’d be wrong my friends.
The App is one of the best features of this product, and we found the App to be very intuitive, interactive, and user friendly. We have had many “smart” gadgets here at BBQ Grill Academy, and many of those products fail to deliver good and easy to set up apps.
Setting up the MeatStick is easy. First, place the stick in its base and press the power button. The LED light will turn on GREEN, indicating it is charging the stick. While the stick is charging, the light will remain “solid green,” and it will turn off once it is done charging.
Download the MeatStick App from either the AppleStore or GoodPlay. Open the App you will be prompted to create an account. That process only takes a minute, and it requests your email address, password, user name, and that’s it.
You can use the App without setting up an account. However, you will not have access to all the App’s features, including historical data about your cooks and the setting you used for specific cooks.
Once the App is installed on your smart device is time to pair the stick with your device. The process is simple, open the App, press down the power button on the base until the GREEN light starts flashing, and the App will discover the stick. Once it is paired, it will display in the App.
Using The App
Once you have the Meatstick set up, it’s time to start cooking. The App is easy to use and interactive. You can monitor both the meat temperature and the ambient temperature all in one place ( except with the Mini ).
The most noticeable feature of this App is its built-in interactive guide. The App has a smart pop-up guide that holds your hand through the setup, configuration and it shows your features and tips throughout the cook.
The MeatStick App Features
The App has a simple design and is easy to navigate. The main screen includes a color-coded probe indicator showing the probe’s temperature reading. Tab in the probe temperature circle, and you access a detailed window with more information about the cooking progress.
One cool feature of the App is its “remaining time” calculator. The App builds a historical graph plotting the cooking progress. It then uses that same pattern to predict when your food will be ready. The feature works great and constantly monitors the temperature rising rate to adjust its estimations.
The App also gives you access to all the basics, settings, set up a Cook, and share your awesome cooks on social media, plus alerts. Under “Settings tap,” you can change your user name, password, email address, and toggle between imperial and metric measurements. The App also offers a nice feature that allows you to pause your cook if you need to work on the grill or let the charcoal die out on your smoker. ( come on, we all have done that )
Two noticeable features are Setup Cook and Alerts. When it is time to cook, you can click on SETUP COOK and choose the type of protein you want to monitor. The App automatically determines the recommended USDA temperature for different doneness levels based on your selected protein.
You can customize the pre-programmed doneness levels, change the temperature levels, and add your own titles to the cook. The App will save the cooks, and you can access these cooks and settings on later cooking sessions.
In the alerts menu, you get two options: a pre-alert and a ready alert. The pre-alert lets you set an alert at whatever temperature you want before reaching your final temperature. Say you want to wrap the meat at a specific temperature, you can use the pre-alert for the wrapping and the final alert for when the meat is done.
It is worth mentioning that the App is always helping and guiding during the cook. The help area in the App is handy if you run into any troubles. Still, we found the interactive guide is good enough to teach everything you need to know to use this product in a matter of minutes.
The Cook – We took the MeatStick for a Test Ride and Here is What we found.
We got our hands on a MeatStick MINI and immediately opened the box, and well, it is “Mini.” We knew it would be small but were quickly impressed by how simple and small the device is.
For our first test of the MeatStick Mini, we decided to test it by smoking a small bone-in pork butt in our kamado. We charged the stick while prepping the pork and got the smoker ready.
We followed the instructions and opened the App. We pressed the power button with the stick in its base, and the App found the device right away.
Meatstick nudges you to be sure to insert the stick all the way into the meat until the ceramic head is touching the meat. Again, there is a reason for that. The meat will act as a “protector” for the internal components in the probe.
We fired up the grill, threw the meat in, and started smoking. We played with the App and watched how the temperature slowly but surely started climbing. The App was steering us all the entire time.
We pushed the range a bit and walked around to see how well the extended worked, and we were impressed. We had no issues with the extender losing connection with the App. The extender also blinks green to let you know it is monitoring and connected to the stick and the App.
We looked for any signs of damage or reading latency during the cook but did not see any. The stick did its job well and gave us full confidence, so we stopped using our instant-read thermometer.
Things we enjoyed and liked about the MeatStick
The app works! There are many good thermometers in the market, but they always fail in the app design. Setting up the App was easy, and the App never crashed or stopped communicating with the Mini.
