The ECPin/Maverick Stake
Wireless Meat Thermometer


The ECPin probes featured in this review were provided to The Naked Whiz Publishing Empire by ECTherm at no charge for the purpose of doing this review. No other considerations, financial or otherwise, were given by ECTherm.

The Maverick Stake probe was purchased by The Naked Whiz Publishing Empire and no considerations, financial or otherwise were given by Maverick Industries.


Introduction
There's another truly wireless meat thermometer in town. The folks at ECTherm recently contacted us and sent us their ECPin wireless meat thermometer Dual Pack which contains two ECPin thermometers. If you are scratching your head wondering what a "truly wireless meat thermometer" is, think MEATER. Think MeatStick. Think a probe that you stick in your meat and leave in your meat for the duration of the cook which has no wire attached and is monitored on your smart device. What is unique about the ECPin probe is that it is powered by a supercapacitor (also known as ultracapacitor or double-layer capacitor) instead of a lithium battery. Supercapacitors are devices which can be charged to hold and release energy like a battery, but doing it via static charge rather than an electrochemical reaction. What this means is insanely fast charging, but less energy capacity than a lithium battery. We'll see what this means for cooking meat later in the review.

Note that the ECPin product is not available in the US and Canada. In those two countries, ECTherm has partnered with the well-known Maverick Industries, seller of a wide range of thermometers and timers, to provide the Maverick Stake. Don't worry, we have both devices to show you!


Specifications and Features
The ECPin/Stake probes consist of three components, the probes themselves, a charger and the ECPin/Stake app. Here are some features and specifications:

For the probe:

For the charger: For the ECPin/Stake App:


The ECPin Probes and Charger
So let's take a look at the ECPin probe dual pack and charger first:


Here's a look at an ECPin probe installed in the charger.


Next we see the ECPin charger. Notice the micro-USB port on the right end. This is where you plug the micro-USB charging cable that is provided.


Here you can see the charger with its lid open. Inside are the two contacts that make a connection with the probe for charging.


And finally, the probes themselves. You can order either a single probe or a dual pack with either two black probes or one black and one white. The stainless steel portion of the probe is inserted into the meat up to the ceramic handle. As a result, there is no "minimum insertion line" etched onto the probe, as there is on other brands. The small round metal contact that is embedded in the ceramic handle is for charging the probe.


The Maverick Stake Probe and Charger
Next, we'll have a look at the Maverick Stake probe and charger:


Here's look at the Stake probe installed in the charger.


Next we see the Stake charger. Notice the micro-USB port on the right end. This is where you plug the micro-USB charging cable that is provided.


Here you can see the charger with its lid open. Inside are the two contacts that make a connection with the probe for charging.


And finally, the Stale probe itself. The stainless steel portion of the probe is inserted into the meat up to the ceramic handle. As a result, there is no "minimum insertion line" etched onto the probe, as there is on other brands. The small round metal contact that is embedded in the ceramic handle is for charging the probe.


Usage Rules and Warnings
We have listed some of the more important-sounding rules, limitations and warnings:


Bluetooth Range
One critical aspect of any truly wireless (i.e. Bluetooth) probe is the range of the Bluetooth communications. What good is a wire-free thermometer if you can't stray more than a few feet from your cooker before losing your connection? ECTherm/Maverick claims to have up to a 10 meter (33 feet) range. Of course we had to verify this and we found that these probes actually do quite a lot better under ideal conditions. We made our measurements using the ECPin app on an iPhone Xs.

The best case is just a straight line of sight between the probe in the vertical position and a smart device. 133 to 140 feet
Next, we placed the probe inside a ceramic cooker, a large Big Green Egg. Due to the placement of our cooker and the geography of our deck, we could only get 39 feet away from the probe. 39+ feet
What about a metal cooker? This, of course, depends on the construction of your metal cooker. We used a Weber Smokey joe with both vents closed. 39+ feet
Inside a large Big Green Egg cooker, measured from inside the house through a sliding glass door. 30 feet
Inside a Bosch electric oven with the door closed. 23 feet
Inside a Panasonic microwave oven with the door closed. 13 feet
Inside a Bosch Speed Oven (combination microwave and convection oven) with the door shut. 18 inches


So, all in all, the Bluetooth range of the ECPin/Stake probe is quite impressive. You will come to know the capabilities and limitations of the probe's Bluetooth range as you use it in your particular configuration. You can certainly maintain a connection outside on a deck. You won't be able to maintain a connection everywhere inside your house, but you may be able to maintain a connection in whatever room is adjacent to your deck. Remember, this is Bluetooth, not WiFi. However, as we shall see later, the ECPin/Stake probes can be used with your local WiFi network or your phone's hot spot to increase your range somewhat.


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