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My Meater (Original) Review

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  • wcpreston
    Club Member
    • Nov 2016
    • 157

    My Meater (Original) Review

    I'm finally posting a review of the original Meater that I've had for a while now.

    Overall, I like it. But it definitely has some downsides.

    The temp (external and internal) seems pretty accurate, and being able to monitor my cook on my phone anywhere is very nice. I can go to the store or dinner and keep an eye on my cook.

    The ONLY way it works is to have an intermediary device close to the cooker. It connects to the Meater via Bluetooth and to the Internet via the home WIFI. (You can actually sign into the Meater cloud, which will allow you to see it from anywhere.) I use an old smartphone. The place in the pic is where I've found it can get a steady signal from the device AND from Wifi. Any closer to the smoker and it loses the WIFI signal. Any closer to the house (or inside) and it loses the connection to the Meater.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_0175.jpg Views:	1 Size:	3.48 MB ID:	608441

    It's about 10 feet from the smoker (my brand new G2 Chubby), and about five feet from the back wall of the house. But you see the problem. I need the phone to stay on the screen, which draws the power down pretty quickly. so I need to leave it plugged in.

    Even with this setup, it will occasionally drop signal. But it usually comes back pretty quickly.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_0177.PNG Views:	1 Size:	110.3 KB ID:	608442


    IF YOU BUY the Meater+ or the Meater Block (which is just starting to ship), the block does the job of being an intermediary.

    Now... on to how it works.

    The meater lives in a magnet-mounted block on my fridge door. The block has a battery in it that charges the Meater. You take it out just before the cook, and it turns on automatically when you do that. Assuming you have previously paired it with your smartphone, it'll show up in the app. Then you can setup a "guided cook" or a custom one. To setup a guided cook, you select the type of meat you're cooking, then the temp you want to cook it to.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 3.20.43 PM.png Views:	1 Size:	96.3 KB ID:	608443

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 3.22.10 PM.png Views:	1 Size:	152.8 KB ID:	608444

    Stick the Meater in the meat you're cooking, making sure you put it in past the little line it tells you to go past.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 3.22.53 PM.png Views:	1 Size:	375.4 KB ID:	608445

    Make sure the Meater will stay parallel or with the head pointing up. I've had it pop out during a cook. I got lucky and it fell in just the right place. (Not in the water pan and not in the fire.) So keep how the meat will move during the cook in mind. This is extra important if you're hanging the meat on a PBC, since the meat moves around as it shrinks. It's less important if your meat is sitting on a shelf.

    If you've connected the "intermediate" device to WIFI, you can load the same app on another phone and connect it to the same Meater. If you logged into Meater cloud, you can even do that from anywhere. Pretty cool.


    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_0174.PNG Views:	2 Size:	106.9 KB ID:	608447

    The display shows you the current internal temp, the target temp, and the smoker temp (referred to as the Ambient temp). It also shows an estimate of the amount of time for the current cook. You can also see a graph of both temps by hitting the button on the bottom.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_98ED54CDEBFB-1.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	240.0 KB ID:	608448

    You can see based on the curve that I'm entering "the stall" on my current cook. This is why it NOW says it's going to be 7.5 hours before I finish. I don't think the software understands the stall.




    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_F00B664C970B-1.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	264.0 KB ID:	608449


    It beeps at you when you're 5 mins from being done, and again when it's time to remove the meat. Pretty slick.

    Pros:

    1. Single, wireless thermometer. That's kind of the whole point.
    2. Monitor cook from anywhere via a smartphone
    3. Graph showing your cook that you can refer to later. Very helpful if you're trying different methods of cooking.

    Cons:

    1. Need a second device if you buy Meater (not Meater+), and you may have to power that device.
    2. No way to test the accuracy of the Ambient sensor (not waterproof, so you can't calibrate w/ice & boiling water)
    3. Can't monitor smoker temp during its "pre-heat" phase, unless you put it in a glass of water or something. Then you have to take that out and swap it out. (The internal sensor is supposed to be inside something.)

    Recommendation: If you want to try it, get the Meater+ It's $99 instead of $69.

    What I DON'T know is if it will have any longevity issues. It's not electronics have ever liked heat. It would suck to buy the Meater block for $200, then have it start dying on me.

    Addendum: Some of the comments from others are about Meater's "less that upfront" marketing, and I have to agree. Out of curiousity, I went to their page to see what it said about ordering a Meater block. It says I have two days left to order it in time for Christmas. But if I DO order it, the text under the order says this:

    "New orders for MEATER Block will ship after crowdfunding pre-orders have been fulfilled. Estimated date: TBD. For pre-orders, we will capture the payment now to hold your place in the order list. Refundable."

    So is it a pre-order, or is it a "buy now in time for Christmas?"
    Attached Files
    Last edited by wcpreston; December 16th, 2018, 06:50 PM.
  • HawkerXP
    Club Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 4920
    • Northern Virginia
    • 3 Weber kettles, and a PBC
      Thermopop
      Dot w two probes
      Slo n Sear
      Cold beer

    #2
    Interesting, thanks.

