Enter the Maverick ET-735 BLUETOOTH BBQ Thermometer
Early 2015, Maverick launched a NEW version of its famous BBQ Thermometer – the Maverick ET-735, Maverick’s first BLUETOOTH BBQ Thermometer. This new version is a single unit, there is no wireless receiver. Instead, it pairs with your phone (Android or Apple device) and relies on it to communicate and display your temps. Needless to say, I was the first to order. I even paid extra for next day delivery!
The ET-735 Bluetooth thermometer can report temps of FOUR probes instead of two, and those probes can be pit probes OR meat probes. This is really a substantial upgrade. I personally have TWO ET-732 units, but have only used them simultaneously a handful of times. The 735 ships with only 2 probes, so if you want to utilize all 4 probe ports, you’ll need to buy 2 more probes ($15 each.)
What’s in the box:
1 Maverick ET-732 BBQ Thermometer with built in BlueTooth
2 hybrid smoker/food probes with 36″ wire mesh cables
2 probe clips to attach probes to cooking grates
1 dual purpose clip that rotates to also serve as a stand
1 very small instruction manual
Maverick ET-735 Probes
The new hybrid probes are thick and heavy duty. There’s a thick plastic-like boot protecting the connection of the meshed cable to the probe. I’m sure this will make the probes last longer and be more durable – but there’s another issue. Due to the thicker diameter of this boot, I’m only able to get ONE probe through the grommet on my smoker. With the ET-732 probes, I can get all 4 through the grommet. I don’t think I’m going to be adding 3 more grommets to my smoker just to use these new probes. That’s a major issue Maverick! (It’s worth noting that the 2 extra hybrid probes I purchased do NOT have the large black collar)
The ET-735 Bluetooth Transmitter
The Maverick ET-735 unit itself feels very solid, perhaps more so than its predecessors (the famous ET-732 and slightly fancier ET-733). The nub-like antennae is gone, as bluetooth antennae are very small and can be completely concealed in the body of the transmitter. Also gone are the front facing, difficult to press buttons. The only buttons are on the back. They’re soft and a pleasure to push. In addition to the On/Off button and Celsius/Fahrenheit button, there’s now a button for turning Bluetooth discovery off/on.
The four jacks for the temperature probes are on either side of the unit and protected by individual rubber stoppers just like older models.
The stand functions exactly the same – either holding the unit upright on a flat surface, or serving as a hook to hang the unit off a handle or a lip. I’m not sure if my old stand is extra secure from all the smoke and dirt, but it seems the 735 stand pops off more easily.
The APP & Bluetooth Configuration
Finding the app itself was a bit of a chore. Searching the app store for “maverick’ yielded no results, instead you’ll need to search for ‘redi-check.’
Configuring the bluetooth on the first run wasn’t overly difficult. The actual steps involved didn’t match the instruction manual. I had no issues, but less tech savvy users might struggle a bit. The app itself is relatively unpolished, and unfortunately slow and clunky. Setting temp alerts seemed straightforward, but selecting the meats, cook temps and even viewing multiple probes is very cumbersome and far from intuitive.
Maverick ET-735 Connectivity
Sadly, this is really where things went sour. Connecting to the transmitter and seeing current temps is quick when its first set up, but from 35 feet away the bluetooth becomes unreliable. 8 out of 10 times the app would lose connection and not be able to update the temp. My smoker is literally 35 feet away. I tried 5 different phones (motorola ultra, samsung s6, samsung note 4, iphone 4s, iphone 6+) – all behaved in the same undependable way. Sometimes I’d be able to get 60ft away without losing connection, othertimes I’d be holding my phone in one hand and the transmitter in the other and they’re still struggling to connect. As a bluetooth comparison, I paired my phone with a Beats Pill (a bluetooth speaker), I was able to get 50 ft away while still streaming music.
First (and last) Cook
Despite my disappointment with this product, I felt compelled to keep trying. (I’ve literally held off on publishing this post for MONTHS hoping Maverick would recall their product or update the app or something.) I picked up a couple butts for an all-night smoke and prepped the ET-735 for use. I set the coals and put the pit probe on. I waited OUTSIDE, a mere 15-20 feet from the smoker. When the white kingsford smoke turned to wispy blue, I pulled out my phone to check temps. NO DEVICE FOUND. I haven’t even put the meat on and this thing is failing me already. I haven’t been this frustrated and LET DOWN in a long, long time.
Final Thoughts & Better Solutions
Bluetooth is a sweet technology for short range data communication. It’s great for wireless headsets and other technology wearables where the phone is always a few feet from the receiver. Bluetooth over a distance requires special attention to make it dependable. Longer range applications need to use quality components, quality programming, and reliable power sources. Maverick has missed the boat on all 3.
Perhaps I got a dud, but the Amazon Reviews do not look promising.
If you’re in the market for a wireless thermometer – You cannot go wrong with the Maverick ET-732 or ET-733. Both units are essentially the same. The 733 has built in meat temperatures and a slightly larger screen.
I don’t have a problem remembering what kind of meat I’m cooking, or what the internal temperature needs to be – so I prefer the 732.
The iGrill2 performs better than the Maverick 735, but in reality its still bluetooth and connectivity issues will still happen.
Lastly, a new contender has recently entered the market. It boasts WIFI technology instead of bluetooth. The Tappecue comes with 4 probes and uses wifi and internet for connectivity. You can check temps and set alerts from your computer, your phone, your ipad, etc. Since it uses wifi and internet, you can leave the house and check your temps from ANYWHERE as long as you have internet access. I’m still in the early stages of testing my Tappecue – but so far I’m in love. It’s been monitoring my office temp, my computer temp, and my outside temp for several days now – all while utilizing my neighbors wifi.
It keeps logs, graphs your cooks, and even allows you to share your cooks with the public if you so desire. Look for the full review soon!