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TP20 vs Inkbird IRF-4S

Discussion in 'Meat Thermometers' started by epwillis, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. epwillis

    epwillis Newbie

    Looking to buy a wireless thermometer for my new masterbuilt and can't decide between the Thermpro TP20 or the Inkbird IRF-4S, both seem like really nice thermometers. I just don't want to purchase the TP20 with only two probes and later on down the road regret not buying something with more probes. I am very new to smoking so I am just trying to get some reviews or comparisons between the tow of them. At most I want an ambient probe and a meat probe but the extra meat probe ability would be great. I have a masterbuilt 340G and smoked my first pork butt last weekend and the built in meat probe was reading 23°F higher than my handheld Javelin Pro.
  2. SecondHandSmoker

    SecondHandSmoker Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I have both the TP 20 and IRF-4S.
    The TP 20 is relegated to grill duty now because it only has a high temp alarm.
    Where as, the IRF-4s does allow you to program for a Hi-Lo alarm using the OVEN setting which is a must have for over night smokes.
    The IRF-4s costs more, but it is well worth it to have those extra probes.
    It is darn accurate and has fast response times too.
    Plus having the rechargable batties via USB that seem to last forever between chargings cannot be beat.
    Inkbirdbbq and epwillis like this.
  3. SecondHandSmoker

    SecondHandSmoker Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Forgot to mention that the IRF-4s has an excellent range too.
    epwillis likes this.
  4. The TP20 does a Hi-Lo alarm as well, if set to BBQ mode. Sounds like the Oven setting described for the Inkbird.

    Overall I like my TP20 so far, but haven't gotten fancy with it. Kinda wish I could reprogram some of the preset temperatures and can see wanting to support more probes in the future.
    epwillis likes this.
  5. SecondHandSmoker

    SecondHandSmoker Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  6. 2008RN

    2008RN Smoke Blower

    I have a TP20 and then I have a Auber Instruments PID (no bluetooth/wifi). I have calibrated the probes on the AuberIns and the TP20 probes are low by about 10 degrees and then above 250 degrees both the TP20 and AuberIns are within a couple degrees. I Use the TP20 for monitoring of meat and cabinet and use the high temp alarms to get me back to the smoker to check on things. I use the AuberIns to tell me when to pull the meat off. I have only needed multiple meat probes once, cooking multiple briskets at once on different shelves.
  7. mike243

    mike243 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Still on the fence but I want 4 probes at least with 1 for grate temps, going to get wifi and will cry once with the purchase but hope it will be the last 1 for many years, searching and saving up right now
  8. Yep, I mean the TP20. That's what I have. There's an option for "PROG" as one of the "MEAT" choices, which allows you to enter a custom temp to alert, separate from the pre-programmed options for beef, poultry, etc.

    The "BBQ" option should be available for Probe 2 and allows setting a Lo temp and Hi temp. The Lo alarm doesn't activate until after the temp first climbs above that level (so no alerts during warm-up). Instructions are on page 7 of the manual available from their website.
    SecondHandSmoker likes this.
  9. SecondHandSmoker

    SecondHandSmoker Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Ah Ha!!
    After talking with ThermoPro CS, they told me they have a newer version that now has the Hi-Lo alarm.
    You must have the newer version.
    Whereas, I have the older version.
    So, that would explain it.
    Man, I though I was losing my mind. LOL!
    Please accept my apology for originally doubting you.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
    mooncusser likes this.
  10. SmokinVOLfan

    SmokinVOLfan Master of the Pit

    I too have a TP-20 and have never had a problem out of it. Used it quite a bit and its still rolling never let me know. Although I think my next purchase will be the 4 probe inkbird just because I would like to have the extra probes and they seem like they make a pretty solid product
  11. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I have the older one also . No low temp . I'd still have to see the new one to believe it . Just don't see how a probe switches between a meat probe and a chamber probe .
    SecondHandSmoker likes this.
  12. SecondHandSmoker

    SecondHandSmoker Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yeah Chop!
    That is what I like about the IRF-4S. That is a real chamber thermocouple designed to do one thing.
    Inkbirdbbq likes this.
  13. That would explain it. A little confusing to have that much of a difference and still call it the same model number.

    It's just another mode on the receiver. Don't know if using the exact same probe for ambient as you'd otherwise use for food affects its accuracy.

    I'm using it in an MES, so I'm not looking for super precision. Just want to know if the chamber drops way low.
  14. Wavehopper62

    Wavehopper62 Newbie

    I just bought an InkBird a few weeks ago, I used it once and I’m returning it. Let me say this, I’m not one return stuff usually. I’ve been I prime member for years and this is the first return I’ve made. I was very excited to have 4 probes and the Bluetooth app on my phone, for about the same price of 2 probes and having to carry another remote with a Therma-Pro. Here are a few things that happened that made me decide to return it. It constantly gave me low temperature alarms when the temp in the smoker was 20 degrees higher than the low temp setting. It was pretty annoying to get that alarm every 10-15 minutes through a 3-4 hour cook. I love that it has a graph of your temperatures throughout the cook. That being said, if you lose the Bluetooth signal to the app/phone your temp graph is gone too. I figured this out at least twice during the cook when I got an alarm that I lost connection to the thermometer, I had 2 probes going, so I had to cancel 2 alarms. It was advertised that it had 150 foot range. There is no place on my my little postage stamp that I would be 150 feet from the smoker, and I lost signal twice. Once when I was MAYBE 20 feet away.
    Finally, I really thought I would like having all the info on my phone through the app, quite honestly I didn’t. It’s not that the app is bad, I just didn’t like having to unlock my phone, find the app and look for the temperatures (or in my case cancel alarms). I think I would just be happier with separate remote, with a great signal that I just go look at, instead of flipping through my phone to get there. Sorry for the long post, I was just looking for advice on which Therma-Pro to get now and thought I would put in my 2 cents on my InkBird experience. So any advice on which Therma-Pro or other to buy now would be great!!?? (now that I have a credit on my Amazon account)
  15. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yeah , I can see that they add software to make it read high / low . Have to toggle between meat probe and chamber temp .
    My opinion , if you're trying to track the chamber temp on a MES , you're just causing your self aggravation .
  16. epwillis

    epwillis Newbie

    I ended up ordering the Inkbird IRF-4S without the Bluetooth. Thanks for all the information, will report back with my impressions of it.
    Inkbirdbbq and SecondHandSmoker like this.
  17. SecondHandSmoker

    SecondHandSmoker Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yes, it is confusing when a significant revsion is put out there and not make that distinction to end users.
    FWIW, the ThermoPro CS rep did indicate that the TP20 available on Amazon is the new version.
    The revised TP20 a good set up then.
  18. Inkbirdbbq

    Inkbirdbbq Smoking Fanatic Sponsor SMF Premier Member

    The one you purchased is Bluetooth type IBT-4XS, the outside range is 150 feet. Guess your house has some wall or mental roof barrier prevent the signal. The mre good one for you is IRF-4S, which has 1500 feet, no need to conenct with phone, transmitter and receiver type, rechageable battery and with magnet, with high and low alarm and timer. Also can be used in rainy days.
    udaman and SecondHandSmoker like this.
  19. That was my take after reading a bunch here. Thanks for confirming. I'm not monitoring for precision but rather for significant failure. Like dropping below 200° which probably means it's not working & may need to move meat to oven/grill.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  20. Agreed. Would be nice if they offered you an upgrade (*wink wink*).

    And no apologies needed earlier. Thanks for the Like!
    SecondHandSmoker likes this.