Imagine hosting a barbecue party for your friends and serving dry chewy steak to them which feels nothing less than chewing gum just because you guesstimated the doneness of it? How embarrassing would that be? Because even if you are a pitmaster, it is very easy to overcook depending on the cut of the meat you are cooking.
Even though there are many ways available to you to check the doneness of the meat you are cooking, if you wish to cook the meat with precision, you WILL need a meat thermometer. Meat thermometers have become an absolute kitchen necessity now especially for occasions where you are hosting a party for a large number of people, you need the guarantee that your meat has been perfectly and evenly cooked and still holds the tenderness.
Not only that, the fear of overcooking can leave your meat undercooked making it unsafe for eating putting your health at risk of foodborne diseases.
It takes barely a few minutes to overcook meat therefore traditional meat thermometers or leave-in thermometers are soon being replaced by instant meat thermometers which give an instant internal temperature reading with extreme accuracy without having you wait around your grill or oven for too long. All these reasons can be enough to interest you in buying an instant-read meat thermometer and that is why we have analyzed and shortlisted the 12 best instant-read meat thermometers which we will review in detail including what we liked and didn’t like about the products.
ThermoPro TP18 Ultra-Fast Meat Thermometer when compared to its competitors is a solid winner considering all its aspects. With offering you diversified features including accuracy of reading, ultra-fast speed, auto-off technology, and lock function, this amazing device will take your culinary skills to the next level.
When performance is compared with price, GDEALER DT6 Instant Read Meat Thermometer is hands down a money worth product. This product has all features you desire in an instant meat thermometer that too in a budget deal. The LCD backlit display which stays lit for 12 seconds, its water-resistivity, and its speedy response with great accuracy, and the wide temperature range make it a very popular choice among cooking enthusiasts.
Quick Comparison: The 12 Best Instant Read Meat Thermometers
|Product Name||Backlit Display||Temperature Range||Grades|
|ThermoPro TP18 Instant Read Meat Thermometer||Yes|| -10°C -300°C|
(14°F - 572°F)
|GDEALER DT6 Instant Read Meat Thermometer||Yes||-20℃ - 150℃|
(-4℉ - 302℉)
|Powlaken Meat Food Thermometer||Yes||-50°C~300°C|
|SMAK Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer||Yes|| -50°C- 300°C|
|Lavatools PT12 Javelin Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer||Yes||-40°C~250°C|
|SMARTRO ST59 Digital Meat Thermometer||Yes||-20℃ to 250℃ -(4°F to 482°F)||B-|
|OXO Good Grips Chef's Precision Digital Instant Read Thermometer||Yes||-40℃ to 150 ℃|
(-40 °F to 302 °F)
|Sinotron Instant Read Meat Thermometer||Yes||-50 °C to 300°C|
(-58℉ to 572℉)
|Mister Chefer Instant read thermometer||No||-58°F -572°F||B|
|Surround Point Digital Thermometer||Yes||-50°C - 300°C|
-58°F to 572°F
|Taylor Precision Products Dual Temperature Infrared/Thermocouple Thermometer||No||-55°C to 250°C|
-67°F to 482°F
|AidMax Mini6 Instant Read Meat Thermometer||Yes||-58℉ - 572℉||A-|
1. ThermoPro TP18 Instant Read Meat Thermometer
As the first entry in our review article, we have chosen the ThermoPro TP18 Ultra-fast meat thermometer. It comes with a thermocouple technology which shows the temperature reading within about only 2-3 seconds.
Not only it has a super-fast response time but can also give temperature readings very accurately to ±0.9°F (±0.5°C). The calibration function further ensures that the sensor of the probe adjusts by itself every time giving you an instant accurate reading.
In addition to this, the 14°F - 572°F (-10°C - 300°C) wide temperature range makes it suitable for all kinds of cooking conditions.
Another feature that makes its users’ favorite is its compact size. It comes with a 4.0 inches food-grade probe making it very ergonomic and safe for use. In addition to this, the lock function of this thermometer locks the current temperature as soon as the probe is removed and keeps it displayed. This particular feature saves you from the risk of unnecessarily going too close to your grill or oven.
This product is not only applicable for indoor grilling purposes but also is fit for outdoor nighttime grilling as it has a LED backlight display that features a luminous display giving you a clear vision of your temperature reading.
