Thermopro TP17 vs Thermopro TP16

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After reviewing almost 50 thermometers and putting in over 100 hours of total testing time, the Pitmasters here at SMS like to think we know our way around a meat thermometer.

While we all love fancy gadgets with tons of features like wireless transmission, multiple probes, and super quick reading times, it’s important to remember that sometimes you don’t need a whole boatload of features to make a great thermometer.

In-oven meat probes like the Thermopro TP17 and TP16 are a bit of a throwback to simpler models of thermometers, ones that don’t require a ton of setup and do not need wireless connectivity or fun smartphone apps.

The Thermopro TP17 and TP16 are an excellent combination of intelligent design, ease of use, and a small price tag. Both of these thermometers make a great choice if you’re looking for a reliable in-oven or pit thermometer and don’t want wireless connectivity.

While we loved both of these thermometers, we did think the TP17 was slightly better than the TP16, primarily because of the backlit screen and dual probes.

Thermopro Meat Thermometers Cage Match: TP17 vs. TP16

ThermoPro TP16 In-Oven Thermometer

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The TP16 is a pretty straightforward in-oven thermometer. With a single probe, a sleek digital readout, braided cable probe/wire, and easy-to-use controls, you’ve probably seen something like the TP16 in your cooking travels.

What We Liked:

  • High-Quality Stainless Steel Temperature Probe
  • Reads up to 572°f
  • Runs on 1 AAA battery

What Needs Improvement:

  • No storage case for probe or thermometer body
  • Setting programs can be a long process
  • Can only handle 1 probe
  • Probe is not as well made as the TP17 probes
  • No Backlight

Look and Feel:

Both of these thermometers are incredibly similar in design and function. These are some well-made barbecue/cooking appliances with a sleek metal case, a high contrast LCD, and an identical probe design; these are some well-made barbecue/cooking appliances.

While there is only 1 probe included with the Thermopro TP16, it is well made from high strength braided metal cable and a super-thin, stainless steel step-down thermistor probe.

Thermistor probes can take longer to read than thermocouple probes; this isn’t an issue for in-oven style digital thermometers that will remain inside your barbecued or roasting meats for the entirety of the cooking process.

The display is easy to read. However, the TP16 does not come with a backlight making it challenging to read in low-light situations.

The TP16 and TP17 have magnetic backplates that make it easy to affix the thermometer to any steel or magnetic surface. While you can secure these thermometers to the side of your smoker, it’s best to keep them away from any super hot surfaces, and you can melt the thermometer base if you put it on a surface that is too warm.

Cooking with the TP16 Digital Thermometer:

As with every thermometer we test here at Smoked Meat Sundays, we put the TP16 and TP17 through their paces by cooking meat under real-world barbecue conditions.

We used these thermometers to help create an absolutely incredibly smoked brisket on our Pitmasters Texas Style Barrel Smoker.

While the smoker was getting up to temp, we began to go through the settings options for the TP16.

Setting Preset Temperatures.

Setting the temperature range for the thermometer was difficult at first, but once we figured out the controls, it got a bit easier.

The TP16 comes with several preset options and the ability to set your own temperature alarm. You can choose from USDA-recommended cooking temperatures for fish, chicken, and beef, but you can also set unique temperatures depending on your specific needs.

Because we were cooking a brisket, we wanted a finishing temperature that was higher than any of the presets, so we just created our own. We set the temperature alarm to 206°f, which is our preferred meat temperature for brisket, and inserted the probe into the heart of the meat before closing up our smoker.

Count Up/Count Down Timer.

One nice feature found on both the TP16 and TP17 digital thermometers is the countdown/count-up timer feature. The only issue with it is that you can’t use it simultaneously with the thermometer function, which is really frustrating.

While the utility of the count-down timer mode is pretty straightforward, it gives you the ability to cook your products for a specific measured time; the count-up function is just as valuable.

One way to increase the quality of your barbecue is to take measurements like time and temperature. By tracking how long your bbq has cooked using the count-up timer, you can assess how changes in your cooking process affect your barbecue

Sadly, because you cant use the timer and thermometer at the same time there is almost no reason to use the timer function over the thermometer when smoking meats. .

ThermoPro TP17 In-Oven Thermometer

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Looking a lot like its little brother, the Thermopro TP17 is essentially the same thermometer, just bigger. With the added benefit of a second probe to monitor multiple products or the ambient temperature of your cooking/smoking chamber and a backlit LCD, the TP17 adds a ton of functionality with a very small price increase versus the TP16.

What We Liked:

  • High Temp Stainless Steel Temperature Probes
  • Multiple Probes Included
  • Reads up to 572°f
  • Runs on 1 AAA battery
  • Bright Backlit LCD Display
  • Comes with a grill clip for ambient temperature readings

What Needs Improvement:

  • No storage case for probe or thermometer body
  • Setting programs can be a long process

Look and Feel:

If you put both of these thermometers next to one another on a table, it would be challenging to tell them apart. Like the TP16, the Thermopro TP17 has a sleek metal finish and a high contrast LCD.

While the display on the TP17 is a bit busier, with two separate readouts, one for each probe, the overall design of these thermometers is almost identical.

While the controls for the TP16 can be found on the top of the thermometer, the control panel for the TP17 is located on the thermometer face, right below the backlit display.

