Maverick ET-735 Review: Bluetooth BBQ Thermometer

When I die, I want the Maverick 735 to lower me into my grave just so it can let me down one final time.

When I die, I want the Maverick 735 to lower me into my grave just so it can let me down one final time.

The Maverick ET-732 was not the first wireless BBQ thermometer when was released in late 2010 but it took the backyard bbq world by storm.  The Maverick ET-732, sometimes branded as Redi-Check, Imation, etc. has become the ‘standard’ wireless bbq thermometer for a reason. It’s accurate, its rugged, and it does its job. Mine has been melted, rained on, snowed on, sauced over, dropped from high places – and it STILL continues to function like a champion.

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!

5 comments… add one
  • Bill Link Reply

    You hit the nail on the head here. I was excited to get this, and i am amazed at how weak the connection is. Also, until you update the app, the app crashes when you try to use the Timer

  • Russell C. Link Reply

    I picked up this model as soon as I heard about. Like Troy I have a couple 732’s and couldn’t be happier with them so I was stoked when I heard about the 735’s release. Unfortunately my experience was almost a mirror image to Troy’s. I couldn’t believe how poor the app was and the connectivity issues were an absolute and immediate deal breaker. Sent it back to Amazon in less than 24 hours.

    I’ll be anxiously awaiting the Tappeque review. The 4 probes and port forwarding so you can monitor your cook anywhere with an internet connection sounds awesome. My only qualm is what good does that info do me if I can’t also make adjustments to the pit from afar? Maybe taking that money and putting it towards a Cyber Q is the way to go???

    I think it would be a lot of fun to be able to monitor other peoples cooks though and see what temps and techniques other folks use.

  • jcnaz Link Reply

    “… It’s been monitoring my office temp, my computer temp, and my outside temp for several days now – all while utilizing my neighbors wifi….”

    Classic!

    Great review, also. I won’t be buying one soon.

  • Chris Link Reply

    I have both a 732 and a 733. I agree that the built-in meat temperature feature isn’t that great and makes the screen needlessly tall, but I still prefer the 733 over the 732. The reason is that the 733 has much easier and faster to use controls for adjusting your temperature alarm points. Setting the alarm points on the 732 is a pain in the butt compared to the 733.

  • I like that you’re completely honest with your review. We appreciate your honesty! Great article!

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