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If you’re a fan of cooking meat, then you know that one of the most important things to get right is the temperature. A calibrated thermometer will help you maintain an ideal temperature range for a perfectly cooked dish. A food-grade thermometer is an essential tool for any cook who wants to serve up perfectly cooked meat every time. Thermometers are some of the most basic tools that any home cook can have to ensure food safety. The best part about a meat thermometer is that there are multiple types, from digital thermometers to an instant read thermometer so that you can find the best thermometer for you.


Before we dive too deep into the the types of digital thermometer, we can actually categorize two basic types of meat thermometers: those that stay in the meat while it cooks (leave-in meat thermometer), and those that are inserted into the meat only long enough to take a quick temperature reading. The type you choose will depend on your personal preferences and cooking style. If you’re not too concerned about temperature accuracy – a thermometer that you can just pop into your water to check if it’s at boiling point might be perfect for you. If you need more accurate temperature readings or need to keep your meat between minimum and maximum temperatures then you might want to choose a leave in thermometer that can stay in while you complete other kitchen tasks. A great thermometer will help you keep up good housekeeping practices in your kitchen.


cooking thermometer

Type Of
meat Thermometer

Probe thermometers are the most popular type of meat thermometer. They have a long, thin metal probe that is inserted into the meat, with a digital readout that stays outside of the oven or grill. This is a relatively inexpensive thermometer and provides an accurate reading. However, a probe thermometer usually requires you to open your grill lid in order to obtain accurate readings. Depending on your dish, you might find this tedious or even interruptive. However, if you’re doing something like candy making these are perfect for a quick check to make sure you hit your desired temperature. A similar meat thermometer option is the analog thermometer. The analog thermometer also has a thin probe and can be used over a wide temperature range. However, it’s not the most accurate thermometer but is great for a quick temperature range check.


Pop-up timers are another popular type of meat thermometer. These have a small metal disk that pops up when the meat reaches a certain temperature. They’re not as accurate as probe thermometers, but they’re much easier to use, since you don’t have to open the oven door to check on them. These are great if you just need to make sure to pull out your dish at a maximum internal temperature, but if you need an exact degrees Fahrenheit reading this might not be the best option.


Instant read thermometers are a very popular type of meat thermometer known for their temperature range and reasonable price. Although this thermometer might not be the fanciest out of the digital meat thermometer category, it is arguably one of the best meat thermometers in terms of response time, convenient storage, accuracy tests and budget. This usually comes with a backlit display, and provides stabilized temperature readings.


The most modern thermometers – the wireless thermometers are the latest innovation in meat temperature-taking. These have a probe that stays in the meat while it cooks, but the readout unit can be placed outside of the oven, so you don’t have to open the door to check on the temperature. These are also usually probe thermometers and some may even have up to four probes. Depending on the meat thermometer, it might even have a different probe length for each probe so that you can cook different types of meat. A leave in thermometer is great for a slower cooker.

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