With the holidays right around the corner, it’s time to prepare your best turkey or roast for the family. One of the most important aspects of cooking meat this big is that it’s baked throughout. And that’s where meat thermometers come in. The chef needs to make sure the bird and roast are hitting the right temperature before coming out of the oven or off the grill. To help out, StudyFinds went through online experts’ opinions to compile the list of the top five best meat thermometers every cook needs.
Grilling has become an American staple, but what’s your favorite meat to throw on the grill? Chicken tops the list of foods people look forward to cooking at barbecues (53%), according to a recent study. That is followed by burgers (50%) and steak (48%). Do you agree?
Another grilling study reveals that eight in ten millennials believe they grill better than the parent who taught them. The survey found that millennials were the most likely to grow up watching their parents or guardians cook food on a grill (69%). Nearly four in five (78%) also believe the student has surpassed the teacher — as they believe they’ve developed better grilling skills than the person who taught them.
Are you a cook looking for a new meat thermometer? StudyFinds has put together a list of the best meat thermometers on the market. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!
The List: Best Meat Thermometers, According to Experts
First on the list of best meat thermometers is the Thermoworks Thermapen ONE. “The Thermapen comes with a great reputation for good reason,” says Food Network. “We loved the original Classic Thermapen more than any other meat thermometer out there, until the Thermoworks released an updated version: the Thermapen One. Also handmade in England, it gives accurate readings just one second — faster than any other meat thermometer we’ve worked with. It still has a temperature range of -58 to 572 degrees F. We found this thermometer just as accurate (if not even moreso) and faster when testing the temperature of our meats. It comes with a higher price tag, but the extended battery life and high quality of the product make it worth it.”
“This thermocouple meat thermometer is our overall top performer and a winner of our Kitchen Gear Awards,” notes Good Housekeeping. “It activates the moment you unfold it, and the tapered probe easily pierces thin and thick meats to deliver accurate results in one second. The screen is very easy to read and offers readings to the tenth of a degree. It has an auto-sleep mode that will help conserve the battery, or you can simply fold it back up to turn it off. The large body offers a comfortable grip and has enough length to protect your hands from heat. And it comes in 10 fun colors.”
Tom’s Guide calls the Thermoworks Thermapen ONE the best meat thermometer overall and best instant-read thermometer. “The newest model, the Thermapen One, is the best yet. All the classic, top-notch features are here: a display that automatically rotates in four directions so the temperature is always face-up, a perfect size and ergonomic shape for large or small hands, a rubberized ring to aid in gripping, easy access to changing settings (whether you want Fahrenheit or Celsius, whether it should measure whole degrees or tenths) and the calibration tool. But now it’s even faster, giving you a solid reading in just over 1 second (upwards of three times faster than the previous, lightning-fast MK4). It also has a much brighter auto-on light and it’s been redesigned to work better with induction cooktops.”
Coming in second on the list is the Lavatools Javelin. According to The New York Times. “In our tests, the Javelin Pro Duo was nearly a second faster at reaching a true temperature than the ThermoPop, and its folding probe lets you take readings from odd angles. It has a few features the ThermoPop lacks, such as a beep that tells you when it settles on a temperature, a button for holding the reading, and the ability to track minimum and maximum temperatures. It also displays temperatures down to a tenth of a degree.”
“Another one of our staff favorite meat thermometers for cooking is the Lavatools Javelin thermometer,” says Bon Appetit. “Former pastry chef and current BA associate editor Zoe Denenberg swears by this humble food thermometer for a few reasons. To start, it has a relatively speedy response time and high degree of accuracy.”
Another popular Lavatools Javelin thermometer is the Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer. Taste of Home calls it the best budget meat thermometer. “Built to last, this instant-read thermometer is made with high-quality, impact-resistant materials that resist warping or cracking, like 100% bisphenol A (BPA)-free polycarbonate and food-grade stainless steel. This National Science Foundation (NSF)-approved pick complies with international food-safety guidelines, making it ideal for both home and professional use.”
