Dry or undercooked meat is no badge of honor. The key to mouth-watering BBQ is knowing the right temperature. But oftentimes, you can’t really rely on your cooker’s built-in thermometer.
You need a separate meat thermometer instead. It’s quicker and more accurate. However, which one to choose among a wide variety of them on the market today?
And what if you would rather spend more money on meat than thermometers? But you still don’t want to ruin your BBQ. The solution is an affordable yet functional thermometer.
If that’s what you’re looking for, this ThermoPro TP 08 review is for you.
Let’s see what’s inside the box, eh?
ThermoPro TP 08 Unboxing
The TP 08 is a product of ThermoPro, also known as i-Tronics or Intek. The company started as a white-label manufacturer for some of the largest names on the market. Slowly, ThermoPro transitioned into building their own brand and selling directly to the end consumers.
The TP 08 is one of ThermoPro’s top-rated wireless meat thermometers, along with the TP20. Besides these, the company also sells hygrometers and thermometers for other uses.
Note: If you’re interested, I do have an article on the similarities and differences between the ThermoPro TP20 and TP08.
Like any meat thermometer, the TP 08 makes it easy for you to monitor the temperature inside your cooker as well as your food. In other words, you don’t have to be near your grill/smoker/oven to keep checking on it. That gives you the freedom to do other things.
The device comes with a set of stainless steel probes. One is for measuring the food temperature while the other is for the ambient temperature of your cooker. The food probe is 6.5” long with a pointy tip whereas the cooker probe is shorter, at 3” in length, along with a duller end.
These probes are connected to a transmitter through a 40” stainless steel mesh cable. The transmitter has a small LCD screen that switches between the temp of your food and the cooker. It is covered by a rubber case with numbers to indicate the port for each respective probe. In the back, it has a thin wire spring clip that acts as either a stand or hook if you twist it up. This is also where you install the batteries for the unit.
The transmitter uses a radio frequency signal to send the information to a receiver. Bigger of the two, the receiver is also wrapped in a rubber case. The screen is bigger with a backlit display that allows you to read in the dark.
You can see more data on the receiver compared to the transmitter. Furthermore, it has 7 buttons that allow you to set different temperatures, alarms, and timers. Also a switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius. There is a loss link alert that will sound if your receiver disconnects from your transmitter for more than 4 minutes.
In the back, the receiver has a belt clip so it can hang on to you. There is also a metal tab that pushes the clip into a stand if needed. Similar to the transmitter, this is also where the batteries go.
The transmitter and receiver already come pre-synced. Their remote range is up to 300 feet. Besides the pair, you also find a user manual, a clip for the cooker probe, and a 1-year warranty card with ThermoPro support information. If you register your thermometer, you will get an extended 3-year warranty instead.
The TP 08 is great for grillers who want something that doesn’t break the bank, with fewer features (compared to the TP20) yet functional at the same time. It’s also a great secondary thermometer if you have two cookers going on at the same time.
Now, please be aware that there are two versions of the device – TP08 and TP08S. According to ThermoPro, the TP08S includes an upgraded food probe but the same specs nonetheless. Also, certain devices have Up and Down buttons while some don’t. Another thing to keep in mind that there is a US version and a Canadian one if you buy it in North America.
Features & Specs
- Temperature Range – 32F to 527F
- Temperature Accuracy – +-1.8F
- Remote Range – 300ft
- Food Probe – 6.5” with pointy end
- Cooker Probe – 3” with blunt end
- Cabe Length – 40”
- Probe & Cabe Heat Resistant – up to 716F
- Backlit Screen
- Alarms, Timers, and Different Manual Temp Settings
- Uses – Grill/Smoker/Oven/Candy/Food
- 1 x Transmitter
- 1 x Receiver
- 1 x Food Probe
- 1 x Cooker Probe
- 1 x Cooker Probe Clip
- 1 x User Manual
- 1 x Warranty Card
- 4 x AAA Batteries
- Long remote distance (up to 300ft)
- Wide temp range
- High accuracy
- Monitor both food and cooker
- Different mounting options
- Loss link warning
- Backlit screen
- Device comes pre-synced
- Take some time to learn the settings
- No obvious indication between food and cooker probe on the receiver
- Button noise can be aggravating
- Can be hard to hook the transmitter
- No heat shield protecting the transmitter
The ThermoPro TP 08 Review
Design & Build Quality
The removable rubber casing really makes the transmitter feel bulky yet grippy. The two contrasting tones are really good color choices from ThermoPro (grey and orange). Besides the good look, the rubber also protects the transmitter from any splash of water or accidental drop. However, I would be very careful not to drop it frequently since the unit itself is made from plastic.
