The key to success in the kitchen is a combination of good ingredients, skill and science. Making sure your food is cooked properly is the key to any good meal. This is important because you want to avoid undercooking meat and possibly getting food poisoning, or overcooking for dry, tasteless results. That’s where a good meat thermometer comes in.
This handy device is an essential tool whether you are using it to register the internal temperature of meat and poultry, checking to see if the meat on the barbecue is ready, or testing the temperature of oil for deep frying.
Meat thermometers come in a variety of price points and styles, and picking the right one for you comes down to how you want to use it. Below, you will find a list of our recommendations for the best meat thermometers, along with information on how they work and the tasks they perform.
If you’re the type of person who is always on the lookout for a tool or gadget that will make your life easier, this meat thermometer from ThermoPro is for you.
The ThermoPro TP20 wireless meat thermometer has preset temperatures for nine types of meat — ground beef, ground poultry, beef, veal, turkey, pork, poultry, lamb and fish. It can cook various meats to its optimal doneness levels including: rare, medium rare, medium, medium-well and well-done. And if you don’t agree with the presets, no problem — they can all be manually set to your desired tastes.
Super versatile, this digital meat thermometer takes the guesswork out of ensuring whatever you cook is at the ideal temperature and is equipped with two probes to monitor two kinds of meat at the same time. Ease of use is the name of the game here, as the thermometer features a large easy-to-read LCD display, shows two temperatures simultaneously and does not require manual syncing of the transmitter to the receiver.
The wireless receiver has a range of up to 100 metres so you can stay updated on the progress of that slow-cooking side of pork while you mingle with your guests, do chores around the house or watch TV without having to physically check on your food.
If you’re into everything digital, but are not so into buying batteries, you may want to consider this Inkbird waterproof instant read model. It uses a rechargeable lithium battery so you’ll never have to worry about stocking up on batteries before your meal preps.
Ultra fast, it responds in three to five seconds and there is also an option to get the readings in degrees Fahrenheit. This thermometer can be used to read the internal temperature of any liquid, food, meat, candy, chocolate, coffee, milk or bath water — with a temperature range of -50℃-300℃ and accuracy of ± 1℃.
The 250mAH rechargeable lithium battery can last 11 hours with a backlight once it is fully charged. With a 180-degree rotation foldaway probe and magnetic design, you can stick it securely to the door of the fridge or the oven so it’s close at hand for whenever you need it.
This Greenrain mechanical meat thermometer is a great choice for anyone who doesn’t want to fuss with batteries when they reach for their meat thermometer. With a mechanical version, you’ll never have to guess, as this long stem, waterproof model gives you instant results with no batteries needed.
This multi-purpose meat thermometer has a wide range of applications over and above using it in meat and poultry. You can also use it for measuring and maintaining the temperature of scalding milk, making candy or frosting and deep frying any kind of food.
The temperature range registers between 37.7℃ and 260℃, with an accuracy of ±1.5C that covers all stages of meat roasting and most oils for deep frying. A large display dial is easy to read and allows you to monitor rising heat, with a red temperature zone to indicate when foods are at risk of burning from high temperatures.
A convenient, adjustable clip fits securely onto the side of a pot if you’re taking the temperature of oil or liquid and the extra-long stem lets you go deep into the flesh of even a large cut of meat without your hand getting too close. Plus, it’s made from stainless steel which means it's rustproof and resistant to high heat.
For a flexible and versatile digital meat thermometer with some extra features, this model from Lavatools is a good choice for left-handed cooks, or anyone who finds it difficult to check the readout on a digital thermometer inserted into difficult-to-reach spots.
This thermometer has a probe that can extend to a total length of 27cm for thicker cuts of meat, allowing you to check temperatures while keeping your hands safely away from the heat of the grill or oven. The ultra-fast response time gives you a reading in one to three seconds, with a temperature range of -40°C to 250°C.
Equipped with a large anti-fog backlit display and an IP65 splash-proof rating, you’ll get clear and bright readouts at every angle since this thermometer automatically rotates itself, depending on how you hold it. You no longer have to twist your neck or guess at a reading. It also has an audible chime that lets you know when the internal temperature of a food has stabilized.
This is a perfect instant-read thermometer for meats, liquids, candy and baked goods. However, it’s not simple to switch from Fahrenheit to Celsius like other models that have it located right on the face of thermometer. With this model, you need to first remove the battery cover where you will find a toggle switch to choose between C and F. Finally, this thermometer does not work on induction cooktops due to magnetic interference.
Just because money is tight doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a reliable meat thermometer. This digital model from Homasy is easy on the pocketbook while providing quick and accurate readouts.
The food-grade stainless steel probe can go deep into your largest turkey, chicken, roast or leg of lamb, giving you a reading in four to six seconds. You can also use the thermometer to test the temperature of water and milk, as it has a range of between -50℃ and 300℃ and an accuracy range of ±1℃.
The power saving design has a 10-minute auto-shut off in case you forget to turn it off, and it’s easy to click the °F/°C button to freely switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius. And when you’re done using your meat thermometer, just place it in its protective sheath to store away in a drawer.
Ease of Use
There’s no need to make your cooking experience difficult. Meat thermometers come in a range of styles and features, so it’s easy to find one that you will use. If you’re better with large digital readouts, then consider purchasing a digital model. Be aware of the size of the readout window, so you can read it easily and quickly.
Analog models can be really convenient, since they don’t require batteries, which can be expensive and wasteful. An analog meat thermometer should have a large, tempered glass window so you can see the display at a glance.
Many meat thermometers need to be calibrated after each use. Some people find this annoying and complicated. If you’re not into having to calibrate your meat thermometer, find a model that doesn’t require it.
The internal temperature of meat is vital to it being cooked properly and tasting great. The best is to look for a thermometer with the smallest adjustment for accuracy, preferably ±0.9 degrees C or ±1.8 degrees F.
Not all meat thermometers have the same temperature range. Some offer up a full range up to 300℃, while others range between 0-100℃. While most meat thermometers will get the job done decide what you will use it for before you make a decision. If you are cooking foods that need to be turned high temperature — like cooking oil, which must be at an ideal temperature for frying, then make sure the model you choose goes up that high.
Analog vs. Digital
Both of these styles of meat thermometers work well. Analog versions do not need batteries, which makes them very convenient. Nothing is worse than reaching for the meat thermometer to test the holiday ham and finding the batteries dead. You’ll never have to worry about that with an analog thermometer.
Digital meat thermometers are convenient because they can be easier to read for some people and often have added features like backlights, timers, beepers and in some cases, even wireless remote controls. They do, however, require batteries, but some models have rechargeable batteries, which makes them convenient and more environmentally friendly.