FireBoard Vs. ThermoWorks: Which Smart Thermometer To Pick?

If you’re serious about grilling and smoking meat, having a high-quality digital thermometer is essential. But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to decide which model is the best fit for your needs and budget.

Two of the most popular smart thermometer brands for barbecue enthusiasts are FireBoard and ThermoWorks. Keep reading for a detailed comparison of FireBoard and ThermoWorks thermometers to help you determine which is right for your next cookout.

A Brief Comparison Table

Ease of UseMore automated features like temperature control. Intuitive app.Simple to operate with straightforward app.
FeaturesTemperature control automation. Long 300ft WiFi range. Cloud storage and analysis.Core features like alarms and notifications. Shorter 100ft wireless range.
AccuracyHighly accurate with professional-grade probes.Very accurate with rapid response probes.
DurabilityWeatherproof construction. Heavy duty probe cables.Water resistant base and probes.
SetupBuilt-in WiFi for easy connection.Separate WiFi bridge required.
Cost$329 for starter bundle. Additional costs for extra probes and accessories.$279 for starter kit. Lower cost overall but may need to purchase add-ons.
Best ForSmoking – temperature control and monitoring features allow set and forget cooking.Grilling – fast probe response provides instant temperature checks.

Overview of FireBoard and ThermoWorks

FireBoard and ThermoWorks are both companies known for making high-end grilling and smoking thermometers. They each offer a range of products with advanced features for temperature monitoring and control.


FireBoard Smart Thermometer
FireBoard Smart Thermometer

FireBoard is a relative newcomer, founded in 2016.

But their innovative wireless thermometer system quickly made a name for themselves in the world of barbecue.

The FireBoard aims to bring modern technology to classic BBQ methods.

Their products allow you to monitor your cooks from anywhere using the mobile app and offer advanced notifications and temperature control capabilities.

Some of their key product lines are:

  • FireBoard FBX11-A Thermometer System
  • FireBoard 2 Drive Blower Fan and Adapter
  • FireBoard FBX50 5 Channel Thermometer Probe System


ThermoWorks has been around since 1999 and has earned a reputation for making professional-grade thermometers used by many competition barbecue teams. Their product designs focus on high accuracy and fast response times.

Some of ThermoWorks most popular products include:

  • Thermoworks Smoke X4 4-Channel Alarm Thermometer
  • Thermoworks Signals 4-Channel BBQ Alarm Thermometer
  • Thermoworks Dot Waterproof Instant Read Thermometer

Key Differences Between FireBoard And ThermoWorks

Now let’s do a side-by-side comparison of how FireBoard and ThermoWorks models stack up across some key factors.

Ease of Use

Both FireBoard and ThermoWorks aim to provide an intuitive user experience, even for thermometer novices. They have simple push button controls on the base unit and easy to navigate mobile apps.

However, FireBoard products tend to offer more automation and smart features out of the box. Their Drive automated temperature control system virtually runs the smoker for you.

And their Gateway WiFi adapter provides long 300ft range so you don’t have to be in close proximity to monitor your cooks.

With ThermoWorks products, you need to purchase add-ons like the Billows fan for automated control. And the range is more limited at 100ft for the Signals thermometer. So FireBoard allows for easier remote monitoring.

Features and Capabilities

FireBoard and ThermoWorks both provide the essential features you’d expect in a modern barbecue thermometer setup. This includes multiple probe channels, high and low temperature alarms, food doneness alerts, and wireless connectivity to mobile devices.

However, there are some notable differences in their advanced capabilities:

  • Temperature Control – FireBoard offers complete automated temperature control with their Drive accessory. ThermoWorks requires purchasing the Billows electric fan for this functionality.
  • Probe Types – FireBoard probes have two sensor types to accommodate both short and long cooks. ThermoWorks uses faster response probes optimized for grilling.
  • Mobile Range – FireBoard provides over 300ft of WiFi range for superb remote monitoring capability. ThermoWorks offers 100ft of RF range.
  • Cloud Storage & Analysis – FireBoard has built-in cloud storage and can analyze temperature data over time. ThermoWorks does not have cloud analysis features.

So in terms of innovation, FireBoard inches ahead with more advanced features for controlling your smoker and analyzing results. But ThermoWorks still has the core functionality covered.

Accuracy and Responsiveness

When you’re cooking meat for hours at low and slow temperatures, accuracy is critical. You don’t want to overshoot or undershoot your target temps.

Both FireBoard and ThermoWorks use high-quality food grade thermocouple probes capable of delivering professional-level results. Each probe is individually calibrated for optimal precision.

However, hands-on testing shows ThermoWorks thermometers have a slight edge when it comes to speed. Their probes refresh temperatures about 2-3 seconds faster than FireBoard’s. This can make a difference when quickly gauging foods like steaks on the grill.

But for low and slow barbecue, both thermometers are more than accurate enough to produce phenomenal results. The extra few seconds of lag time with FireBoard will not make or break your brisket or pork shoulder.

Durability and Water Resistance

ThermoWorks Smart Thermometer

No one wants their expensive thermometer to break after a few uses.

FireBoard and ThermoWorks both build their products to last and hold up well to outdoor cooking conditions.

The base units and probes are weatherproof and water resistant.

You won’t have to worry about some light rain or splashes from BBQ sauce ruining the electronics.

