There are a lot of tools in the kitchen that, unless you cook a lot, you probably don’t need. A meat thermometer might seem like one of those things, but it’s not. In fact, it’s probably one of the most useful tools you may have never actually used.
There are a lot of tricks that professional chefs know for figuring out “doneness” when cooking meat. You may be familiar with the thumb to each finger method which has you compare the firmness of the various parts of your hand to the steak you’re cooking, but this heavily relies on having practiced the technique multiple times and certainly isn’t reliable if you occasionally dabble in cooking out. That’s why we suggest switching to one of the best meat thermometers for consistent and reliable cooking results, time after time.
What to Consider Before Buying a Meat Thermometer
Before we dive into the best meat thermometers, it’s first worth considering why a consistent cooking temperature and exact cooking time aren’t a reliable way to judge whether something is cooked, especially when dealing with meat. For example, cuts of meat/steak are never exactly the same, meat quality varies from store to store and individual oven temperatures can differ a lot (especially if you’re cooking multiple items). Each of these points is an example of a variable factor that can affect how quickly your food cooks. The best meat thermometers cut through this variability by letting you see when the inside of whatever you’re cooking has reached the correct temperature to be called “cooked.”
Additionally, meat thermometers aren’t just for meat, either. Many of these versatile devices can be used to measure the temperature of other kinds of protein, liquids, oils, candy and even bread.
Furthermore, in recent years, there has been a steep rise in the availability of smart meat thermometers which connect to your smartphone through Bluetooth or WiFi connections and come with accompanying apps. They are a great option to look out for if you like the sound of remote monitoring of your food as it cooks or simply enjoy controlling everything in your home from your smartphone device.
Given that the difference between undercooking or overcooking the main part of your meal can be a matter of minutes, if not seconds, investing in a meat thermometer is always a smart idea. This is true whether you’re a novice new to the skill or already know your way around every cut of meat. That’s because a meat thermometer doesn’t just achieve well-cooked meat every time, it also makes life in the kitchen more simple and run that much easier. Read on to discover why.
How We Chose the Best Meat Thermometers
There are a number of key factors worth keeping in mind when choosing the best meat thermometer. Like most kitchen devices, they range from basic, get-the-job-done devices, to grander, more advanced options which include smart technology and in the case of meat thermometers, multiple probes. These are the major questions to ask yourself when choosing the right meat thermometer for you.
How many probes do you need? At their most basic level, a meat thermometer is a single probe attached to a small LCD screen or dial which shows you the temperature. As devices advance, the probes become tethered or fully detached and increase in number, as it allows you to monitor multiple pieces of meat or cooking environments at the same time.
What level of connectivity are you interested in? Again, at the entry-level, you can expect everything to be rigidly connected. Moving up the ladder, you will find devices that have tethered probes rather than attached ones. The best meat thermometers offer wireless connectivity which can be accessed from hundreds of feet away through accompanying smartphone apps. It’s worth remembering that connectivity can also play a big part when it comes to how you cook. If you’re in the kitchen the whole time, you’re always close to where the food is and won’t necessarily need a remote connection. However, if you’re hosting a BBQ and need to entertain and socialize with guests while your food cooks, having updates and alarms sent directly to your smartphone may be a huge and worthwhile bonus.
Additionally, it’s worth saying that all of the devices we have selected are user-friendly. This means anyone of any culinary level should be able to get to grips with the device and use it, no matter whether it’s a basic or a slightly more tech-involved model. Every device features a clear reading screen (sometimes on your smartphone) as well as noteworthy reliability and functionality.
Below, you’ll find the best meat thermometers on Amazon, all of which are ideal for everything from outdoor grilling to indoor baking. Read on to find the right meat thermometer for your cooking needs.
1. ThermoPro TP03 Digital Meat Thermometer
With its compact size, fast response time and easy-to-read backlit screen, the ThermoPro TP03 Digital Meat Thermometer ticks all the boxes for an entry-level device. The foldaway 3.9-inch probe features a step-down design which allows for easier insertion into whatever it is you are measuring. Once in, you can expect a precise temperature reading within three to five seconds, displayed on the thermometer’s backlit LCD display. Furthermore, the design includes a built-in hanging hook along with a small chart for quick access to recommended internal temperatures.
2. ThermoPro TP01A Digital Meat Thermometer
With its 5.3-inch long probe, the ThermoPro TP01A Digital Meat Thermometer provides a longer-than-average amount of reach into whatever you’re cooking. In addition, this impressive reach allows users to keep their hands further away from the hot surfaces for improved safety. This compact device is capable of registering temperatures between 58 and 572 degrees Fahrenheit and sports an ultra-clear LCD display for quick and easy reading when temperatures are high.
