The #1 piece of advice I give regarding grilling and smoking is to invest in a high-quality instant read thermometer. Whether a beginner or an expert, you should be wary of any built-in grill thermometers. Often, they are inaccurate. Get your hands on one of the best instant read thermometers, and you’ll never have to worry about overcooking a steak or undercooking a piece of chicken again.
I’ll take a look at some of the best and most popular instant read thermometers on the market and tell you what you should look for in an instant read thermometer in my buyer’s guide. Follow our guide, and you are sure to find an instant read thermometer that will quickly become your most-used grilling accessories.
I’ve included cheap, mid-range, and expensive options, as well as thermometers that offer some unique features you’ll not find in many other thermometers. But of course, even with my decades of BBQing experience, and having tried 100’s of thermometers I may still have missed a couple. So if you think a thermometer is missing from this list let me know in the comments.
- 1 Best Instant Read Thermometers
- 1.1 ThermoWorks Thermapen One
- 1.2 ThermoWorks Thermapen IR
- 1.3 Inkbird IHT-1P Instant Read Thermometer
- 1.4 ThermoPro TP620 Grill Thermometer
- 1.5 FireBoard Spark Thermometer
- 1.6 Alpha Grillers Instant Read Meat Thermometer
- 1.7 Lavatools Javelin PRO
- 1.8 Blackstone Infrared Thermometer and Probe Combo
- 1.9 Weber 6750 Instant Read Stick Thermometer
- 2 Great Instant Read Thermometer That Just Missed Out
- 3 Why You Should Buy an Instant Read Thermometer
- 4 Instant Read or Leave in Probe Thermometer
- 5 Why Trust Us
- 6 What to Look for in the Best Instant Read Thermometer
- 7 How to Properly Use an Instant Read Thermometer
- 8 How to Test Your Instant Read Thermometer
- 9 What to do if Your Thermometer is Inaccurate
- 10 Top Instant Read Thermometers Video
- 11 Conclusion
Best Instant Read Thermometers
If you want to measure the internal temperature of your food accurately, you are going to need an instant read thermometer. They may all seem fairly similar, but after taking a closer look at several top models, we’ve discovered some unique differences. Let’s take a look at some of the best meat thermometers for grill enthusiasts, seasoned pitmasters, or backyard barbecue lovers.
ThermoWorks Thermapen One
Thermapen by ThermoWorks is regarded as one of the best food thermometers on the market and is appreciated by both backyard pitmasters and restaurant chefs. Thermapen One, the brand’s most recent model, is their most sophisticated thermometer yet.
The Thermapen One contains an integrated accelerometer that can recognize how the thermometer is being handled and rotate the LCD display appropriately, making it simple to read the temperature without needing to tilt your head. The display is illuminated as well, making it visible in all lighting conditions – great for low and slow overnight cooks.
Thermapen One’s stainless steel food probe folds back 180 degrees into the side of the device when not in use, maintaining the same compact form as earlier Thermapen versions. But where it varies from earlier Thermapen models is that it now takes just one second to produce a temperature reading as opposed to the two to three seconds of those earlier models.
Thermapen One is a pricey food thermometer, but it’s well worth the cost if you’re concerned about how long to cook food for it to be safe to eat yet still tender. It’s also wonderful for perfectly cooking steak. Thermapen One will be useful for bakers when producing sweet desserts like fudge, home cooks that want to check the temps of their sausages, and BBQ’ers wanting to verify the temperature of big chunks of meat in their smoker.
The ThermoWorks Thermapen One is a super-compact food thermometer that can easily be tucked into a kitchen drawer or even your pocket when barbecuing away from home at a family picnic or campsite. When not in use, the thermometer’s stainless steel probe can be neatly stored by folding it back 180 degrees into the thermometer’s plastic body.
No matter what angle you view it from, the reading will always be presented the proper way up since the LCD screen rotates automatically according on how the thermometer is held. A sensor on the front of the thermometer detects when it is in low light and illuminates the panel to make the display easier to see. The display is also backlit. The thermometer has an IP67 classification, meaning it can withstand brief submersion in water, however, this is not advised. But it does mean the thermometer is safe if you accidentally leave it out in the rain.
ThermoWorks Thermapen One costs a pretty penny and is available in 10 colors. ThermoWorks website in the US, the Thermapen website, and Amazon in the UK all sell it. Thermapen Classic is also available from ThermoWorks. This significantly cheaper meat thermometer takes about three seconds to report the temperature of food and lacks a revolving display.
I’d also always advise keeping an eye out for deals on older models of ThermoWorks instant-read thermometers, as these are still great thermometers and still better than most of the competition. The thermometer also boasts a redesigned, simple-to-access battery compartment that is secured with only one screw and a five-year warranty.
Thermapen One from ThermoWorks is very easy to use. The temperature of your meat will be displayed on the LCD screen in about one second after you just unfold the food probe from the side of the thermometer body and place it in the meat, if speed is something you need then this is the thermometer for you.
ThermoWorks Thermapen IR
The design of the Thermoworks Thermapen IR should be recognizable if you have any experience with the Thermapen range of instant-read probes. Built on the same base as the bulk of the Thermapen products, the Thermapen Infrared Instant Read Thermometer is quite similar to the Thermapen Classic, MK4, and Thermapen One in terms of looks and ergonomics. Thermapen IR is an instrument-grade infrared sensor that combines the traditional k-type thermocouple probe found on nearly all Thermoworks models with a fast surface temperature sensor that can produce readings in seconds.
