But, how do these 100% wireless meat thermometers really perform?
Are they accurate? How easy are their apps to use?
We answer these questions plus more in our comparison of the MEATER Plus vs MeatStick X to help you decide which one’s right for you.
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Table of Contents
Summary of Our Take On the MEATER Plus vs MeatStick X
Being the original, the MEATER Plus has been around for long enough that the company has had time to iron out any of the most common issues.
As a result, the app is so easy to use, there’s no connectivity issues and the meat thermometer, as a whole, is very accurate and a great addition to any kitchen or barbecue setup.
Basically, it works great and there’s no major faults we’ve found.
What the MeatStick have done with their competitive X model is taken the MEATER concept and added to it by boosting it’s signal range and maximum amibent temperature so that it can be used for sous-vide and deep-frying too.
But unfortunately, the MeatStick X (in our tests), just isn’t that accurate.
It reads about 10°F over the actual internal meat temperture which means you’re pulling out underdone meat unless you know what works for you and shoot for a slightly higher target.
But, if you’re okay with knowing that it’s a little inaccurate, the MeatStick X is still a useful tool that gives you the added versatility and longer Bluetooth range. The app’s also been designed to work across the range so you can use the MeatStick Mini and WiFi Bridge altogether too.
About the MEATER Plus
The MEATER Plus was the first completely wireless meat thermometer on the market.
Using Bluetooth, it connects to your smartphone to give you a constant reading of not just the internal temperature of your meat but the ambient temperature of your barbecue as well (there’s a second probe on the ceramic tip of the stick too)
Watch your cook progress, get notified when the ambient temperature drops and you need more fuel. Then, just leave it until the alarm goes off to tell you your meat is cooked to perfection.
There’s no guess-work. It automatically saves your past cook history so you don’t need to write down what you did so you remember for next time.
What’s the difference between the different products in the MEATER range?
About the MeatStick X
The MeatStick X was the next runner-up to the truly wireless meat thermometer market.
Offering a number of improvements over the MEATER like an increased range, higher temperature tolerance, and, the ability to use it for sous-vide and deep-frying too, it’s quickly become a popular alternative.
So, what’s in the MeatStick range?
A Quick Comparison of the MEATER Plus vs MeatStick X
165 ft range
260 ft range
212°F max. internal meat temp
212°F max. internal meat temp
527°F max. ambient temp
572°F max. ambient temp
Connects with up to 4 probes
Connects with up to 8 probes
Suitable for grilling, baking, smoking
Suitable for grilling, baking, smoking, sous-vide, deep-frying
24 hr + wireless battery life
24 hr + wireless battery life
Charges from 1 x AAA battery
Charges from 2 x AA batteries
An In-Depth Look at the MEATER Plus vs MeatStick X
We’re going to open this comparison with the all important, when you’re talking meat thermometers, accuracy.
For the internal temperature, the MEATER Plus consistently measured within a few degrees fahrenheit of our control. And, the MeatStick X sat anywhere between 10-20 degrees out from the actual temperature.
That’s quite a significant difference.
And, when we followed what the MeatStick X says alone, we were pulling undercooked brisket out each and every time.
We didn’t have that same problem using the MEATER Plus.
Now, if you’re a stickler for accuracy (and there ain’t nothing wrong with that!), the MEATER Plus will give you a reliable reading in all sorts of applications.
But, if you’re leaning towards the MeatStick X because it’s a bit more versatile and has a longer range, all’s not lost.
Buy it, test yours out. And, if you find the brisket’s not done when the stick reads 203°F, simply adjust your thinking and cook it longer.
In our experience, it’s at least consistent with the temperature readings running under. So, it can still be a useful piece of kit as long as you use that knowledge and adjust your process.
After accuracy, the next most important thing about choosing a wireless meat thermometer is signal range.
The cheapest options, the MeatStick Mini and MEATER Original have a very limited range. Like, you’ll struggle to get a signal through your closed smoker setup so, unfortunately, the base models aren’t any good for smoking.
Simply place the dock next to your smoker and you’ll have a pretty decent range. There’s even a magnet on the back of both of the docsks so you can simply stick it to your ‘cue. Just make sure it’s not too hot.
Keep in mind that both of these ranges are technical maximums in an outdoor setting. So, if you’re going through lots of walls, especially with thicker cladding like brick or concrete, that range will drop.
You can still use the standard 165 ft Bluetooth range. Or, connect it up to your WiFi through the charging dock for unlimited distance as long as you’ve got an internet connection.
