REVIEW – I have never had the opportunity to cook with a wireless meat thermometer, so I was very excited to test out the ARMEATOR ONE Smart Bluetooth Wireless Meat Thermometer when it arrived at my doorstep. Would this wireless thermometer work when my grill is closed? Could it take the heat, so to speak? Read on to discover my findings.
What is it?
The ARMEATOR ONE Smart Bluetooth Wireless Meat Thermometer is a Bluetooth thermometer that when coupled with the ARMEATOR App provides insight into the current cooking temperature of anything it is monitoring.
What’s in the box?
- ARMEATOR ONE Meat Probe
- Meat Probe Dock / Charging Case
- User Manual
- 2 x AAA Batteries
• Probe to Dock Wireless Range (Unobstructed): 229 ft/70m
• Dock to Phone Wireless Range (Unobstructed): 229ft/70m
• Probe to Dock Wireless Range (Close the oven lid): 32ft/10m
• Bluetooth: Bluetooth LE 5.2 wireless connection
• Probe Working Time: 72 hours of continuous cooking (single full charge)
• Ceramic Handle Withstands: 932℉/500℃ (can be used in flames)
• Probe Temp. Range: 32~212℉/0~100℃ (meat)
• Accuracy: ±0.9℉/0.5℃
• Water-Resistance: IP65
• Probe Material: SUS304 Steel (Food Safety) & Ceramic
• Magnetic Backing: Built-in magnet
• Battery: AAA*2
• Charging Time: 15 min
• Probe Diameter: 0.22in/5.5mm
• Probe Size: 5.08*0.59*0.59in/129*15*15mm
• Charging Box Size: 1.85*5.51*1.08in/47*140*27.5mm
• App Requirement: iPhone and iPad apps for iOS 10.3 and later, Android apps for versions 5.0 and later.
Design and features
The actual food probe, i.e. meat thermometer is made of SUS304 Steel, rated safe for Food, with a pretty sharp point on one end, and a user-friendly ceramic handle at the other end. The ceramic handle can withstand a blistering 932℉ according to the documentation. I do not have anything capable of generating that kind of heat, so I am just going to take their word for it, that at 933℉, all hell breaks loose 😀. The actual probe has a faint line on it, about one inch from the ceramic end. Both this and everything up to the sharp end must be completely sunk into the protein that one is attempting to cook. The manual says that while the ceramic tip can withstand very high temperatures, the actual probe, from the tip up to that line can only handle up to 212℉. Searching on the web, this seemed a standard temperature handling figure for the actual probe.
The charging case, or dock as it is called in the documentation houses a pair of AAA batteries (provided) to power not only the dock, but also it charges the actual probe. Online information states that the dock can charge the probe 100 times on two AAA batteries, where a full recharge can occur in 15 minutes. A fully charged probe is advertised to last 72 hours, another claim that I really could not test.
I must admit that I was shocked to see the device was powered by AAA batteries, vs. a slick USB charged lithium device, but the more I think about it, maybe the fact that this could be around heat is the reason why. However, given the actual probe is powered by a lithium battery, albeit a very small one, maybe it does not matter. Speaking of being around heat, the communication with the phone is done by the dock, not the probe. The probe speaks to the dock and the dock speaks to the phone via Bluetooth to the ARMEATOR App. Having the App communicate to the dock is the foundation for the advertised over 200-foot range. The dock needs to be close, within 10 feet of the probe, and has a magnet built into the case which allows for it to be attached close to the probe. For instance, one could attach the dock, via the magnet to the bottom of the grill, which is cool, and close by.