It also has a 90 seconds auto-off technology which helps in saving battery life. The thermometer comes with batteries so you don’t have to budget extra for buying separate batteries.
What we liked: We loved how the thermometer features a magnetic foldaway probe which makes storage very convenient as it can be attached to any metal surface when the thermometer is not in use. Along with this, it also has a loop for hanging in any place you desire.What we didn’t like: Will the thermometer last a lifetime as it claims? Probably not! The one thing that we didn’t like about this thermometer is that it does not have a strong build. The plastic base breaks and is prone to damage very easily.
2. GDEALER DT6 Instant Read Meat Thermometer
This thermometer from GDEALER features a convertible instant temperature reading of both ºF/ºC with a response time of 2-4seconds. The thermometer offers an accuracy of 1℃（2℉) when used between -20℃ to 150℃ (-4℉ - 302℉) and an accuracy of 2℃/℉ when exposed to temperatures higher than 150℃/302℉ making it suitable for use in gas barbecues or turkey fryers or hot oil for deep fry.
The feature that makes it stand out is that it is waterproof which makes it ideal for use in a variety of food starting from meat and fish to coffee and milk.
The thermometer is turned on and off with the opening and folding of the 4.6-inch food-grade stainless steel probe. Along with this, it features a 10 minutes auto on/off technology which helps in saving the battery life.
The hanging hook helps in the convenient storage of it when not in use. The product also offers you a large backlit LCD that shows the temperature reading by lighting for 12 seconds when the button is pressed making nighttime barbecue parties safe and hassle-free.
What we liked: We loved this thermometer because there may be enough junk utensils in your kitchen drawer, however since this thermometer has a magnetic base, it can easily be attached to your refrigerator or any metal surface and stored when it is not in use.
Another feature that makes it our favorite is that it can be calibrated to measure the highest and lowest temperature of the food you are cooking.
What we didn’t like: The downside of this product even though it claims to be waterproof, it is not. So, you need to be careful to not completely emerge it in the water while cleaning it. Another feature that we did not like is the size of it. It is relatively larger than other thermometers available to us which makes it a little inconvenient.
3. Powlaken Meat Food Thermometer
AMAGRAM with its meat food thermometer also offers you a super-fast temperature reading having a response time of 2-3 seconds and is the third product on our review article. It gives readings accurate to +/-1°C and covers a temperature range of -58℉-572℉（-50°C~300°C which makes it suitable for all types of meat you are cooking making it an expert.
Not only that, you can use it on any type of method you are cooking your meat with- gas, charcoal, electric, infrared, you name it!
It comes with a big dial which makes the temperature reading very easy to see. It also features auto-off technology which gets activated when you fold the probe in place which saves you from the worry of running out of battery.
It offers you water resistivity which makes it very easy to wash however due to its digital feature it must not be put in dishwashers. Its bright LCD display makes it suitable for use in dark conditions.
It is switchable between Celsius and Fahrenheit and can easily be calibrated as per your requirement. Due to its built-in hook, it is also very convenient to store it as well.
What we liked: who doesn’t love extra goodies? We really enjoyed the fact the accessories of this thermometer include spare batteries and a laminated meat temperature guide which helps you to take out the guesswork and be absolutely sure about the doneness of the meat you are cooking.What we didn’t like: Even though it claims to be a thermometer expert it is not fit for use in ovens and this is what seemed like to be the only drawback of this product.
4. Smak Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer
This instant thermometer from Smak is the fourth entry in our list. With having 2-3 seconds of response time, this thermometer is able to cover a wide range of temperature of 58℉-572℉ (-50°C- 300°C) accurately.
The thermometer has a waterproof feature and the probe of it is made up of food-grade stainless steel which makes it very easy to clean it without any worry of damage. It is very similar to the other products already reviewed and has an auto-off technology that turns it off after 10 minutes saving the battery life.
It offers you a large display with a bright LCD which makes it fit for use in dim lights. The shell of the thermometer is made up of ABS plastic material which gives it a sturdy build. Even though it comes pre-calibrated you can recalibrate it as per your wish.
