Cooking is not an ordinary thing, it’s an art. It demands precision. Even more precision is required when you are grilling and smoking. Grill and smoke at home are the best sensations and for you to enjoy that sensation fully; you should have the best meat thermometer. By virtue of this meat thermometer, you’ll avoid an undercooked and overcooked meal for dinner. It is the best way to ensure the perfect temperature for the meat.
The best meat thermometer ensures that you have the desired temperature of the meat so it turns out to be perfect for you. People often wonder about the importance of heat monitoring by some inaccurate gear. They just don’t know what changes a few degrees can bring to your grill and smoked food. Whatever skill level you possess, you’ll always benefit from a meat thermometer. So, if you want to be certain about your meat, here we are presenting you with a list of best meat thermometers for you.
What are the types of Meat Thermometers?
Meat thermometers come in different designs and specifications. These thermometers have different shapes as well i.e. some are fork-shaped while some are needle-shaped. Generally speaking, there are five major categories of meat thermometers. So here are some types of meat thermometers explained.
1. Bimetallic Oven-Safe
These meat thermometers have a bimetallic strip to achieve accurate readings. They usually require 2 minutes to give accurate readings because they have a metal strip that isn’t sensitive. They require meat probes to be inserted at least 2 inches inside the meat. They work best on the grill and digital electric smokers.
2. Bimetallic Instant-Read
These are more sensitive thermometers as they have a strip in them to measure temperature. They are not used in the oven. You have to insert meat probes 2 inches inside the meat and wait for 30 seconds. There is a digital dialer present in these meat thermometers which gives you the readings.
The thermistor is a type of thermometer which usually takes a bit longer time to give the readings. You insert meat probes only to a half-inch. It means it can measure meat slices as well. These thermometers are not oven safe and work best after the food is ready.
These are the instant-read thermometers that can generate reading in under 5 seconds. You can even measure the temperatures of thin meat pieces by inserting the meat probe just ½ inch. They are used inside the oven or smoker and also when the food is cooked.
Have you have heard about nurse thermometers? Well, the liquid-filled thermometers are just similar to that. They offer you a wider range of readings. They are oven safe and can be used even for small pieces of meat. They work well for poultry and large steaks. You need 2 minutes to wait before you have an accurate reading.
How to Use Meat Thermometers
Safe usage of meat thermometers is the crux of using these tools. Broadly, one buys a thermometer which is either an oven-safe or instant-read depending on the people’s requirements. The important thing is that you should always avoid bones and fat. This is due to the reason that fat melts at high temperatures and bones are the better conductors of heat.
Here are some common usage tips that will help you safely using meat thermometers.
- Always stick the probes sideways for thin pieces of meat.
- Always stick the probes where thighs meet the body in poultry.
- Keep your thermometer properly calibrated.
- Make sure you have read the user manual that came with the device.
- The probes are to be cleaned with warm soapy water.
- Turn off the meat thermometer after use.
Best Meat Thermometer – Our Picks
Best Kitchen Thermometer 2021
1. 23 Hours 59 minutes countdown time.
2. 32°F to 482°F Temperature Range
3. Stainless Steel body.
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Digital Meat Thermometer
Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo
1. 4000 Hours Battery Time
2. 40°F to 482°F Temperature Range
3. Splash Resistant Construction
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Perfect Kitchen Thermometer
1. Perform 180° Probe Rotation
2. 14°F to 572°F Temperature Range
3. Touch-Screen Design
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Best Wireless Thermometer
1. Backlit LED Display
2. 32°F to 572°F Temperature Range
3. Lifetime Probes Warranty
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Criteria For Selecting the Perfect Heat Thermometer
Choosing the perfect heat thermometer is time taking and requires a lot of research. So, we made criteria and shortlisted all of the below-mentioned thermometers according to the criteria. We choose these heat thermometers on their temperature range, response time, and price and of course user’s reviews on Amazon. By considering all these aspects, you can make an informed decision.
Best Meat Thermometer – Product Reviews
The ThermoPro TP-16 is a good single-channel meat thermometer that comes at a good price. It is not recommended to be used as an oven thermometer as the best accuracy is recorded to 200°F. It comes with a large LCD to show the reading and an alarm setting to keep you updated about cooking. It is one of the best sellers at Amazon because of its affordability. When the target temperature is reached, you can hear an alert sound.
You can select the target temperatures by choosing the meat type. The silencing of alarm is a bit tricky business. You have to remove the probe first and let it cool before removing the meat thermometer. The temperature accuracy is up to the mark. You can find the contact information of the manufacturer on the owner’s manual. Thermopro TP-16 unit comes with a 90 days warranty. You have to make sure the thermometer doesn’t access to moisture or water as it is not waterproof.
