Best Meat Thermometers 2019 - Digital Thermometer Reviews, Tests
A good-quality meat thermometer can help you put properly prepared foods on your table as well as substantially reduce the very real risk of food poisoning. Although a few are pricey, there are many excellent inexpensive meat thermometers that are accurate and easy to use. These thermometers also come in many colors and styles. Some models are a simple metal probe with a dial on top, while others fold up to save space. There are even meat thermometers with touchscreens and smart features, quick temperature readouts, high-quality displays, and waterproof casings.
CDN ProAccurate DTQ450X
The modestly priced CDN ProAccurate DTQ450X is just that, accurate. It registers temperatures between -40 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit within 2 degrees of the actual temperature. It takes a bit longer than other thermometers to display the temperature, but we’re talking about a mere 20 seconds, which isn’t long enough to be a deal-breaker for most people.
This popular meat thermometer is pretty rugged considering it has a plastic handle: It’s shatterproof, waterproof and covered with a special coating so repeated cleaning won’t damage it. The coating, BioCote, also reduces the risk of cross-contamination between foods. This thermometer is easy to recalibrate and comes with a plastic storage sheath and a pocket clip. The sheath even shows the best temperatures for different meats, which is a handy reference.
ThermoWorks Thermopop TX-3100
The ThermoWorks Thermopop TX-3100 is a whimsical, lollipop-shape thermometer that comes in nine colors and can read and display temperature in less than eight seconds. It measures between -58 degrees and 572 degrees Fahrenheit and is accurate within 2 degrees of the correct temperature up to 248 degrees. However, it rounds to the nearest whole degree. The Thermopop TX-3100’s 4.5-inch probe can correctly detect the temperature in big cuts of meat as well as other foods.
If you need it, you can turn on the Thermopop TX-3100’s screen backlight to see the numbers better. Also, the thermometer can rotate in 90-degree increments, so you can read temperatures at different angles and upside down. In addition, it shuts off after 10 minutes of sitting idle, which saves battery life.
Taylor Pro 9842
The Taylor Pro 9842 is a basic meat thermometer – it doesn’t cost much but works well and takes up little space in your kitchen. This thermometer takes approximately 18 seconds to provide a full temperature reading, and it has a wide temperature range of -40 degrees to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, it is accurate within plus or minus 1 degree of the actual temperature.
There are only three buttons on this thermometer: an on/off button, a button to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius, and a calibration button. The Taylor Pro 9842 also turns itself off if it detects no change in temperature for 10 minutes. However, it has one drawback: Its LCD digital display is hard to read because the screen is small and not backlit.
iDevices Kitchen Mini
The best thing about using the iDevices Kitchen Mini Thermometer is it connects with an app to display the temperature on your phone. As such, you can move around and do other things while your dinner cooks. The app is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. This thermometer’s receiver is separate from the probe you stick into your food, and they link with a heat-resistant wire. This setup lets the thermometer’s probe constantly track food temperature.
Although convenient, the iDevices Kitchen thermometer has a drawback: It only reads temperature accurately between zero degrees and 392 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a smaller range than many comparable products can handle.
CDN ProAccurate TCT572
The CDN ProAccurate TCT572 digital meat thermometer displays temperature readings fast – its 4.25-inch stainless steel probe has a three-second initial response time, although it averaged a still-speedy eight seconds during many of our tests. The probe is also shatterproof and water-resistant, and it registers temperatures between-58 degrees and 572 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a wide range.
The backlit display has big, easy-to-read numbers. There is also a chart on the back that lists safe temperatures for different kinds of meats, which is handy. In addition, you can view the minimum and maximum temperatures the thermometer read while you cooked.
You use several buttons to turn the CDN ProAccurate TCT572 on and off and control its temperature settings. However, the buttons beep loudly when you push them.
Polder Stable-Read THM-398-90
The Polder Stable-Read THM-398-90 digital meat thermometer is easy to use, inexpensive and reliable. To use it, you just push a button and insert the probe into your food. When your food reaches the right temperature, the thermometer beeps to let you know.
Polder claims it takes four seconds to get a full readout, but in our many tests, the Stable-Read THM-398-90 took an average of 14 seconds to display the temperature. Still, that's just a matter of a few seconds and not enough to make much of a difference. The thermometer’s readings are accurate within 2 degrees Fahrenheit.
This Polder thermometer’s thin, metal probe can register temperatures between -49 degrees and 392 degrees Fahrenheit. It holds the final temperature readout until you reset it.
Lavatools Javelin PT12
The Lavatools Javelin PT12is a petite, simple digital meat thermometer with no buttons to fumble with. Further, its temperature readings are accurate within less than 1degree Fahrenheit.
This thermometer’s probe is short compared to others, coming in at 2.75 inches, so it may present a safety hazard if you use it in an oven. However, the Lavatools Javelin PT12’s small size makes it handy to take along to picnics and barbecues. It can even be attached to a keychain or lanyard, and it has a magnet, so you can stick it on the refrigerator.
Our tests showed it can display temperature readouts in less than eight seconds, although the manufacturer claims it has a much faster initial response time. The Lavatools Javelin PT12 can read temperatures between -40 degrees and 482 degrees Fahrenheit. The display is not backlit, but it’s still easy to read.
EatSmart Precision Elite
The EatSmart Precision Elite is a genuinely easy-to-read thermometer. It has a backlit, 1.5-inch display, which is considerably larger than many of its competitors. As such, it’s easy to see the numbers.
To turn the thermometer on, you unfold the probe, and you turn the device off by folding the probe back in. It has buttons you can press to hold the existing temperature, recalibrate the probe, and change between Celsius and Fahrenheit.
This thermometer is very accurate, with readouts that vary by plus or minus just 1 degree from the actual temperature between 12 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Its full temperature range is -40 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit, and while the readout may vary more from the actual temperature at the lower and higher ends, it’s not by a significant amount. In our tests, we found it took slightly less than nine seconds to get a final readout.
ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4
The ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4is expensive, but it is also faster and more accurate than many of its competitors. During our repeated tests, the thermometer displayed final readouts in an average of just 3.6 seconds, which is exceptionally fast.
This ThermoWorks model registers temperatures between -58 degrees and 572 degrees Fahrenheit, and the manufacturer states it is accurate within about 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit of the actual temperature. At temperatures above 392 degrees, that accuracy drops to within 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
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The Thermapen Mk4’s probe contains proprietary circuitry, and the thermometer comes with a NIST-traceable certificate of calibration. This shows the probe has undergone strict testing to make certain it can read to the nearest 0.1 degree. You simply unfold or fold the probe to turn the thermometer on or off, though its auto shutoff feature activates after the device sits idle for 10 minutes.
Supreme Home Cook Touchscreen
The Supreme Home Cook Touchscreen’s built-in alarm lets you know when your food is ready. It has a 7-inch probe, which is longer than those on other models we tested. However, it may take a bit of time to learn how to use the thermometer’s touchscreen, since it isn’t particularly intuitive.
The touchscreen digital display links to the metal probe, which is meant to stay in the meat as you cook. That way, you can continuously track the food’s internal temperature. The thermometer has a timer with presets for meat doneness levels, and it alerts you when your food is cooked.
Supreme Home Cook estimates the Touchscreen displays the initial temperature in about seven seconds. However, we found it took over 30 seconds to get a final reading. This thermometer is accurate within 2 degrees of the actual temperature.