Pros / The Lavatools Javelin is protected with a lifetime warranty.
Cons / Its small body and probe force you to get close to the food you’re testing, increasing the risk of burns.
Verdict / The Lavatools Javelin is a small meat thermometer that provides fast and accurate readouts.
The Lavatools Javelin, a meat thermometer originally known as the Thermowand, is the epitome of simplicity. It uses a buttons-free design to achieve its incredibly portable size and reads a wide range of temperatures to an accuracy within less than 1 degree Fahrenheit. It is among the fastest devices we tested, achieving readouts within seconds. Its small design can make it difficult to hold, but its tiny form factor makes it suitable for taking anywhere. It even fits on a keychain – making it easy to have on hand and readily available, whether in the kitchen or out camping.
Even without buttons, this instant-read thermometer is fairly easy to use. The probe can read temperatures between -40 and 482 degrees Fahrenheit. The manufacturer indicates its initial response time is four seconds. We clocked its time to full accuracy at 8 seconds on average. Such delays between initial estimate and final reading are typical among thermometers, and this was one of the speediest we found.
Simplicity is where this little gadget shines. If you prefer a touch of modern, you might like the iDevices Kitchen Thermometer mini thermometer.
Most meat thermometers have a temperature variance of plus or minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit. This Lavatools thermometer is one of the best thermometers in terms of accuracy, touting final readouts within 0.9 degrees of the actual temperature. This accuracy was exceeded by one other thermometer in our testing, but only by a mere 0.2 degrees.
The probe of this instant-read thermometer is shorter than all other products we tested, measuring 2.75 inches long. While the portability of such a small device is attractive, there is a tradeoff. When a meat thermometer is so small, it becomes a bit difficult to hold, and it's hard to avoid potential burns on your hands if you're checking meat in the oven. This increases your risk of injury while using it around extremely hot food or things that might splatter or bubble.
The device is designed with a small handle so you can attach it to a keychain or lanyard for easy access between uses. This thermometer is even designed with a magnet so you can easily leave it on your fridge until you're ready to cook. Despite its size, the numbers on the digital screen are still easy to read, even lacking a backlit or rotating display.
The probe itself is designed with a tapered tip that measures 1.6 millimeters wide, so little-to-no essential juices are lost when meat is punctured. Its CR2032 battery produces more than 4,000 hours of battery life, and there's a battery-preserving auto-off functionality that takes effect after 60 minutes of inactivity. This is the only thermometer we tested that is covered by a lifetime warranty.
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