G&C Ltd. GrillEye Review

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The GrillEye is a six-channel, Bluetooth-enabled cooking thermometer that comes with two included probes. It can operate in a stand-alone mode, but requires a smart device, either an Apple or Android product, to set alarm thresholds. Without a Bluetooth device, you can only read the temperature of each probe in rotation.
 
The wireless operation requires a smart device that comforms to version 4.0 of the Bluetooth communication specification. If you are contemplating a purchase, make sure your device supports this version or it won't work. I tested the unit with a Samsung Galaxy S4 without any problem. The manufacturer claims a range of 100 meters or about 110 yards. The phone will alert you if communication between the thermometer and the smart device is lost.
 
The main unit measures about 3.5" x 5" (90 x 125mm) with a large diameter screen that covers some red LED numerals. These are readily readable indoors, but barely visible in direct sunlight and only marginally readable in bright shade. It seems odd to me to use this type of display, given the LED's power draw. To get some feel for battery life, I turned the unit on and let it run with a single probe attached. It continued for nearly six days, so battery life probably won't be an issue. Two quantities are displayed on the screen: the probe temperature and the target temperature if one is set. The display cycles among the inserted probes, displaying each temperature and its associated target. A small LED near each probe plug illuminates when its data is on display. If only one probe is inserted, it will display that value continuously. If two probes are used, it will switch back and forth between the two. Up to six probes can be monitored sequentially.
 
The probes themselves, at 3.6" (9.2cm) are shorter than many competitors' equipment, but probably adequate for all but the largest cut of meat. The probes are slightly larger in diameter than most: 0.16" (4mm). The units are pointed at the tip with a bulb at the cable end that is about 1.5" (36mm) long. The cable, 45" (1.15m) in length, passes into this bulb, but there is no strain relief where it enters. This could conceivably be a point of failure for the braided cable. The plug end has a plastic strain relief. Two probes are included with the unit, each with a clip to attach it to a grill grate if you are using it to measure cooker temperature. The probe temperature range is given as 716ºF (380ºC), but this does not appear anywhere in the accompanying literature - I had to write to the manufacturer to get it.
 
The smart phone app displays the temperature for each of the six channels. You can set either a temperature range or a target temperature for each channel independently. You can also set a timer that can run from one second to four hours for each channel. When temperatures are reached, your smart device will alert you with sound and vibration. The alarm behavior governs all channels and cannot be set individually. Unlike some apps that, IMO, gild the lilly with eye candy displays, this one tells you the temperature of each probe and its associated alarm thresholds. Perfectly adequate for my tastes.
 
Temperature accuracy was good, never off by more than a degree or two. The probes were slow to respond to our slewing test (a surge of heat), but that really isn't important for this type of probe.
 
Overall, this unit performs nicely and is priced competitively. I can't complain about its accuracy or ease of use. I liked the app better than many others I've tested. I do have one significant reservation, however.
 
The documentation that accompanies the unit is as sparse as any I've seen. I had to go to the manufacturer to find out the temperature range and the operation limits of the probes. The only way to contact the manufacturer is via an e-mail address. The only physical address is in Greece. The warranty, one year in the US, is not stated on the literature that comes with the unit, and, in the event of a failure, you are told to contact the retailer from whom you purchased the device. This is not an acceptable approach in my opinion. What if the reseller says too bad, contact the manufacturer? I would be somewhat hesitant to fork over nearly $100 and not know how I would get service in the event of a problem. I cannot completely endorse a product with such sketchy support.
 
So, how to rate this thermometer? In terms of its performance, good. However, I have reservations about the longevity of the cables where they enter the probe. I'm concerned that so little information about the operating limits is given to the user. I have never tested a thermometer with so little documentation or a warranty that depends on the reseller. So, dear reader, you'll have to decide how to weigh these factors. I'm giving it a Bronze Medal. If the manufacturer improves the documentation and provides a real warranty, I'd up it to Silver.
Thermometer Function: 
Leave in Food
Leave in Cooker
Wireless Remote
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: 
$89.99
Included: 
Main unit, two probes, two clips, batteries, instructions
Probes: 
(2) length: 3.63" (9.2cm), diameter: 0.16" (4mm), cable: 45" (1.15m)
Accessories: 
Additional probes are available
Battery type: 
2xAA (included)
Battery life: 
~6 days
Min / Max: 
-122 F to 572ºF (-50 to +300ºC)
Ambient operating temperatures: 
Not Specified
Display precision: 
At 32ºF it actually reads: 
34/34
At 130°F it actually reads: 
129/129
At 225°F it actually reads: 
225/225
At 325°F it actually reads: 
324/324
Speed from 32°F to 212°F: 
n/a
Size of numbers in display: 
0.56" (14mm)
Water resistance rating: 
Not waterproof
Alarms: 
Audible/Visible
Weight: 
0.53 lbs. (240g) with batts & 2 probes
C/F Switch: 
Yes
Backlight: 
Yes
Adjustable: 
No
Auto shutoff: 
No
Colors: 
Red
Wireless: 
Bluetooth

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Bill McGrath

Bill McGrath is AmazingRibs.com's Thermometer Maven. He has sophisticated equipment, an electrical engineering degree from Cornell University, and an MBA (almost) from UC Berkeley. Despite being mostly retired, he is still the person responsible for developing and updating all of ExxonMobil's electricians' training modules.

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