Have you ever put on your chef coat, ready to cook meat and close your oven door – only to open that same oven door later to see a ruined dish? Even with induction cooktops, and using exactly the same amount of time and care that you put in, you might be missing a kitchen tool! A meat thermometer might be exactly what you need, whether it’s a leave in meat thermometer, digital meat thermometer, or a smart meat thermometer. To find the best meat thermometer, let’s take a look at the few types of thermometers you can buy for your kitchen so that you can make that perfect Thanksgiving turkey dinner every year without fail.
What's the DifferenceBetween The best meat thermometers?
A meat thermometer is great for providing accurate temperature readings, and there are multiple types of meat thermometer – a digital meat thermometer that will read the internal temperature, a smart meat thermometer, leave in meat thermometer and analog thermometer. A good meat thermometer will be able to provide a temperature reading when grilling or cooking on the stovetop, as well as checking the internal temperature of meat cooked in the oven. They can be used to check minimum and maximum temperatures and a general digital meat thermometer can be used to test the temperature of cooking water or cooking oil, which gives them a wider range of use cases than a digital probe thermometer. There are multiple meat thermometers that you can choose from, but one of the best thermometer brands is from ThermPro. They provide a wide range of cooking thermometers, from an instant read meat thermometer, wireless digital thermometer, smart meat thermometer, and a probe thermometer.
The benefit of a digital probe thermometer is that it can stay in the meat in the oven from the moment you start cooking, so you know exactly when it comes to the correct temperature. A probe thermometer is ideal for larger pieces of meat that cook for extended hours like a turkey or a larger roast. The ThermPro has a probe thermometer that comes with multiple probes. Our digital thermometers easily monitor doneness from outside the oven. Our thermometers come with an easy to read display, and some have a countdown timer with a backlit display to provide the best overall meat thermometer.
Instant read thermometers are designed to be used outside the oven, during cooking or toward the end of cooking to confirm doneness. These tend to have a small footprint, take up little space in a drawer and are ideal for checking temperatures quickly. They are considered to be a must have kitchen tool – but its only downside is that they’re usually sold as a cheaper meat thermometer with less accurate temperature readings. Another variation of an instant read thermometer is a dial thermometer – otherwise known as analog thermometers. This works in a certain provided temperature range like the others and can’t be used as a leave in meat thermometer. It is however, a great option for a cheaper version of an instant read thermometer. There a lot of top-rated thermometers to grill and other purposes.
An instant read meat thermometer gives an instant temperature reading as the name suggests. It’s considered one of the common kitchen appliances, and whenever you want to check on the doneness of your cooking project, simply stab it with the needle, and you’ll get a temperature read within seconds. These thermometers act the same as a general thermometer works – with readings in degrees fahrenheit coming up right away as soon as your thermometer is inserted into your meat.
Unlike probe thermometers, instant-read thermometers cannot be left sticking out of your rack of lamb while it cooks; you’ll need to pull your protein out of the oven or lift your grill lid every time you want to get a read, which definitely is a bit time-costly and can possibly extend your cooking time. But that’s a small price to pay for simple, speedy, and extremely accurate—we’re talking within half a degree—temperature taking, every time. Most models automatically turn off when not in use to prolong battery life, show temperatures in Fahrenheit and Celsius, and feature backlight screen and rotating displays for easy viewing. Not only will it help promote food safety, an instant read thermometer is quick and easy and will help you get your cooking temperatures into the USDA recommended temperatures. Depending on your exact requirements, a digital instant read thermometer is likely one of the best meat thermometers for your kitchen – as they are relatively inexpensive yet accurate.
digital probe thermometers
A probe thermometer is a great tool for those who are inclined to check on your pork chops every few minutes to see if it’s done or not, you might benefit from owning a piece of technology that will provide you with all this information without having to pull your dish out of the oven. A probe thermometer features, as you might guess, a long probe, which you can leave stuck into your piece of meat for the entirety of the cooking process. Most are connected by a heat resistant cord to a digital monitor, which sits outside the oven for easy reference. A probe meat thermometer will generally have two settings – one that will provide a digital instant read meat temperature, and you can check on this number periodically throughout the cooking process or you can set it to beep when the temperature of your meat reaches your preferred degrees fahrenheit. This is perfect if you want a kitchen timer as well – and meat thermometers can come with up to four probes to provide internal temperature of multiple dishes or just one very large dish.
Digital probe thermometers work equally well no matter where you use them, like in your oven, grill, or smoker. Because the cord and probe part is able to detach from your backlit display, you can simply feed the cord through a grate in your grill so that you can leave the lid closed Based on your personal preferences, you can get either one probe/multiple probe meat thermometers or a thin probe compared to a thicker one.
The only downside of a probe thermometer is that the cable can short out and wear down over time from constant exposure to high temperatures through processes such as deep frying. Also, some thermometers of this style are on the pricier end, thanks to a litany of settings and features. If you do opt to go the digital probe style, read about what each model can do and find one that best fits your cooking style. Generally they are a reasonable price, but you can get additional add-ons sold separately.
Dial thermometers, also called bimetallic strip thermometers, are the analog answer to the digital thermometer options covered above. They’re made of a metal probe with a glass-enclosed dial usually set perpendicular at the top, and they feature a coiled strip of metal inside the reader that expands with heat, pushing the pointer arm further up the dial. Depending on the make and model, some dial thermometers can be left inside a cut of protein while it cooks in the oven or on a grill; others have a lower heat safety maximum and should only be used like a digital instant-read. It’s similar to an instant read thermometer in the sense that it’s often used to do quick probe measures rather than being left inside a oven.
This is most likely the cheapest option compared to the meat thermometer options mentioned earlier, but it comes with its downsides. The first is obviously the fact that because it’s not a digital meat thermometer, you may find that you’ll get slightly less accurate reads. Instead of being able to get it down to the exact degree fahrenheit it is, you’ll only be able to get an approximation. Additionally, it works like a regular thermometer in the sense that it takes time for the temperature to process, it’s possible that you’ll end up with overcooked meat while waiting for the temperature. Lastly, the glass on top of the thermometer is fragile and needs to be stored carefully. If you’re looking for a quick temperature reading and you’re not especially concerned over the exact temperature, this might be the best option for you.
How important are accurate thermometer readings?
A good meat thermometer will be able to provide a temperature reading in a wide temperature range, and your desired temperature should definitely fall within the range. Generally meat thermometers now will have a digital display, and can convert from degrees fahrenheit to celsius or vice versa within USDA recommended temperatures.
Depending on what your needs are – whether it’s just boiling water to making your thanksgiving Turkey, you should always be able to trust your meat thermometer when reading temperatures. The best meat thermometers will provide consistent temperature readings whether it’s ambient temperature or just ensuring you don’t accidentally overcook – they’ll have you covered. You can Calibrate Food Thermometers for Accuracy and make the best use of it.