Originally Posted by LVBBQMan
My experience is that digital thermometers are more accurate than their bi-metal counterparts. They are also easier to calibrate. finally, I like the quicker reading that you get from the digitals. Not to mention that many of the digitals will transmit temperature signal to a remote readout display. That is nice when you are standing by the pit in 100 degree plus summer weather and would like to go somewhere cool but still be able to monitor your temperature. The same can be said for smoking in sub freezing winter weather. For all of those reasons I think they are worth the extra money. That does not say the job cannot be done with an inexpensive local readout bi-metallic thermometer of the type you show.
The first link for the $5.99 thermometer is a digital instant read that quickly does the job of items costing 10 times the price. Sadly, they only come in black...
The next two links are for spring operated units that measure pit temp. They are much cheaper than most non-digital pit temp thermometers (also spring operated) and they have longer probes too.
The remote thermometers are convenient and I have used mine a lot for monitoring meat temps. Now that I know my processes well, I seldom need it for monitoring the meat, but may want to stick it into a potato to monitor pit temps. It would be great if it had two probes, but I got it years ago and don't think that was an option then.
Don't get me wrong, toys are fun, but a lot of guys on here are about saving money and still getting great Q.
Brinkman water smokers (elec and charcoal)
Weber kettle grill
Uniflame Gold Stainless 5 burner propane grill / rotisserie
BBQ Grillware upright propane water smoker
A trench filled with wood coals and covered with chain link fence