Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub
- Not many recipes
I admit it sounds appealing. I’ll gladly take any help to automate my backyard cooks. Less time worrying means more time relaxing or tackling weekend chores. Plus, if the Weber Connect can prevent me from ruining pricey cuts of meat, that’s money well spent. So I took the product for a whirl, and here’s what happened.
Inside the Weber Connect box is the main hub device, and two temperature probes.
Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub Vs Weber Igrill : What’s The Difference
If you’ve ever been behind the grill, you know that it’s not always easy. Sometimes, you get caught up in a conversation and forget that your chicken has been cooking for way too long, and other times you’re standing above your steak wondering if it’s actually medium-rare. Both the Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub and the Weber iGrill 3 were created to make life easier by making grilling smarter.
Because these devices are Bluetooth-enabled, they’ll send useful notifications to your phone as you’re grilling and will monitor the doneness of your meat. Best of all, they’ll let you know when your food is ready to be served. Here’s what sets these two smart grilling devices apart.
|Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub||Weber iGrill 3|
|Weber Connect App||Weber iGrill App|
Though the Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub costs a bit more than the iGrill 3, it’s compatible with any grill. It has a USB rechargeable battery, a LED display, and Wi-Fi connectivity. It’ll send a variety of useful notifications to your phone to guide you along the way and make grilling flawless.
Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub Vs Weber Igrill : Weber Igrill 3
The Weber iGrill 3 is one of the best BBQ and grilling accessories available today. This app-connected thermometer mounts directly into a Genesis II or Spirit II gas grill. Like the Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub, it has a four-probe capacity but comes including two meat probes. Likewise, you can monitor the doneness of up to four cuts of meat, and because it’s Bluetooth-enabled, you’ll get alerts on your phone as you grill and a notification when the food has reached the right temperature and is ready to be served. Though you can’t connect the iGrill 3 to Wi-Fi, you’ll stay connected as long as you’re within a 150-foot range.
The Weber iGrill 3 works hand-in-hand with the Weber iGrill App, one of the best apps for barbequing, which features convenient preset alarms as well as useful time and temperature guides for a variety of foods. With the app, you’ll also have access to Weber’s popular grilling recipes, which can be useful when you need some inspiration. Though the Weber iGrill 3 doesn’t have a rechargeable battery like the Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub, you’ll still get 250 hours of use before you have to change the batteries. And if you’re worried about running out of fuel while you’re hosting a cookout, there’s a convenient in-app fuel detector with the iGrill 3.
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Dont Put It Near The Bone
When on a grill, meat and bone cook differently than one another, and placing your probe where it is touching the bone can give you erroneous readings. While this may not matter as much for beef, this is a huge deal when it comes to cooking chicken.
We recommend placing the probes in the thickest point of the meat with no bone. For chicken or turkey, this is typically the breast meat. For something like a pork chop, you want the probe to go in the opposite end of the bone. While you are getting used to your Weber Connect Smart Hub, its probably best to double-check the doneness of your meat before you remove it from the grill to ensure it is to your liking. Remember that eating undercooked meat can result in foodborne illnesses.
Is The Weber Connect Worth It
After reading the reviews, I was a little worried about testing the Weber Connect. There were a lot of complaints about app functionality and bugs, but a lot of those issues must have been worked out. We didnt experience any technical difficulties, and we were thrilled with the Connects performance. It offered a ton of functionality out of the box, and we love it as an option for new cooks. Even if its your first time cooking a pork shoulder or brisket, you should be able to pull it off using the video instructions and step-by-step alerts.
While $100 is a lot of money to spend on a thermometer, we think its worth it considering the hub has the ability to measure four separate probes. It works on any grill and with most smartphones, and its a fantastic way to help grillers to build confidence. Theres a lot to love about the current version, and we hope the app development team continues to expand the options. If they include temperature graphs, info about historical grilling sessions, and more built-in cooking programs , this smart grilling hub would really knock it out of the park.
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It Remembers The Settings
We were worried that closing out the app would cancel any existing cook programs, removing the alerts and causing us to overcook our roast. Instead, the alarm worked regardless of whether the app was open on our phone. In fact, it almost remembered the programs too well. After reaching the target temperature, you have to click Done or manually end the session in the app. Otherwise, it will still be set to the last program, even if its been a day or more since using the probe.
What Could Be Improved
One negative to the new model is the lack of a magnetic base. I liked that the iGrill would adhere to the surface of my grill. I didnt need to worry about it falling into the gravel below, but it did mean a fixed in location. The Weber Connect stands freely anywhere. Place it on a stable surface as it does not appear made for impacts.