    Comment

    • Mr. Bones
      Birthday Hat Master
      • Sep 2016
      • 8697
      • Kansas Territory
      • Grills / Smokers
        *********************************************

        Kingsford 24" grill (Free) 'Billy'
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        Weber 22.5 Master Touch '93 P Code Blue($85) from fellow WKC member Bmitch 'Elwood'
        Weber 22.5 Bar-B-Q Kettle '69-'70 "Patent Pending" Red ($80) from fellow WKC member dwnthehatch 'Maureen'
        Weber 22.5 OTS DD Code Black ($40 CL) 'DeeDee'
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        Weber 22.5 OTS E Code Black ($20 CL
        Weber 22.5 OTS EE Code Black ($20 CL

        Weber "C" Code 18.5" WSM '81 ($50 CL) 8-0!!!
        Weber "H" Code 18.5" WSM '86 ($75 CL)
        Weber " " Code 18.5" WSM

        Weber 26.75, $199 NFM clearance !!!
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        (Lime Green)
        Horizon 20" Classic, w/baffle/tuning plate (FREE)
        Good One Open Range, (FREE), Monthly Prize from AR giveaway!!!!



        Thermometers:
        *********************************************
        Ol' Skool Bi-metal probe pocket thermo, that has checked / served ~ 1,000,000 meals in my possession, easily...
        Maverick ET-732, (Black)
        Thermopops, (Red, Yellow, Green)
        ThermaPen Mk4 (Black), THANKS!!! to jgjeske1
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        Accessories:
        *********************************************
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        Tableware
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        Dinner: Guests: Washington Forge, Town and Country
        Fancy / Formal: Family silverware

      #3
      Very helpful review an tutorial, brother!

      Thanks!

      By my reckonin, one day in th not too distant future, wireless probes will be th standard, an be widely affordable...

      I'm a patient man, most times...

      This is why I haven't made any extry holes in my cookers, fer cables...

      Comment


      • wcpreston
        wcpreston commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree. It takes some brave folks to go on a limb like this and try to make it happen.

        It also takes enough people dumb enough to throw money at it. That's where I come in.
    • Spinaker
      Moderator
      • Nov 2014
      • 10410
      • Land of Tonka
      • John "J R"
        Instagram: JRBowlsby
        Smokin' Hound Que
        Minnesota/ United States of America

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        **************

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        ********************************
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        **************************

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      #4
      Great review! Thanks!

      Comment

      • RonB
        Club Member
        • Apr 2016
        • 12109
        • Near Richmond VA
        • Weber Performer Deluxe
          SNS
          Pizza insert
          Rotisserie
          Smokenator 1000
          Cookshack Smokette Elite
          2 Thermapens
          Chefalarm
          Dot
          lots of probes.
          CyberQ

        #5
        Thanx for this. I'm still waiting on the block, but don't expect to see it until March or April, (hopefully).

        Comment

        • adamcoe
          Charter Member
          • May 2015
          • 148
          • Calgary, AB, Canada

          #6
          I'm with you, RonB ...funded the Indiegogo in early Jan 2016 (yes, you read that right) and still waiting on mine. They're claiming sometime January-Marchish but they've missed literally every deadline (some by quite a wide margin) I'm thinking I might get it in time for the May 2-4 weekend (weekend after Memorial Day for us Canucks). Heard a lot of people that do have it already (for those unaware, there were 2 crowdfunding campaigns so Kickstarter backers get theirs first) have had connection issues so I'm hoping against hope that after 3+ years of waiting for this (potentially) amazing product, it actually works when I do get it. Maybe having to wait till after the KS backers might work out for me as they'll have a bit of time to troubleshoot it before us IG backers get ours.

          Comment


          • wcpreston
            wcpreston commented
            Editing a comment
            BTW I funded it back then, too. Chickened out and got them to do a partial refund and just buy one Meater, since I saw they were going to do it first.

          • adamcoe
            adamcoe commented
            Editing a comment
            Don't blame you, nice to see at least a few of them in the field and working so we can see the real world results. I'll definitely be posting mine when I get it (I'm out of the country till April though it seems that's about when it'll arrive anyway). Very, very cautiously optimistic and definitely looking forward to the next few years as I'm sure there will be more of this type of product coming out.
        • Santamarina
          Club Member
          • Aug 2018
          • 663
          • Wildomar, CA

          #7
          I’m a fall-2015 Kickstarter backer. In September they said my Meater Block will be delivered before the end of this year. Haven’t heard anything more, and they only have two weeks...honestly not counting on it until a bit into the new year.

          wcpreston Thank you for the write up. Really hoping the Block lives up to expectations!

          Comment


          • adamcoe
            adamcoe commented
            Editing a comment
            They claim they're supposed to cover all the KS backers by the end of the year...but of course they said they'd be shipping this thing a year ago too so who knows. Anyway if and when you do get it, please post a review as I'm a Block backer too and really want to see how it shakes out. Along with these coming in I've got a couple purchases planned for the spring and I'm stoked as hell to do some really serious cooking come April.
        • Troutman
          Club Member
          • Aug 2017
          • 7089
          • Republic of Texallence

          • OUTDOOR COOKERS
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          #8
          Thanks for letting us know how it's been working for you. I have had nothing to do with it because 1) they just never seem to get their act together and 2) I'm still waiting to see if they even hold up to the rigors of barbecuing (BIG if). Having said that; however, I do see something like it becoming reality in the coming years. So sick of dealing with cables. Always a big learning curve and lots of guinea pigs with any new technology.

          Comment

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