Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
Buy the ET-733 instead
on April 3, 2016
I purchased this ET-7 several months ago hoping to use it to monitor my grill from inside my house. My grill sits about 20 feet from the back of my house, so I figured the advertised 100 foot range of the ET-7 should be more than sufficient. Unfortunately, the actual range is only about 25 feet with no obstructions (measured by walking away from my house and grill into the back of my yard until the antenna icon on the receiver stops flashing), and the receiver barely works if I am standing just inside my back door with the door open, but loses signal if I walk any further into the house or close the door.
Despite being disappointed with the range, I decided to keep it anyway. I like the ability to monitor two things at once without buying two separate thermometers, and I like the fact that it beeps to alert me when the temperature reaches the set point. I am able to use it to remotely monitor food in my oven from my living room (even if I can't use it to remotely monitor my grill), and it is nice to be able to read the temperature of meat on the grill without opening the grill lid (even if I still have to go outside to read it). However, after using it a number of times, I recently had a big flare-up in the grill due to a fatty piece of meat and the flames burned up one of the probes. Rather than buying a replacement probe for the ET-7, I decided to try the ET-733 instead.
When I originally bought the ET-7, I had considered buying the ET-733, but the two looked almost equivalent, and at half the cost, the ET-7 looked like the better deal. However, after trying both, the ET-733 works much better for me, and is worth the extra cost.
Things I like about the ET-733 over the ET-7:
- The ET-733 has much better range. With the transmitter on my grill, the receiver works throughout my house. It seem to have a range of about 100ft with obstructions or 150ft without obstructions.
- The ET-733 receiver beeps if it has been out of range of the transmitter for 4 minutes. For grilling, this is actually too long, and I would prefer if it started beeping within about a minute of going out of range. However, the ET-7 doesn't beep at all (the antenna icon simply stops blinking and the temperature display stops changing), and any alarm (even if it takes a little longer than I would like) is better than nothing. Given that I am expecting the receiver to start beeping when I need to pay attention to the food, it is really bad for the ET-7 receiver to remain silent when it is out of range and doesn't know whether the food needs attention.
- The backlight on the ET-733 is very helpful when grilling at night. The ET-7 doesn't have a backlight.
- I like the option to turn off the temperature alarm on the ET-733. I occasionally want to do a quick check of the temperature of something other than meat, and while I can silence the alarm on the ET-7 by increasing the temperature set point above the measured temperature, it is convenient to be able to hit one button to turn off the alarm.
- The ET-733 transmitter seems more sturdy and waterproof than the ET-7, and the ET-733 receiver is more compact and has buttons that are much easier to clean than on the ET-7. Due to the extra waterproofing on the ET-733 transmitter, the battery compartment does require a screwdriver to open, which is an annoyance (the ET-7 transmitter battery compartment simply slides open), however this seems like a reasonable trade-off for the extra waterproofing.
Things I like about the ET-7 over the ET-733:
- The ET-7 receiver has a clock and timer function, while the ET-733 does not. This occasionally comes in handy, and it would be nice to have on the ET-733. However, the power switch on the back of the ET-7 receiver has three settings: One to turn it on, one to turn it off but leave the clock running and save any memory, and one to shut off the clock and erase the memory to save battery. Unfortunately, I found it hard to turn the ET-7 receiver on and off without accidentally flipping it momentarily to the position that erased the clock and memory, and this made the clock on the ET-7 almost useless (it was not worth the effort to reset the clock every time I accidentally erase it). While this three-position switch is an interesting feature in theory, in practice it was annoying and I would rather simply have a two-position switch and be required to remove the batteries if I want to stop the clock to save battery.
- The ET-7 receiver has a plug on the side which allows one probe to be connected directly to it without using the transmitter. This is useful when I don't need to separate the receiver from the food (like when I'm cooking in the oven and am not planning to leave the kitchen), so I don't have to waste the transmitter battery. However, it would be nice if there were two plugs on the ET-7 receiver so I could connect both probes directly to the receiver if necessary. There is no plug on the ET-733 receiver.
A comment about the probes:
- The L-shaped probes on the ET-7 are slightly easier to insert into and remove from food than the straight probes on the ET-733, because the L shape acts like a handle. On the other hand, the straight probes on the ET-733 are slightly shorter and sometimes work better because they take up less space in the oven or grill. Unfortunately, the ET-7 and ET-733 probes do not seem to be interchangeable (both the ET-7 and ET-733 read very incorrect temperatures when I connect them to the probes for the other model), otherwise I would simply switch between them as needed.