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The 4 Best Meat Thermometers (2022 Review)

A meat thermometer lets you easily monitor the internal temperature of poultry, beef, pork, and more. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the four best meat thermometers on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you and your home. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

meat thermometer Workshop Media

A meat thermometer ensures that your meat is perfectly cooked to give you a flavorful and tender meal. While most meat thermometers today are digital instead of analog, you can still buy an instant-read device that tests the meat toward the end of the cooking process or a leave-in device that measures the temperature throughout. To help you decide which type will work best for your needs, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best meat thermometers on Amazon. Here are our top picks.

Top 4 Meat Thermometers


Most Customizable: Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo Meat Thermometer

This thermometer comes in blueberry, chipotle, sesame, olive, orange, panda, ink, and wasabi colors, which is more than double the number of colors offered by the other kitchen thermometers in this review. Additionally, this product is made with impact-resistant polymers that won’t crack when it’s exposed to extreme heat.

Key Features

  • Instant-read design
  • Read time of one to three seconds
  • Bendable probe
  • Three-year warranty

What Customers Are Saying

Customers cited its fast, accurate performance and easy-to-read display as the main reasons why they enjoyed this product. Low-rated reviews mentioned that the thermometer stopped working at random; some were able to resolve this issue with customer support, while others weren’t.


Best Instructions: Kizen Instant-Read Meat Thermometer

This thermometer comes with a paper guide that tells you what temperature to cook different kinds of meat to. It also has those same temperatures printed on the thermometer for easy access. Not only can this thermometer be used to test the temperature of meat in an oven or grill, but it’s also a helpful tool for candy and warm beverages.

Key Features

  • Instant-read design
  • Read time of as little as three seconds
  • Bendable probe
  • Lifetime warranty

What Customers Are Saying

Those who liked this product said that it was easy to read and clean and that it gave quick and accurate temperature readings. Disappointed customers said that the thermometer wasn’t waterproof like it was advertised to be, claiming that it stopped working after coming into contact with water.


Best Leave-In Thermometer: ThermoPro TP-16 Digital Cooking Thermometer

This thermometer stays in your meat throughout the cooking process. It has a long cord with one end that goes into the meat and another end that attaches to the base station. For your convenience, the base station can sit on a tabletop, hang from the wall, or attach to a magnetic surface.

Key Features

  • Leave-in design
  • Programmable base station
  • Lifetime warranty

What Customers Are Saying

Satisfied customers said that the ThermoPro thermometer provided superior results at a price that can’t be beat. Many were also thrilled with its easy-to-read display and durability. Unhappy customers said that the temperature readings were sometimes inaccurate.


Most Affordable: GDEALER DT11 Meat Thermometer

This affordable thermometer isn’t foldable like the other instant-read ones in this review. Instead, it has a probe that sticks out of the bottom and a cover that slides over the probe after use. Additionally, this product shuts off automatically after 10 minutes to preserve the included battery.

Key Features

  • Instant-read design
  • Read time of three to five seconds
  • Probe cap
  • One-year warranty

What Customers Are Saying

Users noted how fast, accurate, and affordable this product was. However, a handful of dissatisfied customers mentioned that their thermometer stopped working after a short period of time.


Buyer’s Guide

The biggest factor to think about when choosing a meat thermometer is type. However, there are a few additional features that should also be considered.

Type

While there are seven types of tools that can read the temperature of your meat, we stuck to leave-in or instant-read digital meat thermometers in this review because of how easy they are to use.

  • Instant-read analog: Instant-read thermometers don’t remain in the meat the entire time you’re cooking. Instead, you stick the probe into the thickest part of the meat to get an instant reading when you think the meat is close to being done.
  • Leave-in analog: These thermometers also use an analog dial except they stay in the meat while it’s cooking to give you a constant temperature reading.
  • Instant-read digital: This type of meat thermometer is like an instant-read analog thermometer except the reading is given to you in a digital format so that you don’t have to figure out the temperature yourself.
  • Leave-in digital: Similar to a leave-in analog thermometer, this meat thermometer has a long cord that stays in the meat the entire time it’s cooking and connects to a base outside of the oven or grill.
  • Leave-in wireless digital: These are similar to leave-in digital meat thermometers, except they transmit wirelessly to a base unit instead of being connected with a cord.
  • Forks: These two-pronged devices are commonly used in grilling. They give an instant temperature reading.
  • Disposal pop-up: These are commonly used when cooking turkeys for holiday feasts. They pop up when the turkey has reached the recommended temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Water Resistance

Your meat thermometer will be exposed to the moisture produced by the meat you’re cooking. This is especially true of instant-read models, as they have a shorter probe that comes into closer contact with the meat. Because of this, you’ll want a thermometer that’s either water-resistant or waterproof.

Temperature Range

The best meat thermometers have a large temperature range, allowing you to cook a variety of meats to their proper temperatures. Some thermometers even measure up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit.

Auto-Off Function

This feature is specific to digital thermometers because they use batteries to operate. If you forget to turn off your meat thermometer after using it, you’ll want to make sure that it doesn’t stay on until you pull it out next. An auto-off function will turn it off to prevent battery drainage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you calibrate a meat thermometer?

Yes. Check your meat thermometer’s calibration at least once per year, when you first get it, and whenever you drop it. You can do this by:

  • Dipping it in ice water and seeing if it reads around 32 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Dipping it in boiling water and seeing if it reads around 212 degrees Fahrenheit

If the readings aren’t correct, follow the recalibration instructions laid out in the owner’s manual. If the thermometer can’t be recalibrated, you may have to purchase a new one.

Where should I stick my meat thermometer?

This depends on the type of meat you’re cooking. Here is where to place the probe in a few common meats to get accurate readings:

  • Roasts, steaks, and thick chops: In the center at the thickest part away from bone, fat, and gristle
  • Whole poultry, such as turkey or chicken: In the inner thigh area near the breast but away from bone
  • Thin meat, such as hamburger patties: Sideways
  • Ground meat, such as meatloaf: In the thickest area of the meat

What happens if I don’t use a meat thermometer?

Without a meat thermometer, you won’t know if your meat is properly cooked. Undercooked meat can carry bacteria that could make you sick, and overcooked meat is tough and hard to chew.

Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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