Using thermometers in your kitchen is not only valuable, but it’s also ingenious. If you gauge whether or not the meat or other food is done by just looking at it, you are making yourself susceptible to foodborne illnesses. There are many types of kitchen thermometers on the market, and we’ve created a thorough guide to help ensure that you do everything you can to remain safe while cooking your food.
We looked at five thermometers to determine which one is the best meat thermometer, and also included some additional useful tips.
Top 5 Best Meat Thermometers Comparison Chart
Best Meat Thermometer Reviews
1. ThermoPro TP03A Digital Instant-Read Meat Thermometer
Since 2014, ThermoPro has been manufacturing products for some big-box retailer’s largest brands. After some time, they decided to produce their products directly to retail.
ThermoPro works hard at eliminating the middleman by designing, building, supporting, and selling their products to their appreciated consumers. Their strategy helps them keep their costs low without sacrificing quality, and it helps them keep their customers happy. While ThermoPro has an extensive line of thermometers, we chose the highly affordable and top-selling TP03A model to review.
The ThermoPro TP03A Digital Instant-Read Meat Thermometer is an incredibly fast thermometer that features a food-grade, 3.9-inch stainless-steel probe.
The Celsius or Fahrenheit temperature readout is displayed in under seven seconds, thanks to the built-in, sensitive sensor. The thermometer has an accuracy readout of 0.9ºF and has a temperature range of -58ºF to 572ºF (-50ºC to 300ºC.)
The thermometer itself is designed with a foldable probe, magnetic back, and a hook that makes it ideal for storing when not in use. It has an automatic shut-off feature that kicks in after the temperature has been displayed for ten minutes.
Additionally, the thermometer has a meat temperature guide on the back, a Celsius and Fahrenheit button on the back, and a large on-and-off switch in front.
What's to like about the ThermoPro TP03A Digital Instant-Read Meat Thermometer
The ThermoPro thermometer is very easy to use, and it’s very affordable. The other key selling points for us were the extended, three-year warranty after registering the product. We also liked the magnetic back and the hook.
What's not to like about the ThermoPro TP03A Digital Instant-Read Meat Thermometer
While the automatic shut-off feature is convenient, we found ten minutes is too long on the battery, and it should be cut down to five minutes. The plastic used also felt lightweight and hollow, and made in a cheap way.
2. Habor Digital Instant-Read Meat Thermometer
The Habor brand has a massive line of meat thermometers, and despite selling various other kitchen utensils, they remain mostly known for their accurate and reliable thermometers. The brand itself is e-commerce and not sold in big-box retailers.
We chose the Habor Digital Instant-Read Meat Thermometer to review because it’s a slight upgrade from their standard model. Still, it's available at an affordable price that is realistic and attainable for the majority.
Using the Habor Digital Instant-Read Meat Thermometer is incredibly simple, and it can be used for more than just meat. All you need to do to get your temperature is to insert the probe into your food or liquid, and accurate reading is displayed on the LCD.
The thermometer includes an extra long, 4.7-inch probe that comes with a protective sheath that you can place over the probe when you aren’t using the thermometer. It has a temperature range of -58ºF to 572ºF.
It’s important to note that the thermometer is not a leave-in model, so you can’t leave it in a closed oven or on any hot surfaces such as a grill or frying pan. Additionally, the Habor Digital Instant-Read Meat
Thermometer also includes a button to control whether your readouts are in Celsius or Fahrenheit, a protective sheath with a pen clip, a kitchen hook, and an included battery that lasts up to two years.
What's to like about the Habor Digital Instant-Read Meat Thermometer
In addition to how affordable the thermometer is, we love that it comes with a protective sheath and a battery with a long lifespan. The three-year warranty it comes with is also a huge plus, along with clear LCD.
What's not to like about the Habor Digital Instant-Read Meat Thermometer
This particular model has no automatic shut-off feature, which can bring the battery life down if you forget to turn it off. We also don’t like that it isn’t waterproof, so you need to be extra careful when calibrating using water, as well as when cleaning.