Another ThermoWorks meat thermometer to make the list is the ChefAlarm. “The accurate, stable and easy-to-read Chef Alarm is the most versatile leave-in thermometer we tested, with an easy-to-use alarm and timer, and magnetic and stand mounts that let you place it anywhere,” explains CNN.
“Like its more ostentatious instant-read sibling, the Thermapen, the ThermoWorks ChefAlarm Cooking Thermometer does more, and does it better, than its leave-in thermometer competitors,” says Tom’s Guide. “If you don’t think you need anything to supplement your instant-read, the ChefAlarm may change your mind — especially if you roast a lot of big hunks of meat, deep fry, or make candy.”
Serious Eats calls it the best meat thermometer for roasts. “Its accuracy, responsiveness, large, well-organized screen, and clearly labeled buttons made the ChefAlarm our top leave-in probe thermometer pick. It has a magnetic base that allows it to rest flat or stick on an oven or fridge and a screen that tilts up at a 45-degree angle for easy viewing. The ChefAlarm allows you to set high/low temperature alarms and includes a timer function. It also has a large temperature probe and comes with a pot clip and storage case.”
The third and final ThermoWorks meat thermometer on the list is the ThermoPop. “No other thermometer under $50 can match the ThermoPop 2’s combination of speed, reach, reliability, and easy-to-read display,” says The New York Times.
“If you want to stick with the Thermapen brand, you’ll be happy to know they also make a smaller, pocket-size thermometer called the ThermoWorks ThermoPop, which is also nearly as good as the Thermapen in almost every way and costs just a fraction of the price,” notes Bon Appetit.
Good Housekeeping calls it the easiest-to-use meat thermometer. “This small but mighty thermometer scored a five out of five for accuracy in Lab testing. The display is backlit and shows large digits, making it easy to read. The splash-proof thermometer comes in nine bright colors, and according to the company, is durable and constructed to outlast similar thermometers. The only downside is that the small buttons may be slightly difficult to use for those with larger hands. It takes up less room in drawers than the fold-up types and includes a protective sleeve with a handy clip.”
5. MEATER Plus
Rounding out the top five is the Meater Plus. “Once you get past a few set-up steps — charging the thermometer for four hours, downloading the MEATER app and creating an account — this wireless smart-capability thermometer delivers a super-fast reading. We like the sleek, contemporary design, made of stainless steel and heat-resistant ceramic,” says Food Network. “The app also includes cooking and temperature guides for different projects, offering helpful tips for each step of the cooking process. The app also estimates the total cook and rest time to help you plan your meal and manage time. With a built-in alert system, you can monitor your cook from within a 165-foot range, making it ideal for long cook times that require you to walk away from the meat.”
“The Meater+ Long Range Thermometer is a smart concept and the most stylish temperature probe we reviewed,” writes Gear Lab. “The single, pen-sized probe can measure and record both ambient oven and internal meat temperatures and update that information in real time via a cleanly designed smartphone app. There are no wires; the base unit — a chic bamboo case with a magnetic backing — serves only as a charging base and Bluetooth booster. Like many modern smart apps, this unit can connect to all of your app-based home devices — like your TV or Alexa — through the MEATER cloud. It can even provide updates when you are away from home. The app includes various temperature presets for something as exact as a Secreto cut of pork or as obscure as a Kangaroo steak. In contrast, the temperature probe can be programmed entirely through your phone.”
Food & Wine calls it the best gift set. “The MEATER is unique in that it is a genuinely wireless thermometer. The probes connect via Bluetooth to the base unit, which then connects to the app, and you can extend the range by connecting the entire assembly to WiFi. In testing, we found the probes pretty accurate, either dead-on or within two degrees in our static tests, but it registered three degrees short on the boiling water test, which was approaching the upper limit of the probe’s range. The probes have two sensors each, one end to insert in food and the other to monitor the ambient temperature, so there is no need to dedicate a probe to monitoring the grill.”
You might also be interested in:
- Food Network
- Serious Eats
- The New York Times
- Bon Appetit
- Gear Lab
- Food & Wine
- Taste of Home
- Good Housekeeping
- Tom’s Guide
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.