Weber has also figured out how to eke out a bit more margin The Weber Connect comes with an ambient temperature probe to solve the problem of notoriously inaccurate physical thermometers on grill hoods and a single food probe. The iGrill shipped with four probes. The original iGrill still sells for about $110, while the new unit sells for around $130. Individual probes run $16.50 each. The choice of reducing probes in the box looks like an early Weber decision following the acquisition of the device from home automation manufacturer iDevices.
While I would like to see the paper instructions printed in a larger font and with more detail, the included QR code slip takes owners to an instructional site that offers step-by-step setup and use processes.
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The Battery Is Rechargeable
The Weber Connect hub comes with a USB charging cable and a rechargeable battery. You can check the status by the battery symbols color on the hub or via the settings page on the app. We used the hub to cook a pork loin and a pork shoulder without recharging it in between tasks, so it ran for about 15 hours. Weber promises a 20-hour battery life, but we didnt want to push it much further and risk it turning off in the middle of a marathon grill session. The unit can be used while its charging, too, if you have an outlet near your grill.
Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub Review
I have had an iGrill thermometer for years. Every spring when the skies clear , I bring it out to the Weber Genesis to ensure my steaks and ribs, salmon and roasts, chicken breasts, and thighs get grilled to perfection. Truth is, I also use it in the kitchen regularly with dishes on the stovetop and in the oven.
Over the years the iGrill started showing its age. Some of the probes stopped trickling signals up to the sensors. One of the sensors gave out. But I kept using it.
That was until the last few weeks when a new Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub arrived for review. I may still bring out my iGrill if Ive got two barbeques going, but the updated, and mostly superior Weber Connect will be taking its place next to my Star Trek Enterprise BBQ tongs next summer.
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Final Thoughts On The Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub
Overall, the Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub is the best way to turn your grill into a smart grill. Because it is so formidable, it also makes an amazing gift for someone in your family who has difficulty cooking meat to the right temperatures.
Whether or not you get your steak perfectly done every time, the Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub just makes grilling easier. Now you can walk away without having to set a timer and instead let your phone tell you when it is time for you to flip those steaks. Everyone in your household can be satisfied with their dinner thanks to this device.
Remember that the original set only comes with two probes, which, while perfect for a couple, or those who only cook large pieces of meat, youll want to grab two extra probes, to be able to use this device for steak night. Either way, you will not regret picking up this nifty device and taking yourself to the twenty-first century!
App Connected Grilling Thermometer
You’ve marinated your meat, spiced it accordingly, and inserted the Weber Connect grilling thermometer probe. What next? Just select your doneness level and walk away. Don’t forget to check the app for step-by-step directions and alerts, and keep an eye on your food readiness countdown while you’re away from the grill. You can spend your free time however you like or scroll through the app and explore suggested recipes from Weber grill masters. “Favorite” the dishes you want to try cooking in the future, like pepper-crusted pork loin and sweet spice-rubbed chicken. Once you get the alert that your food is finished, head back to your grilling thermometer with in hand: it’s time to eat.
- Select doneness and receive alerts when ready
- Food readiness countdown and estimated cook time
- Step-by-step assistance from setup to when itâs time to eat
- The Weber Connect App includes ever-evolving content, tips, tricks, and recipes for every skill level
- One Meat Probe, One Ambient Probe Included
- Four Probe Capacity
- Select Doneness And Receive Alerts When Ready
- Food Readiness Countdown And Estimated Cook Time
- Step-By-Step Assistance
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It Cant Be Calibrated
Thermometer accuracy can drift, especially when its been exposed to high temperatures for long periods of time. Inaccurate thermometers arent very useful, especially when cooking things like poultry where temperature is crucial to food safety. Sadly, Weber probes cant be calibrated, so youll have to buy a new one if the originals dont record 32° F in ice water.
Overall How Does The Weber Connect Perform
The temperature of each connected probe is visible on the hub or on the app.
All things considered, we were pretty pleased with the Weber Connects performance. It had some quirks, so were hoping Weber continues to make updates to their app. It looks promising in that regard Weber has already announced that theyre planning a voice-assistant integration that would allow you to ask Alexa or Siri about the status of your grilling session. They also appear to be monitoring reviews closely and passing complaints and issues on to their app development team to increase future functionality.
The thermometer itself performed as well as many of the other models in our test group. It might bear the Weber name, but its compatible with any grill . The base has four ports and the initial package comes with two probes. The ambient temperature probe is short with a rounded edge and a grill grate clip. Place it within a few inches of your meat, and it starts to measure the grills temperature. The remaining three ports can be used to measure the meats internal temperature using a longer, pointed probe. You can view the temperature of these probes on the hubs digital display or in the app.
