Meat thermometers are often overlooked when it comes to grilling accessories. But they are really handy in ensuring the inside temperature of any meat you’re cooking reaches a safe level. Here are several of the best models that are perfect for grilling, though most are handy when cooking inside, too. We highly recommend using this thermometer for meats only to avoid cross-contamination.
Kizen digital meat thermometer (opens in new tab)
Moisture isn't a problem for this one
This nifty meat thermometer is waterproof, so it will properly function if it gets wet. The large, backlit display screen shows you the exact temperature of the foods you are cooking in either Fahrenheit or Celsius; plus, its probe is long enough to get deep into thick pieces of meat. The handle is curved in just the right places, so it’s comfortable and natural to hold; it also has a printed guide to help determine when steak or meats are properly cooked, depending on the internal temperature.
ThermoPro TP03 digital instant-read thermometer (opens in new tab)
For all foods
The ThermoPro TP03 food thermometer has a long probe that works well for measuring the inside temps of thick pieces of meat. It doesn’t take long for the correct temperature to display digitally on the handle. This model will power down automatically when idle for ten minutes to help save the battery. It can also be used for making candy and testing cooking oil. This option isn’t easy to clean, so we recommend purchasing several to use with various food types.
ThermoPro TP-16 LCD digital grill thermometer (opens in new tab)
This digital meat thermometer is designed to be placed inside your meat and left there as it cooks. The long probe is attached to a heat-resistant cord that stretches 40 inches and connects to the unit itself. Several guides help you calibrate and track the meat you are cooking, and there's an alert when it has reached a safe internal temperature. You can use the ThermoPro TO-16 while grilling, smoking meats, or even inside your kitchen oven. It works with just about every meat type, including pork, veal, and fish.
Marsno digital meat thermometer (opens in new tab)
Safe to wash thoroughly
The Marsno digital meat thermometer's best feature is that it can be hand-washed under running water without shorting out. This also means you can safely sanitize it to reduce the risk of cross-contamination between foods. This model automatically calibrates with each use, so you can be sure you’ll see an accurate temp of the inside of your foods. The digital display automatically rotates, so it's always positioned the right way, and the long probe reaches deep inside thick pieces of meat while keeping your hands safely away from oil splatters.
What to know before buying a meat thermometer
Top Ten Reviews has used meat thermometers as part of its testing for years. It’s a staple for grills, both indoors and outdoors, sou vide machines, and pressure cookers. We’ve used a lot of them, several brands and different types. We prefer digital models because they are super easy to use and give us results pretty quickly.
The best thermometers have helpful guides that display the internal temperatures for different meats. This is important because the temperature of chicken is different from beef.
Another important feature to check out is the length of the probe. Shorter probes are okay for thinner cuts of meat, for checking oil before frying, or for making candy indoors. But, if you are cooking a whole chicken or even a turkey, you need a probe that is long enough to get deep into the thickest part. These types of meat often cook unevenly, so some areas may show a safe temperature while dense portions may still be raw. Longer probes are also safer when barbecuing meats, so you don’t have to hold your hands too close to the heat source while checking the temperature.
Digital thermometers aren’t the easiest to clean because of their electrical components. Some options, however, are waterproof. These can be cleaned under running water for sanitization. They won’t survive a trip through the dishwasher, though. And even with hand cleaning, it is hard to get them perfectly clean. We recommend purchasing several to use with different types of food. This helps reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
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