The MEATER wireless smart meat thermometer first came to our attention in September 2015 as a project on Kickstarter. MEATER also was working on another Kickstarter called the MEATER Block which took quite a bit longer than expected to develop, and in the meantime, MEATER brought out an improved MEATER probe called the MEATER+. This is our reveiw of the MEATER+ probe. It will be a shortened review as we aren't going to repeat all of the information that was covered in our review of the MEATER probe. We suggest you read our review of the MEATER probe and then read this review of the MEATER+ probe.
What is the MEATER Probe? It's the first truly wireless, meaning wire-free, meat thermometer. And in case you still don't get it, it means there is no wire between the probe that is stuck into your meat inside of your cooker and the device outside your cooker that displays the temperature information. How does it do this? By using Bluetooth LE, also known as Bluetooth Smart, to communicate between the probe and a smart phone or tablet running the MEATER app.
So then, what is the MEATER+ Probe and how does it differ from the original probe? The probe itself is essentially the same as the original probe. However, they have added a Bluetooth repeater to the charging block so that the probe now communicates with the charging block instead of your phone or tablet. The charging block then communicates with your smart phone or tablet.
So why did they do this? They advertise the range of the original probe as being 33 feet, while the advertised range of the MEATER+ charging block is 165 feet. In theory, this means that you should be able to monitor your MEATER+ probe from a greater distance than the original probe. Therefore, this will be the primary focus of this review, as well as covering some other differences between the MEATER and MEATER+ you need to know about.
Specifications and Features
The MEATER+ Probe consists of three components, the probe itself, the charger and the MEATER app. Here are some features and specifications from the MEATER web page:
For the probe:
Photos of the MEATER+ Probe and Charging Block
So let's take a look at the MEATER+ Probe and charger. Again, we suggest you read our review of the original MEATER probe for photos galore. Here, we will just show you photos of the front and back of the MEATER+ charging block.
So now we come to the raison d'etre for the MEATER+ temperature probe, the enhanced Bluetooth range. When we tested the original MEATER probe, we tried all sorts of conditions to see how they affected the Bluetooth range such as placing the probe inside ceramic and metal cookers. With the MEATER+ probe none of those conditions really matter any more because presumably you will have the charging block very close to your cooker and Bluetooth connectivity between the charging block and the temperature probe should be very good. (For what it is worth, we found that the connectivity range between the probe in the cooker and the charging block outside the cooker was pretty much the same as when using the original probe in the cooker and a smart phone outside the cooker.) Now what is important is the connectivity range between that charging block and your smart device. Hence we only measured two things, 1) Line of sight connectivity range between the charging block and our phone, and 2) obstructed connectivity range range as we walked around inside our house with our phone.
Just to keep things equal, we remeasured the line of sight distance for the original MEATER probe as the location for testing is now different than where we tested before. Also, the phone we used for testing is now an iPhone XS which may or may not affect the range we measured. So, line of sight, we could maintain a solid Bluetooth connection to the original MEATER probe up to 157 feet. Using the MEATER+ charging block, we could maintain a solid connection up to 390 feet.
Of course, line of sight is a wonderful thing, but not terribly realistic oftentimes. So for a realistic test of Bluetooth range in a manner in which we would actually use these probes, we placed the original MEATER probe inside a large Big Green Egg cooker and then walked around the house with the phone, watching for connectivity to drop. Similarly, we placed the MEATER+ probe in the cooker and the charging block next to the cooker. And then we walked around the house with our phone to determine the limits of Bluetooth connectivity. The following diagram shows the floor plan of our house and the reach of the Bluetooth signal for the original probe and the MEATER+ probe:
We find it interesting how much the signal is diminished upon going into the house and indeed, how little improvement you see using the MEATER+ probe over using the original MEATER probe. (Incidentally, we established that we could maintain connectivity on the deck, but we didn't go down into the backyard to see how far it would go since we assume we would get numbers similar to those we measured when testing the original MEATER probe.)
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