I was a bit skeptical when a meat thermometer called the Meater+ appeared in a box on my doorstep. For one, I didn’t consider this to be a smart home necessity. Secondly, I’ve worked in food service and I know that the top of a smartphone is incredibly disgusting. Regardless, I charged up the Meater+ and began to defrost some chicken breasts.
The initial setup was easy — Meater has an app (available at your favorite app store) that walks you through charging the device and connecting it to Bluetooth. You are able to set up a cloud account for making family members a “cook” — handy for telling people that dinner is ready. Finally, you can add the Alexa skill, something that has become pretty commonplace.
I was starting to warm up to it.
For my first test of the Meater, I chose a pretty basic recipe: baked chicken breasts covered in cream cheese, spinach and mozzarella. With all this gooey goodness, making sure the probe was inserted properly and would not be affected by drippy cheese was a priority. Fortunately, the Meater app walks you through the best placement and protection for your probe.
This is where you’ll hear my only gripe. There’s a safety notch etched into the Meater with specific instructions that state you must insert the probe between the safety notch and the black handle portion. This is intended to prevent damage to the Meater electronics. Personally, I found the notch a little difficult to see and I don’t see that improving over years of use.
Regarding the problem of having to touch my smartphone while cooking: Meater navigates around this in a few ways. First, the Meater automatically connects to my phone when it’s removed from the charger, so I can insert it and get everything ready to go without ever touching my phone. Second, there’s a setting in the app (that’s automatically set to “on”) that keeps the screen turned on when the app is open.
So: How does it work while you’re cooking?
Once you have the probe inserted and you’re ready to actually cook, open the app and tap “set up cook” for step-by-step instructions. Choose your meat (which includes exotic meats such as kangaroo and reindeer), your level of doneness, press the “start cook” button and throw it in the oven, smoker, crockpot or air fryer. Your phone automatically tracks the temperature, shows you the estimated cook time, alerts you when there’s five minutes left and even gives you proper resting times.
When all is said and done, this is a smart device I never would have sought out, especially for my smart home — but it makes cooking a breeze. My chicken came out juicy and delicious, and not dry or overcooked in the slightest. For those wanting more probes, Meater also offers twin-unit bundles and a four-unit block.
Personally, I’m convinced the Meater is a must-have for fellow carnivores everywhere.