After we were done with the cook, we retrieved the stick and threw it in the dishwasher. Meat sticks do emphasize keeping the stick clean.
Using this device and cleaning the device is easy, and we give it a 5 out of 5.
We received an alert and noticed we had lost connection with the stick. One issue we ran into, and likely a user error, was when we wrapped the meat we covered the stick, it didn’t like it. We opened the aluminum foil, removed and poked the meat through the foil, and all was good.
Accuracy was good, and we didn’t notice any issues in trusting the stick, but during certain parts of the cook, we noticed a slight temperature difference of about 1 to 3 degrees when compared to our Tel True.
We had the pork butt in the smoker for about five hours, and although the battery in the stick is related to 8 hours, we still had over 50 percent battery left in the stick.
Things we did not like:
The stick works. Plain and simple, we had no issues with the device and truly enjoyed its versatility. Not having to deal with cables and just sticking a stick to the meat makes monitoring as easy as it gets.
However, and this is only related to the Mini; it is only rated to reading internal temperatures of up to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. If these temperatures are exceeded, you risk damaging the stick and voiding the warranty. Again, this limit only applies to the Mini, but it left us wanting more in our case. We cook our pork butts at about 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, so we had to finish the cooking without the stick. 🙁
The Mini has a temperature sensor resistance of up to185 degrees, so it will not work well for smoking large cuts of meat like pork butts and briskets. Sure, you can still use it to monitor the process of the cook, but you will need an instant-read to fine-tune the end of the cook.
We recommend the bigger MeatStick for larger meat cuts since it is also longer and allows you to monitor the temperature of the meat deeper in its center.
Some worth mentioning notes
The ceramic head of the sticks can only withstand temperatures of around 572 degrees, so one has to be careful with flare-ups as it can potentially damage the ceramic head and the components inside.
The battery and other components in the probe can withstand temperatures of 185 degrees F in the Mini and 212 degrees F in the regular ( larger ) stick. However, Meatstick urgers the importance of inserting the stick fully into the meat to avoid leaving parts of the probes exposed to higher temperatures.
During the initial setup, the App will ask you to set the location services on your phone for the MeatStick app to “always on”. I changed the locations settings ( just for the MeatStick app ) to “only while using this app” and when the phone went to sleep it would disconnect from the extender. So the lesson here is to follow the instructions. 🙂
What could be improved?
It would be nice to see a recipe area in the App for those always looking for the next best dish to cook. I also would like to see the ability to set up different sounds for the two separate alerts in the App. This way is easy to know which alert is which and not panic thinking you overshot the final temp.
Q & A
Can you leave a meat thermometer in the meat while cooking?
Yes, you can, in fact, that’s the point of the MeatStick, to monitor the cooking progress. There are, however, a few caveats. First, you may not exceed internal meat temperatures of 185 for the Mini and 212 for the regular MeatStick.
Second, the ceramic head can only withstand temperatures of 572 degrees F, so if you like to sear steaks at wide-open flame, you can damage the stick.
Where can you use The MeatStick?
The MeatStick can be used in grills, smokers, ovens, sous-vide, and deep fryers. The trick here is not to exceed the temperatures specified by the manufacturer. MeatSticks are NOT suitable for microwaves or pressure cookers.
BUT, here is where you can definitely use these wireless meat probes, rotisseries! It doesn’t matter how good of a wireless thermometer you got unless it is a true WIRELESS device; those cables will keep you from using it with a rotisserie.
A for those with those shiny top-of-the-line Napoleon and Balze grills with rotisserie bars, this is for you.
Gadget and tech lovers, you will enjoy adding this device to your collection too.
Where do you “stick” a meat thermometer?
In the thickest part of the meat away from the bone and fat. The important thing is to insert the stick all the way in until the ceramic head is flush against the meat.
How do you clean the Meatstick?
Soap and water, but these sticks can be thrown in your dishwasher too.
The MeatStick is a great thermometer for anyone looking for devices that are easy to use and get the job done. There is always room for improvement, and nothing is perfect in this world, but the Meatstick is one of those products that performs as advertised. We had no issues using this probe, and it did what it was supposed to do.
Its temperature range makes it versatile for most cooking conditions. Its wireless capabilities make it easy to use in almost any appliance. The only downside is that you have to be careful with temperatures not to exceed the maximums set by the manufacturer.
Now, this is a true wireless thermometer.