Key Features of ThermoPro TP-16
The notable features that ThermoPro TP-16 have are:
- It is ideal for most cooking types like fast cooking, slow cooking, cooking in an electric smoker, or even on the grill.
- A good LCD size i.e. 1.3 x 1.8 inches.
- It has a programmable alert according to the guidelines of USDA for particular food and meat.
- You can set the temperature as well aside from preset temperature.
- The temperature display can be on Fahrenheit and Celsius scale.
- The digital display is operated with only one AAA Battery.
- ThermoPro TP-16 meat thermometer read a vast scale from 32°F to 482°F.
- You can set a countdown up to 23 hours 59 minutes.
- Preset temperatures are USDA approved.
- The alarm and countdown feature is fantastic.
- You can preset temperatures manually.
- Long-Lasting because of stainless steel.
- Budget-friendly meat thermometer, ideal for budget shoppers.
- Not ideal for temperature above 200°F (93°C)
- Not waterproof
- The user interface is not user-friendly.
- It has only one metal probe.
The ThermoPro TP-16 Meat Thermometer is an efficient and cost-effective thermometer. The features are as handy as it gets. I recommend it to kitchen people especially the ones who want a cost-effective meat thermometer having a precise reading ability. It does what it supposed to do and in an efficient way. It offers convenience and above all food safety is not compromised.
The Javelin Pro Duo is an interesting product. It offers you high accuracy at a medium price. This thermometer is developed right out of the box as you don’t see many meat thermometers with a fold-away probe. It is a solid thermometer with a lightweight. This thermometer is specifically designed to be used as the best meat thermometer for smoking and grilling. It is a perfect thermometer for homeowners if you want to enjoy the occasional grilling and smoking in your backyard.
This meat thermometer draws its attention from a javelin. It has a 4.5-inch probe that can open up to 10.75 inches. It means safer hands when you are checking at a fair distance. Its outer layout doesn’t mean lacking the technology aspect. It has advanced technology that ensures accurate readings. It has “ambidextrous” features which mean the display orients are based on your holding pattern. The whole device has been made easy to use and can be trusted totally.
Key Features of Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo
- The fast turnaround time read 2-3 seconds reading the temperature.
- It has a large 2-inch backlit display so you see the temperature more clearly.
- It has high durability because of its splash resistant construction.
- The Javelin Pro Duo also features an intelligent stabilization alert and temperature hold.
- The battery is more than 4000 hours so you can use for a long time.
- Instant and Accurate results.
- 40°F to 482°F of temperature range.
- Backlight display with digital reading.
- Auto-sleep and motion wake.
- Extraordinary battery life of 4000 hours.
- Auto-rotating screen.
- Ideal size, not that big or too small.
- Short probe (4.5 inches)
- A little expensive
- Not for use inside the oven for remote viewing temperature.
- Digital screen is hard to read from the side angle.
To conclude the discussion, the Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo Meat Thermometer will perform well whether you are smoking in an electric smoker or grilling. It can even handle both the thick-cut meat and thin cut meat. It gives you an advantage that you don’t need to leave the meat probe and keep checking at different time intervals. All you have to do is to hold this thermometer for 5 seconds and you’ll have an accurate reading on your screen.
ThermoPro TP18 is one of the newest models in the market released by ThermoPro. Being one of the latest, it has been made quite up to the mark by the company. ThermoPro TP18 is an ideal choice when you are responsible for the recent BBQ or roast fiesta in your friends and family. This unit can be activated by pressing a separate on/off button. This thermometer allows you to cook professionally every time without breaking a sweat.
This device is easy to manipulate with a simple touch of the screen buttons. It is amongst the most accurate best meat thermometers amongst its class. It has a touch screen design so your thermometer will not get stuck between buttons. The readout is illuminated for easy visibility in dim light. ThermoPro TP18 comes with a 12-month warranty. It also a very reasonable price considering its main features.
Key Features of ThermoPro TP18
- The temperature units are changeable from Fahrenheit to Celsius and vice versa.
- It is powered by 2 supplied AA batteries which are inserted in a non-sealed compartment.
- Accuracy is within 1% and response time is just 2 seconds.
- It allows you to rapidly gauge temperature and move on.
- The probe is designed for easy penetration into meats.
- It has an easy to read LED display with large numbers. You can even use it low light and dim conditions.
- It is capable of performing a 180° probe rotation.
- Very Economical price
- Gives instant result in just 3 seconds
- Accurate up to ±0.9°F
- Wide temperature range (14°F to 572°F)
- Short probe (4 inches)
- Sometimes buttons become unresponsive
- Not to be put inside the oven
ThermoPro TP18 is a highly recommended best meat thermometer owing to its price and qualities. It has the fastest response time and a wide temperature range as well. ThermoPro TP18 also features a foldaway probe for storage purposes when not in use. All in all, you will have a wonderful experience using this thermometer.
