Start Cooking

1. Charge the devices

Charge the Predictive Thermometer (20 min) and the Display (1 hr). Use USB-C (cable included).

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Charging details

The Predictive Thermometer turns on automatically when you remove it from the charger, and turns off when you put it back. Any USB-C power cable/supply will charge it (20 min or less).

Look for a light on the charger.

Red light=charging.

Green light=fully charged.

Light off=thermometer not detected

(The charger light will only appear when the charger has power.)

Battery life is 30 hours in cooking-to mode or 7 hours in instant-read mode. The Predictive Thermometer starts up in instant-read mode. Set a target temp (step 4) to exit instant-read.

Store the thermometer in an unpowered charger. After one minute, it will go into standby mode. During standby, the battery will last about 1 month before needing a recharge.

A warning triangle symbol in the upper right of the display indicates the thermometer’s battery is low (it will appear with 1 hour of run-time remaining).

The Display charges from any USB-C cable in 1 hour. When charging the screen will display a blinking battery indicator. The indicator stops blinking when fully charged.

Battery life is 1 week of active use (depending on the number of connected thermometers and how much you use the backlight).

When not in use, it’ll remain charged for 6-8 weeks.

2. Link the devices

• Turn on the display by pressing the Start/Stop button.

• Turn on thermometer by removing it from the charger.

• Place thermometer next to display for a few seconds. When a temperature appears on-screen, that means they’re linked.

(Note: you don’t need to repeat this process, the display remembers.)

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Linking details

The Display can be associated with up to 4 Predictive Thermometers simultaneously.

Link one at a time.

After linking, put the first thermometer back into its charger. Place the second one next to the display.

In a few seconds you will see a number 2 next to the thermometer icon. In the future, this specific thermometer will be remembered as 2 by the display. Repeat this process for additional thermometers.

Pressing the temp button will cycle between output screens for linked thermometers.

Shortcut: hold a thermometer close to the display and it will prioritize displaying that specific thermometer.

To unlink all thermometers from the Display, do a full reset:

Hold light and start/stop for 1 second at the same time.

This will unlink all thermometers and reset all display preferences.

3. Insert the thermometer

Insert the Predictive Thermometer into the food. Be sure it’s at least as deep as the minimum insertion line (the three stripes halfway down).

WARNING: Don’t measure things hotter than boiling!

Keep the lower half below 212°F (100°C) at all times.  Higher temps can cook the electronics, and the brainy part is down near the tip.

It’s safe inside food because the water in the food keeps everything below boiling. Science!

The top half of the thermometer is built for high temps up to 570°F (300°C).

Avoid direct flame! Flare-ups can easily exceed temperature limits. The ceramic handle will provide brief protection, but not for long.

  • Be sure the minimum insertion line is inside the food.

4. Set target temperature

Press m- and s+ buttons to set the cooking to temperature for your desired doneness.

(Hold temp for 1 sec to toggle between Cº and Fº)

Press the start button.

Put the food in your oven, smoker, grill, frying pan… you get the idea.

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Predictive cooking details

The Prediction Engine’s initial countdown is usually within 10% of the true cooking time. It will adjust and become more stable as cooking continues.

Flipping food and changing the cooking temp will change the speed of cooking and the countdown prediction will adjust accordingly.

We recommend setting the cooking to temperature a few degrees below your ideal doneness. Stop cooking when the timer goes off, and watch the display.  Carve or slice the meat when the core temp reaches your target temp. This halts carryover cooking, ensuring perfect doneness!

Soon the Prediction Engine will be able to fully calculate and manage carryover cooking (we need more data to make it happen). That’s useful for some specific foods, but in general we don’t recommend prolonged resting.

Contrary to tradition, science shows that resting your meat doesn’t improve juiciness. It mainly results in cooler food and less crusty crust.

What about sous vide?

If you’ve never used your thermometer at high temperatures (for instance, if it’s fresh out of the box), then it can swim in a sous vide bag with no worries.

But if you’ve used the thermometer on a ripping hot grill, you could have unseen leaks. The seal inside the handle will weaken after long enough exposure to very high temperatures (like flare-ups). If you toast the seals, they may let in some juices when fully immersed. Not good.

There’s a cooking hack that the engineers detest, but the boss stands by: tape. Yep. Full instructions, details, and diagram on the FAQ. 

5. Relax

The display will show progress by indicating % of cooking completed.

About a third of the way in, a countdown will appear: time to cook. That’s the magic number!

When that number hits 00:00, an alarm will sound to let you know your food is ready.

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What about low and slow?

What about low-and-slow? Until the surface temp is above the user’s target doneness, there's no point making a prediction because it's impossible for the core to get hotter than the surface. At a low temp, a slow cook will “stall” before the surface temp exceeds the target.

In practice this means it’ll happily keep an eye on your meat for as long as it takes to break the stall, then make a prediction and sound the alarm when it hits your target temp.

From there it’s up to you. Watch the surface temp and fine-tune your heat to hold that temp for as long as your super-secret recipe calls for.

We’re working on a method for predicting the temp and duration of the stall. It’ll take some time to finish, but the results will be worth the wait.

6. Clean up and store

Wipe your Predictive Thermometer with a soapy sponge. Dry with a dishcloth.

No soaking! It’s highly water-resistant but not 100% waterproof.

It’s safe to use an abrasive cleaner (we use steel wool) to scrub the ceramic handle.

