Do you want to be able to adjust the temperature of the food you cook? Do you enjoy grilling or smoking food? For that, you’ll have to use one of the best digital meat thermometers.
There is just no other option. There are some decent digital thermometers on the market these days that are both practical and cheap.
Insert it into a piece of chicken or pork to see how done it is. You can keep it in your oven, grill, or smoker to know the exact temperature. So, let’s look at the options you have and determine which digital meat thermometer is the best.
Table of Contents
The best meat thermometer
When working with meat, it’s important to take temperature readings as the cooking cycle comes to an end, whether in the oven, the grill, the smoker, or the stovetop.
Take care not to poke too many holes throughout the process, as this can let out the vital liquids that keep the meat soft and moist.
For the most accurate reading from a digital meat thermometer, push the tip about an inch into the thickest meat part (or sideways into burgers or thinner chicken breasts). As the probe advances deeper into the meat, the temperature reading on the thermometer should fall.
If it starts to rise again, the probe has been put too far in. Check near the end of the cooking process to verify if everything is at the proper temperature, and take extra care not to release too much heat from the grill or oven to keep things as uniform as possible.
Best digital meat thermometer reviews
1. Lavatools javelin pro duo ambidextrous digital meat thermometer
This is a great piece of cooking equipment with numerous useful features. The build is both basic and strong, making it a great investment.
Another amazing feature of this model is the rotating display. It has a two-inch screen. It’s easy to read and automatically illuminates, which is handy in low-light situations.
The thermometer’s display rotates automatically, so if you tilt the thermometer, the display will rotate to reveal the right side up. Temperature reading periods are relatively short, about three seconds, and accuracy is within 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit.
The temperature display hold and Intelligent Stabilization Alert make this one of the best leave-in digital meat thermometers available. The thermometer will beep three seconds after you slide the probe into your food, indicating that the temperature has been recorded.
- Intelligent alerts for stabilization
- Auto-rotating display with motion-activated backlight
- Auto-shutdown and splash-proof features
- Fast read times
- The price is on the expensive side
- You cannot leave the thermometer in the oven
2. Maverick XR-40 Wireless Extended Range bbq smoker meat thermometer
It’s no wonder that this product has become one of the best-selling BBQ digital meat thermometers. Maverick produces the best leave-in meat thermometers, which continually receive positive feedback and are recommended and sought after by both amateurs and professionals.
This dual probe meat thermometer allows you to monitor the temperature of the meat and the interior pit temperature from up to 300 feet away.
The probe wires are 3 feet long and can withstand temperatures up to 716 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nothing about the unit’s setup will surprise you if you’ve ever used a wireless smoker thermometer, specifically one with two probes. It includes a transmitter that communicates with the two probes installed inside your smoker.
The setup is rather simple. You select the probe, then choose the temperature you want.
- Each probe’s temperature may be easily monitored.
- Great build quality
- Temperature control (preset or manual)
- Temperature readings in Fahrenheit and Celsius
- Need a screwdriver for changing batteries
- It may not be easy to program
3. Taylor Precision Products Splash-Proof Dual Temperature Infrared/Thermocouple Thermometer
This two-in-one thermometer uses an infrared probe to monitor inside temperatures and an infrared probe to assess surface temperatures.
The probe measures temperatures up to 626 degrees Fahrenheit and can be used to check your roast, monitor hot sugar for candy or check your frying oil. The probe is 5 inches long and folds for secure storage, allowing you to reach deep into a roast.
Because infrared can monitor temperatures ranging from -67 to 482 degrees Fahrenheit, it can be used to examine the surface temperature of a hot skillet or the temperature of food in the freezer.
Our reviewer also liked that the thermometer has an added feature that alerts you when your food is at the right cold or hot holding temperature or when it is at a dangerous temperature to ingest.
Because of the reflectivity, the thermometer works well on dark surfaces but struggles on bright light-colored surfaces. It has an auto-shutoff feature and is powered by two AAA batteries. It is splashproof but not waterproof, so do not immerse it in water.
- Surface temperature readings are possible using the infrared setting.
- Design that is splash-resistant
- 5 in. probe
- The display is not illuminated.
- When fully stretched, the display is upside down.
4. Thermopro tp20 Wireless Meat Thermometer
This is a high-quality thermometer designed for professional chefs. The probe wires are designed to withstand up to 716 degrees Fahrenheit (380 degrees Celsius).
This is a well-made smoker thermometer that is also likely the best leave-in digital meat thermometer.
A five-year warranty covers the sensor. If you experience any issues or get inaccurate temperature readings, the company will replace the probes without question.
This dual probe thermometer has all the features you’d expect to see in a professional culinary tool. It has a wide and simple LCD that displays only the most critical and necessary information.
The thermometer’s twin probe design allows it to read both the temperature of the food and the temperature of the pit. It can also be used to measure the temperature of the grill’s surface.
Because the screen is backlit, it may be used even in low-light situations.
- Dual probe design
- Large, illuminated display
- Timers and alarms
- When a button is pressed, it emits a loud beep
- There is no warning if the temperature drops below a certain threshold.
