Product Release Notes

Last updated: 01/05/2023

iOS app (v1.0) now available at the App Store

Android updater app (v1.2.0) now available through Google Play

Predictive Thermometer + Display

This is to let you know what’s working well, what’s not (and what we’re doing about it), and what’s up next for the Predictive Thermometer + Display.

Much as we would love to say the Predictive Thermometer Set is perfect, exactly how we want it, straight-out-of-the-box, it isn’t. There will be growing pains for the first couple of months.

On the other hand, this already is the most advanced cooking thermometer ever built (not exaggerating), and we’re not even done yet. Stick with us, you’ll see. 

If you run into a snag, please check the owner's FAQ (below). If you don’t find the answer you need, email us.

Firmware

The most important functions of the Predictive Thermometer are software-controlled — there's a remarkable amount of computing power stuffed in there. It makes all kinds of important calculations, including predictions.

The more cooking data we feed into our algorithm ( Predictive Engine), the better it gets. Our new Predictive Engine is better than the one from a month ago (and the next one will be even better). 

It also means we can add new features like advanced cooking predictions, without having to rebuild anything. New firmware is like getting a free upgrade to your hardware.

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How to update firmware on the Predictive Thermometer + Display

You'll need the "Combustion Inc." app to apply firmware updates.

iOS app download

Android app (updater only) download

Please update your tools one at a time (e.g. do the Predictive Thermometer first, then the Display).

Step-by-step (iOS):

1. Search "combustion inc" on the App Store.

2. Click "get"

3. Click "install" (wait for it to finish)

4. Click "open"

5. Remove your fully charged thermometer from the charger. Place your mobile device very near your thermometer (within a few inches). 

6. Click the fire icon (Combustion Inc logo)

7. Click "update" in the top area (thermometer)

8. Wait about a minute until it says "up to date"

9. Put your thermometer back in the charger and move it away from your mobile device. 

10. Turn on the Display (press start), and put it near your mobile device.

11. Repeat steps 6-8 for the display 

12. Nice work! Your firmware is now up to date

13. Recharge the thermometer before use

14. Press “cancel” to close out of the update screen and return to the main menu 

(Note: if you have more than one thermometer, repeat steps 5-8 one at a time for each.)

Step-by-step (Android):

1. Search "combustion inc" on Google Play - select the "Combustion Updater" app
2. Click “install”
3. Click "open"
4. Turn on device (one at a time) (start with the thermometer - remove it from the charger to turn it on)
5. Confirm Bluetooth permissions
6. Click “Search”
7. Select the tool (thermometer)
8. Click “Start”
9. Wait for update to complete
10. Put the thermometer back in the charger
11. Press “start” on the Display
12. Repeat steps 6-9
13. Your tools are now updated! (They should show firmware v1.1.0)
14. If you have another thermometer, turn off your other tools (hold start on the Display), remove the 2nd thermometer from its charger, then repeat steps 6-9
15. Close the updater app

Troubles?
If the update does not complete, close the app and re-open it. Check the firmware status - if it does not show v1.1.0, try again.

Firmware Release Notes (v1.1.0)

v1.1.0

• Better battery life

• Faster instant-read time

•Several nasty bug fixes (see known firmware issues below)

• Fixes an issue which caused increased power consumption during low-and-slow cooking

(Dec 23, 2022)

Known Firmware Issues (v1.0.2)

Until you update your firmware, you might encounter some of these misbehaviors. They’re not necessarily bugs, just stuff we aren’t completely happy with and have since fixed.

Here are some issues users have encountered (confirmed by our team). To submit a bug report, email us.

• Occasional erratic behavior of “time-to-cook” on the display - this can happen when the heat input changes greatly (for instance in a reverse sear) - the prediction will recalculate but because of how this firmware version  set up, it will look like the time is running off too rapidly or sometimes it will add time back to the prediction. If you see this, it probably means you’re very close to done, so pay attention to the temp and listen for the beep.

• Low battery life on high-temp long-duration cooks - after the thermometer reaches the cook to temp, it will switch back into “instant read mode.” Unfortunately that means it consumes much more power (because it’s transmitting more frequently). If you’re cooking for more than 6 hours, you may see this problem. D’oh! If the thermometer battery dies mid-cook, remove it, clean it, charge it back up (5 min should be plenty for most cooks) and put it back in to resume monitoring. Not ideal. 

• Oscillating instant reading temperatures. When you take an instant-read, the filter that speeds up the temperature display is slightly unstable because of some last minute changes we made to the hardware. You’ll tend to see the temperature overshoot and then oscillate as it slowly settles to correct value over 15 seconds or more. It’s very annoying and something we’re fixing in the next firmware update.

Planned features

Among other things, the team at Combustion is currently working on the following for early 2023.

  • Faster/more stable instant-reads. 
  • More robust Bluetooth connectivity and better handling of temporary disconnects
  • Carryover cooking (resting) predictions
  • Improved battery life when in instant read mode

Hardware

We pushed the limits of what is possible, and some of those limits pushed back. Real-world testing revealed some limitations in the physical product - stuff we didn’t discover until we had more people cooking with different appliances in a wider variety of different ways.