What we liked: We loved how the back of the thermometer is magnetic which makes storing it super easy. In addition to that, the large build-in hook also makes it compatible to be hung in the kitchen very conveniently. We also liked the premium packaging it comes in. This makes it a very ideal gift for any BBQ enthusiasts out there.What we didn’t like: As much as the features attracted us, the product does not last for a long time and stopped working after using it for a few months.
5. Lavatools PT12 Javelin Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer
This thermometer from Lavatools stands out among all the others because of its accuracy. It has an ultra-fast response which takes about 3-4 seconds and gives readings to a precision better than ±0.9°F.
It comes with a 1.4-inch large display which gives a clear sight of the reading and has a battery life that will last up to 4000 hours before a replacement is required.
As the probe has a silver-ion antimicrobial coating, it ensures the safety of your food since it prevents the growth of bacteria on it. Due to the probe being narrow in design, it does not create much damage on your favorite cut of meat while you use it.
Because of its magnetized shell, you can easily slap it on any metal surface and store it when not in use.
What we liked: We really enjoyed the splashproof feature of the thermometer as it saves us from the tension of damage while working around water.
What we didn’t like: The feature that seemed like the downside is the fact that it does not come with a backlit display making it inappropriate for nighttime grilling.
Another negative feature of this product is that the probe is short in length which makes it impossible to use it in big meat cuts.
6. SMARTRO ST59 Digital Meat Thermometer
This thermometer from SMARTRO is the first product in our list that features a touch screen design which makes the operation of it very easy. The LCD display in addition to this makes it fit for outdoor night use and allows you a clear sight of the temperature reading from any angle you view from.
Being able to read temperatures between -4°F (-20℃) to 482°F（250℃) makes it perfect for all sorts of cooking methods. It comes with pre-programmed temperatures for about 8 types of meat letting you choose between varying degrees of doneness.
Moreover, you can set the temperatures as per your requirement as well and an alarm beep will let you know when your determined temperature is reached.
Another feature that makes this thermometer our favorite is that it comes with a built-in timer which lets you set a countdown for your cooking time. This time can be set up to 99 minutes and 59 seconds maximum. An alarm beep also reminds you when your predetermined time duration is covered.
The probe of the thermometer is 6.7 inches long which protects your hands to be too close to heat while you measure the temperature.
The strong magnets that are incorporated in it allow you for convenient storage as you can whack the thermometer on your refrigerator saving yourself of some hassle of going through your kitchen drawers when you need it again. It also has a back stand for putting anywhere with the stand.
One important point that you need in mind while using this thermometer is that you CANNOT leave the probe of the thermometer in high heating grills since it blows up if the temperature exceeds 1,000°F.
What we liked: We loved how the thermometer is accompanied by a spare probe.What we didn’t like: The thermometer does not come with batteries therefore you will need to budget extra for the batteries. Also, the thermometer is not waterproof so we faced inconvenience while washing it.
7. OXO Good Grips Chef's Precision Digital Instant Read Thermometer
The seventh thermometer in our list is from OXO Good Grips. The thermometer offers a switchable temperature reading between Celsius and Fahrenheit with an easy activation power button at the top of its head. It can register temperatures between -40 F and 302 F (-40 C and 150 C)
It comes with a large, easy-to-read LCD display and the head of the thermometer can be tilted at three different angles making it more comfortable to view the temperature reading more clearly.
One feature that makes it different is its compact size and comes with a protective shell which ensures your safety during cooking. It has a narrow stainless steel probe attached to a bulky head which takes up a very small space making storage no problem.
What we liked: We really liked how it has a very sensitive rotating display which makes using it so comfortable. Also, the batteries are included so you do not have to buy batteries separately while making your purchase.What we didn’t like: It is the plasticky feel of the thermometer that was not a winning feature in this thermometer. The build felt a bit flimsy and the probe was difficult to open compared to other similar products.
8. Sinotron Instant Read Meat Thermometer
Sinotron offers you their thermometer which like all the others reviewed gives a super-fast temperature reading within 2-4 seconds. With its convertible option between Celsius and Fahrenheit, it is able to cover a temperature range of -50 °C to 300°C (-58℉ to 572℉). A stable and very accurate reading can be obtained just by pressing on the “hold” button.
The feature that makes it one of its kind is that the food-grade stainless steel offers 235 degrees rotation. The rotation feature allows you to use this thermometer with both hands and the probe can be used in all the parts of the meat you are cooking regardless of the thickness ensuring you about the doneness of it.