5. Mister Chefer Instant-read Thermometer
This is a fast instant-read thermometer with an accuracy of +/-1 degree and a temperature range of -58 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit. There is also a calibration feature for optimal accuracy.
It has a backlit display, allowing you to read the temperature in any lighting condition. It also features a magnet inside that allows it to be conveniently fastened to the refrigerator when not in use.
Because the thermometer is waterproof, you can wash it without fear of water getting inside.
The long folding probe is useful for quickly and safely determining the interior temperature of any cooked meal. It’s also great for baking, deep-frying, and beverages like beer and wine.
- Sturdily built and waterproof
- Strong and fast probe with a lifetime warranty
- The probe can become stuck at times.
6. Taylor Precision Digital Cooking Thermometer with Probe and Timer
This product produces excellent cooking outcomes for both pros and novices.
This digital thermometer measures temperatures are ranging from 32°F to 392°F. It contains a sturdy stainless steel probe with a four-foot silicone cord that allows you to monitor food without taking it out of the oven.
It’s the best leave-in thermometer since you can use it without even opening the oven door.
It also contains a stand-up display for tabletop use or a magnet for convenient attachment to an oven door, as well as an automated time and temperature warning.
Although the temperature range is not as extensive as it should be, the display may be folded down for easy storage.
- Foldable display
- Alarm and timer functions
- It can also be used as a countertop
- The temperature range is limited
7. Alpha Grillers Instant Read Meat Thermometer for Grill and Cooking
Serious grillers understand that there are numerous reasons to grill after dark, and this thermometer makes it a little easier by including a backlight that makes the thermometer easy to see in any light.
The thermometer turns on as soon as you unfurl the probe, eliminating the need to fumble for a switch, and it goes off as you fold the probe back down.
The thermometer’s ability to keep the shown temperature means you won’t have to lean over a hot grill to view it, and you can also set it to display either the minimum or highest temperature that you’ve read.
Our reviewer does remark, however, that it takes between 4 and 7 seconds to achieve a consistent reading. “While this isn’t a major concern for most grillers,” she says, “keep this in mind if you’re hoping for a split-second reading.”
Because the probe’s body is waterproof, you won’t have to worry about steam, splashing, or cooking in the rain. The thermometer has a simple cooking guide that reminds you of the right cooking temperatures for most meats, so you don’t have to remember the exact temperature of rare or medium-well.
This thermometer ranges from -58 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit, so you may use it for all of your cooking needs.
- The display is backlit
- Automatic power off
- It is not an instant-read thermometer
8. SMARTRO ST59 Digital Meat Thermometer
Because smoking is all about long, low, and slow cooking, it’s best not to open the smoker while it’s cooking because it lets out flavorful smoke as well as heat that will take some time to recover.
This thermometer allows you to constantly monitor the temperature of the meat from outside the grill, allowing you to keep an eye on it without interfering with the cooking process.
The wire of the probe is intended to resist temperatures ranging from 32 to 482 degrees Fahrenheit, so it will not be destroyed by the heat of the smoker.
The thermometer boasts a color touchscreen display that is simple to see in any light, which is ideal for cooks who use glasses or who occasionally cook outside in the evenings. It also contains presets for various dishes and the ability to choose your own favorite temperature.
It can stand on its own on a table and has a magnetic back that allows you to attach it to your smoker, grill, or oven. When the temperature is reached, an alarm sounds, and you can set a timer to remind you to baste or turn the meal.
This thermometer comes with a spare probe, so you’ll always have one on hand. While you can’t plug in both probes at the same time, users have discovered that by leaving them in the meat and detaching and reconnecting them from the thermometer, they can read the temps one at a time.
- Color touchscreen display
- Magnetic back
- Comes with a spare probe
- The batteries are not included
- Not Waterproof
9. Oxo Good Grips Chef’s Precision Digital Instant-read Thermometer
When we tested on steak, roast chicken thighs, and a full chicken, we found this fast-acting digital thermometer consistently accurate.
The head tilts into three different reading positions, and the digital display is huge and clear. To turn it on or off, press a button at the top and another at the back to choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius.
The size of this thermometer is quite appealing; the probe is narrow, but the bulky head makes it difficult to lose in your cutlery drawer while still taking up little space. To keep it safe, there’s a protective sheath to slip it into.
- Quick reading speed
- Battery replacement is difficult
10. Cuisinart Infrared Surface Thermometer
An infrared surface thermometer is ideal for situations when the surface temperature is more relevant than the inside temperature. It can monitor the temperature of your grill grates, pizza stone, cast iron frying pan, and oven walls, as well as the temperature of your grill’s exterior to see if it’s safe to touch without mittens.
Some reviewers found the thermometer useful for non-traditional purposes such as melting wax, producing soap, and gauging room temperatures.
You may also use it to inspect the interior of your refrigerator or freezer, as well as to ensure that your chilled items remain cool.
Visible laser light allows you to target the point you wish to inspect, and an LCD screen with a backlight makes the data easy to read. This thermometer has a temperature range of -58 to 716 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Temperature range is broad.
- Simple to grasp and use
- Instructions might be more detailed
What distinguishes this thermometer?