3. Kizen Digital Meat Thermometer
From cooking meat and deep frying to baking and BBQ-ing, the Kizen Digital Meat Thermometer is a versatile device that can take care of your meat temperature measuring needs. The compact device includes a fold-out, 4.3-inch probe which is easily placed into meats, liquids and other foods for a temperature reading in around three seconds. Handily, the thermometer also includes a large hanging loop and is IP67-rated, meaning it’s easily washed and there’s no need to worry if you drop it in water.
4. ThermoPro TP-16 Large LCD Thermometer
BEST LCD SCREEN
If you struggle with reading smaller screens or just like clear, easy-to-follow instructions, the ThermoPro TP-16 Large LCD Thermometer might be the right choice for you. Temperatures are displayed clearly on the sizable LCD screen and the accompanying 6.5-inch probe is tethered to the device to provide greater flexibility when it comes to insertion. Additionally, this device allows you to set timers and countdowns as well as specific alarms for when a certain temperature is reached.
5. SMARTRO ST59 Digital Meat Thermometer
The SMARTRO ST59 Digital Meat Thermometer has a strong magnet attached to the back of its display unit to allow for easy attachment to surrounding metal surfaces. Whether attached to the oven itself or a nearby appliance, this handy feature helps to ensure you never misplace your device while cooking. You’ll also find a bright LCD color display that is easily read from further distances and can also be controlled using the intuitive touchscreen. Furthermore, the 6.7-inch long, collapsible probe is attached via a flexible cable to provide greater freedom when it comes to probing your food.
6. Temola Meat Thermometer
BEST DUAL PROBE
By including both a fold-out and tethered probe, this Temola Meat Thermometer lets you choose the method which is best suited to the situation in front of you. It’s also available in four different colors, allowing you to match your meat thermometer to your kitchen decor. Each included probe is capable of offering a temperature reading within three seconds and can also be used in a range of foods including meat, candy, milk, water, oil as well as other kinds of food preparation. Additionally, the thermometer arrives pre-calibrated but does include an option to do it yourself if required.
7. VAUNO Wireless Meat Thermometer
With three probes, wireless connection capabilities and a signal transmission that can reach up to 490 feet (outdoors), the VAUNO Wireless Meat Thermometer is hard to beat. This impressively well-designed device is capable of monitoring two different kinds of meat at the same time, allowing you to relax or socialize at your leisure while keeping an eye on your food’s progress. The probes are attached to the transmitter by 40-inch stainless steel cables to provide plenty of flexibility when positioning them. Plus, the device is IPX7-rated for all-weather protection and includes a number of handy alarms to deliver food cooked just how you like it every time.
8. ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Meat Thermometer
The ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Meat Thermometer is another reliable device that is particularly well suited to remote cooking in smokers or BBQ grills. The two-piece device offers a range of up to 300 feet and includes two probes, allowing you to monitor two slices of meat at one time. Handily, each probe also features a step-down design for easier insertion while the device’s “Meat” and “Taste” buttons let you choose the exact cooking outcome you desire.
9. Inkbird Bluetooth Grill BBQ Meat Thermometer
Like the sound of being able to check your cooking temperatures on your smartphone device? If yes, this Inkbird Bluetooth Grill BBQ Meat Thermometer could be the right choice for you. Simply connect your smartphone to the main thermometer unit using the supplied QR code and accompanying app, attach the probes, and enjoy the ability to assess four different temperatures at the same time. The user-friendly app also lets you assign names to each probe, make specific notes and set alarms for each probe, too.
10. MEATER Long Range Meat Thermometer
In addition to receiving the MEATER Long Range Meat Thermometer, this set includes a HogoR BBQ grill glove. The heat-resistant glove can withstand temperatures up to 446 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a great tool for particularly accident-prone chefs to use. The probe itself offers wireless connectivity to your smartphone up to 165 feet away over the built-in Bluetooth connection or even further with a local Wi-Fi network. And, using your smartphone and the MEATER app, it’s possible to read temperatures and set up both custom alerts and notifications.
11. Yummly YTE000W5KB Premium Smart Meat Thermometer
The Yummly YTE000W5KB Premium Smart Meat Thermometer can connect to a smartphone or tablet using the Yummly app and Bluetooth connectivity. Reaching up to 150 feet away, this connection allows you to assess your meat’s progress via the wireless probe while watching the game or socializing with friends. You can also use the built-in timers and available alerts to let you know when your food is done. Furthermore, the range of preset programs helps eliminate guesswork and can even advise on post-cooking resting times for the best results.
12. MEATER Block Premium Smart Meat Thermometer
With its four wireless meat probes, the MEATER Block Premium Smart Meat Thermometer offers users a freedom few devices can compete with. The four probes connect to your smartphone or tablet up to a range of 165 feet via Bluetooth or greater using a local Wi-Fi network. Handily, the accompanying MEATER app offers a guided cooking system that walks you through each step of cooking your chosen type of meat to deliver consistent and reliable results. Alternatively, it’s easy to set your own notifications and alarms if you’re happier taking the lead.