The backlit LED display makes it perfect for use in dark outdoor conditions. The press button will light up the screen for 30 seconds which gives you enough to take the temperature reading. The auto-off technology helps you save battery life as it turns off 10 minutes on its own.
The thermometer features a detachable hanging string and has a magnetic base which gives you many options for storing it when it is not in use. The ABS plastic body gives it a sturdy build yet the lightweight makes it highly durable and comfortable to use.
What we liked: We loved that the thermometer is waterproof which gives us the freedom to wash it under running water.What we didn’t like: We could barely find any downsides to this product. It comes as a full package to give you the ultimate cooking experience.
9. Mister Chefer Instant read thermometer
This thermometer from Mister Chefer comes with all the essential features you want in your instant-read thermometer starting from precision to durability, you name it!
It gives a reading accuracy of ±1°F which is quite precise covering a temperature range of -58°F -572°F making it suitable for a variety of cooking methods. It takes about 4 seconds to measure the temperature and it has a calibration function incorporated in it for you to achieve the most accurate results.
The long stainless steel probe allows you to penetrate through thick cuts without getting your hand too close to the heat. The thin tip of the probe helps to measure the temperature without leaving out any trace of the food.
The auto-off function prevents your battery from draining out meaning you can open the probe, measure the temperature, and simply close the probe to turn it off. The thermometer comes with a “hold” button which allows you to measure a stable temperature even if you remove it from the food.
The ABS plastic body makes it very tough and prevents it from breaking if accidentally dropped. The folding probe is very smooth and it gives a very comfortable feel while you use it. The build-in hook and the magnetic shell makes storage no problem.
What we liked: We enjoyed the e-book that comes with it as a bonus with a collection of exciting recipes. 3 AAA batteries and a lanyard are also included as accessories with the thermometer.What we didn’t like: As the display does not rotate with a change in orientation, left-handed users may feel inconvenience with this device.
10. Surround Point Digital Thermometer
Surround Point offers you a product that comes with a unique feature that makes it so different from others and that is it speaks the temperature it reads! Now how is this feature great? This is because it will save you the unnecessary squinting at the display in the dark.
However, it also features an LED light display which makes it suitable for outdoor nighttime parties.
With a speedy reading of about 4 seconds, this thermometer is able to cover a wide temperature range of -58F to 572F (-50C- 300C) making it appropriate for both kitchen and professional purposes. Not only that, it gives accurate readings to +/- 1 degree precision between 4F- 392F (20C- 200C) and a deviation of +/- 2 at other temperatures.
This also comes with an auto-off function which helps in saving battery life. The long, narrow, and sharp probe allows penetrating meats of any cuts and thickness giving only accurate results.
What we liked: Bonuses are exciting! We loved how it comes with a free BBQ e-book for achieving even better results.What we didn’t like: The size of the thermometer is uncomfortably big which may be inconvenient for some of us.
11. Taylor Precision Products Dual Temperature Infrared/Thermocouple Thermometer
This thermometer from Taylor Precision is the eleventh entry on our review and has a 2-in-1 technology that measures both internal and surface temperatures of the food you are cooking.
The probe of the thermometer is used to measure the internal temperature and has an internal temperature range of -67°F to 626°F (-55°C to 330°C) and the infrared sensor allows you to measure the surface temperature and has a range of -67°F to 482°F (-55°C to 250°C).
The very handy thermometer features a 5 inches long probe with a 1.5 mm diameter that allows you to check the internal temperatures of both roasts and big cuts of meats. The light-colored shiny surfaces caused by reflection may be difficult to use in dark surfaces however, features like auto-off technology and being splashproof make it one of the best in the market.
However, you should be careful to not put it in the dishwater or emerge it underwater since it is only splashproof and not water-resistant.
What we liked: The battery comes included with the thermometer which makes us love it.What we didn’t like: The downside of this product is that it does not have a backlit feature which makes it unfit for using it outdoors. The display also becomes upside down when it is fully extended, making it inconvenient for taking the reading.
12. AidMax Mini6 Instant Read Meat Thermometer
AidMax Mini6 has made the last entry in our review list with its ultra-fast response time of 1-3 seconds. Additionally, it has a large backlit LCD screen which helps you check the temperature of the food you are cooking even in the dim lights.
