This is my favorite gadget of 2023 — and it's the perfect gift for grilling fans

Meater therometer in chop
(Image credit: Meater)

I test a lot of smart home devices for work, but my real passion lies in the kitchen. My cooking space is where these two worlds collide. I have a range of gadgets that I use while I prepare food, such as a large Echo Show 15 smart display to view recipes and catch up on TV shows. But the Meater 2 Plus smart meat thermometer has quickly become my most essential cooking tool since it streamlines the way I work.

This sleek wireless probe is packed with sensors that accurately relay the temperature of my proteins as they're cooking. I can view my meal's live progress using the Meater app on my phone. From that app, I can even choose which type of meat I'm working with and set a target internal temperature to receive notifications as the meat approaches my desired doneness. 

Meater 2 Plus: buy now for $119 @ Amazon

Meater 2 Plus: buy now for $119 @ Amazon
This smart meat thermometer can be used in almost every cooker from your oven to your smoker. Meater uses Bluetooth to wirelessly relay the temperatures of your proteins to your phone or tablet. Its compact bamboo docking station serves as a charger and Bluetooth range extender. 

When I first started using the Meater 2 Plus earlier this year my dad was quick to write it off as a pricey novelty. These days he uses his own Meater after I showed him how much free time the smart meat thermometer gives me to watch TV or take out the dog instead of hovering over my oven or grill each night. But this newfound freedom is just one of the reasons that I find this smart meat thermometer so helpful. 

Monitor your meat from anywhere

Meater 2 plus app interface

(Image credit: Future)

The Meater 2 Plus consists of a thermometer probe and its compact docking block. This bamboo rectangle charges the thermometer and acts as a wireless Bluetooth range extender. While this provides a decent range of more than 150 feet, I use the Meater app's "Link" feature to connect my iPad to the thermometer over Bluetooth then set this tablet up as a Wi-Fi bridge. Doing so connects the thermometer to the internet so that I can see my cook status from anywhere with cellular service or a wireless network. For example, I've been able to head out on grocery runs while using a smoker to see the progress while away from home. 

Granted you need to have a spare Android or Apple phone or tablet handy to use Meater Link, but this Wi-Fi connectivity is a huge bonus when a majority of wireless meat thermometers rely solely on a local Bluetooth connection. 

The Meater app also boasts extensive features like sharing updates to your Alexa smart home devices. Additionally, it supports the iPhone's Live Activities feature so you can see how much time remains and the live temperature directly from your phone's lock screen. 

Perfect doneness from almost every type of cooker

Meater in steak on grill

(Image credit: Future)

To kick off a cook I just probe the thickest part of my meat, open the Meater app, select the type of protein, and then either set a custom target temperature or use a preset doneness ranging from rare to well done. If I leave the app open, I can watch my cook play out through progress rings or simply look at the text on the top of the screen that shows the current temperature, goal temperature, and ambient temperature inside the cooker itself.

The probe's stainless steel construction is built to withstand up to 1,000°F of direct heat which makes it one of my most versatile kitchen tools. I've let my Meater 2 Plus sit over an open flame while searing New York strip steaks on the barbeque, roasting turkey in the oven, and frying up salmon on the stove. You can use the thermometer across virtually any cooker, grill, smoker, oven, pan, deep fryer, air fryer, or sous vide. 

Steak cut on a table

(Image credit: Future)

Despite its small size, the probe has six temperature sensors (five on the inside and one on the outside) to find the true lowest temperature of your meat as well as gauge the ambient temperature of your cooker. It's precise enough to estimate cook times so that I can step away from my appliances and work on something else. 

The Meater 2 Plus accurately accounts for rest times and sends you a notification when it's time to pull the meat and tells you how long to let it rest for. This precision results in consistently higher quality meals that come out exactly the way I want them to.

Track your cook history and take notes

Meater app graph and notes section

(Image credit: Future)

The Meater's data logging feature records each session complete with a temperature graph. You can look for peaks and attach notes about what you thought of the results to nail the dish next time. This has improved my cooking skills over time with little things like remembering to press down the steak on the quarter turn for extra sear or to dial back the salt on a recipe.

At $120, the Meater 2 Plus isn't cheap, but it is loaded with features and ensures exact doneness every time. If you just got a fancy new smoker or air fryer, then this wireless meat thermometer is the final piece to elevate your meals to new heights. While it's not going to change your ability to marinade or season your meats, the Meater 2 Plus can help you dial in your recipes and prevent you from overcooking your premium cuts.

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Hunter Fenollol
Senior Editor, Smart Home

Hunter Fenollol is a Senior Editor for Tom’s Guide. He specializes in smart home gadgets and appliances. Prior to joining the team, Hunter reviewed computers, wearables, and mixed reality gear for publications that include CNN Underscored, Popular Mechanics, and Laptop Magazine. When he’s not testing out the latest cooking gadgets, you can likely find him playing a round of golf or out with friends feeding his paycheck to a QuickHit slot machine. Hunter started his career as an intern at Tom’s Guide back in 2019 while in college. He graduated from Long Island University Post with a degree in Communications and minor in Advertising. He has been vlogging ever since the iPhone 4 took front-facing cameras mainstream.