Is The 5G INKBIRD IBT-26S Smart Wireless BBQ Thermometer Worth It?

Today we take a look at the INKBIRD Smart Wireless BBQ Thermometer. We tested it out ourselves and we’ll share the good and the bad so you can decide if it’s the right thermometer for you.

I’m always on the lookout for a new grilling gadget or BBQ accessory to try out, and my newest toy came courtesy of my kids who gave it to me as an early Father’s Day gift.

I guess they heard me complaining that my old wireless thermometer required me to carry around a receiver unit that connected wirelessly to the transmitter. The receiver displayed the temperature well enough but if I was doing yard work I didn’t want to have the receiver clipped to my belt. I tried carrying it around and keeping it nearby but I kept leaving it across the yard.

The kids knew I wanted a new thermometer to use when smoking a ham or pork shoulder, and that I really wanted one that came with an app so I can monitor the temperature right on my smartphone.

So they went out and got me a brand new 5G INKBIRD IBT-26S Smart Wireless BBQ Thermometer. They’re the best kids ever!

I couldn’t wait to try my new thermometer out so I picked up a pork shoulder and brought it home to start smoking the next day. And of course I just had to write up a review to tell you all what I thought of it.

What’s In The Box?

My Inkbird Smart Wireless BBQ Thermometer spread out on our coffee table
Love the color coded probes!

The INKBIRD IBT-26S 5G includes:

  • The food thermometer itself. It’s black with a trim of “champagne gold” around the large display screen. The screen has an LCD screen and you can adjust the backlight as needed. The thermometer can connect via Bluetooth or 5G WiFi. It has a magnetic back and a foldable stand.
  • 4 different color food grade probes
  • 2 clips to attach probes to grill grates
  • 1 USB Type C charging cable
  • Instruction manual

Setting It Up

Before I could start using my new INKBIRD thermometer, I had to download the app from the Apple store and pair it to the device. If you’ve ever had to pair your smartphone to a pair of iPods or a portable speaker you’ll know how to do this.

If you don’t know how to do it just ask the nearest teenager.

The pairing process was super simple which is what you should expect. My iPhone immediately recognized the device and it took less than a minute for it to pair.

Once I was in the app I took some time to mess around and see how it worked. It’s very intuitive and easy to make adjustments as needed. Mine came preset to Celsius but I quickly found the settings and updated it to Fahrenheit.

When you plug in one of the probes you’ll immediately see the temperature displayed. You can choose the type of meat you’re cooking and the temperature goal and it will notify you when it’s reached temperature.

You can also set up a timer if you want to smoke something for a specific period of time. For example, if you’re smoking cheese you don’t need it to reach a certain temp. But what you could do is clip one of the probes to your grill grates and monitor the temperature inside your smoker. You can then set a timer so you know when the cheese is done smoking.

You can also set an alert to notify you if the temperature gets too low or too hot. The last thing you want is to have to clean a bunch of melted cheese out of your smoker!

A stock image of the Inkbird thermometer taken from their website.

With the app good to go I was ready to fire up the charcoal and get my pork shoulder on the grill.

As you can see from the picture below I was cooking on my Weber Smokey Mountain and I used 3 of the food probes to monitor the temperature.

  • One inserted into the probe grommet on the side of the smoker
  • One clipped to the top grill grate
  • One inserted into the pork itself

I love to use multiple probes because it gives you a much clearer picture of what’s going on inside your smoker.

Obviously having one probe in the meat itself is vital so you know when it reaches temp. But I also like to monitor inside the cooking chamber. If I see the temperature dropping I know I need to adjust the vents or add more fuel. And if the temperature spikes I’ll know the fire is too hot and my meat could get dried out.

Having a thermometer with multiple probes has saved my BBQ more than once, and I strongly suggest investing in one.

A pork shoulder on my smoker with meat probes attached.
Hmmm…looks like it’s not quite done.

Key Features

  • Advanced Bluetooth and dual Wi-Fi modes for a more stable connection
  • Easy to use app lets you monitor the cooking process from your smartphone
  • Simultaneous monitoring of multiple foods, convenient and reliable
  • High/low-temperature alarms, timers, and device over-temperature alarm
  • Suppports temperature range of -22 F to 572 F (-30 C to 300 C)
  • Accurately measures temperature within 0.9 F/0.5 C
  • Up to 23 choices of USDA preset meat temperatures, perfect for cooking novices
  • Backlit LCD with adjustable brightness
  • Comes with a magnetic back and foldable stand making it easy to use and store

What I Liked

I love the smartphone app! I don’t have to worry about babysitting my barbecue, I can walk around and do yard work or just inside and watch the game.

The app itself is super easy to set up and use. It gives you plenty of preset options based on cooking beef, turkey, lamb, etc. and you can easily adjust those presets to your liking.

Multiple probes is another “must have” feature for me. The INKBIRD comes with 4 probes and room for 2 more, including one that can monitor the ambient temperature outside if you want.

It’s always a good idea to monitor the temperature inside your grill or smoker so you’ll know if it suddenly gets too hot or too cool.

Plus, multiple probes let’s you keep an eye on the temperature of more than one thing at a time. What if you’re making 2 pork butts? Or a pork butt and a brisket?

Or let’s say you’re smoking a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. You can insert one probe in the breast and another in the thigh. It just takes all the guesswork out and makes everything so much easier.

Another thing I like about the INKBIRD is the battery life. The manual states it can be used for up to 32 hours, which is more than enough for even the most ambitious grill masters. Plus it can be charged with any type-C charger so as long as you have access to an electrical outlet you’ll never have to worry about running out of power mid-cook.

What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, not much. But this wouldn’t be a very good review if I didn’t mention any downsides.

I do wish the foldable stand was a little higher. It lifts the thermometer a bit but not much. I would like to be able to stand it up somewhat closer to vertical to make reading the temperature easier when sitting (Note – it does have a magnetic back so you can always stick it on a nearby metal object…not your smoker though).

I also found the display somewhat difficult to read in direct sunlight. The bright LCD display is easy to read in the shade or at night, but I noticed a problem with sun glare when in direct sunlight. You can adjust the brightness level right through the app though, and that did help a bit.

Obviously neither of these “negatives” is really a big deal because I have the app right on my smartphone so I can check the temperature any time I want. I pretty much always have my phone on me so it can’t get any more convenient than that.

The Bottom Line

An accurate and reliable meat thermometer is an essential tool for any BBQ enthusiast. One that has multiple probes and an app that connects to your smartphone makes monitoring your meat practically foolproof.

After testing out the INKBIRD IBT-26S-5G WiFi Smart BBQ Thermometer in my own backyard, I absolutely recommend it.

It’s well made, accurate, and easy to use…everything you need in a thermometer.