3. GDealer Instant-Read Digital Thermometer
The GDealer brand specializes in providing customers all over the world with a wide variety of products that suit various needs. In addition to designing, manufacturing, and selling kitchen tools such as thermostats, they also provide solar lighting solutions, multiple accessories, home gas detectors, essential oil diffusers, and more.
Their mission is to keep things simple while providing their consumers with high-quality and affordable products. The GDealer Instant-Read Digital Thermometer isn’t their most upgraded thermometer, but it is one of their top-selling items.
The GDealer Instant-Read Digital Thermometer functions as a thermometer that’s suitable for not just meat, but other food items and liquids that need to be brought to a certain temperature. It provides a readout for meat in under six seconds and takes just four to 20 seconds for liquid.
The thermometer benefits from a variety of features that include a Fahrenheit and Celsius switch, automatic shut-off, and meat temperature chart, as well as a hold mode that keeps the temperature on display until you choose to turn it off. It also has a large LCD that displays the temperature clearly.
The food-grade, stainless-steel probe measures at 4.3-inches and is foldable for easy storage. It has a temperature gauge that ranges from -58ºF to 572ºCF (-50ºC to 300ºC,) and has an accurate reading within 0.1ºF. The GDealer Instant-Read Digital Thermometer also has a built-in battery with a lifespan of up to two years.
What's to like about the GDealer Instant-Read Digital Thermometer
Affordability is the first thing that caught our eye with the GDealer thermometer; however, there are many other things that we liked about it. The meat temperature chart is located on the front of the thermometer, which we found very convenient. It also comes with a 100% money-back and lifetime guarantee.
What's not to like about the GDealer Instant-Read Digital Thermometer
Unfortunately, the GDealer Instant-Read Digital Thermometer isn’t waterproof or water resistant, so we had to be extra careful while calibrating and getting temperatures for liquid. We also noticed that the built-in magnet on the back of the thermometer isn’t as strong as it needs to be in order to hold the weight of the thermometer.
4. Lavatools PT12 Javelin Digital Instant-Read Meat Thermometer
Lavatools is a well-known brand that knows their way around thermometers and the kitchen. They have spent the proper amount of time researching and developing products that are designed with precision to meet the needs of their customers.
They use high-quality thermoplastics to ensure that their thermometers are long-lasting, and have highly qualified engineers that install the most current technology to provide accurate read-outs.
The Lavatools PT12 Javelin isn’t their thermostat with the most features, but it is the thermometer that helped them build their reputation in the market, as well as one of their top-selling thermometers. Let’s see if the highlights are enough to make it the best meat thermometer.
The Lavatools PT12 Javelin features a foldable, antimicrobial, 2.75-inch probe and a built-in magnet along with a hook for easy storage. The PT12 provides a read-out in under four seconds and has an accuracy range of 0.9ºF.
The built-in battery can last up to 4,000 hours, and the temperature ranges from -40ºF to 482ºF (-45ºC to 250ºC). Additionally, the well-constructed thermometer is also splash resistant and features an auto-sleep mode to save on battery life.
What's to like about the Lavatools PT12 Javelin Digital Instant-Read Meat Thermometer
The Lavatools PT12 Javelin is highly accurate, and the integrated magnet is powerful. Lavatools backs the thermostat with a lifetime warranty, which we love, and the 1.4-inch LCD allowed us to read the temperature clearly.
What's not to like about the Lavatools PT12 Javelin Digital Instant-Read Meat Thermometer
Most thermostats come inclusive of a meat temperature guide either on the front or the back. Unfortunately, the PT12 doesn’t include a guide. The LCD also doesn’t have backlighting or an anti-fog coating to prevent steam from obstructing the view.
5. Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer
Kizen is an electronics company that specializes in providing their customers with a variety of products that suit their needs.
In addition to manufacturing and selling meat thermostats, they also sell a range of lighting and phone solutions that keep them on trend with some of the highest brands. Though the majority of their business is through e-commerce, some of their products can be found in big-box retailers all over the world.
We chose the Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer as our final product to review because it’s the first thermometer launched by the brand.
The Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer has an impressive list of features for the affordable price tag. It’s incredibly fast and provides a readout in under four seconds and is accurate to within one degree.
