Getting you and your family sick from eating undercooked meat is no bueno. Instead of having a good time together, you end up spending time inside you-know-where.
To prevent that, you need a proper meat thermometer. Well, that’s easy to say! Which one to choose since there are many of them on the market? You might ask.
In this article, I’ll go into more details about a popularly decent meat thermometer.
Welcome to my ThermoPro TP20 review. Let’s unbox it first, shall we?
ThermoPro TP20 Unboxing
The TP20 is an upgraded version of the ThermoPro TP08. It still has the same features and specs, but with extra USDA-approved pre-set temp settings for different types of meat and degrees of doneness. Followed by the TP08, the TP20 is another ThermoPro’s best selling wireless meat thermometer.
Note: If you’re interested in a comparison between these two thermometers, please follow the link below:
Using the TP20 makes it easy for you to keep track of the internal temperature of your food as well as your grill/smoker. You don’t have to babysit the cooker very often. And that frees you up time to mingle, sip on some beer, and relax.
It comes with two identical detachable stainless steel probes. You can use them for checking the temp of two kinds of meat. Or one for the meat and the other for the grill/smoker. ThermoPro also includes a probe clip in case you go with the latter.
The probe is about 8” long, including the 2” stainless steel handle. Some versions of the TP20 have straight probes while other versions have angular ones. That said, they are all attached to a 40” steel mesh cable. The cable connects the probes to a transmitter through what looks like an audio jack.
The transmitter has a bright orange rubber case on the outside. A small LCD screen is located on the upper part of it, alternating the temp between the two probes. Below the screen, there is a red light dot that signals the transmitting status.
There is also a button that allows you to turn on/off the transmitter or switch between Farenheit and Celsius. On the sides, it has numbers (1 and 2) to indicate the port of each corresponding probe.
In the back, the transmitter has a thin wire clip that acts as a stand. If you turn it up 180, it becomes a hook. This is also the location of the batteries.
Now, the transmitter sends a radio frequency signal to a receiver. Also in bright orange rubber casing, the receiver has a bigger LCD screen with a backlight built-in. The screen has three portions that show different types of information.
There are 8 buttons underneath the screen. They are all large with white, bold fonts. Similar to the transmitter, you install the batteries in the back of the receiver. Here, you will also find a belt clip. If you don’t want to clip it, there is a small metal tab that turns the clip into a stand.
The transmitter and receiver already come pre-paired. According to ThermoPro, their range of connection is up to 300ft. In the package, there are also a manual, a warranty leaflet, and 4 AAA batteries.
The TP20 is a good option for any backyard cook that wants the convenience of pre-set temp settings as well as the ability to customize their own. On top of that, the TP20 can be used for both grilling and barbecuing, making it a versatile device. Considering its price, performance, and features, it’s the best bang for the buck for most backyard cooks.
Features & Specs
- Temperature Range – 32F to 527F
- Temperature Accuracy – +-1.8F
- Remote Range – 300ft
- Dual Probe – stainless steel, 8” long with 2” handle
- Cabe Length – 40”
- Probe & Cabe Heat Resistant – up to 716F
- Probes for Two Types of Meat OR One Meat, One Cooker
- Pre-synced Transmitter and Receiver Duo
- Backlit Screen for Receiver
- USDA-approved Pre-set Temp Settings
- Alarms and Manual Temp Settings
- Countdown and Count up Timers, both in hr:min and min:sec
- 1 x Transmitter
- 1 x Receiver
- 2 x Probe
- 1 x Probe Clip
- 1 x User Manual
- 1 x Warranty Leaflet
- 4 x AAA Batteries
- Checking temp for two types of meat or both food and cooker
- Mounting options for both transmitter and receiver
- The pair comes pre-synced
- Built-in backlight for receiver
- Long range of connection (up to 300ft)
- Loss link alert
- USDA-approved pre-set temp settings
- Ability to customize temp range if want to
- Batteries included
- Difficult to hang the transmitter
- No heat protection for the transmitter
- Probes can sometimes be faulty or defective
- Buttons noise can be loud and annoying
The ThermoPro TP20 Review
Design & Build Quality
The bright orange rubber casing really makes the transmitter stand out, especially if the majority of your grills/smokers are of darker color. It also helps if you cook overnight a lot. Furthermore, the rubber casing adds a bit of bulk to the device, making it solid and easier to grab on to. It also protects the plastic core if you happen to drop it.