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Cooking With The Weber Connect
I was expecting the application to have some wild and challenging recipes. That’s been my experience with Traeger app for the company’s pellet grills. What the Weber Connect app provides, on the other hand, is utilitarian. There are five food sections to choose from . The “red meat” and “lamb” areas had the most options.
That said, each offers several cuts of meat, including ribeye steaks, rib roast, lamb chops and so on. Most of the variation here, however, resides in each cut’s doneness level .
The app doesn’t have instructions for cooking chicken thighs. That, my friend, is a serious offence. I was able to cook these using the Weber Connect’s manual mode.
The app covers many grill and barbecue staples. A few were notably missing. For instance, there was no chicken thigh cooking program under poultry. That’s a huge omission in my book. Roasted and wood-smoked chicken thighs are one of life’s great pleasures. You can set up a manual cook in the app though. I used it to grill some thighs to an internal temperature of 175 degrees Fahrenheit at 300 degrees F.
The app also gives cooking directions in real time.
I did find the Weber Connect’s brisket recipe to be spot-on. While I relied on the charcoal snake method to regulate grill temperatures in my Weber Classic, I followed the app’s other advice. I smoked the meat low and slow for seven hours. Then I wrapped the brisket in foil and continued smoking it for another five hours.
What Makes The Weber Connect Different From Other Probe Thermometers
The Weber Connect comes with two probes: one to measure the meat’s internal temperature and a shorter probe for the grill’s ambient temperature.
Unlike instant-read thermometers, probe thermometers are designed to monitor real-time internal temperatures. Theyre inserted into the thickest part of the meat while its still raw, allowing you to pinpoint the exact moment your food reaches its ideal temperature. Some models are wireless while otherslike the Weber Connectuse durable, stainless-steel wires designed to withstand a grill or ovens high temperatures.
The Weber Connect is somewhat unique because of its smartphone capabilities. Most probe thermometers require your presence to view the probes temperature. Some have remote wireless receivers, but you have to remember to bring them with you, and the receiver may drop the connection when its not in sight of the probes base. Instead, the Weber connects to your smartphone via WiFi or Bluetooth. Its compatible with iPhones on iOS 12.1 or later and most smartphones on Android 7.0 or later.
The app not only monitors the internal temperature of meat and the ambient temperature of the grill, but it also provides step-by-step assistance and notifications. After you set up your cooking program, youll receive a cook-time countdown, notifications when its time to flip the food or change the grills temperature, and an alert when the meat reaches its target temperature.
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The App Lacks Functionality
The app has a lot of potential, but it needs a little work. When used side-by-side with the MEATER+ app, we were especially disappointed. The Weber Connect app monitors the temperatures and provides step-by-step instructions, but it lacks any historical information. We wanted to see what we cooked in previous sessions, how long it took, and the peak vs. target temperatureas well as temperature graphs of the ambient and probe temperatures. This information might be overkill for some, but its useful for cooks looking to improve their grilling game.
What Can You Cook With Your Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub
The coolest thing about the Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub is that it works with every grill and every piece of meat! No matter what you may have in mind, the Smart Grilling Hub can help you cook it to perfection! Below are the most common types of meat made using this device.
- Pork Tenderloin
- Chicken Breast, Thighs, or Legs
As you can see, that is about every cut of meat under the sun! The only meat missing from this list is ribs. While you can use the grilling hub for ribs, they must be meaty enough to accommodate the temperature probes. This frequently eliminates beef ribs but does allow for use with pork ribs. For either of these items, always use a backup temperature probe just to be safe.
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It’s Slow To Read Temperature Changes
The Weber Connect isnt rated for use with oil or other liquid applications, so we dont recommend using it for deep-frying or other inside activities like making candy or cheese. That said, you wouldnt want to: It was one of the slowest thermometers we tested. Thats not a problem for grilling meat, where you probe in the beginning and allow the thermometer to register the temps as the meat slowly cooks. But we wouldnt want to use this as an instant-read meat thermometer.
Thermopro Tp27 Vs Weber Connect
If both WiFi and Bluetooth all sounds a little too tech-savvy for you, or for the person you are buying the thermometer for, then you should have a look at the ThermoPro TP27. It is wireless still but uses old-school radio frequency instead of WiFi or Bluetooth. ThermoPro gives you a dedicated receiver to use instead of your phone.
Unlike the Weber which has most of the information on the receiver, your phone, and hardly anything on the transmitter, the TP27 has all its information on the transmitter. This part of the unit can be used as a standalone thermometer, but a nice extra is the small receive you can clip to you belt inorder to keep an eye on your cooks.
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