The Smartro ST-54 is a two-channel thermometer with a timer function and audible/visible alarms when temperature limits are exceeded or the timer times out.
The thermometer runs on two AAA batteries that are not supplied. There are two switches on the back of the unit, one for °F/C and one to select the operating mode – thermometer OR timer.
Temperature accuracy is good. The user can select temperatures at which the alert will sound, either by selecting an icon (beef well, beef medium, beef rare, burger, pork, chicken) or a custom setting. The pre-programmed doneness temperatures are 170°, 160°, 145°, 160°, 170° and 180°, all of which are considerably higher than generally accepted. I recommend using the custom setting for better results. When either probe reaches the chosen temperature, a beeper sounds and the display flashes. The alarm can be muted briefly, but will restart repeatedly until the probe drops below the target temperature.
There is also a timer function that can count up or down. If you set a time, it will count down; if you start at zero, it will count up. In either case, the maximum time is 99 minutes and 59 seconds, not particularly helpful if you’re cooking a big roast for a couple hours, for example.
The unit can only operate in one mode at a time. If you set target temperatures and then switch to timer mode, the temperature alarms won’t sound. If you switch from timer mode to temperature mode, the timer will stop and reset. This is not well thought-out, IMO, as cooks monitor time and temperature simultaneously.
The display is attractive with colored bands and a brushed stainless steel bezel. The back of the unit has a hole to allow you to hang the unit on a nail, as well as a magnet and hinged stand. The recessed switches and the battery compartment aren’t sealed in any way, making them susceptible to water ingress. The probes have strain relief springs at the probe and at the plug ends, a nice touch.
The instruction sheet gives clear operating directions, along with the usual caveats about overheating or submerging the probes. There is a telephone number, e-mail address, and a Facebook page should the user need to contact the distributor. The unit is covered by a three-year warranty IF you register the product on the company’s website.
The inaccurate programmed temperatures, the inability to use the timer and the thermometer simultaneously, and the unit’s susceptibility to moisture are serious flaws, making it difficult to give this product a high recommendation.
High quality websites are expensive to run. If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and a lot of freebies!
Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for high quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 2,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner to subsidize us.
Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club. But please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get MANY great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial, and help keep this site alive.
Post comments and questions below
1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.
2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.
3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.
4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.
5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.