ThermoWorks is no stranger to the wireless leave-in thermometer space, and for good reason. They have an impressive catalog of high quality devices that fit the needs of any user. Having tested a number of other ThermoWorks offerings in the past, we were eager to test the all new ThermoWorks Smoke X4 RF (radio frequency). This unit is like the original Smoke, on steroids. Not only does it double the channel capacity to 4 channels, what ThermoWorks has done with the range on this unit is nothing short of amazing. Read on for more information about this second to none four channel device.
The Smoke X comes in 2 variants: the Smoke X2 and Smoke X4. The difference between the two leave-in thermometers is the number of probes (two for the X2 and four for the X4). Aside from the number of probes, the units will function identically. We were lucky enough to get our hands on the Smoke X4 and test it out.
The Smoke X4 is not a Wi-Fi enabled device like the 4 channel ThermoWorks Signals. Instead, the Smoke X4 uses radio frequency like the original Smoke but increases range by over 2000%. The Smoke X4 base unit transmits information to a receiver via radio frequency. The improved RF technology of the Smoke X4 offers users a greatly extended range to over one mile from base unit to receiver. ThermoWorks has that range listed at 6,562 feet (1.24 miles) line of sight. Line of sight being a straight line along which an observer has unobstructed vision and no outside interference (from cordless phones, microwaves, etc.).
The Smoke X4 comes with the base unit, receiver, AA batteries for both, 3-Pro-Series High Temp Cooking Probes, 1-Pro-Series High Temp Air Probe & Grate Clip, a set of High Temp Silicone Color Rings to mark and identify your probe cables, and instructions.
The large display screen of both the Smoke X4 base unit and the receiver allows the user to view all 4 probe temperatures simultaneously. The base unit also displays the Max and Min temps of the current cook and the Hi and Low alarm set temps. The receiver shows the current temp as well as the Hi and Low alarm set temps. Both the Smoke X4 base unit and the receiver come equipped with magnets on the back so you can affix them to a metal surface. The base main unit is also equipped with a foldable easel stand and a simple dashboard of controls on the back.
Both units are splash proof to an IP Rating of IP 66. The IP 66 rating indicates that the Smoke X4 is dust tight and can withstand water projected in powerful jets (6.3 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction. Please note, the Smoke X4 is NOT designed to be submerged in water. It can however take a bit of rain.
Each channel of the Smoke X4 is equipped with a Hi/Low temperature alarm with an adjustable alarm volume. The max alarm level on the base unit is 90 dB. The max alarm volume on the receiver is 70 dB. The receiver of the Smoke X4 will update information sent from the base unit every 30 seconds.
The Smoke X4 base unit may also be powered by a USB-c 12 volt adaptor which can be purchased separately. As with the Smoke X4’s little brother, the ThermoWorks Smoke, the Smoke X4 unit can be paired with multiple Smoke X4 receivers. The Smoke X4 is compatible with the ThermoWorks Billows BBQ Temperature Control Fan which can be purchased separately. See our full review of the ThermoWorks Billows BBQ Temperature Control Fan here.
- Operating Range: 14°F to 122°F (-10°C to 50°C)
- Probe Range: -58°F to 572°F (-50°C to 300°C)
- Probe Cable Range: Max 700°F (370°C)
- Probe Cable Length: 47 inches
- Sensor: Thermistor
- Water Resistance: IP 66 Splash Proof
- Transmission Range: 6,562 ft; 1.24 miles
- Radio Frequency: 915 MHz
- Battery: Base Unit: 2x AA – 330 hours / Receiver: 2x AA – 1,800 hours
- Dimensions: Base Unit: 3.78 w x 4.68 h x 1.01 d inches / Receiver: 4.44 h x 2.04 w x 1.10 d inches
What We Loved
Like all ThermoWorks products, the Smoke X4 is well built in every regard. We LOVE the simplicity of the Smoke X4. Just turn the base unit and the receiver on and they connect without issue. In seconds, even the most inexperienced user is up and running, which isn’t the case with many other thermometers we’ve tested. The simplicity of this unit can’t be overstated, something any user will appreciate. The menu to set alarms is just as simple.
