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Meater Review

Meater Review

UPDATE: On 3/21/2019, more than 3 years since I sent this company my money, I finally got my product. We will be putting it through its paces and should have a review in a month or so.

We have not yet reviewed Meater and we do not recommend you buy it until we have tested it. Here is why:

In September of 2015 I first heard of a very cool concept, a wireless thermometer probe system called Meater from Apption Labs. Apption offered a single waterproof metal meat probe about the size of a pencil that would pair with a smartphone app via Bluetooth and send both internal meat temp as well as ambient air temp up to 10 meters. It came with a snazzy wooden block to store it that was also the charger. One probe that did the job of two reading both meat and air temp. There was an upgrade with four probes and a wooden block that connected to wifi and the cloud. The whole package looked very cool and very promising.

Technologically, this is a serious challenge. Temps inside an oven or grill can get pretty high, and electronics and solder don’t normally tolerate high heat. The trick was to bury the electronics in the tip of the probe where they would be kept relatively cool, because watery meat never goes higher than 212°F. Of course if the probe fell out of the meat or wasn’t inserted properly, or if it should be used to measure hot air or hot oil, the electronics might fail and your expensive device would be ruined. Regardless, I ordered one almost immediately, the $129 package, two probes and a wooden block to hold them.

They estimated delivery of January 2016. On Kickstarter they had a goal of raising $100,000 and they raised more than $1,250,000. Here’s a link to the campaign.

They also launched a campaign on Indiegogo.com that raised more than $2,766,000 by 10/22/2015. Here’s link to the campaign.

That’s almost $4 million raised within two months.

On 10/16/2017, 22 months after the estimated ship date, they announced that they were shipping the single probe units. A few days later they posted a YouTube video of a “working engineering sample of The Block”, the multiprobe unit that is housed in a wooden block, the unit I had ordered and paid for two years earlier. Comments are disabled on the video and on their Kickstarter page and they refuse to commit to a ship date or to describe the technical problems they are struggling with. Nor have I ever gotten an email about my order. Nor have they offered me the option to downgrade to the single probe device that they are shipping. Nor is there any way to cancel the order and get a refund. More concerning, AmazingRibs.com has by far the largest thermometer guide in the world and they have never offered to send us a unit to test. Yet they still promote aggressively and advertise as “Now Shipping”.

The delays in shipping the unit I paid for two three years ago, the fact they have not offered a unit to us to test, make me fear that the technical problems they have struggled with may not be solved and I recommend you not buy until we can test one. Likewise I consider Apption’s business practices to be substandard and I fear that it may not work as promised and should you buy a unit and have problems with it you will have difficulty communicating with the company and getting customer service.

Update

It is now more than 3 years since they took my money. On 12/11/2018 they sent an email telling me to check and make sure they have the correct shipping address. But they did not include a link. So I went to their website and clicked on My Account. I entered the email address they used to send me the email. The system had no record of me. In it they said they had shipped 1,306 units. Not mine.

Here are some comments on my social media feeds

“My effective range is about 6′, unobstructed. I do not have a smartphone but do have an older iPad. They never specified that it won’t sync to the older iPads. But the real issue is range. VERY disappointing!”

“I’m w Meathead on this one I basically consider them frauds and thieves. At a minimum they are either liars or incompetent.”

“I joined the Kickstarter program to obtain my Meater which was received about 3 months ago. I bought it specifically for Rotisserie cooks. I have tested it against my ProCom units in conventional cooks. It has performed flawlessly. I get great distance with the BGE and my BRADLEY, as well. The accuracy has been excellent. I am not related to Meater in anyway.”

“The only contact information on the packaging is their website, facebook page, instagram page or you tube channel.”

“I use it in the KBQ C-60 (Karubecue) and have to keep my Android tablet or iPad mini leaning up against the door in order to stay connected. If I move it more than 4-6 inches away or up, I lose connection. Very disappointed about that. My remedy was to buy a cheap Android tablet that I keep at the KBQ and then my iPad mini can daisy chain the connection over my home wifi and I can take it any place on the property. Still, range in a stainless steel smoker sucks. My dad can put it in his indoor rotisserie oven or BGE and get connectivity wherever he needs it at his house. The good/best parts of the Meater- measuring ambient temperature inside the cooker and the software calculating how much time is left while cooking. My wife loves that because in the past, whenever she asked ‘how much time left?’, I told her I cook by internal temperature and there is no set time. The app does calculate the time pretty well, at least within 30 minutes give or take.”

“After waiting close to two years, I finally got my single probe. The Packaging, probe and charger are beautiful. Sadly the device is worthless. I can’t get more than 8 feet away from my smoker without Bluetooth disconnecting. An email to the company resulted in a reply stating that this is a limitation of Bluetooth and a ridiculous list of tips to improve my range. Total nonsense! I have used multiple wireless Bluetooth probes in the past with 50 foot range, including igrill and Maverick devices.The only way I could use would be by leaving my iPhone or iPad in the backyard as a relay station to another device receiving wireless. Ridiculous and totally impractical. I cannot tell you how disappointed I am in this device. Do not buy one until they fix it.”

  • Thermometer Function:
    Leave in Food, Leave in Cooker, Wireless Remote
  • Item Price:
    $ 129
  • Speed from 32 to 212 Degrees:
    n/a
  • C/F Switch:
    No CF swich
  • Backlight:
    No Backlight
  • Thermometer Connection:
    Bluetooth

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Published On: 12/22/2017 Last Modified: 9/29/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.


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