- The 5 Best Meat Thermometers
A meat thermometer is a kitchen instrument used to monitor the temperatures of the meat being cooked in an oven or being roasted on the grill. It’s an easy to read instrument, that ensures meat or poultry cooks evenly, becomes tender while also retaining the tasty juices in the end. The temperature readings are best recorded from the thickest part of the meat being prepared, away from the bones, with options for rare, medium and well done beef ranges in temperatures.
Research by various consumer reports have shown that many people suffer from food poisoning incidences on a yearly basis. This makes such households incur lots of money on medical bills in order to adequately treat such complications. But with this inexpensive but important tool, households will not only save themselves from health risks posed by bacteria and germs common in under cooked meat but also help them avoid eating overcooked meat that takes out the joy of gobbling juicy cuts of meat from their plates.
Our Top Meat Thermometer Pick
ThermoPro Digital & Wireless Meat Thermometer
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The 5 Best Meat Thermometers
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Meat Thermometer Buyers Guide
Meat thermometers come with a wide range of specifications. However, both analogue and digital thermometers carry pout the same functions, with little varying features, found here and there. In this buyers guide, you will find the best thermometer offering;
- Accurate and Fast Readings – Since the tool will be used on both soft and tough meat, it’s important to get a thermometer that offer fast and accurate readings, hence help you deal with temperature fluctuations on your grill or oven. The thermometer ought to provide the most accurate happenings in the oven or grill.
- Wide Range of Temperature Capabilities – The best meat thermometers ought to withstand over 500 degrees Celsius of heat coming from the oven or grill. Additionally, it ought to support temperatures below freezing point, saving you from buying another thermometer for chilled foods.
- Clear Label Controls – Some thermometers use sophisticated technology when it comes to their use, for example, use of count up or countdown timers, graphing software for smartphones and even maximum or minimum temperature alerts. Despite this, primary controls such as an easy-to-press buttons, clearly labeled calibrations or even easy to use apps are a must.
- Durable Probes – The probes, usually at the end of the meat thermometer have to durable as they are the most important part of the tool. Well designed and fairly delicate probes can withstand high temperatures or rust, when exposed to the hot grills or moist foods in the long run.
- Automatic shut off – This is a common feature in the digital meat thermometers, powered by coin style or AA batteries. The automatic shut off function will help in saving battery life, while cutting down on the lifetime expense of the device.
- Material – Most readers are made from stainless steel. The glass on most thermometers is shatter proof but it is vital for one to buy one that matches their cooking needs.
- Backlit Screen – This makes the thermometer easy to read, in dim light settings or in the confines of an oven.
- Audible Alarm – Useful in alerting the owner when the meat has reached the preset temperatures.
- Timer – Allows owners to set how long they intend to cook the meat.
- Temperature Hold – This feature displays the temperature readings for close to five minutes or more.
A wireless model is the excellent choice of meat thermometer as it communicates through your phone as you continue doing chores around the home.
Types of Meat Thermometers
Leave-In Digital Meat Thermometer
This type of thermometer requires the user to spike the probe into the meat, leaving the tool in the grill or oven while cooking. This helps in monitoring the food’s temperatures without the need to constantly open the oven in order to get an instant read. There is a cord connecting the probe and digital screen, hence placing the digital screen on the oven door.
Additional features of the leave-in thermometer include; audible alerts and programmable temperatures, allowing you to keep an eye on the meat when you are even 100 feet away, using your smart device using an app which is part of the thermometer.
Instant-Read Digital Meat Thermometer
Probably the best thermometer in the market, this simple to use thermometer offers the fastest response times for thin cut meat. It also offers one of the easiest ways to check temperatures at several spots while giving an estimated end temperature before the meat cooks in the long run.
Handy features such as an automatic shut off and temperature hold will allow the user to get the final temperatures displayed for a longer period of time. The digital readout that works with the indicator light helps in giving the final food temperatures in the long run. The down to this type of food thermometer is that it cannot be left inside the meat during cooking.
Dial Meat Thermometer
Also known as the instant read analogue thermometer, it works by inserting the probe into the meat, take the reading and remove the probe in the long run. It will not remain in the meat during cooking and only requires one to check the final tempura after cooking. The down to them is that they have the longest response times making it hard to capture the final temperature readings.
Leave-In Analogue Meat Thermometer
Another safe to use thermometer, this type of thermometer can remain in the meat while it cooks. Additionally, it can be used to give an instant temperature read in the long run.
How to Use a Meat Thermometer
You have already purchased either a dial or digital temperature reader, with a probe that will help you capture the meat temperatures, without necessarily opening and closing the oven when cooking the meat. Some of them are easier to read than others when checking the doneness of the meat in the long run. Here are the steps on how to use the reader;
Read the User Manual – The instructions will give different reports on the how to test the accuracy of the meat thermometer and how to take care of the reader. In addition, different thermometers come with different ways of using them. For example, the oven proof reader may be inserted into the meat at the beginning cooking exercise, while the instant readers are not designed to stay in the oven when cooking.