The best meat thermometers are made specifically to assess meat temperatures. That means they’ll have a temperature range ranging from very low to at least 400 degrees;
above that, you’re looking at a candy thermometer—they both display numbers, but they’re not interchangeable and aren’t what you want for this purpose.
And, just like there are numerous cuts of meat, there are numerous varieties of meat thermometers: digital and analog thermometers, with prices ranging from less than $10 to well over $100.
Probe instant-read meat thermometers give you a reading with a quick poke. There are leave-in meat thermometers that use Bluetooth or WiFi to notify you when the meat reaches a specified temperature.
What to look for in a meat thermometer probe style
If you’re cooking large chunks of meat, probe length is important whether you’re using an instant-read, wired, or wireless thermometer. That’s because, to determine the actual internal temperature, the probe must be inserted into the thickest section of whatever you’re cooking.
If you often cook huge pork shoulders, briskets, or whole fowl, look for a probe with a minimum length of 5 inches.
The shape of the probes varies as well. While straight probes are common, curved probes can help create a more compact setup if you’re cooking multiple items or using a tiny smoker or second rack because the entire thing stays closer to the meat, especially on smaller slices.
When it comes to grill thermometer displays, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is, of course, personal preference. Would you rather read the temperature from a distance or open the grill to inspect and touch the meat while it’s cooking?
A wireless or wired thermometer is the way to go if you prefer to keep the grill closed. However, a normal instant-read thermometer will suffice if you prefer to get a good look at the meat and possibly even feel it for doneness.
The wireless range of a thermometer is maybe its most important feature. After all, if you’re looking for a wireless thermometer, it’s probably because you don’t want to be stuck to the grill for the duration of your cooking—however short or long it is.
Some modern wireless thermometers (like the MEATER) let the charging box be used as a signal repeater, roughly tripling the wireless range, albeit the signal is not always as powerful as a direct signal.
If all you need to know is the internal temperature of your meat, almost any grilling thermometer will suffice. Tracking the ambient temperature, on the other hand, is important for some grillmasters.
Some grilling thermometers (particularly those connected to applications) preserve a thorough record of each cook, including interior and ambient temperatures.
While this additional information may appear to be excessive, it might be useful to refer to if a cooking session does not work out as intended or if you made the best brisket of your life and hoped to replicate it step by step, degree by degree. The full recording is also useful for planning your future cooking session.
Consider the lowest and highest temperatures you use when grilling (or, for example, cold smoking), and make sure the thermometer you choose covers that entire range.
If you want to check a meat’s internal temperature during thawing or brining, you’ll need a thermometer that can go as low as it can go up.
If you’re using a wireless grill thermometer, you’ll want to be notified when your meat reaches the internal temperature you’ve set. Consider what other alerts you might need, such as temperature drops or dramatic changes in the ambient temperature.
The latter is useful if you wish to sleep while smoking meat overnight. It’s also useful to get an alert if you move the transmitter out of range or otherwise lose the probe’s signal.
Last but not least, once you’ve acknowledged an alarm, it should be easy to turn it off, so look for a clear and accessible mechanism to mute the beeping.
When it comes to wireless grill thermometers, you have two choices. The first component is a remote device that communicates with the probe. The second is a smartphone app that connects to the thermometer and transmits data to your phone.
While an app is useful because it eliminates the need to keep an eye on another device while grilling, there is also the possibility that your phone will lose a Bluetooth or wireless connection.
If you’re always frustrated by apps or Bluetooth-enabled devices, a wireless thermometer with an included transmitter could save you some headaches when cooking.
Type of Battery
Most are powered by AAA or AA batteries, although rechargeable lithium batteries power others. Both have advantages and disadvantages. You never have to worry about keeping disposable batteries on hand with a rechargeable battery, but you’re out of luck if it isn’t charged when you need it.
If your thermometer uses disposable batteries, you’re only a battery change (or a fast trip to the store) away from a functional thermometer.
Most grill thermometers cost between $10 and $80, with a few higher-end, feature-rich ones costing $100 or more. Basic instant-read digital thermometers are usually the cheapest, but for an extra $10 to $20, you can upgrade to a quality wired or wireless thermometer.
With a few exclusions, price is usually less indicative of the quality and more based on features. The more probes, the longer the range, and so on, the more expensive a grilling thermometer will be.
While some of the grill thermometers are dishwasher-safe, thermometers should always be hand-washed, taking care not to submerge the transmitter or display. It’s acceptable if you can carefully wash only the probe with hot water and soap without getting the digital components wet.
Otherwise, wipe everything clean with a damp cloth to remove debris before sterilizing the thermometer with an alcohol or bleach wipe. Alternatively, a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol or a sanitizing bleach solution can be used (one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water).
After cleaning, make sure to dry all parts of the thermometer before storing it fully.
So, which digital meat thermometer is the best?
We believe the Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo Ambidextrous Backlit Instant Read Digital Meat Thermometer is a great pick because it includes a variety of features and settings to choose from, as well as the ability to be modified manually.
It is costlier than other digital thermometers, but you get what you pay for, and this small device is well worth the money.
Last update on 2023-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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