Some of these issues can be fixed, but some are bumping up against the laws of physics and thermodynamics and we just need to work around them.

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Sous vide, vacuum-sealing, and submersibility

Ah, meat juices. The greatest ally and occasional nemesis of the Predictive Thermometer. 

Beta testers have had some troubles with sous-vide so we’re currently recommending against doing that (for now). Chris is leading an investigation into whether using a vacuum is pulling meat-juice through the main seal. We vacuum-test every unit in QA, so it might only be a problem with older units. Stay tuned. 

Until you hear differently, abstain from using your thermometer inside the sous vide bag. 

Standby-mode thermometer battery life

We discovered a power leak during standby mode, which cuts standby time down to two weeks (from four). It’s a small but significant leak. Charging up the thermometer after it’s been in the drawer a couple weeks is probably a good rule of thumb.

Personally, I got in the habit of topping mine off with a 5 minute zap on any day I’m going to use it. Not ideal, but you probably won’t ever notice if you’re using it regularly.

Signal strength and heavy metal grills

Rec-tec defeated us. Sort of. (If you didn’t know, they’re a brand that builds grills that weigh about the same as a battleship.)  

The thicker the metal, the more it blocks radio. Even a strong transmitter (like the one inside the Predictive Thermometer) inside a bomb-proof 10-gauge plate-metal enclosure is going to have signal issues. 

A Predictive Thermometer inside one of these monster grills can get a weakened signal through – though reception depends on the proximity and orientation of the display.

We plan to release a set of universal rabbit ears that will mount to any smoker or grill (just kidding --- unless??).

For now, we sussed out a different way to make the most of mostly-blocked signals.

Thankfully, the Predictive Thermometer is doing the heavy calculations, so an intermittent connection is enough to keep your display up-to-date.

And even though this ties your display closely to the grill, you'll be able to use it as a range-booster and track your progress on the app from much farther away. The repeater gets you about 200 added feet of signal range (+61m). So unless your bomb-proof grill is also in a bunker, you should be freed up a bit.

More about RF and Bluetooth on the main FAQ ("All about wireless").

Apps

Even if you don’t plan to cook using an app, you’ll need it in order to update your firmware (it’s bone-simple to do so, we promise).

The apps also unlock an important feature of the Combustion Display: the Range Extender. When using the display + app, total signal strength is best-in-class: 300ft (90m)!

We intentionally kept the launch apps very streamlined. You don’t need an account to use any of our products. Our apps won’t push ads or recipes or other content at you. They show you temperatures in and around your food, and they show you when your food will be done.

No fluff.

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iOS (Apple Store) app v1 features

iOS v1.0

(Dec 23, 2022)

•Update firmware with minimal effort

•Set target (cooking to) temps

•View ambient, surface, and core temps

•Shows predictions

•Wander farther from the cooking area (see below)

When using the app, the display (timer) acts as a repeater – you can control and monitor your cook from another room, or across a small city park, or from a low-flying hot air balloon if necessary.

Android (Google Play) app v1 features

Android v1.2.0 is pretty simple. It lets you update firmware with next-to-no effort. That's all it does for now.

The upcoming full-featured app will allow you to see the temperatures (core, surface, ambient) and predictions from your Predictive Thermometer, as well as set or re-set target temps, even from another room.

As long as the Combustion Display is within range, your app will function as a receiver and secondary display, extending the functional signal range. This is fabulous for those of us who live in old houses or decommissioned missile silos.

App-related questions

Q: When will the app be available?

A: Now!* (*The Android app is currently a firmware-updater only; the one with cooking features is very close to being released)

Q: Where?

A: In the App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android).

Q: What’s it called?

A: The app name is “Combustion Inc.”

Q: Does it work on tablets as well?

A: Yes, indeed.

Q: I thought I didn't need a phone?

A: You don't need one to cook, that's up to you. But you will need one to upgrade firmware occasionally. Maybe borrow one from your kids? Or a neighbor kid?

Q: Why isn't there a full app for Android?

A: We're a small team; the same developers building the Android app are also responsible for bug-fixes in the firmware. Getting the firmware right (and released for you guys) is the highest priority. With the firmware update out, they're now fully focused on completing the app.

Planned features

Graphing: this is very cool and kind of hypnotic, trust me

Data exports: track your cooking results

High/low temp alarms

Multiple temperature alerts: nice for multistep cooks like reverse sear

Signal strength + management

What's cookin' where ID (working title): label a cook-in-progress with a photo

Didn’t find the info you needed? Email us.

You may find answers on the main FAQ.

We’re working on a “cook’s FAQ” as well, adding to it as people write in with questions (coming soon). 

Please write us if you have a question or problem or would like to report an issue. (support@combustion.inc)

Your feedback is super-important, it’s a big part of how we find ways to improve the product. Thanks for taking the time, we really appreciate it.

Happy Cooking!