The LCD screen is small that it can’t display both temps of the food and the cooker altogether. It’s a minor thing because you’ll be spending most of your time with the receiver when using the TP08. There is also no backlight for the transmitter so you will need a flashlight if you smoke food overnight.
On the sides, there are numbers (1 & 2) to indicate the location of the two separate probes. It can be confusing at first and you will have to refer back to the manual to know which one to plug. But once you get the hang of it, it shouldn’t be hard to remember.
The front of the transmitter only has one button where you can turn the device on/off and switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius. On top of that is a small flickering red light that tells you if the device is currently transmitting data or not. The overall look of the transmitter is clean and simple, making it easy to familiarize with.
Moving on to the back, you will find a thin wire clip. It acts as a stand for the transmitter if you plan to put it on a flat surface. You can also pull the wire back a bit and it can latch onto just about anything. However, the opening is small so I would be careful with what I clip it to.
Twist it upside down and you turn the clip into a hook. Now this is a neat idea. However, I find that it falls off anything that doesn’t have a sharp hook easily. Furthermore, if you do hang it, the display will point to the ground, which makes it hard to read even during the day.
There is also no heat shield protecting the transmitter from melting so I’d put it somewhere far away from the hot part of your grill/smoker. For example, the ash catcher tray of the Weber Kettle or the pellet box of the Traeger grill.
According to the manufacturer, this unit is rain-proof so that’s peace of mind. Though exposing it under the rain for too long wouldn’t be a great idea.
Like the transmitter, the receiver also has the same two tones color. Bigger of the two, the rubber casing really makes the receiver grippy and easier to hang on to. At the back, there is a belt clip with an optional metal tab that holds the clip in place, transforming it into a stand.
I find the stand useful when I’m cooking and working on my computer at the same time. I can just glance at the monitor and see how my temps are doing. There is no need to pick it up at all (I’m lazy, OK! 🙂 ).
The screen on the receiver is bigger. It has a backlight so that’s a plus if you smoke a brisket overnight. The brightness of it is somewhere in the middle, not too bright but not too dim either. It is really easy to look at.
Here, you can also see both of your food and cooker temps simultaneously. As well as other information such as timers and alarms. Keep in mind that there is no pre-set temp for different kinds of meat or levels of doneness. You have to do it manually. However, the receiver will save the data so you don’t have to set it up again.
Beneath the screen are the buttons. The first impressions are the big clean fonts and the size of the buttons (some other versions have smaller buttons though). They look clean and feel easy to press on.
That said, it can be confusing operating these buttons at first. The reason is because they’re multi-purpose. It will take a bit of learning before you master the interface of the receiver. To save you some time, I include a video on how to use it below.
As I mentioned earlier, some versions of the TP08 will have the Up and Down buttons while some don’t. That can be annoying since the max temp that the unit can go for is around 527F. That means you have to go all the way up before it resets back to 0F.
Another small complaint is the beep sound whenever you press the button. It might be OK for some people but a nuisance for others.
Nevertheless, the range between the receiver and the transmitter is great (up to 300ft). The distance between my grill and my work table is about 35ft with two doors in between. There was no loss signal in any of my cooks.
Compared to the TP20, which has two meat probes, it’s easier to distinguish between the food and BBQ probe that comes with the TP08. The longer, pointier one is the food probe whereas the shorter, duller one is the BBQ probe.
However, some people might be confused with the naming of the two probes. For some regions in the US, BBQ means food. Therefore, ThermoPro should change it to the grill/smoker/oven probe to prevent any confusion.
That said, the two probes are made of high-quality stainless steel. They’re sturdy and well-built. The food probe is long enough that it can penetrate deep into the center of the meat. There is also an included clip so you can attach your cooker probe to the cooking grate with ease.
The cable that connects the probe to the transmitter is protected by a stainless steel mesh. It has a heat resistance of up to 716F, which is good for any type of cooking. It’s also long enough at 40” although some people might need it a bit longer.
Accuracy & Speed
To check the TP08’s accuracy, I put its two probes into a water pan. Slowly heat it up and see how the temperature changes.
