Weber Connect Hub

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The Weber Connect Hub is a four-channel wireless remote food thermometer that can operate on its own or in conjunction with an app that runs on your phone. The unit comes with two probes; others can be purchased separately. It supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. With Wi-Fi, the user can monitor the cook anywhere an internet connection is available.
 
The literature says it will work with both iPhones and Android phones. I was unable to connect to it using a Samsung Galaxy S6, even though that phone meets Weber's standards for use with the unit. I was able to connect with my wife's less expensive Samsung phone, however.
 
When used stand-alone, the unit displays the temperature of one probe at a time, selectable by pressing down on the unit to activate a switch in the base. If used with the app, it works differently.
 
When connected, the app asks the user to pick the type of food being cooked on a probe-by-probe basis. After picking the food type and doneness preference, the software uses an algorithm to calculate the time for the next of possibly several steps in the cook. If cooking a steak, the app will tell you when to flip the meat and when to remove it from the fire. If you're cooking a brisket, it will give you the time interval before you need to wrap the food, a technique called the "Texas crutch." Unfortunately, you don't know the overall time required to complete all the steps, so you can't determine when the food will be ready. The time to stage completion will display on the sending unit as well as the app. Different probes can have different times associated with the food being cooked with that probe. 
 
This approach to cooking might comfort the novice, but it's likely to irritate a more knowledgeable cook. I'm not a big fan of having a thermometer app tell me when food will be done; I prefer to make that decision myself. The app also wants to dictate the cooking process, another sore spot with me. What if I don't want to crutch my brisket? How can the app determine the length of the stall? There are too many variables for the app to make an accurate determination, in my opinion. Another thing missing is the availabilty of a temperature vs. time graph that can be viewed and stored. If this app can provide such a graph, I couldn't find out how.
 
I found it difficult to navigate the app. No useful directions come with the unit, and many users don't want to have to get guidance on the internet. Please, manufacturers, provide instructions that can be referenced from an arm chair. Don't ask users to download a manual unless it's a good comprehensive booklet, in which case, the booklet should be printed and bundled with the unit as standard practice. Weber seems to assume that the user can easily figure out how to work the software. I found it obtuse and difficult to use. Other users have complained about it as well. The manufacturer needs to spend more time on orienting users to the app before it's ready for prime time.
 
As for the hardware, the two supplied probes did not have any strain relief built into the probe or the plug, something that will shorten the life of each probe. Little attention appears to have been paid to protecting against moisture; the user only gets a pictorial lesson in the hazards of getting the probes wet. This is below par for an instrument in this price range. Since the jacks are on the top of the unit, they are susceptible to water ingress if it were to rain. Otherwise, the construction of the transmitter seems to be solid. The temperature accuracy of the unit is very good, never off by more than one degree Fahrenheit over the tested range from 32 to 325°.
 
The internal rechargeable battery is replenished using a USB cable, which is supplied, that is then plugged into a computer or an outlet charger. But an outlet charger is not supplied. No information is given about how long the user can expect a battery charge to last. 
 
I could not find any specific reference to a warranty in the instruction sheet, nor was there anything more than a Canadian address - no phone number nor e-mail address - should the user need customer assistance with the product.
 
With clear instructions and more a functional app, this unit could be successful. In its present form with its paltry instructions, it leaves a lot to be desired. It's hard to recomment Connect Hub with so many other units on the market that don't suffer from these shortcomings. Weber generally makes excellent products, so I'm hoping they will straighten this one out.
Thermometer Function: 
Leave in Food
Leave in Cooker
Wireless Remote
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: 
$129.79
Included: 
Sending unit, two probes w/reels, USB recharging cable, minimal instructions
Probes: 
Food: length: 4" (10cm", diameter: 0.165" (4.2mm), cable: 48" (1.2m); cooker: length: 3.15" (8 cm), diameter: 0.165" (4.2mm), cable: 48" (1.2m)
Battery type: 
Internal rechargeable
Battery life: 
Not specified
Min / Max: 
-22 to 572°F (-30 to 300°C)
Ambient operating temperatures: 
<150°F ambient
Display precision: 
At 32ºF it actually reads: 
33
At 130°F it actually reads: 
130
At 225°F it actually reads: 
224
At 325°F it actually reads: 
326
Speed from 32°F to 212°F: 
n/a
Size of numbers in display: 
0.83", (21mm)
Water resistance rating: 
IP4, in other words, No
Alarms: 
Audible
Weight: 
6.35 oz. (180 g)
C/F Switch: 
Yes
Backlight: 
Yes
Adjustable: 
No
Auto shutoff: 
No
App: 
Apple and Android
Colors: 
Black
Wireless: 
Bluetooth
Wifi

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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 electricians' training modules.

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