The Meater Block is the flagship unit in the Meater range. This is a highly advanced cooking temperature monitor that provides either two or four probes that are inserted into the meat. These connect to a mobile app either via Bluetooth or through Wi-Fi to give live readings of both the ambient and internal temperature of the meat to ensure you never over or under cook.
Until recently, I was never sold on the need for temperature probes. But I was convinced to try one out when cooking a turkey for family over thanksgiving. This was just a basic model that you prodded into the meat once it came out of the oven, but having that reassurance that the internal temperature was high enough – and the meat was safely cooked – converted me right away.
The beauty of the Meater probes is that they stay inside the meat as it cooks. You insert the probe into the uncooked meat, place it in the oven (or on the grill) and monitor the live temperature as it cooks, so you know exactly when to take it out.
I've been using the Meater Block for a few months now and whether it's cooking chicken, steak, pork loin or even a pie, I wouldn't attempt anything without it. For more about T3's product testing, see our how we test page.
Meater Block review: price and availability
The Meater Block launched alongside the single probe Meater in 2018. However, since the brand was acquired by grilling royalty Traeger in 2021, it has grown in popularity.
The Meater block is available with four probes for £279/$299/AU$499. In the US, you can buy a two probe version for $229.95. If you just want a single probe, prices for the regular Meater start from £79/$69/AU$159 though you don't get the Wi-Fi connectivity or control unit.
Meater Block review: design and features
While most temperature sensors are designed to store away in a drawer or stick to your fridge, the Meater Block comes in, well, a block. The wooden case has four slots for the probes, space for the probe clips and a small control unit inset. It even has a kick stand to allow the unit to sit on your counter top, or next to your grill.
The Block is powered by four AA-type batteries or you can plug it into a power source using the Micro USB port on the side. The probes recharge when they are placed back into the block and when fully charged offer around 24 hours of power.
It all feels solid and very well made. The control unit – which connects the probes to your Wi-Fi connection and also offers a small monitor screen – looks like an old MP3 player. The screen is just 1 inch in size but shows the battery life and Wi-Fi connection as well as the status of each probe. Using the touch control arrows below, you can cycle between the internal temperature, ambient temperature, target temperature, cook time and progress bar.
If you prefer not to use the phone app (which I'll come to later), you can use the Block in standalone mode and set up each probe on the screen too.
The probes are around 5 inches (13cm) long and around a quarter-inch (0.6cm) thick. A small groove shows how far it needs to be inserted into the meat and the rest should be left exposed to allow an accurate ambient temperature of inside your oven or grill. It's actually a great way to tell if your oven is as hot as it claims. There's a number marked on the end of each probe (from 1 to 4) and it also comes with numbered clips for easier reading.
Meater Block review: app and set up
To get the most from the Meater products – especially the Meat Block – you need to use the companion app which is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. You can connect to the probes using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi but Wi-Fi offers a greater range. Setting up the Wi-Fi connection takes a little set up to find your local network and enter the password but is really easy to do.
You will also need to sign up to create an account on the Meater Cloud. This will allow you to connect the app to Amazon Alexa (allowing you to check on cooking time and temperature) and also track your sensors from a web browser.
Though it's possible to just receive temperature readings straight from the sensors without any other setup, the Meater app also offers what it calls 'Guided Cook'. This allows you to pick the type of meat you are cooking and the temperature/doneness. For each meat in its database (which includes everything from goat to ostrich) it offers a recommended final temperature as well as ranges from range to well done to pick from.
Once you hit the 'start cook' button it will start to estimate the cooking time, based on the current internal temp, the ambient temperature of your oven or grill and the target temperature. The app will then tell you when to take the meat off the heat and even includes a resting time to bring it to the final temperature.
You can also do the guided cook in standalone mode and the small screen takes you through the same process, but in a slightly less visual way.
Meater Block review: cooking
Though I also considered myself a proficient cooker of meats, having the Meater Block on hand has allowed me to get even better results. It's a little bit like using a sat-nav in a car, in that you end up relying on it for every meal, but it's just so helpful.
The guided cook is really useful, especially that resting time. Normally with a temperature probe, I'd only take it out of the oven when it reached the full temperature (a mistake, I know) but this has given me the confidence to take the meat out early and let it come to temperature on the cutting board.
One potential limitation of the Meater probes is that they are much thicker than most temperature sensors. If you are cooking smaller cuts of meat or something delicate like pie, it's going to tear a substantial hole in it. It's not a problem with large joints of beef or a chicken but it's something to bear in mind.
Meater Block review: verdict
The Meat Block is an impressive tool for those looking to cook big pieces of meat in the over or on the grill. The four included probes mean that you can monitor multiple pieces of meat, or different dishes at the same time.
In practice, I found I rarely needed more than two of the probes and most of the time I only needed the one. Unless you're regularly cooking for a crowd, this is probably more equipment than you need but the addition of the Wi-Fi connection makes it appealing. I like the fact that I can sit on the couch and still check on my cooking – even if it's outside on the grill.
I'd love to see a thinner probe option for those smaller cuts and a larger screen on that control unit but that just feels like I'm being picky. I'd recommend the Meater Block to anyone who wants their meat cooked perfectly, every time.
Meater Block review: also consider
If you don't need multiple probes, the Meater Plus (opens in new tab) offers an extended 165ft range, thanks to a built-in Bluetooth repeater in the base. This is a huge improvement over the 33ft offered by the original Meater and means you can still walk away from the grill or oven and keep tabs on your cooking. Plus it costs just £99/$99.95/AU$199.
If you want something simpler to just give you a quick temperature check, the Thermapen One is a great option. This affordable cooking thermometer provides a slim and sharp sensor and provides an instant temperature check on its large display.