The thermometer includes a temperature guide on the front and has a temperature range of -58ºF to 572ºF. It is perfect to gauge the temperature of not just meat, but frying oil, liquids, and various other food items.
Other features that the thermometer comes with are a large and bright LCD with a blue backlight, and a foldable, anti-bacterial, stainless-steel probe with an automatic shut-off feature when it’s closed. Additionally, it includes a built-in magnet, hanging hold, Fahrenheit, Celsius and calibration switch, and a temperature hold.
One of the greatest features is the IP67 waterproof rating and a body made from durable ABS plastic. It also has CE, FDA, and RoHS certifications.
What's to like about the Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer
There isn’t much to dislike about the Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer. It’s incredibly affordable for the number of features that you get, and it even comes with a bundle of extras such as an eCookbook, Velcro dots for hanging, and an extra battery. We also love how sturdy the thermometer felt in our hands and the IP67 waterproof rating.
What's not to like about the Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer
The hold button is slightly confusing at first and takes some getting used to, even with being familiar with meat thermostats. The thermometer might also benefit from having a longer probe.
There can sometimes be a fine line between undercooked food and overcooked food, especially when it comes to meat. If your meat is undercooked, then you’re putting yourself, family, and friends at risk of contracting foodborne illnesses. However, if the meat and food are overcooked, it can be dry and chewy, as well as give you an unpleasant eating experience.
Buying the right meat thermometer is the best way to ensure that none of this happens. To help get you everything you need to know, we’ve created a buyer’s guide that you can follow while looking for the best meat thermometer.
There are a few different types of meat thermometers that you can buy, and it’s best to purchase the one that is suited to the kind of cooking you are going to be doing. There are four primary types, and of those types, they are relatively the same. However, some include more features than others.
- Instant-Read Digital Thermometers
With instant-read, digital thermometers, there isn’t much to it. They all come with instructions, and you merely turn them on and stick them into your food when it’s close to being finished.
The majority of them come with features such as automatic shut-off, temperature hold, larger LCDs, and the ability to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius. The probe of an instant-read thermometer isn’t designed to stay in your food during cooking.
- Instant-Read Analog Thermometers
The instant-read analog thermometer works in the same way as the first type. You stick the probe into the food, read the temperature, and then remove the thermometer.
Analog thermometers don’t read temperatures as quickly as their digital counterpart, and can also be more difficult to understand. Additionally, they don’t have many features.
- Leave-In Digital Thermometers
The leave-in digital thermometers have the most features since they are frequently used by chefs and more experienced cooks who are doing multiple things in the kitchen. These thermometers remain in the food while it’s cooking, and connect to a base unit by a long cord or a wireless or Bluetooth signal.
The base unit typically has LCD so that you can see the temperature as your food cooks. These thermometers sometimes come with timers, audible notifications, programmable temperatures, and more.
- Leave-In Analog Thermometers
These analog thermometers are safe for the oven, so they can remain in your food as it’s cooked. However, when used as an instant-read, it does take additional time to display the temperature.
There are multiple features that you can get when purchasing a meat thermometer, though the majority of those features only come with digital and not analog thermometers. Some of the most common benefits that you can find with the digital thermometer are listed below:
- Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature readings
- Audible notifications that indicate the food has reached the programmed temperature
- Programmable temperatures
- Automatic shut-off
- Temperature hold that typically displays the readout for five minutes or longer
Many brands manufacture and sell both analog and digital meat temperatures. The best way to ensure that you’re getting the most for your money is to look at the features the brand provides in their thermometer, and it’s also a great suggestion to look into the name of the brand itself. Ensuring that you’re purchasing a product from a reliable brand is always the best option.
Models are essential to look at when you’re looking to purchase a meat thermometer. Many of the brands that sell thermometers sell more than one, which can make it challenging to choose the best one for you.
If it doesn’t include a model name or number, or any other distinct identifier, it’s likely that it’s your standard digital or analog thermometer. However, those that have model numbers are typically upgrades to the basic version and likely offer more features.
The majority of household meat thermometers consist of thermistors, which are used for continuous readings of larger food items and for leaving in the oven. They usually work by sending a current through the wire within the temperature probe that has a resistor embedded in the tip.
