The Ink Bird IBT-4XS is a four-channel, Bluetooth-enabled wireless thermometer that communicates with smartphone applications, either Apple or Android. It is available with four probes for $60 or with two probes for $50. It can be used as a stand-alone device.
The unit has a lithium-ion battery that is charged via USB port. Charge time is two hours, but the unit cannot be used while it is charging. Run time on a fully-charged battery is not specified by the manufacturer. I ran it for about 1:15 and the battery still indicated 100% charge. The unit will shut itself off after eight hours if phone connection is lost. If the phone app loses contact with the thermometer, an alarm will sound on the phone and a message will be displayed.
Four temperature probes can be used simultaneously. The tested unit came with four identical probes and two grill clips. The display will cycle through the inserted probes so temperature can be determined without using the phone app. However, the app is required to change temperature scales from C to F and to manage alarm thresholds and annunciations. The red LED display on the unit can be read in direct sunshine with a little effort. There is also a magnet built into the back of the unit so it will stick to a steel surface.
Each probe is displayed separately in the phone app. The alarm temperature can be selected from pre-programmed doneness temps or set to a custom setting. When the chosen temperature is reached, a user-selectable audible alarm and/or vibration will sound, and it will repeat on a user-selectable schedule. Each probe has a temperature vs. time display that can be called up as well.
Each probe is associated with its own count-down timer. A user-entered text, displayed when the timer reaches zero, can be set for each probe individually. The probes can be color-coded in the app. A small circular graph displays the progress of the temperature and the timer for each probe.
The app can display in English, German, French, Italian or Spanish. Pairing the phone and the thermometer is a simple process, taking only a few seconds. An iPhone 4S or later, or a phone running Android 4.4 or later, is required to communicate with the unit.
The manufacturer gives the usual caveats about not submerging, kinking, or overheating the probes.
Warranty is one year. The manufacturer in China provides an e-mail address and website, but no local contact phone number.
The build quality is about or slightly above average. The braided cables are more robust than most, and the case appears to be well-made and rugged. The app is easy to use and provides the information needed to cook. Local contact info is missing, but the company has many different products available on Amazon with good reviews, so it appears to be well-established. Overall, this product merits a Silver Medal.
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