ThermoPro Tp-08 is a meat thermometer emerging as a great challenger for other thermometers. It doesn’t matter whether you are using an oven, grill, electric smoker or fire pit; this thermometer is being praised by the users for its affordability, ease of use, accuracy, durability and an excellent warranty. The TP-08 allows you to be absolutely sure of meat temperature without evening opening your grill and smoker. It has an alarm that automatically goes off when your mean reaches a specified internal temperature.
It has a timer that can count up or down, depends on your choice. It means you can use it to keep track of all other things you are cooking along with meat. The receiver of this thermometer display both food and cooker temperatures simultaneously. If the receiver loses signal from the transmitter for over four minutes, the receiver will alert the user by displaying dashes in lieu of the temperature reading and the receiver will emit a short chirp every four seconds.
Key Features of ThermoPro TP-08
- This model has a backlit LED display.
- The temperature range is immense i.e. 32°F – 572°F.
- It can be used on a variety of food items (meat, vegetables, etc.).
- You can set the temperature manually.
- The electronics have a 12 months warranty while there is a lifetime warranty for probes.
- The alarm functions are fantastic.
- It comes with a receiver belt clip and pullout stand.
- Very Economical price considering its features and durability
- Preset temperature feature
- Big LCD with backlight
- Report both (food and cooker/oven) temperatures
- Accurate up to ±1.5°F
- Wide temperature range (32°F to 572°F)
- Probes are rugged
- A little slow
- Both probes cannot pe preset separately
If you are looking for simple device which is easy to setup and use allowing you to be in full control of prep times, grill times, and temperature settings then this meat thermometer is best for you. It is seemingly one of the best wireless meat thermometers considering its price and works best with any paired up device.
Why is the Meat Thermometers MUST?
We all know that food safety is more important than its taste. There is a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that indicated 1 out of 6 Americans get sick from foodborne illness. Food safety can be ensured by following simple steps.
- Clean and sanitize your hands.
- Keep raw meat away from other food and meat.
- Always use a thermometer to test temperature.
- Properly refrigerate food.
Now, meat thermometers take away the guesswork and allow you to cook meat at the safest temperatures. These thermometers can be inserted into the meat to tell you the interior temperature of the meat. You can use it also while cooking the food in an oven and an electric smoker. Usually, they work best with electric smokers. They even beep at you when it’s preheated. Best meat thermometers will help you predict the cooking times instead of throwing a slab of meat in the digital electric smoker and hoping for the best.
Best Meat Thermometer – Buyer’s Guide
When selecting the best meat thermometer for kitchen or bbq parties, one should consider the following properties in the thermometer:
While buying the kitchen thermometer, you should consider how accurate is this device. Most of the devices are offering ±1.5°F but the best ones are only dealing in points. However, we have already picked out the best for you so don’t need to do the math again.
As technology advance, it’s not just about the quality, but the speed also matters. Similarly, while selecting the best meat thermometer, you should also consider the time it takes to report the accurate temperature,
The range of recordable temperature also plays a vital role in the selection of the best meat thermometer. Although it just seems impossible to cover the whole temperature range, the range tells us a lot about the quality of the thermometer the manufacturer is offering.
Last but not least, you should also need to be economical as it is a good thing to be in your kitchen but not as to spend hundreds of dollars on these devices. And one of the main purposes of this research article was to filter out the best meat thermometer while keeping a low budget, and while doing so we have achieved our target.
Best Meat Thermometer – FAQs
1. How often should I calibrate my meat thermometer?
First, one needs to understand the concept of “calibration”. It means testing the accuracy of a meat thermometer against a verifiable standard. The frequency of calibration has a wide range. The mechanical thermometers are calibrated regularly like dial thermometers. The digital thermometers are often calibrated once a year only.
2. Can you stick a meat thermometer in the oven?
It depends on the kind of meat thermometer that you are using. If you are using the one designed for grilling and smoking with attached probes; it will work nicely. But if you are using an instant-read thermometer with a plastic handle and LCD-screen, it’s a bad idea.
3. How do I leave the probe in when cooking?
You can only leave the probes inside that are specifically designed for that purpose. Try to stick the probes in the thickest part of the cut. For briskets and turkeys; it is simple but for steaks; you should insert the probes from the side.
The Bottom Line
When you are cooking meat on an electric smoker or a grill, it can help the accuracy and timing of your recipes that you use an instant-read along with an oven thermometer. The oven thermometer will help you get close to your target temperature and instant-read will give you a quick internal temperature of your food. The above mentioned all thermometers have stood best in all the tests. We have given you the best material to make an informed decision and we are sure you’ll do that.