Prepare the Thermometer before Putting the Meat in the Grill – Push the reader into the thickest part of the meat, far from the bones to avoid breaking the probe. Push the reader deep enough into the meat, wiggling it a little bit, ensuring that the reader does not touch the meat dish hence distort the temperature readings.
Set The Ovens’ Temperature – Following the recommended food temperature on the recipe, adjust the oven’s heat in order for the food to cook evenly. Let the thermometer remain in the food during the cooking duration. However, this may not be necessary for instant read thermometers in the long run.
Keep Checking the Thermometer, 5-10 minutes Before End of the Cooking Time – Ensure the meat keeps cooking even when the recommended temperature is close. When the meat is already cooked, remove it from the oven or grill.
If the meat has not fully cooked, adjust the cooking period, extending it with some minutes for longer cooking. Keep an eye on the regular increases in meat temperature. However, depending on the recipe or cooking guide, it’s vital that you pull the meat from the oven a few degrees short of the recommended temperature, since the meat will have already accumulated some heat allowing the meat to continue cooking.
Thermometers that stay in when cooking meet may get hot, necessitating the need for users to exercise caution when removing them from the meat. It’s also important to maintain the reader’s hygiene at all times. After each use, clean the thermometers stem using hot and soapy water. Some thermometers are also dishwasher safe.
How to Calibrate a Meat Thermometer
Calibrating a thermometer involves simple steps and tools in order to get the proper temperature readings. Tools like tongs or an adjustable wrench come in handy in this process. Here are the steps on how to calibrate a thermometer.
- Bring a pot of water to boil.
- Fill a small bowl with ice and cover with water.
- Test the reader in the boiling water. If it does not read 100 degrees Celsius, the thermometer needs to be adjusted. Use the small screw located between the readers’ face and probe to adjust the readings.
- Repeat this exercise, dipping the reader in the ice till it reads 0 degrees Celsius. If it does not read this, make a slight adjustments till you attain this readings.
Note that most digital thermometers are not easy to adjust and may require an expert to adjust them.
Best Meat Thermometer Brands
This leave-in lollipop shaped thermometer, is cheap and licks readings fast. It takes less than six seconds to read temperatures measuring from -58 to 572 Fahrenheit. A 4.5” long probe is enough to get to the center of tough meat, taking temperatures from deep inside the cooking meat. With the help of buttons that come with this thermometer, it’s quite easy to switch from the Celsius readings to Fahrenheit, eliminating the need to crane the neck in order to capture the readings. An auto shut off automatic preservation of the battery life, with the backlight and sensor being turned off automatically to avoid reading false reads when not in use. It has the loudest alarm to alert the owner when the probe hits a high or low temperature.
A nice and accurate thermometer, Maverick provides an instant read on cooking meat thanks to the thin probe it comes with a four seconds read which is the shortest time the meat thermometer can read meat of different temperatures within the -58 F to 572 F range. It also has a waterproof probe thanks to waterproof cover that ensures that the thermometers metallic parts do not rust hence last long.
It offers the best temperature resting capabilities on meats of different kinds of meat, both on grill and oven. Notable features include; a large LCD display that allows easy reading of the food temperatures. It also has a timer where you can easily select the desired temperatures to be reached and get an alert, when the optimum temperature is attained. It has a compact storage design as it folds flat, comes with a magnetic back to attach it to the oven’s door when cooking meat. Its stainless steel body gives the reader a sleek and sturdy design, while also making it durable in the long run.
CDN ProAccurate Quick Read thermometer is one of the best thermometers in the market thanks to its small pocket size, ease of use and convenience it comes with. It has a sleek design with the notable features such as a 9-second reading time in this thermometer eliminates the need to wait for readings. The sharp probe helps in the easy penetration of the thermometer into the meat without the need to slice meat. A wide temperature range, from -40 degrees to 450 degrees Celsius, allows owners to test meat of different types. A large digital readout helps readers view the temperature readings without much struggle.
This thermometer allows one to monitor the temperature of meat being prepared when the oven door is shut. Its quality 3” stainless steel probe measures internal food temperature when roasting. A 450 Fahrenheit heat resistant cord is perfect for monitoring food in the oven or grill. The programmable alarm automatically alerts owners when the target temperature is reached. Its compact design features an integrated probe storage, soft-touch buttons and magnetic backing to mount on oven doors.
The instant read thermometer comes with a foldable probe that provides accurate, reliable temperature readings. It will allow you to monitor internal food temperature easily, while folding and into place for convenient storage. After inserting the probe thick parts of the meat, the thermometer measures the temperature within seconds.