The Maverick XR-50
is an extended-range, four-channel wireless remote food and cooker thermometer that employs RF to send temperature data from the transmitter to the receiver. It ships with two straight 6″ probes and two straight 3″ probes. The “XR” stands for extended range; the manufacturer claims the units will communicate over 500′ (152m).
The transmitter and receiver are sturdily built and their weight reflects this quality. The four probes consist of a stainless steel braid that is heavier than most and should hold up well. Both the transmitter and receiver have folding stands on their backs that can double as hangers, but the detents on the stands are anemic and will fold or unfold very easily. Each has magnets on its back that allow you to stick the devices to a steel surface. The battery compartments have waterproof seals and clever latches, allowing quick battery changes without tools. The jacks for the temperature probes are fitted with seals to block moisture if it rains. The manufacturer claims that the transmitter is water resistant if all four probes are plugged in: otherwise, the unoccupied jacks can allow water entry.
The display is identical on both the transmitter and the receiver. All four temperatures are displayed as well as the upper and lower alarm limit for each channel. Each channel can have its alarm set on or off, independent of the other channels. All alarms can also be switched on or off together. Each display can indicate the temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius, and the displays can be the same or set differently. Each has a blue backlight that can be illuminated by pressing any button. The display is somewhat sensitive to viewing angle; if the top of the unit is tilted away from you, the display can be difficult to read.
To set the alarm limits, you double-press a button associated with your desired channel, and a high-limit indicator flashes. Pressing the up/down arrow buttons changes the value, then the Set button is displayed. This process locks in the upper limit, then the lower limit indicator flashes, which is set the same way. Or you can simply press the channel button to set the lower limit to 32°F automatically. A long press on the channel button turns the alarm on or off for that channel only. The alarm thresholds can be set on the transmitter only, but they are readable on both units.
The alarms behave intelligently. If you set a temperature range for your cooker between 200° and 250°F, the alarm will not arm itself until the lower threshold is crossed, which prevents the alarm from going off while your cooker is heating up. When an alarm does go off, the display flashes the temperature of the affected channel, and the back light flashes on and off. An audible alarm also sounds. Pressing and holding the channel button mutes the audible alarm and the backlight stops flashing after a few seconds. Pressing the Alarm button turns the alarms for all four channels on or off.
Accuracy in food temperature ranges is excellent. Once the temperature reaches 325°F, the unit reads low by 7°, which is within the tolerance band typical of these instruments.
Setup is a breeze and won’t require re-reading the instructions if you haven’t done it for a while. If communication is lost between the transmitter and the receiver, the remote display will flash its digits after about 20-30 seconds. If communication has not been re-established after two minutes, the audible alarm on the remote will sound while the digits continue to flash.
The overall build quality is excellent. Both the transmitter and receiver have soft silicone borders to protect against shock if dropped. As mentioned, the cables are heavier than most, and the plugs will seal out rain if you have all four probes plugged in. But it would be nice to have a few dummy plugs to insert into the transmitter if you’re not using all four probes on a rainy day. I’d also like to see sturdier construction on the stands on the rear of the units: they fold too easily. And some folks might miss the timer feature found on some competitor’s products. These are minor quibbles.
The unit comes with a one-year limited warranty on the electronics and the probes. The owner’s manual is well-written and has contact information for the manufacturer, including a telephone number, e-mail address, website, and mailing address.
This thermometer setup is solidly built, performs admirably over a long range, and has an intelligently designed user interface. It does everything it should do, and does it well. A well-deserved Platinum Medal.
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