The ARMEATOR App is really where all the cooking action takes place. I mean once you stick in the probe, everything else happens within the App. The ARMEATOR App can track multiple ARMEATOR ONE Smart Bluetooth Wireless Meat Thermometer devices and in fact, a suite of them can be purchased with more than one probe in the same box. I was sent two individual standalone probes for some reason and thus they appear as individual units in the App. At the time of this writing, I could not change the names of the probes in the App, and used a Sharpie to mark the second probe and its associated dock so I would not get the probes and docks mixed up. I am fairly certain the probes are paired with their corresponding dock. To be honest I did not try to mix and match them as it only makes sense the shipped dock and probe combination are tied together. I would assume in the multiple probe distributions, the single dock, capable of charging and communicating with separate probes is hard programmed to be able to identify each probe. I also saw a picture online of multiple probe arrangements where each probe has a different number at the end of the ceramic end. Both of my probes have a “1” on them, hence the Sharpie.
Once you have the AAA batteries installed (again which are provided), the setup for the ARMEATOR ONE Smart Bluetooth Wireless Meat Thermometer is straightforward. You will need to download the ARMEATOR App. Once the App is downloaded, it prompts the user through the pairing of the device, which is very easy. The first probe has been paired in this sequence.
The temperature dock / charging case is activated by hitting the button when the probe is removed from the doc. Once that is done and after you have hit the Add Device button you are presented with instructions that walk you through the pairing. The Add Device button remains there allowing additional probes to be added. This is what I did for the second probe that was shipped to me.
Once all that is done and every time afterward, all that is left is deciding what protein you want to cook, stick in the probe, and hit start, which will reveal a matrix of guides to choose from. Once selected, you are prompted for the level of doneness you desire, along with the ability to tweak each temperature selection. More instructions that you can prevent from being shown again, and you are then taken to a monitoring screen. From there you can see a graph of the current temperature, and the desired temperature. Note you can’t monitor more than one probe at a time with that screen.
Now I am not a cooking expert, but I do value good results when I cook, and when I say cook, I mean grill. Even though I have not been using the ARMEATOR ONE Smart Bluetooth Wireless Meat Thermometer very long, I can already see that using it is going to drive some rigor into my normal grilling routine, and if you grill with insufficient rigor, your results may be all over the map. I know that mine has been if I am being honest.
If you live in a household where you have two completely different levels of doneness for say steaks, say medium rare and medium well, it can be a challenge, at least it was for me to cook both meats concurrently, correctly. Previously when I went about this, I would put on the more done steak minutes (guessed) ahead of the other one. I did not have a good meat thermometer previously, so I would kind of wing it, and as one would expect the results would vary.
After using the two ARMEATOR ONE Smart Bluetooth Wireless Meat Thermometers at the same time, I have realized that I can put the meat to be done more on first as before, and monitor the temperature of that one, putting on the second one when the delta temperature between the two equals the delta of the final cooking temperatures, vs trying to guess with time as before. Using this technique really worked out well. Additionally, when letting the meat rest, you can monitor the internal temperature, seeing the rise of temperature that occurs and can use that temperature information to help in deciding on when to serve the protein.
It is worth stating that the App does not give put any kind of warning as the desired temperature approaches. For me, this was not a big deal as I monitor what I have on the grill anyway, as I am close by when the internal temperature has been reached. I know that online this is a common complaint. One thing you might want to do is extend your screen’s auto-lock setting as this can constantly require you to unlock your phone.
I should mention that I did find it very hard to stick the probe into standard pork steaks. They are kind of thin and fatty, and just did not take the probe very easy without exposing some of the probe’s steel shaft between the end and that faint line described above.
Finally, I realized that I did not mention anything about clean-up. Coming off of the grill, the white ceramic can be pretty charred looking, however using soap and water, everything comes out looking pretty good.
What I like
- Wide temperature range support.
- Multi Probe Support.
- Works great inside a closed grill.
- The ARMEATOR App
What I’d change
- I wish the meat probe was thinner to allow for easier insertion.
- Bypass auto screen lock setting
I cannot see myself wanting to ever cook, um, grill again without using the ARMEATOR ONE Smart Bluetooth Wireless Meat Thermometer. It really does take all the guesswork out of grilling meat to almost perfection. I look forward to using it on a turkey next Thanksgiving to see what the results are for an oven roast.