Store your clean and dry thermometer in its charger. It will go into low-power standby mode and will hold a usable charge for about 30 days. Use USB-C to recharge (20 min).

Wipe the display with a damp cloth. Use mild cleaning products if necessary, nothing scratchy.

  • RESPECT THE MIN-LINE

    Always insert to at least the minimum insertion line.

  • BOILING IS THE LIMIT

    You can check a simmer, but keep the pointy end out of things that are much above 212ºF (100ºC). No candy, boiling oil, molten gold, etc.

  • WATER-RESISTANT

    Avoid fully immersing your thermometer. It's not waterproof, just extremely water-resistant.

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Other modes

Cycle through other modes (for up to 4 thermometers) by pressing the temp or time buttons on top of the display.

The temp button will cycle through displaying Core/Instant Read, Surface, or Ambient temperatures for each active thermometer.

The time button will set the display in kitchen timer mode. 

Instant Read Mode

When the thermometer turns on, it always starts in Instant Read mode.

If you need to take an instant read (for hamburgers or bread dough or a million other reasons), it’s always there for you.

Instant Read takes about 3 seconds to report the temperature at the very tip of the thermometer. The mode turns itself off when you set a cooking to target temp.

You will see the Instant Read glyph before that (if the handle sensor is below 130ºF (55ºC).

Note: Instant Read consumes more power (about 7 hrs total battery life) compared to cooking mode (30 hrs battery life). 

Surface Temperature Mode

During cooking, the Predictive Thermometer automatically locates the sensor inside the food that’s closest to the surface. This is the true cooking temperature your food is experiencing.

Press Temp to change mode from Core to Surface.  For sous-vide like results, adjust the heat level in your smoker or oven to keep the displayed surface temp at your ideal doneness temp.

Ambient Temperature Mode

The ambient sensor is the one that most accurately reflects the surrounding cooking temp (usually the handle sensor - t8).

Press Temp to toggle from Core to Surface to Ambient mode.

Don't be surprised if it's much lower than you expected. Your oven might say it's 400ºF (200ºC), but near your food the temp is much lower. Water, evaporating from your food, is only around 212ºF (100ºC). That steam actually cools the nearby air.

You can speed up cooking by starting hotter. Watch the ambient temp and when it’s where you like it, turn the heat down to your usual setting.

Kitchen Timer Mode

Naturally the Combustion Display also functions as a simple kitchen timer—smart products don’t always need to show off.

Press time on the top of the display to enter timer mode.

Press m/+ or s/– to set a countdown timer (up to 24 hrs).

Press start/stop to begin or pause the countdown.

Press m/+ and & s/– at once to reset.

Advanced settings

Clear cooking prediction (temp mode)

Press m- and s+ at the same time. 

Clear countdown (timer mode)

Press m- and s+ at the same time. 

Clear temperature alarm

Press start/stop.

Switch between ºC and ºF

Hold temp for 1 second to toggle between American (ºF) and science-units (ºC).

Turn on tenths of a degree

While in temp mode, press m- and temp simultaneously.

Change backlight brightness

Press and hold the backlight button (center button on top of display). The backlight will turn on and then cycle through different brightness levels. Release the button when the backlight is at your preferred brightness.

Unlink all associated thermometers

Do a factory reset (below).

Factory reset

Hold light and start/stop for 1 second simultaneously to erase all settings and forget associated thermometers.

Mobile Apps

Coming very soon for iOS and Android. Downloads will be available right here. (We’ll also notify you, don’t worry.)

You’ll need to install the app in order to update the firmware (on-board software) of your thermometer and display.

Firmware updates improve the performance of basic functions (for instance, cooking predictions & battery life). They can also unlock new, advanced cooking features. 

We’ve kept our starter apps as simple as possible for ease-of-use. They make the display optional but using them together extends total signal strength to 300ft+(90m+).

Apps also let you see, track, and export your cooking data so you can fine-tune your techniques.

Coming soon

The most important functions of the Predictive Thermometer are software-controlled. (There’s a teensy computer in there, FYI.)

Updating the onboard software (aka firmware) will improve the everyday performance of all the basic stuff. It can also unlock new, advanced cooking features. It’s like a free upgrade to your entire set.

To get firmware updates, you’ll need the mobile app. Once you’ve got that, we’ve made it ludicrously simple to update your devices (really; press “yes” to an onscreen prompt and your work is done). With the app, you’ll be notified as soon as new firmware is available.

The Dec 2022 update will include:

• Better instant read response time

• More accurate Predictive Engine

• Longer battery life

• More robust surface temp detection

For spring 2023 we’re working on sophisticated new features including:

• Carry-over cooking predictions

• Stall predictions for low-and-slow

• Improved range/signal strength

More watchouts

Never cook with the thermometer inserted to less than the minimum insertion line.

Never use the thermometer to take an instant read for things hotter than boiling water including deep fryer oil or candy.

Do not use the Predictive Thermometer in a pressure cooker, Instapot, broaster, or microwave.

Do not submerge a hot thermometer into water. The shock can crack the handle and cause the seals to fail.

Be careful with open flame. Flare-ups can often exceed the handle's max temperature rating (575ºF/300ºC). Direct flame can damage the main seal.

Service & support

Visit the FAQ

If you're confused, try the FAQ first. It's possible someone else had that same question.

Other issues?

Email: help@combustion.inc

If there's a problem or defect with your Predictive Thermometer, Predictive Timer, or the Combustion App, we're here to help.

We stand behind our stuff and will do whatever we can to make it right.