This thermometer has an accuracy of ±0.2℉ with a wide range of -58℉ - 572℉ and switchable between Celsius and Fahrenheit with just the press of the “hold” button.
Its unique wheel scroll design allows you to set the temperature as per your convenience while you cook your favorite meal. It also lets you choose from its built-in 5 temperature setups for different meat and degree of doneness.
It has a countdown timer incorporated in it which beeps once it has reached your customized temperature and also gives color flashes along the process. It also like the other products reviewed comes with an auto-off function which helps your battery life. The thermometer turns off when the probe is closed also after 1 minute of no use. Not only that, the long 180 degrees foldable probe makes storage super easy and comfortable.
What we liked: We loved how easy it is to wash the thermometer as it is water-resistant.What we didn’t like: Very fortunate for us that we could not find any factor to criticize this product which makes it one of our most favorite on our list.
Attributes to look in the best instant-read meat thermometers
The features that you should focus on while buying your ideal instant-read meat thermometer are:
1. Range of temperatures: Everyday cooking does not require thermometers which can measure a wide range of temperatures. Your choice of meat thermometer shall be able to measure within a range of 32°F to 392° as the meat temperatures vary within this range.
However, if you are someone who is a cooking fanatic and tries out cooking different sorts of food, you will require a thermometer with a wider range. Deep oil frying or making candies require thermometers that can measure a wide range of temperatures.
2. Display: The display of the temperature reading is one of the most important features that a thermometer requires. The reading should be as clear as possible and can be read even in tough situations like a smoky grill. And what if the thermometer comes with a rotating display? Even better!
3. Accuracy: What is the use of a thermometer if it cannot read the temperature accurately? You might as well go with your guesswork. However, some of the instant-read meat thermometers reviewed above give extremely accurate results.
4. Storage: There are already a lot of tools occupying your kitchen drawer and you do not need another to enter this mess. Therefore, whichever thermometer you decide to purchase you should keep the storage factor in mind.
Thermometers with built-in hooks or magnetic bases are more convenient for storing compared to the ones without these features. They can easily be slapped on a metal surface or usually fit kitchen hooks when not in use.
5. Quality: Even though all thermometers claim to have ease to use, it is for you to decide what factors actually make it comfortable. The build of the product is an important issue that you need to consider. They need to be small in size but have good strength to withstand rough and tough usage. No matter how much or how little you spend on your thermometer, you will always expect it to be durable.
6. Backlit screen: Displays which come with LCDs or LEDs make the thermometer appropriate for outdoor cooking and also comes in handy while using it in dim light conditions.
7. Add-ons: Some of the reviewed products come with some extra features like auto-off technology, splash, and water resistance, and batteries which add more value to your purchase.
Quick Tips for you
In order to get the most accurate temperature reading using your instant-read meat thermometer, you need to keep certain factors in mind.
- When your thermometer reads a temperature near your desired temperature, especially in case of big cuts, take the meat down from the heat to not risk it to overcook it. The existing heat inside the meat is enough to cook it to perfection.
- While cooking beef, pork or poultry make sure you are taking the temperature reading from the thickest portion of the meat. This will ensure that your food has completely been cooked or not.
- As for cooking ribs, be careful not to touch the bones as it will show a wrong temperature reading. Make sure to insert the thermometer in the center of the rib you are cooking for obtaining an accurate result.
- For meats cooked in a pan, it is wise to take the temperature of the pan for an accurate reading.
- If you are satisfied with where you have inserted the thermometer then wait until the temperature stabilizes for an accurate result.
Be it for professional purposes or daily kitchen use, this particular cooking accessory has become an ultimate essential. Most cooking enthusiasts desire an instant thermometer that allows them to test within a wide range of temperatures while the others require thermometers with the greatest precision. Features like backlit display and water resistivity come as a bonus with these thermometers making them more attractive to the customers.
You may have varying needs and expectations from an instant-read meat thermometer. However, we hope our in-depth analysis of these products, where we have noted down only the best brands for you, have somewhat covered your needs that you seek from an instant-read meat thermometer. We wish you to find the best instant-read meat thermometer that suits your preferences so that you do not have to trust your gut feeling while cooking anymore.