The presence of a backlight on the TP17 is notable because it was conspicuously absent on the TP16, making it frustrating to read in low light or darkness. Thankfully, this is not a problem for the TP17 as the cooling blue backlight makes it possible to take thermometer readings in the dark.

The control panel is pretty straightforward, with arrows to navigate the menu/set temperatures and a button to toggle between the two probes. It can be frustrating at first to set temperatures and presets using the button-based interface. The user’s manual makes it easy to understand the process, and after a few smoking sessions, it shouldn’t be an issue as you become more familiar.

Cooking with the TP17 Meat Thermometer:

Using the TP17 right alongside the TP16 during the brisket smoking process was enlightening. These thermometers are incredibly similar, but the utility of two probes versus just one is on display when you use them side by side.

Once the Brisket was rubbed down and ready to go, we loaded it into the smoker and inserted one of the two stainless steel temperature probes into the heart of the point, or the thickest part of the brisket. The TP17 immediately began registering internal temperature readings on the thermometer base with the probe inserted.

We placed the second probe on the grill grate of our smoker’s cooking chamber to take an ambient temperature reading while also monitoring food temperatures.

Most smokers come with some sort of pit or cooking chamber temperature gauge. They are notoriously inaccurate and the ability to take ambient temperature readings digitally is a real game-changer for most beginner Pit Masters. Because these TP17 probes are heat resistant and can handle a wide temperature range they are perfectly safe to use for measuring ambient temperature. With a range of up to 572°f, you can use them for everything from smoking or roasting to deep frying and candy making!

Using Presets/Setting Temperature Alarms.

Setting a temperature alarm or timer setting on the TP17 is a lot like the TP16 with one major difference, you need to use the “probe 1/probe 2” toggle button to switch between probes when programming the alarms.

One nice feature included with the Thermopro TP17 that was noticeably absent from the TP16 is the BBQ/Hi/Lo temperature range function. While the TP16 only allows you to set alarms the TP17 allows for temperature ranges which is perfect for monitoring your smoker’s ambient temperature. By setting a range of 250-275°f for our smoker, we were able to keep the cook chamber’s temperature dialed in for our preferred brisket smoking range. Then, whenever the smoker went above or below that range, the alarm on the TP17 would alert us to the situation.

Setting ranges and alarms is more complicated than many of the more modern smartphone app-based wireless thermometer probes, but in the world of in-oven thermometers, it wasn’t too much of a hassle. Using the instruction manual for reference, we quickly set up our temperature alerts for the smoker and for the brisket itself. Then we sat back and let our brisket do its thing.

Using the Ambient Temperature probe and Grill Clip

The ability to measure both the internal temperature of your proteins, but also the ambient temperature of your cooking space is a real game-changer when it comes to BBQ.

Thermometers with dual high temp probes, like the TP17, allow you to more accurately measure your pit temperature which will result in much better barbecue and a more consistent cooking process overall.

Many analog thermometers can quickly lose their calibration and are often off by as much as 25-50°f, drastically altering cook times and quality.

Using the second probe to measure the air temperature of our smoker was super simple. We set the second probe to the BBQ setting and set a temperature range of 250°-275°f, which for use is the perfect temperature to cook brisket.

Then we attached the grill clip to the grill grate inside our texas barrel-style smoker and threaded the probe through the grill clip keeping it elevated above the actual grate to get a more accurate reading.

Throughout the rest of the smoking session, we were able to keep track of our smoker’s temperature quickly, and the alarm alerted us whenever the temp fell above the selected temperature range. This kind of accuracy in cooking temperature management is the difference between mediocre and great barbecue, and the TP17 does a great job of helping keep our pit at the right temperature to produce beautiful smoked brisket.

Which Thermometer is right for you, the TP16 or TP17?

While these thermometers are almost identical, they have their strong points.

The TP16 is a compact in-oven thermometer that makes it easy to quickly and efficiently measure the temperature of any proteins or products you are cooking in your oven or smoker. 

The TP17 does all of that with the added benefit of a second probe for measuring multiple products or the ambient temperature of your cooking space.

After hours of testing and comparison, we can confidently say that the TP17 is definitely the better option out of these two choices. While the TP16 is a great thermometer, there is no reason why the TP17 wouldn’t be the better choice.

With two probes, a backlit LCD, and a much more user-friendly control panel, the TP17 is definitely the winner in this showdown!

After reviewing almost 50 thermometers and putting in over 100 hours of total testing time, the Pitmasters here at SMS like to think we know our way around a meat thermometer.

While we all love fancy gadgets, with tons of features like wireless transmission, multiple probes, and super quick reading times, it’s important to remember that sometimes you don’t need a whole boatload of features to make a great thermometer.

In-oven meat probes like the Thermopro TP17 and TP16 are a bit of a throwback to simpler models of thermometers; ones that don’t require a ton of setup, and have no need for wireless connectivity or fun smartphone apps.

The Thermopro TP17 and TP16 are an awesome combination of smart design, ease of use, and a small price tag. Both of these thermometers make a great choice if you’re looking for a reliable in-oven or pit thermometer and don’t want wireless connectivity.

While we loved both of these thermometers, we did think the TP17 was slightly better than the TP16, primarily because of the backlit screen, dual probes and the ability to set actual temperature ranges in stead of only temperature alerts.

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