While some people swear by their skill to cook a steak in just the right way, getting a meat thermometer can be a huge help. Knowing with absolute certainty when the cooking meat reaches that sweet spot will allow you to never again have to deal with unpleasant over- or under-cooking issues. It’s clear that a meat thermometer represents a valuable tool for anyone’s kitchen, but how do you select the best one?
Cooking meat perfectly each time requires an accurate thermometer and there are two main types of them. The first is called instant-read and, as its name suggests, provides the user a quick temperature readout with the help of a single probe. These could work great in most cooking situations, but they’re not designed for constant temperature monitoring and can’t really deal with very high heat. In-probe thermometers are the second type. They can work in more heated environments such as ovens, so you should go for this type if you need continuous temperature monitoring.
Aside from choosing the right type of meat thermometer for your needs, make sure that you get a model which is user-friendly and shows you the readout clearly no matter the visibility conditions. Other factors such as the temperature range, probe construction, and the presence of a reliable alarm can all play a role in your purchasing decision. For a list of the best meat thermometers for any budget, check out the products down below. You might also be interested in our articles about the best range hoods, the best electric knife sharpeners and the best airbrushes for cake decorating.
1. Lavatools PT12 Javelin
A highly popular option for a meat thermometer is the Lavatools PT12 Javelin and it’s not hard to see why. This is a very reliable instant-read thermometer which allows you to see the current temperature of the meat quickly and accurately. It’s available in multiple color variants and offers a magnet for simple storage. The cost is relatively small for the value this meat thermometer brings to the table.
Even master chefs can’t accurately figure out the food temperature so having this tool in your kitchen could be a lifesaver. The food-grade probe is inserted in the meat and within 3-4 seconds you will get a readout with +-1 F degree accuracy. For this price range, it’s difficult to find a more accurate meat thermometer.
The special anti-microbial coating should dispel your concerns when using it on raw foods. This tool needs a single battery to function for more than 4000 hours continuously. That’s very economical and considering the magnetic back and splash resistance, this is a very cost-effective meat thermometer. Simple, useful, and well-built, the Lavatools PT12 Javelin is definitely a great product.
2. ThermoPro TP-08S
If you’re looking for a more professional meat thermometer, ThermoPro has a nice solution through the TP-08S model. This is a wireless dual probe unit designed for constant monitoring of your food’s temperature. The best part is that you can see the current temperature remotely. It has a solid accuracy within 1.8 F and a wide enough temperature range to suit your cooking needs.
Whether you plan on using the thermometer on barbecue meat or for the oven, this model can guarantee that your final cooking results remain consistent. One of the most useful features of this meat thermometer is the ability to set a flashy alarm. Just program your ideal cooking temperature and the receiver will alert you when the food inside the oven reaches it. The stainless steel probe is very accurate, capable to reach the center of the food.
As the screen of this meat thermometer is backlit, you can check relevant information in any lighting conditions. There’s no need to go through a time-consuming calibrating process for this model as the receiver arrives already synced with the transmitter. Insert the batteries and you’re good to go. Considering the multiple customizable settings and the performant monitorization abilities, the ThermoPro TP-08S has a lot to offer for meat cooks everywhere.
3. Alpha Grillers Meat Thermometer
Meat thermometers shouldn’t necessarily be expensive to be reliable in the kitchen. This affordable model from Alpha Grillers offers a lot for its cost so let’s take a closer look at its abilities. The main highlight of the thermometer is how user-friendly it’s been designed. Take it out of the box and in just a few seconds you’ll get an accurate reading on the clear display of the tool.
You can use this small device with confidence to eliminate the fear of a spoilt meal. Under or overcooking steaks will be forgotten blunders of the past. This meat thermometer can be used both in the kitchen or during your outdoor grilling sessions. In approximately 4 to 5 seconds you will obtain the important temperature data after inserting the food-grade probe.
The readout is displayed on a little screen and when the job is finished simply close the probe back into its place and the device turns itself off. That’s really convenient when cooking. We also like the way the unit has been constructed. Clearly, the manufacturer went for a design approach that takes ergonomics into account. It’s a pleasure to use and doesn’t cost much, so the Alpha Grillers meat thermometer gets a full endorsement.
4. Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo
Another Lavatools meat thermometer worth considering is the Javelin Pro Duo. This is a more premium option suitable for those who prefer instant-read thermometers. Many handy enhancements have been added to this model to make it useful. For example, the display is larger than similar units and provides an impressive clarity from virtually any angle.
