As someone who loves grilling, I know the importance of having a reliable thermometer to get perfectly grilled cuts every time. With Weber’s Instant Read Thermometer’s lofty promises of consistently delivering impeccable grilled meals, I couldn’t resist testing out its capabilities.
Here’s how it compares to the best instant-read meat thermometers out there:
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Weber Instant Read Thermometer Review
I’m going to share my honest experience with the Weber Instant Read Thermometer.
My overall impression? I’m not very impressed. Now, let me also explain that I’ve reviewed and used many meat thermometers pretty extensively over time, so I expect a certain level of quality when it comes to these devices.
That being said, the Weber Instant Read fell short in several categories. But, based on your level of cooking and how much you want to spend on a thermometer, the Weber might make sense.
My Experience Using the Instant Read Thermometer from Weber
As soon as I unboxed the Weber Instant Read thermometer, I was hopeful it would be a reliable grilling thermometer. However, upon holding it, it felt cheap and clunky, so that wasn’t a strong start. I soon encountered several disappointing aspects once I put it to work.
First, I couldn’t use it in bright sunlight or low-light conditions because it lacked a backlight. I actually found it difficult to read the display in most lighting conditions, which was unfortunate.
Then, as I tested the thermometer’s accuracy, I found inconsistent results that left me questioning its reliability. While it sometimes provided accurate readings, there were instances where it veered significantly, sometimes by as much as 5 to 10 degrees. Yes, 10 degrees.
That’s a huge variance, and if it were my only meat thermometer, I’d likely question whether or not my meat was cooked at the right temperature.
The lack of accuracy at low and high temperatures is concerning, as precise temperature measurements are crucial for perfectly grilled meals. I attempted to test it across different types of meat, including chicken, beef, and pork, though the inconsistent performance persisted.
After all my testing, I can’t say I trust the Weber Instant Read to provide accurate temperatures at any specific range. This can be a significant issue when grilling chicken or pork since you especially don’t want to undercook it.
Features and Benefits
The Weber Instant Read thermometer includes some features that could make it a decent tool for a beginner griller or home cook. Here are some of the notable features:
Easy Temperature Conversion
On the right side of the control panel, a button allows you to quickly toggle between Fahrenheit and Celsius. This feature can be a time saver if you often find yourself converting between the two.
The button’s placement is great; however, I don’t find myself using it much since I mostly measure in Fahrenheit. Once I have that set, there’s not much of a need to touch it.
Compared to other thermometers I’ve used, this is one of my smaller models. This makes it easy to store in a kitchen drawer, or even take on camping trips where I know I’ll be grilling but am limited on space.
Since it was also on the smaller side, I could stick it into a piece of meat and let go of the thermometer without it falling over. This was nice when I needed to walk away for a minute to check on something else that was cooking since it gave the thermometer time to display the reading without me needing to constantly hold it.
Because it is more compact, that also means that the LED screen that displays the temperature reading is small. At first, I didn’t think this would be a big deal; however, I found that I needed to be much closer to the device to read it than other thermometers. And I don’t use readers just yet. 😉
You can hold the measurement button on the Weber Instant Read thermometer to lock the displayed temperature.
Whether I’m monitoring the temperature of a large roast or checking for even cooking across a chicken breast, being able to lock the temperature helps me focus on the task at hand without worrying about losing any crucial readings.
When I got the Weber, it came precalibrated. I think for beginners, this can be a helpful feature since you don’t need to figure out how to calibrate the thermometer. It also means that you can begin using it right away.
While it comes pre-calibrated, I discovered that you couldn’t recalibrate it yourself if you experience any issues or inconsistencies with its readings. This can become an issue if the device starts to report incorrect temperatures consistently.
As I used it, I noticed inaccuracies, especially at higher temperatures.
Related: Best Grill Brushes
Benefits and Drawbacks
The Weber Instant Read thermometer does have a few benefits worth mentioning:
- Easy to place in meat and walk away, since it can stand up on its own
- Easy to clean, which is an advantage when it comes to convenience and hygiene
- Budget-friendly if you’re just starting out with cooking and grilling
While the Weber Instant Read thermometer has a few advantages, it also has quite a few drawbacks:
- It lacks a magnetic back or dedicated storage option
- No specific warranty
- Moderately prone to water damage, so it might stop working if you accidentally drop it in the sink or a pot of water
- Doesn’t have a backlight feature, and the LCD display is relatively small, making it hard to read
- Can’t recalibrate it yourself if there are inaccuracies with the temperature readings
Related: Best Grill Tool Sets
What Sets This Product Apart?
To thoroughly evaluate the accuracy of the Weber, I conducted several tests comparing it to other meat thermometers. I tested it at high temperatures by using sous vide to precisely compare and measure. I also used different cuts of meat to test its performance. How did Weber compare?
Weber Instant Read vs ThermoPop 2
Although the Weber and ThermoPop 2 are relatively close in size, that’s about all they have in common. The Weber underperformed the ThermoPop 2 in almost every way.
While both thermometers struggled to produce accurate readings at higher temperatures, the ThermoPop 2 was typically closer than the Weber. Both thermometers were fairly accurate at low temperatures, such as 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
This was a notable concern, particularly when cooking pork to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If a thermometer underreports by five degrees, it can significantly affect the final result. The last thing I wanted was to end up with undercooked pork and risk a case of trichinosis.
Read our Thermopop 2 Review.
Weber vs Larger Models (Thermapen, ChefsTemp and Thermopro)
During my tests, Weber consistently performed slower than these three models, especially as I approached higher temperatures. The Weber took an average of 4 seconds to achieve its final temperature reading.
There was even an occasion when it took 7 seconds to provide a reading. None of the other models took this long (or were this inaccurate).
Who Should Get This?
The Weber Instant Read thermometer is a budget-friendly, entry-level option for novice grillers or anyone who wants to get started on cooking on a budget.
However, if you mainly cook recipes that require exact temperature control, such as chicken and pork, you may want to look at getting a thermometer that is more consistent at being accurate.
I realize the Weber is a budget option, but I think the ThermoPop 2 is a better budget option.
If you’re looking for a thermometer with advanced functionalities like Bluetooth connectivity or programmable temperature alerts, consider alternative choices available.
While I was hoping their meat thermometer was as high-quality as their grills, they fell short here. But hey, their grills are amazing and Weber grills are going on sale soon!