There are many things that go into a tailgate that make the overall experience what it is. Its people, passion, food, games, tradition, and so much more all combined. One of the bigger components of tailgating, in my opinion, is the food. There is just something satisfying when you walk through the tailgate lot and take in all the sights and smells of grilled meats and other foods. And if you happen to stop by a spot and give a compliment to the chef, they’re usually more than happy to give you a sample of what they’re cooking. This is a great thing that brings people together. If you are that chef, it’s an amazing feeling to receive a compliment. But one thing you should keep in mind with all of the food you’re cooking and all the potential people you may be serving is food safety. It can be easy to get distracted or lose track of where you are during your cook and the last thing you want to do is serve someone undercooked/overcooked food. So to address that potential problem, I decided to purchase and review a digital meat thermometer that can help us all become better cooks, whether in the tailgating lot or at home. I chose the ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Meat Thermometer and in this review I’ll provide an overview, what’s all included, and my overall impressions.
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ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Meat Thermometer Overview
ThermoPro is located in North America and has been around since 2014. As I was researching this company, I read that they don’t have any “middle men”, meaning they handle all of the designing, manufacturing, selling, and support for their products. None of the business functions are outsourced, which allows them to oversee their entire product development from start to finish and to provide a more robust customer experience.
As I began my online search for a digital meat thermometer, I quickly found that there were no shortage of options. Who knew there would be so many choices?! It was a great problem to have, all of this variety was sure to lead to what I was looking for. When I came across the TP20 model, I was drawn to its design, price, and rating.
The design seemed straightforward, the display was large but the overall body was small and slim compared to others, and it was pretty lightweight. One feature I really wanted was the option to have at least 2 temperature probes, one to monitor a piece of meat and one to monitor the ambient temperature of the grill. The price seemed reasonable for everything that was provided. And the customer reviews were showing that more often than not, consumers were very happy with this product. One comment I saw in the reviews quite often was the fact that ThermoPro will send out replacement thermometer probes free of charge if yours became defective in any way, which I thought was great.
What’s Included in the Box and Other Features
When I received the unit in the mail, I was happy to see that the product was well packaged and was ready to use right out of the box. ThermoPro even included 4 AAA batteries to use in the receiver and transmitter, which is always appreciated when companies do that. The overall product contents included:
4 AAA Batteries
1 Instruction Manual
Setup was pretty simple. All I needed to do was uncoil the wires from the two probes and plug them into the transmitter. Then I simply installed the AAA batteries, turned on both units, and that is it. ThermoPro works to sync the units before they even leave the factory so you don’t need to deal with any lengthy setup process.
I found the amount of features that were included to be impressive. Some of the top specifications are:
Programmed with USDA approved temperatures for 9 types of meat (Ground Beef, Ground Poultry, Fish, Poultry, Lamb, Chicken, Beef, Pork, and Veal)
Programmed with 5 USDA approved levels of doneness for different types of meat (Well Done, Medium Well, Medium, Medium Rare, and Rare)
Remote range of up to 300 feet, allowing you to monitor your food without being by your grill the whole time
Temperature accuracy to +/- 1.8° F (+/- 1° C)
Can be used in Grills, Smokers, and Ovens
Temperature readings that can be set to Fahrenheit and Celsius
Backlit LCD display
Custom programmable modes for meat and doneness
Countdown and Count Up timer, which comes in handy for grilling side dishes and vegetables
Alarm for desired temperature. The receiver will beep and flash when the food has reached its programmed temperature, which helps prevent overcooking
I will say that the receiver and transmitter units didn’t seem to feel as heavy duty as I thought they would. They are extremely lightweight, so I don’t know how well they could handle being dropped on the ground or any rough use. While I enjoy their lightweight shape, it can give the impression that they feel cheaply made but I’ll reserve that judgement for sometime down the road. When it comes to cleaning, you’ll want to use hot soapy water on the probe tips and dry thoroughly but make sure you avoid submerging the entire probe, receiver, or transmitter under water.
As of the time of this writing, my overall impressions of the ThermoPro TP20 is that this unit works quite well. Its extremely diverse in the types of meat you can use it on, methods of cooking, and levels of doneness. I’ve found the temperature accuracy to be fairly consistent. The first time I used it was on a charcoal grill, cooking up some chicken, and when the unit sounded the alarm at 165°F I pulled the chicken off. I found it to be a little undercooked, but it certainly could’ve been user error as I’m not sure if I placed the probes correctly in the chicken. I wasn’t too shocked after the first try because some of the reviews I read had similar experiences with misleading temperature readings. I wanted to make sure the probes were working correctly so I decided to test it. One test I ran was to boil some water and see what reading I got back with a standard thermometer and the TP20. Water typically boils at 212°F and while I know that value can fluctuate based on other factors, that’s what I used as a frame of reference. As you can see in the photos, the standard thermometer is showing roughly 212°F and the TP20 is 1° from 212°F, which falls in line with the +/- 1.8°F range that’s advertised. After finding this out, I felt better about the probes.
It goes without saying, but the temperature probes will become very hot while in use so be careful when you remove the probe from your food. My first experience included grabbing the probe, even though I knew better, with my bare hand instead of my gloved hand. After a few shouts, some expletives, and a trip to the kitchen sink for some cold water, I can happily say everything was fine. But in case you happen to be accident prone it may be worthwhile to purchase a pair of heat resistant grill gloves.
With its compact size, accuracy, and versatility, I really think the TP20 is a great tool whether you use it at your tailgate site or at home. I like the option of being able to either monitor 2 meats at the same time, or monitor 1 meat and use the other probe to monitor the grill temperature. At the end of the day it comes down to food safety and convenience. The topic was brought up during my interview with DeMetris, but a big concern of his is always being able to temp your food so you don’t risk serving any of your patrons food that could get them sick. I think we can all agree that we don’t want to be the cause of someone else’s bad day. Additionally, the ability to monitor your food while not having to stand next to the grill the entire time helps your tailgating or at-home grill master enjoy the festivities as well. With all that being said, I would recommend this thermometer for anyone who is looking to better themselves behind the grill.
The Wrap Up
So there you have it! I know I touched on a lot of information in the overview, what’s included in the box, and my overall impressions, but I want to hear from you. What do you think about the ThermoPro TP20? Do you see this as a useful tool in your BBQ toolbox? Would you use a different thermometer? What has been your experience overall with digital meat thermometers? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments below. I hope you found this review to be helpful. As we continue to grow this website we’ll have more tailgating product reviews to share but let us know if there is something particular you’d like to see featured here in a product review. Thank you for reading 🙂