Like other Lavatools thermometers, this one too comes in a wide range of color choices to add a more personal touch. The display is one of the main highlights of this unit as it offers motion-sense illumination and ambidextrous performance. In terms of durability, this tool won’t have problems with varied cooking environments as its IP65 rating can protect it from accidental spills.
One other interesting feature of this thermometer is the stabilization alert which calculates the moment when the temperature maintains steady levels and informs you. Built with such a durable and safe body, the Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo deserves some more attention on the market for meat thermometers. When you also consider its amazing speed and accuracy of the Japanese sensor, this is a must-have tool for any cook with professional aspirations.
5. ThermoPro TP-07
ThermoPro offers some great meat thermometers for remote temperature monitorization. If you wish to be able to know the current temperature of your food while being in another room, check out the TP-07 model. This is a more advanced wireless unit which includes some useful programming features to ensure that no matter the meat type or cooking preference, the finished results will be flawless.
Setting your desired temperature is a breeze with this model. Even if your particular recipe doesn’t specify the exact cooking temperature for the meat, you’ll probably appreciate the pre-programmed temperatures for the most common meats out there. Whether you prefer your steak rare or well-done, you can make it the right way each time with this tool.
A neat aspect that’s not found in other meat thermometers is the way the LCD display smartly adapts the color according to the cooking progress. We also like the way the transmitter and receiver have been reinforced for durability. The rubber sleeve case of each unit ensures a more secure grip and the receiver is splash-proof. Overall, the ThermoPro TP-07 is recommended for those who like to stay in control of the cooking process.
6. ThermoPro TP11
If you like the idea of remote temperature monitorization but don’t want to spend too much, the ThermoPro TP11 could be a solid choice. With the help of this little device, you can say goodbye to overcooking and frustrating attempts to figure out whether the food is done yet. This digital wireless thermometer comes with a single probe and multiple temperature configuration options.
The way the display of the device reacts to the different temperatures is a nice effect. There’s an alarm included to ensure you’re notified of the cooking progress. In case you’re not that experienced with the right temperature for your current meat, there’s always the option to rely on the pre-programmed USDA-approved temperatures.
When it comes to the accuracy of the sensor, you can get a readout fairly close to the actual temperature (+-1.8 F degrees). A total of four AAA batteries are required to operate this unit and it’s good to know that ThermoPro includes them in the package. Considering everything about the TP11, the final verdict is generally a positive one. Some improvements could be made for its construction as the materials feel a bit cheap.
7. Habor Instant Read Meat Thermometer
The Habor Instant Read is a little inexpensive tool that can make a big difference when cooking meat. This is an accurate meat thermometer that offers a stainless steel probe which is then inserted into your steak, chicken or lamb. It can be used on various meat types as well as for liquids to figure out if the food has been cooked to exact specifications.
A strong magnet has been incorporated on this unit’s back and this will allow the user to hang it on the refrigerator. You can also place it on any metal surface to keep it close at hand. To start the temperature measuring process, simply pull out the probe and stick it into the meat. The sensor can also detect the temperature of liquids so it’s a fairly versatile tool. In just a few seconds you will be able to read the current temperature of the meat.
There’s no need to worry about a dying battery if you accidentally forget to turn off the device. This meat thermometer comes with an energy-saving feature to shut it off after 15 minutes with the same readout on the screen. A simple helper in any kitchen, the Habor meat thermometer represents an inexpensive solution for those who want to know the cooking status of their food as fast as possible.
8. GDEALER Waterproof Meat Thermometer
A very innovative tool comes from GDealer. Their waterproof meat thermometer has a very bright display which shows you the correct temperature of the food in less than five seconds. What makes this a more reliable option compared to other instant-read thermometers on the market is the addition of a waterproof and shock-resistant body to resist the dangers of any busy kitchen.
There’s also a built-in bottle opener which is a nice little extra to have in any kitchen tool. Thanks to its backlit display, the temperature can be checked even at night. The foldable stainless steel probe has been designed to be long enough for a simpler insertion. With the help of the IP67 rating, this model can be easily washed under running water and the body of the tool has been also crafted with efficient ergonomics in mind.
When the sensor doesn’t seem to be accurate enough you can activate the calibration function. In the best case scenario, this thermometer should manage an accuracy to +-2 F degrees which is reasonable considering the cost. In fact, if you take into account all its features, the usability as well as the durability, you’ll get a nice picture for the GDealer meat thermometer. This unit works surprisingly well for its price point.