The distance that the Smoke X4 base unit can stay connected to the receiver was beyond impressive. More information on our distance testing can be found in our Final Thoughts below.
The adjustable volume is also highly beneficial. No more disturbing neighbors or family members when the alarm sounds.
The Smoke X4 has also improved the design on this latest model. The buttons on the receiver are now recessed, so you don’t have to worry about accidental button pushes if you slip it into your pocket. The receiver also has a flat base, which means it can stand on its own, freeing up your hands.
Last and most importantly, the 4 channel set up is perhaps the best thing about this unit. Even for users who don’t think they will be cooking more than one protein at a time, we found it was nice to be able to monitor grill temperatures at various places within the cooking chamber as opposed to only one. This is beneficial for a number of reasons.
What Could Be Improved
One area of the ThermoWorks Smoke X4 that could be improved is the brightly colored high temperature probe rings used to identify each end of the probe cable. The concept is terrific and allows users to know what each cable is being used for at a glance; however, they are quickly discolored by smoke and they don’t clean up well. We attempted to clean these rings with a variety of methods without success. The more the colored rings were exposed to smoke the more discolored they became. When using your Pro Series probes with probe rings in a smoker or grill, we suggest rolling the colored rings down the cable a bit, so they will not actually be in the cook chamber itself—problem solved.
Who it’s For
First, for anyone wanting more than the typical 2 channel leave-in thermometer, this unit excels. If you don’t think you’ll ever cook more than one protein at a time, consider the ability to monitor various points in a cooking chamber at once—that alone makes this unit a winner.
Next, the ThermoWorks Smoke X4 is for anyone needing a remote read leave-in thermometer where Wi-Fi is either not available or not desirable. It’s ideal for users wishing to have an extended distance between themselves and the cooker. For example, competition teams are going to love the Smoke X4 as it allows them the ability to move freely around a contest area and stay connected without Wi-Fi. With the addition of added receivers synced to the base unit, multiple team members can all monitor cooking temps at the same time.
Further, it’s ideal for anyone that wants an extended range in their remote read without the need of a smart device or app. Many people dislike using a smart device for a number of reasons, so having the stand alone receiver is preferable to many.
The Smoke X4 is well suited for a moderate-heat cooking environment such as smoking, oven-roasting, deep-frying, and grilling. Smoke X4 is not intended to be used in place of a digital instant-read thermometer, such as a Thermapen or ThermoPop.
The Smoke X4 is also for the home cook that wants to keep an eye on temperatures of their grill, smoker or oven while completing other tasks around the house that may be a bit out of range of other non-Wi-Fi remote read thermometers.
Due to the topography of our test area we were unable to test the Smoke X4 to its maximum listed line of sight range of 1.24 mile (6,562 feet). There is simply no area near us where that distance and a clear line of sight could be achieved. Here’s what we were able to test. For our first test we placed the Smoke X4 in a basement office filled with running electronic equipment and went for a walk. The Smoke X4 stayed connected to the receiver for approximately 900 ft with absolutely no line of sight, transmitting thru or around vehicles and several homes. This is an impressive distance for the conditions.
In a more open area we were able to test the Smoke X4 to an approximate distance of 2,800 ft. Again, this was not a true line of sight test. The Smoke X4 base and receiver were blocked by raising terrain but the overall area was much less obstructed. This is also an impressive distance for the condition.
Since the Smoke X4 is not Wi-Fi enabled it requires no app and doesn’t require a smart device to operate. It is designed to allow you to monitor cooking temperatures without a Wi-Fi connection from a greater distance with its improved RF technologies. It also allows for the operation of a ThermoWorks Billows BBQ Temperature Control Fan without Wi-Fi.
Let’s face it, not everyone wants to be connected to a cloud in order to monitor their temperatures. Not everyone has the need to chart and track their cooking temperatures. If this is you, the ThermoWorks Smoke X4 gives you a perfect option that simply works. No muss, no fuss. Just turn it on and cook. For most users, we’d say this is easily the best option for a leave-in thermometer. If you’re looking for a quick read option, check out our review of the ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE.