I’ve spent a lot of time looking at meat thermometers, an unhealthy amount.
That’s ok because I like to cook and I like things that make the job easier. With so many meat thermometers out there to choose from, how do you choose a good one?
There are a ton of meat thermometers within the $10 to $30 price range. Can you get a good meat thermometer for $12 to $15 and expect the same results as one that costs twice as much?
In some cases, I believe whole-heartedly that you can. This brings us to the Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer. It sits right in the middle of that price range.
It seems to be a solid thermometer out of the gate due to its features, but one does not know the value of anything unless they use it day in and day out.
I’ve been using this thermometer for over a month now to see how it performs in comparison to the other thermometers out there.
A few things I look for when deciding on a meat thermometer are price, features, durability, and performance.
In this post, I’m going to put the Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer to the test to see if it’s worth your hard-earned money.
Let’s get started.
May 2020 Update: I am currently downgrading the Kizen Instant-Read thermometer as well as its twin, the Alpha Grillers Meat Thermometer. Why? They have raised the price to the point where it no longer presents a value. I feel you can get better value with the ThermoPro TP03H thermometer.
Features and Performance of the Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer
The Kizen instant-read meat thermometer touts a lot of features that are good to have in a thermometer. It claims that it’s ultra-fast (2 to 4 second read time), waterproof (ip 67 rating), and can be calibrated. These are all great features to have. My goal is to decide if these claims are true, and if so, how do they compare to other thermometers of similar price?
Let’s start with the claim of ultra-fast response time.
Response Time of the Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer
I started a water bath with my sous vide wand and set it for 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Then I grabbed 3 other meat thermometers; my classic Thermapen, the Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo, and the Thermopro TP03 to test them against the Kizen thermometer. See the video here.
To the naked eye, they all performed pretty well. I would give the Thermapen the top spot with the rest close behind. The classic Thermapen costs four times as much so I would expect it to be the fastest. The Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo costs three times as much and the Kizen was on par with it in terms of speed.
The Thermopro TP03 was right there with the rest in terms of response time and is by far the least expensive of all of them. I continue to be impressed by this model.
Overall I would say the Kizen thermometer held its own with the more expensive models. One thing I did notice is the backlight only stays on 5 seconds after you press the button. It’s not a huge deal but when you are grilling at night on your porch it helps.
The Javelin light will stay on for 10 seconds as well as the Thermopro TP03, so points for those guys.
Waterproof Rating of The Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer
If you go to the sales page of the Kizen thermometer you will see a picture of it getting drenched with water to prove its waterproofing. It claims it’s IP rated 67. What does that mean exactly?
The IP rating system was developed by the wild and crazy people at the International Electrotechnical Commission. The IP part refers to the Ingress Protection rating, or the International Protection rating of consumer products such as electronics.
So what does an IP rating of 67 mean for a digital meat thermometer? According to cvgstrategy.com, a rating of 67 will mean your thermometer is protected against water immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter. Ok, that’s pretty waterproof. This means you’re probably ok to rinse off your thermometer if you get your raw chicken hands on it. That’s a good feature to have.
For reference, the Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo is only rated splash-proof at an IP rating of 65. The classic Thermapen is splash-proof as well. The Thermopro TP03 isn’t rated for water resistance at all.
So, I decided to test it out myself, see video here.
I would consider this a win for the Kizen thermometer.
Calibrating the Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer
An important feature for any thermometer is the ability for it to be calibrated if it’s not reading temperatures accurately. This model can be calibrated as follows.
Fill a glass full of ice to the top and then fill it with cold water. Let it sit for 3 minutes. Insert the thermometer into the middle of the ice bath. Press and hold the “CAL” until it displays “CALL” on the display. In this mode, you can use the C/F button to increase the digits and the HOLD/MAX-MIN button to decrease the digits. Once you reach your desired temp (32 degrees Fahrenheit) don’t press anything and the display will revert to normal operation.
This is probably the most important quality you want your thermometer to have after you invest your money in it. I accidentally tested the durability of the Kizen when I was performing the response time tests. It fell off the kitchen counter 3 feet onto the floor. Uh oh.
The Kizen turns on when you unfold the probe, it didn’t turn on this time. Great. Another cheap thermometer.
I decided to fiddle with it before I declared it a total piece of junk. I opened up the battery compartment and I noticed that the thermometer turned on when the battery was pressed down harder.
Apparently the fall had caused the battery connection to loosen. With a little tinkering, I was able to keep the battery pressed more firmly down in its compartment. The Kizen then went back to functioning normally.
I’m not ready to declare this thermometer ultra-durable but I’ll give it credit for coming back from the drop. I’ll also give it points for being drenched in water and still working. I will say the body isn’t as solid as the Thermapen or the Lavatools Javelin Pro thermometers, which have thicker bodies. I’ve dropped the Thermapen a few times with no problems.
I’ll rate the durability of this thermometer as just average. Time will tell.
Kizen Meat Thermometer Versus Smak Meat Thermometer
And while I’m at it, I’ll include the Alpha Grillers instant-read meat thermometer, the Mister Chefer instant-read thermometer, and the GDEALER DT15 instant-read thermometers, to just name a few. Why? Because they are all the same thermometer.
Why is this you might ask? Well, there are manufacturers in China that produce the same thermometer and then different companies will put their label on them. It happens in many industries. So at the end of the day what you are really buying is the company’s word that it stands behind its products.
After looking through a ton of customer reviews it does seem like Kizen does a good job at customer service and they do indeed honor their lifetime replacement warranty. I can’t speak for the other companies with similar thermometers. Perhaps in the future, I will purchase one for comparison’s sake.
Alternative to the Kizen Instant Read Thermometer
I am currently recommending the ThermoPro TP19 waterproof digital meat thermometer over this and all other meat thermometers in this price range. It is more durable, faster, and more accurate than the Kizen meat thermometer.
You can read my full review of the ThermoPro TP19 waterproof digital meat thermometer here.
So, Does Kizen Make a Good Meat Thermometer?
I would say the Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer is a decent, not great meat thermometer. It might have some durability issues in terms of the plastic body which isn’t as solid as some other thermometers. I like the waterproof aspect of the body but that seems moot if it can’t handle a few knocks along the way.
However, with the backing of the company’s lifetime replacement guarantee, I would rate it a buy, but only with that safety net in mind.
I will continue to monitor the Kizen’s performance alongside the other thermometers and will keep you updated if anything important changes.
Thanks for reading.