My Enzoo wireless meat thermometer recently quit working, so I have replaced it with a ThermoPro TP-829.
Well, it didn’t quit completely; just the top half of all numbers are no longer visible.
It makes it hard to know what the temps are.
So I was in the market for a new thermometer, and after a good bit of research and reading many reviews, I decided to go with the market leader ThermoPro.
I’m glad I did – it works like a charm.
Nothing against my Enzoo; it worked quite well, but having the ThermoPro on hand seems to have stepped up my meat-smoking game a bit.
I’m not showing a bunch of stock photos here of meat thermometers that I’ve never owned, and try to tell you which is better. This article is simply about explaining the differences between the two and giving some guidance on what I’ll be looking for when I purchase meat thermometers down the road.
I am the type of person who reads through many reviews before purchasing, which helps me make an informed decision. With this in mind, you will see quotes from other folks in this article.
Searching for meat thermometers (or any product these days) will present you with many knock-offs that may or may not be around for very long. I see brands like “Viou” and “TempPro,” and many even without a manufacturer name. I suspect many of these are bought in bulk, have a name slapped on them, and are sold while the selling is good. I bought one called an Enzoo, which worked wonderfully while it lasted. Inkbird is a brand that is worth taking a look at if you come across them.
I’m discussing the ThermoPro TP829 and the Enzoo, which don’t seem to have a model number. And now that I go back to Amazon, I can’t even find Enzoo products anymore (except a coffee grinder!) so maybe all of this is moot, in which case I’d say just go buy a ThermoPro.
First, though, a bit about the mindset of using a meat thermometer, in case you aren’t yet convinced you need one.
Why use a meat thermometer when smoking meat?
Unless your name is Aaron Franklin, Myron Mixon, or one of those other smoking royalty folks who have some sort of Vulcan mind meld with the meat they are cooking, you need a meat thermometer.
I’ve watched Aaron Franklin’s master class on smoking, and he explains that he knows when the brisket is done by wrapping it in a light towel and picking it up. He knows by the feel of the meat when he’s holding it. He does a wonderful job of explaining what he looks for and feels for.
I’ve cooked quite a few briskets and still cannot do that. I think my reliance on the meat thermometer has maybe robbed me of a sixth-sense Vulcan mind-meld capability to know the look and feel of a nicely smoked brisket, but I’m okay with that.
You can also take a look at our article on the best cookbooks for smoking meat to get inside the heads of Aaron, Myron, and a couple of other masters.
That brisket you overcook may cost twice as much as you would have spent on the thermometer.
Seriously, go buy a thermometer.
I have three now. Because my Enzoo has died. Kinda.
Love the peace of mind it gave me during a long cook with over a thousand dollars worth of meat on the smoker. I checked the temp variants on each probe against 2 different thermopens using a glass of hot water. 3 of the probes read 7 degrees higher than the thermopens, one probe was dead on. Not a big deal, falls within the plus or minus 2% of accuracy. The alarm on the remote terminal got on my nerves over the 14 hour cook lol. But it did its job. Definitely recommend this temp monitor setup.Amazon review, Dec 2022
ThermoPro TP829 vs. Enzoo functionality
Lining the two up side by side and checking the functionality tells me why I first bought the Enzoo instead of the ThermoPro. The capabilities are eerily similar.
The ThermoPro has a 1,000-foot range, while the Enzoo has a 500-foot range. I tested the Enzoo when I first bought it, walking out to my mailbox (looong driveway), and was comforted to know that when checking my mail, I could still closely monitor the temperature in my grill and the meat that was cooking.
Realistically, 500 feet is most likely enough. We have a few acres, so I may need the 1,000 feet at some point, but most of the time, I’m well within 500 feet of my smokers.
Number of probes:
Both have four. I tend to use one for the smoker’s temperature to double-check that compared to the built-in thermometer. Then I have the other three free to use on different things I’m cooking. I do have another meat thermometer with an additional four probes as well as I often cook with two smokers going at the same time.