The resistance to the electrical flow changes alongside the temperature of the food and the meter measures the voltage used across the resistor.
The frequency that you should measure the temperature of your food is going to depend on the thermometer that you’re using, as well as the type of food that you’re cooking. If you are using a leave-in, digital thermometer, then there’s no need to measure it more than once. They usually have a base unit that always displays an accurate temperature for you.
If you are using an instant-read thermometer, you can insert the probe into the food around the halfway mark to gauge the temperature, and once again, when you think it’s finished.
Also consider if your food is more water-based because if it is, the thermometer reads the temperature faster than other food. You also need to measure the number of times you read the temperature based on that.
Meat Thermometer F.A.Q's.
How to Use a Meat Thermometer?
Using a meat thermometer is incredibly straightforward, even if you’ve purchased the most complicated model. The first thing that you need to do is take a look at the type of thermometer that you’ve purchased.
If the batteries aren’t already pre-loaded, you need to insert them and turn the power on. If your meat thermometer is analog and has a probe that tests the meat you’re cooking, you can just insert it into the meat and other food. If you have an instant-read thermometer, your temperature is going to display within a few seconds.
It’s essential that you avoid all steam when you’re checking your food’s temperature because it can interfere with the results (unless it’s a leave-in thermometer.) The majority of digital thermometers come with the ability to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius, so it’s also essential to ensure that you’re on the right measurement.
How to Measure Meat Temperature?
Measuring the temperature of the meat is just as simple as using the meat thermometer itself. If you have a digital, leave-in thermometer, then all you need to do is insert the probe into the meat before you even start cooking, and the temperature displays on the base unit.
If you have a leave-in analog thermometer, it works the same way, though you do need to open the oven periodically to check the temperature.
Instant-read thermometers allow you to probe the meat whenever you wish and take only a few seconds to give an accurate reading. However, you do really need to keep in mind that steam can interfere with the reading, and these thermometers are not oven safe.
How to Calibrate a Meat Thermometer?
Ensuring that your meat thermometer is calibrated correctly is vital when it comes to getting an accurate reading that results in perfectly cooked food. If you don’t have a digital thermometer with a calibration feature, you can use one of these two simple methods to calibrate.
Ice Water Method
- Fill a glass with ice cubes, followed by cold water
- Stir the water and then let stand for three minutes before stirring again
- Insert your thermometer, being careful not to let the probe touch the sides of the glass
- The temperature should read 32ºF (0ºC).
- Record any temperature differences and adjust the thermometer as required.
Boiling Water Method
- Heat a pot of water until it reaches a rolling boil
- Insert your thermometer, ensuring it doesn’t touch the sides or the bottom of the pot
- The temperature should read at 212ºF (100ºC).
- Record any temperature differences and adjust the thermometer as required.
How to Read a Meat Thermometer?
Reading your meat thermometer is incredibly simple. Meat thermometers come with LCD that displays the temperature once the calibrated probe has picked up on the degree. The temperature that displays is going to be in Fahrenheit or Celsius, whichever you choose, and from there, it’s as easy as reading the current weather temperature.
How Does a Meat Thermometer Work?
Thermometers are used to measure heat, and there are different types. As an example, a meat thermometer is what’s known as a bimetallic thermometer. Bimetallic means that it has two kinds of metals that either expand or contract depending on the temperature.
Lower temperatures cause the metal to expand, while the other contracts at a higher temperature. Depending on the heat, it forces the metal to bind together and twist, which prompts the dial and displays the reading.
When it comes to determining which meat thermometer is the best, it’s clear which one we chose. We did thoroughly review each thermometer and measure how accurate the readings are and how quickly they are projected. We also looked at cost, durability, company reputation and reliability, features, and more.
After our full comparison, we chose the Kizen Instant-Read Meat Thermometer as the best meat thermometer. There is no going wrong with the product, and you get exactly what you pay for.
They do have an upgraded model that features a digital readout if that’s something you’re looking for, but if you’re looking for your standard, reliable, waterproof, affordable, and overwhelmingly functional thermometer, this one is for you. Don’t look anywhere else.