The ET-736 is Maverick’s latest entry into the remote thermometer market, and follows the very successful ET-732 and ET-733 wireless models. Unlike its predecessors, the 736 communicates with a smart phone or tablet via the owner’s Wi-Fi router, a necessary component of the circuit. If you don’t have a router where you intend to cook, you won’t be able to use this product. Currently, only an app for the Android is available, although an Apple-compatible version is claimed to be coming soon.
We tested two versions of the smartphone app. Due to problems with the earlier version, we waited until an update was available. Both versions are described below.
Setup is easy and described in the rather terse quick-start guide. Download the app, install, charge the base unit, and follow a few easy steps from within the app itself, and you’re connected. If either the Android device or the base unit loses connectivity, an icon on the latter blinks and beeps.
The base unit supports two temperature probes. The probes can be given custom names to describe their use, like “brisket” or “smoker,” and these are retained after the app is closed. From within the app (only), you can set alarms to trigger on a maximum, a minimum, or a range of temperatures, or no alarm at all. You can select whether to get an audible alarm, a vibration or a spoken voice, or any combination of the three. In the earlier version of the app, if selecting a maximum, as one would for cooking a piece of meat, there is a setting for overdone tolerance, but I could not find any instructions on its use or a way to set it. This feature disappeared in the updated app. The alarm thresholds are transmitted to the base unit, and it will beep and flash the backlight when the temperature setting is reached. Temperature accuracy on both probes is good.
The app displays two circles that act as analog temperature gauges. The scale on the dials reflects the temperature settings for the alarms. In the earlier app, the numbers all ran together in a tiny font that was unreadable on my Samsung Galaxy S4, and the dials did not update consistently, sometimes not at all. In the update of the app, this readability issue has been fixed, but a new issue arose: the app will not hold the settings you’ve input. If I change the upper limit in a range, it will change the lower limit to a value of its own choosing. If I change the lower limit, the upper limit will change as well. Something is wrong here.
You can select whether to display temps in the app in Fahrenheit or Celsius, but the indicator read backwards in the earlier app; temps are shown in ºF when “C” is displayed in the settings, and vice-versa. The updated app fixed this problem. The base unit can be set for either scale, independent of the application.
You can set a number of timers that count down. They can be set, started, and stopped independently. The timers remember their last setting. However, if one inadvertently closes the app, you will lose the timer positions, making them useless on restart.
The base unit has internal rechargeable batteries that the manufacturer claims will run for four hours without recharge. You could, of course, plug in the charger and run indefinitely. The short charge life will be a problem for anyone contemplating a cook that runs longer and is inconvenient to a power receptacle. (Maverick’s previous products would run for weeks on one set of batteries.) In my test unit, the battery completely discharged while in storage for a couple of weeks, but would work while charging if plugged into its charger.
The unit comes with two identical food temperature probes. The cables are quite short at 32” (81cm), a length that will cause problems for outdoor smokers but may be fine for indoor oven use.
The printed instructions are barely adequate, and the Help feature of the app gives only a little more information. One has to dig to find the temperature range of the unit. Warnings about proper handling of the equipment can be found in the app’s Help section, but are missing from the printed material. The writers assume too much, in my opinion, about the users’ technical sophistication. Please put enough information in the printed instructions so one can navigate through the app with the instructions in plain view.
With the short battery life, short probes, clunky app and relatively high price, I don’t see why anyone except a dedicated smart phone junkie would choose this device over one of Maverick’s earlier products. Perhaps with a better application, this unit might have broader appeal, but it’s not ready for prime time, IMO. If you can cook without playing with your phone, I would recommend Maverick’s ET-732 for less than half the price and all the features. The ET-736 is not recommended at this time.
Leave in Food, Leave in Cooker, Wireless Remote
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Display unit, two probes, USB cable, charger, instructions
Published On: 12/23/2016
Last Modified: 1/28/2021
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 training modules.