Every once in a while, we have to do something useful around here, so here is short review of something every pit keeper should have.
If your just getting into the BBQ arts, and are wondering where in the heck point your wallet, here is a worthy place to start. The smoke zone , or “sweet spot” for low and slow BBQ is somewhere between 225 to 250 – the choice temperature to keep your cooker at, and this gadget will help you monitor your smoker for that temperature, and much more.
The Maverick RediChek Wireless Remote Thermometer. There are lots of things similar out there, and some are nicer, but this is the one we use. So we know from vast experience that they work well and because serious BBQ is nothing to goof around with, we can therefore recommended them with impunity.
It’s a two piece affair: One transmitter, and one receiver. It also comes with two thermal probes- one for your meat and one for your cooker.
Tip – When inserting a probe into meat, ensure that it is indeed in meat, and not by mistake, in a fat cap or next to a bone, as such folly will only give you inaccurate readings. The other probe should be positioned in the smoker at grate level obviously, because that’s where the vittles are.
Once you have the probes in place and your smoker up and running, turn on the transmitter and receiver, and they should link up in a couple of seconds. The transmitter stays out at the pit, while the receiver shall accompany you by your recliner, whilst you repair with a lovely beverage and watch the big game. The nifty part of this is you can set various alarms on the receiver to alert you of a gamut of events, should you fall asleep in said recliner, such as: if smoker temps wander too high or too low, or perhaps the most lovely alert of them all, in which it chimes in due accord whence your meat is done. Be prepared for Pavlov-like reactions with this alert.
The Maverick Redi Chek also boasts a 100 foot range, of which I suppose is possible if there is no sheet rock, wood, glass, or furniture between you and your pit. We just have not found this range to be accurate in real world use. It’s more like 25 feet realistically, which tho, as it turns out, is well enough for most people.
All-in-all, a good little unit at a reasonable price to get you started in the smokey arts.
Another tip: Note what happens when you leave your Maverick too close to your pit. Whups. To its credit however, it still works like the day I got it. Hats off to a good product.
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Editor’s PostScript: Well, it’s been four years since we’ve done this review, and we’re pleased to say that the RediChek ET-73 is still working just fine, save for it’s hemorrhaged plastic case indecent. These things happen. Regardless, it has stood the test of time for our uses, and that says something at least. If there has been any weakness with it, it has been the range. I do wish for a unit that would transmit from the patio all the way up to master bedroom for those all night smokes. That was always asking too much of the ET-73. It is line of sight with that one. That being said, there are still better units on the market these days. If we were buying today, we’d probably go with something like the ThermoPro TP20. It has a little more under the hood, if you will, and well, it’s orange! Plus, it boasts a range of 300 feet. I’ll have to see that to believe it tho.
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