According to ThermoPro, the margin of error for the TP08’s temp accuracy is + or -1.8F. The temperature for boiling water is 212F. When the water is boiling hot in the pan, the temp fluctuates between 208F and 210F from the receiver’s screen. Not bad for a thermometer at this price range.
Speed-wise, you will see a delay between 4 – 5 seconds from the time you insert the probe into the meat or the cooking grate. For the average backyard cook, that’s actually pretty good.
Overall, even though the TP08 is not as fast as the best instant-read thermometer or as accurate as some other high-end products, it still gets the job done.
Another one is the absence of pre-programmed temp settings for different types of meat and levels of doneness. This can be easily solved by checking a temperature chart. It’s available on the Interwebs with a quick search on Google.
Other than that, the initial setup of the TP08 is simple. The transmitter and receiver pair are already pre-synced so you don’t have to do anything technical. Even if you disconnect the two, a simple hold on the Power/Sync will do the trick.
The TP08 also comes equipped with an alarm that will let you know when your meat reaches its desired temp. Or when the internal temp of your cooker cools down or flares up beyond a certain threshold. Or when your timer is finished.
The alarm sounds loud enough that you can hear it over typical daily noises such as music or TV. Though the screen doesn’t illuminate on either transmitter or receiver when the alarm goes off.
Warranty & Support
ThermoPro has outstanding customer service. If your TP08 is broken or defective, contact the support team and they will send out a replacement right away. Their contact information is included in the warranty card that comes with the device. The company also has an active Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube account so you can be in touch on those as well.
Speaking of warranty, they offer a generous warranty of 3 years if you register your TP08. Otherwise, you will have a 1-year warranty instead.
The dual-probe is something that I really like about the TP08. The ability to know both my smoker and food’s temp is crucial for smoking and grilling. It ensures that my food won’t be too dry or undercooked. I also use the food probe as a secondary instant-read thermometer to double-check the accuracy of my main one.
The second thing I like is the rubber case. It not only protects the plastic core of the transmitter and receiver, but it also makes them grippy to hang on to. Besides, the color contrast is a nice touch.
Another thing is the ability to set an alarm if your cooker’s internal temp falls below a certain threshold. This is particularly useful when I have trouble maintaining a low n slow smoking temp during the wintertime. Last but not least, the price of the TP08 is great for what it is. A low-cost but reliable thermometer.
Any Future Improvements?
The first thing ThermoPro should improve is the layout of the buttons on the receiver. Maybe a simplified version with less multi-functional buttons.
Next is a magnet for the clip on the transmitter to hold it in place better. An extra heat shield would also be nice to protect the electronics from frying if you hang it too close to your hot grill/smoker. ThermoPro should also clearly label the food and cooker probe instead of using the numbers.
Finally, the probe ports should be on one side of the transmitter or in a single direction. That way, it will prevent a terrible mess of cables if you route them through the exhaust vent of your Weber Kettle.
For those that want a thermometer with a pre-set temp settings, the TP20 is for you. It’s equipped with USDA-approved temperatures for different types of meat as well as levels of doneness. You just have to set it up and the thermometer will take care of the rest.
You can also check the temp of two types of meat simultaneously since the TP20 comes with two food probes. Though you can check the ambient temp of your cooker if you want to (TP20 has a cooker probe clip).
That said, the TP20 still has all the features from the TP08. Things like alarms, timers, 300ft range, and so on. It’s more expensive than the TP08 but not by much.
Thermoworks is known for its reputation for making high-quality thermometers. The Thermoworks Smoke is no exception. It’s accurate and reliable.
Furthermore, it’s very simple to navigate with fewer buttons to press. It’s also sturdy and well-built. The screen is large with proper backlight and huge digits, making it easy to read. Better yet, the Smoke includes strong magnets on the back of its transmitter and comes in different colors.
The only downside of this thermometer is its price. It’s way pricier than the TP08 and even the TP20. If you want more information about the Thermoworks Smoke, the best place is their official website.
Should You Buy The ThermoPro TP 08?
The TP08 is a practical choice for anybody who is serious about grilling/smoking meat but doesn’t want to spend a lot of money. It’s also a good secondary thermometer for experienced pitmasters who cook a lot and use more than one cooker at a time.
Although the TP 08 requires a bit of learning at the beginning, it’s decent to use once you master its interface. It has a good range and enough features. It’s also precise enough that you can use it for many forms of cooking.
To know more about this device, you can click the button.
Thank you for making this far in my ThermoPro TP 08 review article. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or drop a comment down below.