InkBird are continuing to grow their brand in Australia, and in response to feedback from punters, have now released a WiFi model to their line up of BBQ thermometers. In this InkBird IBBQ-4T Review, I take a look at the new unit to see if it’s a hit or a miss. So let’s get stuck into it!
A Note on Transparency
In the interests of transparency, there are few things I need to make you aware of:
- InkBird sent me this unit free of charge. It was a pre-release unit they sent me for testing and feedback
- At the end of the review there are affiliate links to eBay. If you purchase through these links, eBay gives me a share of their cut, at no extra cost to you
- There are no financial links between InkBird and Smoking Hot Confessions
With that out of the way, let’s get on with it!
Why are Wireless Thermometers Important?
If your BBQ has a hood, it will probably have a thermometer already built in. And if you’ve bought a smoker or dual-purpose barbecue, then it will definitely have a thermometer already built in. So you might be wondering why you’d even need a wireless BBQ thermometer. Firstly, a factory thermometer is typically a place where manufacturers can cut budgets. It’s kind of like mag wheels on cars: it’s easy to replace and customise them, so why invest too much in them from the start? As a result, they are often not as accurate as you’d probably like.
Secondly, the positioning of the thermometers can give you a false impression of what’s happening inside your BBQ. Most manufacturers put the thermometers high in the dome of the lid and not near the grill. There is often a difference of 20 – 30F (10 – 15C) between grill-top temperatures and hood temperatures, which can dramatically effect the characteristics of the cook.
Thirdly, if you’re only relying on your built-in thermometer, you have to physically be there to keep an eye on the temperatures. Whilst I would never recommend leaving a barbecue completely unattended, a wireless barbecue thermometer will free you up for some multitasking: mowing the lawn, or doing the laundry. So it has the added bonus of scoring some extra Brownie points with your partner.
Lastly, built in thermometers don’t have meat probes, so you don’t get an idea of what’s happening with your brisket, ribs etc. Whilst it is true that ‘feel’ is more important that the actual temperature, knowing your meat temperature gives you an idea of whether your meat is sitting in a ‘safe’ or ‘dangerous’ zone, whether it’s time to wrap to get through the stall, and whether it’s time to start checking for that doneness feel. So these are just a few of the reasons why a wireless barbecue thermometer is important.
InkBird IBBQ-4T Review: What’s in the box?
The unit I tested came in a plain box. Retail units will come in much more attractive packaging. Inside the box was the unit itself, a USB-C charging cable, 2 grill clips, 3 meat probes, and 1 grill probe. InkBird have since told me they have swapped out the grill probe for a fourth meat probe. The meat probes can double as grill probes, but not vice-versa, so this change makes a lot of sense. Also making a lot of sense is the USB-C charge cable. USB-C is soon going to replace both Lightning and micro-USB, which means your new IBBQ-4T is going to be future-proofed for some time. I also like the inclusion of a second grill clip. Not only can I measure in two places in one BBQ, I could even put two BBQ’s close together and monitor them both!
InkBird IBBQ-4T Review: Appearance
The InkBird IBBQ-4T is utilitarian in design: it’s simple, and it gets the job done. The screen is large and bright, and the whole unit has one-touch operation through the button on the front. The contrast between the bright orange and the black is nice and keeps your eyes focussed on what’s important.
InkBird IBBQ-4T Review: Features
For its budget price, the InkBird IBBQ-4T packs a lot of features. The most important feature in my eyes, is its WiFi connection. For me, Bluetooth just doesn’t cut it. It has a short range, which is easily shortened further by pesky things like walls and doors. By connecting the InkBird IBBQ-4T to the WiFi in my house, I have a strong, consistent signal to my mobile phone from anywhere in the world (that has an internet signal!) And if you’ve got more than one InkBird device, you can monitor them all from the app on your phone. Very cool!
At a glance:
- WiFi Connection
- Rechargeable battery with USB-C connection
- Temperature graphs (downloadable!)
- Able to calibrate
- Temperature Range: 0C – 250C (32F – 482F)
- IPX3 Rainproof (Yes!)
- Fully Customizable High / Low Alarms
InkBird IBBQ-4T Review: Performance
For the purposes of this review, I spent a day smoking up some beef ribs and pork collar butts in my Ozpig. I put the grill probe on one of the grills, and one meat probe each in a beef rib and collar butt. I then proceeded to run the InkBird IBBQ-4T for 10 straight hours.
In that time, I made the following observations. Firstly, there was a delay between the unit connecting to the internet, and the app on my phone connecting to the unit. The wait was only 15 seconds, but it was long enough to make me think something was wrong, cancel the process and start again. I fed this back to InkBird and they have since corrected the problem.
Apart from that, everything worked perfectly for the full ten hours. The unit stayed connected to the wifi the entire time, the app didn’t crash, and each graph (one graph per probe!) was whole, and more interestingly, was downloadable. The battery life was also fantastic, with 70% battery life remaining after the 10 hour cook. Overall, quite impressive.
InkBird IBBQ-4T Review: Price
Price is where the InkBird IBBQ-4T can’t be beat! At the time of writing, the InkBird IBBQ-4T is available on eBay for $165AUD as a package with their newest Instant Read Thermometer (Check out my review of that over here). If you want to get a market-leading WiFi thermometer, you can count on paying at least twice as much, and still have to grab an Instant Read thermometer on top. So, like all InkBird products, the bang for buck is hard to beat!
InkBird IBBQ-4T Review: Conclusions
This new WiFi model is a definite stop up for InkBird. My last BBQ thermometer was bluetooth (and from another manufacturer) and I swore I’d never have another. Even when I’m competing, or doing a cooking demonstration at a festival, I’ll pack a portable WiFi unit so I can run something that I can rely on. And from the results of this InkBird IBBQ-4T Review, the InkBird certainly fits that bill. If you’re in the market for a new BBQ thermometer, the IBBQ-4T is definitely worth a look.