The Best Meat Thermometers

The Best Meat Thermometers

Our pick

ThermoWorks ThermoPop

ThermoWorks ThermoPop

The best instant-read thermometer

No other thermometer under $50 can match the ThermoPop’s combination of speed, reach, reliability, and easy-to-read display.

Buying Options

$34 from ThermoWorks

On top of being fast and accurate, the ThermoWorks ThermoPop is also waterproof, and it’s designed to work for both righties and lefties. It can read temperatures ranging from -58 °F to 572 °F, and can easily switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit. The ThermoPop’s backlit display has large digits and rotates in four directions, so you can quickly read it from any angle. Although it’s not the fastest thermometer we tested, it comfortably covers most home-kitchen needs. And it is far, far better than most of the digital thermometers sold for less than $30.

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Our pick

ThermoWorks Dot

ThermoWorks Dot

The best leave-in-style probe thermometer

The Dot probe thermometer stays in your meat while it cooks, allowing you to easily monitor doneness. It also has a strong magnet that keeps it securely attached to an oven door.

Buying Options

$43 from ThermoWorks

If you want a thermometer that you can leave inside your roast while it bakes, or that you can attach to your grill or smoker, we recommend the ThermoWorks Dot. The Dot is accurate, affordable, and easy to use. It has the same wide temperature range as the ThermoPop, and it also has one of the longest probe cables of any of the thermometers we considered. The digital display on the ThermoWorks Dot is easy to read, and you can quickly set an alarm to go off when your meat reaches a certain temperature. We also like the backlit screen, which is handy for outdoor grilling at night.

Also great

Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo

Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo

The midlevel instant-read option for enthusiasts

This thermometer offers a bit more speed, plus temperature alerts, temperature holding, and a fold-up probe that’s handy for taking readings at odd angles.

Buying Options

$55 from Amazon

The Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo instant-read thermometer is the midpoint option between the ThermoPop and the $100 best-in-class ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4. 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. And unlike the ThermoPop or Thermapen, the Javelin Pro Duo has a magnet that lets you stick it to your fridge or stove, rather than keeping it loose in a drawer.

Upgrade pick

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

When precision matters most

Beloved by the pros, this was the fastest and most accurate instant-read thermometer we tested. It also offers a rotating screen with a backlight, a huge temperature range, and serious waterproofing.

Buying Options

$100 from ThermoWorks

Most people don’t need to spend $100 on a thermometer. But if you care deeply about speed, or if you have cooking projects that demand to-the-degree accuracy, the ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4 is the easy choice. This buttonless thermometer is completely automatic—it powers on when you pull out the probe, and the backlight and rotating screen are motion-activated. It was on average 1 second faster than the Javelin Pro Duo at reading temperatures in the mid-100s (Fahrenheit), where most cooking happens. Thanks to the thermometer’s long probe, you can be confident you’re getting readings from deep within your food, and just about every serious culinary reviewer recommends it.

Also great

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm

A pricier probe thermometer with extra features

This single-probe thermometer offers more features, including a timer and volume adjustment.

Buying Options

$64 from ThermoWorks

If you’re looking for a few more helpful features on a leave-in probe thermometer, the ThermoWorks ChefAlarm includes a timer and volume adjustment. Though the ChefAlarm was a couple of seconds slower than the Dot at reading temperatures in our tests, it was just as accurate. We especially liked the convenience of the timer on this model. The digital unit is also hinged, so you can lay it flat or adjust it to a specific angle. Unlike our other picks, the ChefAlarm thermometer comes with a case to hold the probe and the digital unit.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

ThermoWorks ThermoPop

ThermoWorks ThermoPop

The best instant-read thermometer

No other thermometer under $50 can match the ThermoPop’s combination of speed, reach, reliability, and easy-to-read display.

Buying Options

$34 from ThermoWorks

Our pick

ThermoWorks Dot

ThermoWorks Dot

The best leave-in-style probe thermometer

The Dot probe thermometer stays in your meat while it cooks, allowing you to easily monitor doneness. It also has a strong magnet that keeps it securely attached to an oven door.

Buying Options

$43 from ThermoWorks

Also great

Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo

Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo

The midlevel instant-read option for enthusiasts

This thermometer offers a bit more speed, plus temperature alerts, temperature holding, and a fold-up probe that’s handy for taking readings at odd angles.

Buying Options

$55 from Amazon

Upgrade pick

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

When precision matters most

Beloved by the pros, this was the fastest and most accurate instant-read thermometer we tested. It also offers a rotating screen with a backlight, a huge temperature range, and serious waterproofing.

Buying Options

$100 from ThermoWorks

Also great

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm

A pricier probe thermometer with extra features

This single-probe thermometer offers more features, including a timer and volume adjustment.

Buying Options

$64 from ThermoWorks

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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