FireBoard claims a higher IP water protection rating of IP66 over ThermoWorks at IP65. In practical terms, this means FireBoard is slightly more water resistant. But either product has ample durability for typical backyard barbecue use.

The FireBoard does seem to use heavier duty cables than ThermoWorks based on customer reviews. So FireBoard may have a durability advantage for the probes and wiring.

Ease of Setup

Setting up your new wireless thermometer shouldn’t be a chore. Both FireBoard and ThermoWorks aim to make installation quick and simple.

To get cooking, you just need to:

  • Insert the probes into the food.
  • Power on the base station.
  • Download the mobile app and connect.
  • Configure your temperature alarms and notifications.

The process only takes about 5-10 minutes for either brand. FireBoard gains a small advantage by having WiFi built into their base units. For ThermoWorks, you need to purchase a separate Signals gateway for WiFi connectivity.

Overall, setup is straightforward with both brands. And you’ll be monitoring your first cook in no time.

Cost Comparison

As you would expect with top-tier thermometers, neither FireBoard nor ThermoWorks come cheap. Be prepared to spend $200+ for a complete monitoring and control setup from either brand.

For example, here are sample starter kits with 2 probes, a base station, and WiFi/control accessories:

  • FireBoard 2 Thermometer: $329
  • ThermoWorks Signals Kit: $279

As you can see, ThermoWorks has a slight pricing advantage on starter bundles. But you may also need to purchase extra probes and accessories like Billows with ThermoWorks to match FireBoard’s functionality.

Both brands charge premium prices but deliver premium performance and features. So it comes down to getting what you pay for in both cases.

Help and Support

Investing in an advanced thermometer system means you want access to expertise if any issues come up. Both FireBoard and ThermoWorks offer solid customer service options.

FireBoard provides email support and helpful online resources like knowledge base articles and video tutorials. For more urgent matters, they have a 24/7 chatline to access a live representative.

ThermoWorks also provides email support, documentation, and video demos. Their support team has a stellar reputation for being responsive and solving any problems promptly.

So you can rest assured that both brands stand behind their products and customers. Their world-class support gives you peace of mind to focus on perfecting your next barbecue masterpiece.

Which Is Better For Smoking Meat?

FireBoard 2 Drive
FireBoard 2 Drive

When it comes to low and slow smoking, we give a slight edge to FireBoard for the best features.

The integrated WiFi and cloud platforms make it incredibly easy to monitor and analyze your smokes from anywhere.

And the Drive add-on creates a nearly autonomous smoker by managing the temperature for you.

But don’t count ThermoWorks out.

Their Signals thermometer provides all the key functionality you need to nail delicious smoked meats. And their ultra fast-responding probes help you make quick adjustments if your smoker runs hot or cold. The Signals is also about $50 cheaper for a starter kit.

So if you want the ultimate in smoking technology and convenience, go with FireBoard. To save some money while still getting outstanding accuracy, ThermoWorks is the way to go.

Which Is Better For Grilling?

For hot and fast grilling, ThermoWorks pulls ahead as the best option. Their probes refresh temps in just 2-3 seconds, so you can instantly check the doneness of steaks, burgers, chicken and other quick-cooking foods.

FireBoard’s probes work beautifully for low and slow cooking. But the slightly slower response times aren’t as ideal for grilling. You may need to leave the lid open longer to check doneness and cause more heat loss.

So for hardcore grillers wanting to perfectly char their meats, the ThermoWorks line is our top pick. And their DOT waterproof instant thermometer makes the perfect accessory for quick checks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Still have some questions about how FireBoard and ThermoWorks stack up? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Is FireBoard a PID controller?

Yes, FireBoard offers full PID temperature control capabilities out of the box. This allows it to intelligently adjust heating levels to maintain a precise target temperature.

Is Thermoworks Signals waterproof?

While not fully waterproof, the Thermoworks Signals base unit and probes have IP65 water resistance. They can withstand rain, splashes and other backyard conditions.

Is FireBoard blower waterproof?

No, the FireBoard Drive blower fan itself is not waterproof or designed for outdoor use. It must be kept protected from rain and moisture.

How do I turn off Thermoworks Signals?

To power off Signals, press and hold the power button on the base station for 3+ seconds until the LED light turns off.

Final Verdict

So which is better, FireBoard or ThermoWorks? The answer comes down to your budget and what features matter most for your barbecue style.

If you want the ultimate set-it-and-forget-it smoking experience, FireBoard is our top recommendation. The WiFi range, cloud connectivity, and PID control offer convenience and precision for effortless low and slow BBQ.

For grillers who prioritize speed, accuracy and affordability, ThermoWorks edges out FireBoard. Their rapid-response probes and lower cost make them the choice for serious backyard chefs on a budget.

But you really can’t go wrong with either brand. FireBoard and ThermoWorks both make exceptional thermometers capable of taking your barbecue skills to the next level. Whichever model you choose, your food is sure to turn out perfectly cooked.

In summary:

  • FireBoard excels at automation and remote monitoring for smoking
  • ThermoWorks is quicker and more affordable for grilling
  • Both offer high accuracy and great durability
  • Consider your budget, cooking needs and which features are most important

We hope this detailed comparison helps you pick the best wireless thermometer system for your grilling and smoking setup! Let the barbecue feast commence.

Ralph Wade

Hey...Ralph is here! So, did you find this article useful? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. If not, please tell me how I can improve this article. Your feedback is always appreciated. Take love :)

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