The LCD screen of the transmitter isn’t backlit so you might need a flashlight if it’s getting dark outside. It’s also small that you can only see one temp at a time. Though it’s a minor complaint since you will be using the receiver more than this.
On the previous TP20 model, there are no numbers indicating the specific port for any particular probe on the sides of the transmitter. However, ThermoPro includes that in the newer version. That’s a plus because you don’t have to remember which one went into which. That said, it would be better if they do the same thing for the probes as well.
There is only one button on the transmitter with a red light dot above it. This makes the interface of the device clean and simple. Nothing that will drive you crazy.
Flip the transmitter to the back, you have a thin wire stand. This is for stability when you put it on a flat surface. Now, pull the stand slightly and it will become a clip. However, I think that the opening is quite small, which makes it actually hard to clip on to anything.
You can also turn the stand 180 into a hook. Some people will find this useful while some will find that it hangs the transmitter at an odd angle. In fact, the display will be pointing to the ground and you won’t be able to see it at all.
If you end up hanging your transmitter on to your grill/smoker, keep in mind that there is no heat shield protecting it. The case and electronics might melt as a result.
This unit isn’t weatherproof so I wouldn’t put it out under the rain. Though some people put it in a zip lock bag to avoid any rain damage.
Similar to the transmitter, the receiver is also wrapped in a bright orange rubber case. That makes it very easy to find the receiver around the house. It also feels substantial and grippy in my hand. According to ThermoPro, the receiver is splash proof so that’s a peace of mind if you spill your beer on it by accident.
At the back of the receiver, there is a belt clip which comes in handy when you need to carry it around. That said, the belt clip is also the battery door so I’m not too fond of that.
There is also a thin metal tab that turns the clip into a stand and holds the receiver upright. I haven’t had any problem with the stand so far. It doesn’t seem wonky or unstable at all. It’s also not difficult to look at the receiver’s display in that upright position, even from a distance.
The display on the receiver is actually fantastic. It’s large (bigger than the TP08) with easy to read numbers. The backlight is this bright yellowish hue that is attractive to look at in the evening.
The buttons below the screen are also large with big bold fonts. They’re easy to see and press on although the noise they make can be aggravating for some.
Now, the configuration of the TP20’s buttons are actually better than its cousin TP08. There aren’t many multi-functional buttons on the TP20. You just have to read the manual a few times and you should be able to use it with ease.
I like the fact that ThermoPro puts the probe cable into some sort of protective case when I open up the package. That’s a nice touch from the company. Measured at 40” in length, it’s long enough for all types of cooking that I need. However, some people might want the cable a bit longer.
The probe itself feels solid and well-built. It’s straight and about 6” long 🙂 , enough to get deep into the center of your meat with no PROBE-lem. This is an upgrade from the previous angular probes, which are not long enough to penetrate the meat as well as potentially slip toward the hot zone of the grill.
That being said, these two probes look identical without any distinct label between them. It’s sometimes a hassle to know which probe’s temp is on the receiver’s display. Another letdown is that if you happen to immerse the probe, including the handle, in water, the whole thing might fail.
Speaking of the handle, it’s grippy to pull. However, it can get hot after some time inside your grill/smoker. I’d recommend wearing gloves when you grab onto the probe’s handle.
Accuracy & Speed
I used a hot water pan to test the accuracy of the TP20. I put both probes inside a water pan. Boil it up and see how the temp goes.
The boiling temp of water is 212F. Both probes vary between 210F and 213F. ThermoPro advertises that the temp accuracy of the TP20 is + or -1.8F. So that’s quite good actually.
However, people reported occasional misread from the probes on the Interwebs. Some also said the probes will fail after a couple of uses. So far I haven’t had any problem with the accuracy and the performance of the TP20’s probes. Only time will tell.
In terms of speed, there is a delay between 5 – 6 seconds for my TP20. That’s decent in my book for a thermometer at this price range. I actually use the TP20 as my secondary instant-read thermometer to confirm the accuracy of my primary one.
The TP20 is painless to set up. The transmitter and receiver duo are already pre-synced so you just have to plug and play. There is no password to enter or app to download. Install the batteries and you’re ready to grill.
The user interface is straightforward. The buttons are clearly labeled. After a few times tinkering around, you know which button to press to get to what you want.
The USDA-approved pre-set temp settings are really convenient, especially for beginner pitmasters. There are 9 types of meat and 5 levels of doneness you can choose from. Set it up and the thermometer will alarm you when your food reaches the right internal temp. That will not only prevent your food from being under- or overcooked, but also save you time googling.
If you’re an experienced backyard cook, the TP20 also lets you set your own temp settings. That way, you can experiment with whatever temp you like.
The range on this thing is great as well. You can put the thermometer in the kitchen and go do work in the backyard or basement. The signal is strong and steady. That allows you to get some housework done without keeping tabs on your grill/smoker constantly.
Even if it loses the signal, the receiver will sound an alarm to let you know. The alarm is loud enough that you can hear it over any typical daily noises. In case you vacuum the house or mow the lawn, which is way louder than the alarm, the LCD screen will flash so you won’t miss anything at all.
Warranty & Support
ThermoPro has a generous warranty on the TP20. 3 year if you register your purchase. Otherwise, you still get a 1-year warranty instead.
They’re also known for their outstanding support. If you have any problem with your TP20, e.g. defective probes and whatnot, they will send out a replacement right away. The customer service team is easy to reach. You can email, call, or live chat.
I really like the timer on the TP20’s receiver. I can set a countdown timer to remind me to wrap the meat or add wood and charcoal. I can also set a count up timer to know how long the cook has been. That way, I don’t have to set one up on my phone. Everything is within the receiver.
Another thing I like is the dual probes. Oftentimes, I love to sear steak but I do want some chicken too. The TP20 allows me to monitor two types of meat simultaneously.
If I do some meat smoking, I can also keep track of the ambient temp of my cooker since it takes skills to maintain a low temp range (225F – 275F). The TP20 notifies me of what’s going on inside so I can adjust accordingly.
And overall, the build quality of this unit is phenomenal for its price. Although the core of the transmitter and receiver pair is made from plastic, they are protected by a solid rubber casing. They feel hefty yet grippy in my hand.
I also like the color combo contrasting each other (orange vs grey). The screen is large with easy to read digits and the buttons are the same. In my opinion, the TP20 is a decently attractive yet functional and reliable thermometer.
Any Future Improvements?
Not many things to complain about this thermometer. However, there are a few things it can improve upon.
Maybe a magnet on the back of the transmitter so we can stick it somewhere instead of hanging.
Clearly label the probes so we know which one is probe 1 and probe 2.
If you don’t care about the pre-set temp settings, then the TP08 is a thermometer you want to check out.
It can do almost everything that the TP20 can. The features and specs between the two are the same – 300ft range, alarms, timers, and whatnot.
The TP08, however, has only one food probe and one cooker probe. It’s also cheaper than the TP20.
If you’re still not convinced that the TP20 is right for you, then consider the Thermoworks Smoke.
Thermoworks is known for their quality and high-end products. The Smoke is well-built with an intuitive interface. Unlike the TP20, it has one meat and one food probe. It has a strong magnet in the back and is available in 9 different colors.
It also features a new Smoke Gateway, which is a little base station that allows you to monitor your temp on your phone via Wi-Fi. With all those features, the Smoke doesn’t come cheap. It’s more expensive than the TP20.
However, this unit is highly accurate and reliable. If you want to know more, visit Thermoworks official website.
Should You Buy The ThermoPro TP20?
I’d recommend this thermometer to any pitmasters, from beginner to advanced. You can use the pre-set temp settings if you happen to forget the internal temp for a certain type of meat and its doneness. If you’re already experienced, the TP20 gives you the ability to set your own temp range.
The device has decent accuracy. It’s also well-designed with large and bright displays. All in all, the TP20 is the best-bang-for-the-buck thermometer out there. Also consider it an upgrade if you already owned a TP08.
I hope you find this ThermoPro TP20 review helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to comment down below.
Until next time.