One thing worth noting is that the ThermoPro probes are quite a bit longer than the Enzoo probes, as shown in this image:
Also, importantly, the probes are not interchangeable due to different types and sizes of plugs:
Speed and accuracy of temperature updates
In both cases, quick. You’ll never be wondering if the temperature has skyrocketed or dropped in your smoker, and perhaps the thermometer didn’t pick it up. It did, and you are looking at a very recent number. I’d say on the order of maybe 5 seconds at worst. I’ve never seen a problem here with either of them.
This is a great device for keeping track of grill temps. I put one probe onto the grill itself to keep an eye on grill temp, and then use the other probes to keep an eye on the steaks. The temps are within 1 degree of the grill’s display and the alarms let me know when I get to internal temps.Amazon review
There are a few Amazon reviews where the purchaser states that the accuracy is off and, in some cases, wildly off. A fairly quick and easy check for this is to double up with another thermometer, put all four probes from the TP829 into the same area of the grill with the backup thermometer, and then check all the readings. I’ll be testing this out the next time I fire up the smoker and will update this section as, obviously, the accuracy of the thermometer is critical.
Both have a good range of types of meat you can choose from for monitoring. I don’t use this functionality much as I tend to specifically set a high/low-temperature range when I’m smoking. Both meat thermometers also support manual settings.
Well, here’s where I have to ding Enzoo a bit. I’ve owned it for maybe two years, so it’s out of warranty, and the top half of all numbers no longer show. I haven’t owned the ThermoPro long enough to say how durable it is, but the Enzoo failed me on this one. I’m not a cheap guy, but I expect my gear to last when I put my money down.
How does it feel?
When I bought the Enzoo, I was happy with it.
Felt right, and felt well made.
When I now compare the ThermoPro to the Enzoo, it is larger, heavier, heftier, and just feels more substantial.
The probes are longer and seem better made.
I work in technology so I fully understand how meaningless that all can be, but it just feels like a better piece of gear.
I have to give this 5 stars because it’s very reasonably priced and I’ve found it to be accurate and work well. The interface can be a bit clunky with the buttons, but I actually like that it doesn’t link to a smartphone or app. The probes seem well built and it has a light. A magnet on the unit would be really helpful, I will probably add one.Amazon review
This is where Enzoo wins, hands down.
After having the Enzoo, I was a bit disappointed in the ThermoPro packaging.
The Enzoo was sent in a nice zipper case with a cut foam internal, so everything fit nicely. I was expecting something similar with the ThermoPro, but it came in standard plastic fitted molding that you just throw away once you’ve opened it.
Only knock i have is with the shipping just dropped into a plastic bag mailer no padding of any type used other than retail box.Amazon review
I tried to fit the ThermoPro into the Enzoo cut foam, but, as I’ve said, it’s larger.
In the end, I threw away the cut foam and just put all of the ThermoPro gear in the Enzoo case.
My overall thoughts on the ThermoPro TP829 are that it’s a great buy at a great price. The large color LCD display makes it easy to read and use, and four temperature probes ensure you’ll have enough to manage cooking multiple items at the same time. The backlit display also makes it convenient for night-time cooking, which I do more often than not.
Looking at the TP829 on Amazon, it has a good number of reviews that are consistently high. I always consider that the number of reviews is probably 1/10th or less than actual purchases because the vast majority of users just don’t leave reviews. So with 2,000+ reviews, it’s safe to assume at least 10x that number of people have actually purchased. As of today, Feb 11th, 2023, the reviews look like:
Final thoughts about my new ThermoPro meat thermometer
“Final thoughts” sounds a bit like a eulogy, and I guess that’s fitting because my Enzoo is dead. Or, at least, dead enough for me to toss it out. If you own an Enzoo and it’s still working, great. I have very little bad to say about Enzoo other than mine died a bit earlier than expected. Great thermometer, though, it got me through a lot of cooks.
But if you are in the market for a new one, I suggest taking a hard look at the ThermoPro meat thermometer, specifically the TP829 model. I think you just can’t go wrong.