One of the most common questions I see asked by beginners is which thermometer should they buy so I’m always interested to try out new ones. The Inkbird IBT-2X popped up on my radar as it got my attention because of it’s list of features and low price. On the surface, it seem’s to offer all the features of the Weber iGrill 2 but at a fraction of the cost. This usually sets alarm bells ringing in my mind so I was happy to get one to review for you guys.
In this review, I want to look at some of the key features of the Inkbird and figure out if the low price comes at the expense of usability or functionality.
The Inkbird IBT-2X Unit
Straight out of the box, you notice that the main unit of the Inkbird is an entirely plastic construction and it feels lightweight. The unit is simple, with an LED display and one single button that acts as an on/off button when pressed and held but it also allows you to switch between the two probes that come with the thermometer.
On the side of the unit, there are two thermometer inputs. The unit is powered with 2x AAA batteries which are not included in the box.
I couldn’t find any reference to the units waterproof rating however looking at the construction, I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving it in the rain as the seal around the screen does not seem water tight.
The unit is designed to connect to your phone or tablet via bluetooth. On the eBay sales page, it states the bluetooth range as 100M however on the box it is only stated as 50M. Bluetooth connectivity can be dodgy at the best of times to I am more likely to believe that 50M is the true connectivity rating and even this would be direct line of sight with no walls / objects in the way.
There are two stainless steel temperature probes included in the box that are designed to double up as food and pit probes. The temperature range of the unit is 0-250C (32-482F) which is sufficient for most uses. The probes are calibrated to within +-1C and when tested against my Thermapen, they were accurate. There is also a probe clip in the box however this isn’t designed for the grill grates of your BBQ. It is designed to clip onto the side of a pot or tray which I assume is to monitor the temperature of a liquid. As the Inkbird is being aimed at a BBQ market, it would have been nice to include a grill clip with it.
The probes are noticeably longer than the probes included with the iGrill, however they do not come with colour coded sleeves allowing you to differentiate between the two probes.
As with all these types of thermometer, the real functionality is built into the companion app that you use on your phone. The ‘BBQ Go’ app connects to the device and allows you to change the settings and setup your cook. You can change the unit between C/F from the app and it also has a range of presets for different foods or grill setups. You can also create your own presets and alarms to notify you when your food has hit a desired temperature, or when you BBQ temperature has risen or fallen out of a desired range.
The app is simple and easy to use and can display both a numeric temperature readout or a timeline graph. One little feature I like is the battery display that will let you know if your main unit is running low on power. At present, there is no such readout on the iGrill App.
I’ve been using the Inkbird for a few weeks now and I can honestly say that I haven’t found any major issues. The connectivity range is a little better than the iGrill (in my backyard / house anyway) and it has all the features you need to manage a cook.
My only concern is the build quality of the unit and how durable it would be over a long period of time. The unit has a 12 month warranty from the manufacturer which should cover you for any early issues. When I look at the overall product, I keep coming back to the price.
If you are just at the beginning of your BBQ journey, this sub £30 probe has everything you need. If it only lasts 12-18 months due to the build quality, you can replace it two times before you have reached the price of an iGrill 2. It ticks all the boxes of an entry level probe and allows beginners to start without having to shell out a huge amount of money.
The Inkbird IBT-2X is available on the companies eBay page for around £26 and includes free shipping.