But, if you do go with the MEATER Plus and want a longer range down the track, you can still use it with WiFi. You’ll just need a second mobile device that acts as a booster. So, leave your partners phone at home, hook up both devices and you’ll be able to monitor your cook while you’re out.
It’s called MEATER Link. Here’s a guide on how to set it up.
The WiFi option with the MeatStick is the WiFi Bridge Set.
It works the same way that the MEATER does. And, you get 2 probes instead of one. So, it’s good value for money as well.
If you’ve already bought a MeatStick X and want the WiFi connectivity, you can get the WiFi Bridge separately through the MeatStick’s website. You don’t get the extra probe so the value’s not quite there. But, the connectivity with their other products is appreciated.
Apps and Ease of Use
They connect well (just remember to connect the MeatStick X before you take the probe out!), are fairly intuitive to use, and, have a whole lot of help at your fingertips if you’re a newbie.
My one main issue with the MeatStick is that you have to turn location settings on in IOS. Not ‘allow while you’re using the app’. But, ‘always’ and ‘precise: on’.
So, for someone like me who never has location on, you’ve got to go into the settings, change things, then launch the app and, turn it off once you’ve finished again. It chews through the battery and I’m not even sure why it needs your exact location. The MeatStick say it’s a requirement from Apple HQ to get the Bluetooth to work. But, the MEATER do it without requiring this?!?
Anyway, aside from the location settings, the rest of the MeatStick app is fairly good to use.
The functionality of both apps are very similar.
You’re able to see your current internal and ambient temperatures. See a graph of your progress, set up recommended and custom cooks based on you meat type, set alerts, see an estimated remaining time, and, view a full history of your cooks.
One thing extra I like about the MEATER app is that you can set notes.
I like to put in what time I wrapped and unwrapped as well as anything else notable about the cook.
The maximum internal temperature both the MEATER Plus and MeatStick X measure is the same at 212°F.
But, the MeatStick X can handle a slightly higher ambient temperature of 572°F vs 527°F.
It’s not much. But, gives you an extra allowance when you’re grilling. It also helps in adding to the versatility of the MeatStick which we’ll go into next.
What Can You Use the MEATER Plus and MeatStick X For?
You can use them in any type of barbecue including a pellet smoker, offset smoker, gas grill, kettle grill, electric smoker or a kamado. You can use them in your regular home oven. Or, an air-fryer. They’re also absolutely perfect for using on a rotisserie where there’s no way a wired thermomter would work.
But, if you want to deep-fry or cook sous-vide, you’ll have to go the MeatStick X.
The MeatStick’s extra ambient temperature range is hot enough to handle these applications. In fact, it’s the only meat thermometer to date that’s been specifically designed for sous-vide.
Size, Weight and Probe Design
Because of this it’s a little easier to insert into the meat. But, in saying that, the MEATER isn’t difficult at all. It’s just something we’ll bring up in case it factors into your purchasing decision.
Any time your meat thermometer isn’t being used, you’ll keep it in it’s dock which charges it as well.
Both docks give the probe about 24 hours of run-time.
We initially thought we’d have to replace the battery in the dock a lot. But, with very regular use over more than 6 months now, we haven’t had to replace the battery in either dock even once.
The charging dock/storage case is a great design feature and works efficiently as well.
Cleaning the Probes
One word, dishwasher!!
Both of these probes are dishwasher safe.
Once you’re done, pop them in with your cutlery. You’ll never have to try to clean or struggle with an oily probe wire again.
It couldn’t be easier.
If you were hoping that the price would help make your decision a little easier, think again.
You can check the price of both using the links below (something might be on sale!). Yes, we will earn a small commission if you do make a purchase through one of our links.
Should I Buy the MEATER Plus or MeatStick X?
Yes, we have a favorite (the MEATER Plus). But, if you’re okay with the fact that the MeatStick X isn’t the most accurate meat thermometer on the block, they’re both SUCH a useful tools when you’re grilling, baking or smoking.
We like the MEATER Plus because:
- It’s really accurate;
- Got a long enough range for our barbecue setup; and,
- The app is so easy to use (and, let’s you leave notes on your cook)
But, the MeatStick X has the added benefits of:
- Being able to use it for sous-vide and deep-frying;
- Having a longer range if you need it; and
- It’s modular design means you can add-on the WiFi Bridge or MeatStick Mini if you get them at a later date
Just keep in mind that you might have to adjust your target internal temperature if yours is reading a little under as well.