Over the last couple of years manufacturers have been adding a lot of interesting features to grill thermometers.
Unfortunately the price tags have also been going up.
SmokeBloq looks like a good alternative for someone who wants to get a WiFi / cloud connected smart thermometer without the huge price tag.
It comes with high end features and a smaller price tag than many competitors in this category.
In this detailed review we take the SmokeBloq for a test drive and see how well it performed in the real world.
I received a free SmokeBloq in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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SmokeBloq Overview and First Impressions
Smokebloq is a cloud-connected, Wi-Fi meat thermometer.
Although the Smokebloq is largely targeted towards the smoking enthusiast, I think, under the right circumstances, it could be used for grilling as well. I will explain further later in the review.
Smokebloq provides outdoor cooks with these benefits:
- Unlimited range (via the Smoke bloq app and the Smokebloq being connected to Wi-Fi.
- Easy to Use (battery life is 175-200 hours. Just turn it on, start the app, and start cooking.
- Superior Construction (Built to be used in the rain, sun, and even snow! Probe ports are waterproof and temp probes are commercial duty)
What we like:
- The App – The app works very well. It’s easy to set up a cook session. It’s customizable and it stores all of the temp probe data.
- Ease of Use – It really is as easy as the manufacturer claims. Turn it on. Open the App. Start cooking.
- Appearance – Let’s be honest, the Smokebloq looks pretty cool. It has a shiny stainless steel front plate and a bright display.
- All Weather Protection – Although the Smokebloq itself doesn’t have an IP rating, the probe ports are rated IPX7 and I have been assured by the company that the base unit is weather tight and capable of withstanding the elements. I put this to the test by pouring multiple gallons of water over the top of the base unit with my wife’s garden pale to simulate rain. The Smokebloq never missed a beat.
What we don’t like:
- No Clip/Mount for Pit Probe – I didn’t use the pit probe due to no way of mounting it to a rack. The manufacturer says they are going to start including these going forward.
- No magnetic back – Since I use a vertical smoker, there was nowhere to “sit” the base unit on the smoker itself. The smoker box gets very hot on top leaving me with few options for where to put the unit. Other units have magnets so the base can be mounted almost anywhere.
- Probe Ports not labeled – Unless you read the setup manual, you have no idea which probe port is for #1, #2, etc. as they are not labeled on the base unit.
Other than those relatively minor gripes, the SmokeBloq represents good value in the WiFi / cloud connected thermometer market.
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What’s in the box
The contents comes secured inside a thick black cardboard box. The probes are bound up and secured with twist ties. The packaging looks well thought out.
What’s in the box:
- Smokebloq base unit
- 1 meat temp probe
- 1 ambient temp probe (pit probe)
- Setup Manual
There was one little detail that seemed to be glaring at me. Where is the pit probe clip? Some way to mount it to my grill rack?
I asked the company this same question. They replied that “the clip was not in the boxes previously, but would be included with every box from now on.
And anyone who had previously purchased a Smokebloq could receive one free of charge.”
Nice to see the manufacturer was happy to fix that oversight.
The probes and cables are rated up to 575°F.
Using the SmokeBloq
The setup of the Smokebloq is pretty straight forward, although setting up the Smokebloq app to WiFi does require several steps, so follow the instructions in the app and read carefully!
Note – The Smokebloq app is available for both Iphone and Android
Before using the thermometer for the first time, install 4 AA batteries into the Smokebloq and download the Smokebloq app from the Iphone app store or the Google play store.
Follow the instructions in the App for linking the Smokebloq to wifi.
If you don’t have WiFi in the area you plan to use the Smokebloq, you can link the Bloq directly to your phone. The reception distance is limited, but still useful!
Prior to setup, I performed a water boil test to ensure that the probes where reading accurately. One probe measured 211°F, the other measured 212°F.
Good to go!
- Plug in the temp probes that you are going to use. (Comes with 1 meat probe and 1 ambient temp probe (pit probe).
- Turn on the Smokebloq via the on/off switch on the back.
- Open up the Smokebloq App and start a cook session by clicking on the “+” symbol in the upper right hand corner. Give the cook session a name. Name the probes so you know which one is which. And set the high and low temp alarms for each probe, if desired. (Note* if you don’t feel like setting all that information, Smokebloq has a quick start feature. After clicking on the “+” to start a cook session, simply click the start button in the upper right hand corner as well. Smokebloq will automatically insert the date and time as the name of the cook session, and it won’t set any alarms. You can also edit a cook session at any time and add or modify alarms.)
- Once the cook session information has been entered, hit the start button in the upper right hand corner.
- Insert the thermometer into your meat of choice and you’re ready to cook!
Special Note – The app only registers the temperature every 60 seconds, but the base unit is constantly checking the temperature. This is important to know if you are using the Smokebloq for grilling instead of smoking.
For grilling, you wouldn’t want to using the App as the temperature could change quite a bit in 60 seconds.
If the meat is thick enough to need a leave in thermometer, you could use the Smokebloq but just watch the base unit display instead of the App.
Alternative thermometers you might want to consider
The Smokebloq is in direct competition with the Thermoworks Signals and other Wifi linked thermometers.
When comparing these two specifically, both utilize Wifi to project information to very well built and capable phone apps.
The Signals starts to differ by having more versatility with a more detailed base unit display screen, rechargeable base unit and power adapter, 4 included probes, and magnetic back mounting, but comes with a more hefty price tag as well.
The Signals retails for about $90 more than the Smokebloq. This may or may not be worth it to you.
Should you buy the SmokeBloq
Aside from the very minor negatives that are mentioned, the Smokebloq has great potential.
It comes with high end features and a smaller price tag than many others in the wifi based category. It handles mother nature well. It has a user friendly app with alarm settings.
The Smokebloq would be great for someone who wanted a step above a typical cooking thermometer that has a remote. For less money than you would spend on some competing products you are able to jump into the realm of cloud connected, WiFi utilized temperature measuring and recording.
If that sounds like you, then check out the new kid on the Bloq!
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