The Thermapen IR thermometer differs significantly from other Thermapen thermometers in that it has two control buttons on the front in addition to the glass infrared sensor at the bottom. Thermapen thermometers typically lack any buttons or controls on the actual thermometer body, but the IR requires two buttons in order to allow you to use the infrared functions.
The Thermapen IR is nearly identical to all other Thermapen probes save for the infrared sensor and controls. Thermapen IR is a simple and user-friendly thermometer model with a large body and an easy-to-read LCD screen placed immediately in the center of the thermometer. The Thermapen IR has a 360° rotating display, just like the Thermapen Classic, MK4, and One, which makes it incredibly simple to view readings from any angle or direction.
A strong hinge at the top of the thermometer body allows the probe to fold into the thermometer base and spin 180 degrees. The instant read probe does not have a power button; instead, you simply extend the probe from the body, and the thermometer turns on automatically.
The Infrared probe is controlled by the buttons below the LCD screen, and they only work when the probe is folded back into the thermometer base. The scan button, which turns on the thermometer, is located most closely to the infrared sensor. Delivering an almost immediate infrared measurement once engaged. You may switch between the hold and max/min functions by pressing the mode button situated below.
Only the battery compartment and a panel with technical information about your probe and the serial number are located on the rear of the thermometer. Thermapen IR uses two lithium cell button batteries instead of the one battery used by many other Thermapen versions. Even though this power solution offers more than 1000 battery hours, I still wish Thermoworks’ staff had chosen a more accessible power option, such as a AAA battery or even a rechargeable battery.
A waterproof construction and a backlight are two characteristics that you’ll find on the majority of Thermapen products but are conspicuously absent from the Thermapen IR. A backlight isn’t a big deal for me because I virtually always have a torch on me thanks to my smartphone, but the lack of a waterproof construction irritates me. My impression is that the Thermapen IR was not waterproof like the Thermapen MK4 or One due to the inclusion of the Infrared probe buttons. Therefore, if you intend to buy one of these probes, use caution near water or during periods of severe rain.
With amazing results, the Thermapen IR thermometer improves upon the already fantastic Thermapen Mk4 setup. Even tho many individuals won’t require the Infrared Probe’s enhanced features, if you’re seeking to really dive into your cooking process, it can be a really useful tool.
Inkbird IHT-1P Instant Read Thermometer
One of Inkbird’s most recent thermometer launches, the IHT-1P, is unquestionably intended to compete with products like Thermapen and Thermopro. For a very long time, Inkbird has produced high-quality temperature sensors, thermometers, and thermo-controllers, and they are unquestionably experts in their field.
Overall, the IHT-1P performs a terrific job serving as an everyday instant-read barbecue thermometer. It was a lot of fun to use. The IHT-1P is a wonderful option if you want a rechargeable thermometer even though the battery architecture has a few drawbacks.
An excellent foldable instant-read meat thermometer is what you get if you buy the Inkbird IHT-1P. The 1HT-1P does a wonderful job of swiftly taking temperatures of whatever you happen to be cooking thanks to its wide temperature range, quick reading time, and auto-rotating display screen.
The majority of modern instant-read thermometers have a design that is very similar to the Inkbird IHT-1P. The IHT-1P has a front that is a vibrant orange color, a folding probe, and a huge digital display in the middle.
The IHT-1P seems quite solid because it has a 250mAh rechargeable battery and no removable battery portion. The thermometer’s nearly complete waterproofness is an added benefit of the tight, sturdy construction. Although I don’t advise using it for swimming, it should withstand the occasional downpour.
The thermometer’s back is completely flat and devoid of any buttons. You can securely attach the thermometer to one of your unused grills or any magnetic surface, such as a cabinet or microwave, thanks to the internal magnet that is concealed inside the thermometer’s body. Even tho the probe is made to withstand extreme heat, I don’t advise putting it to the side of the smoker or grill you are currently using because the surface can become too hot for the plastic shell of the thermometer to handle.
When the probe is opened, the thermometer’s huge center-located display turns on automatically. There is only one button, which also serves as a hold feature and a temperature format picker that lets you choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius. The thermometer has no power button, so it shuts off on its own when it is closed. This is a fantastic feature because you can’t change the battery if it runs out of power, so an auto switch-off means the battery will not drain if accidentally left on.
Large and brilliant, the display itself has a strong orange backlight that is ideal for low light or taking readings in the dark, which is common when barbecuing.
A really well-made instant-read thermometer is how I’d describe the Inkbird IHT-1P. Even though I don’t like that the batteries can’t be taken out to be replaced later, this downside does bring with it the plus side of being waterproof and that’s a great feature for an outdoor thermometer.
Overall, this thermometer charges rapidly, has a nice appearance, and takes readings quite quickly. Although there are better thermometers on the market, the IHT-1P is of great value at this pricing. If you’re searching for a new instant-read thermometer from a manufacturer you can rely on, the Inkbird IHT-1P ought to be at the top of your list.
ThermoPro TP620 Grill Thermometer
ThermoPro TP620 is a full-featured, hand-held, moisture-resistant instant-read food thermometer. Although not the greatest in its class, it has good accuracy and speed.
This thermometer uses a thermocouple to measure temperature, unlike the majority of ThermoPro thermometers. The more common thermistors found in many food thermometers are often slower than this kind of sensor.
The ThermoPro TP620 thermometer has a rotating display that rotates in two directions for convenient reading with either hand. Even in the dark, the display is simple to read.
When the probe is folded away from the body, the device activates. The probe can only be extended by 180 degrees. It will automatically shut off if left on the counter and awaken when picked up, which is great for saving battery power.
A button on the back allows for a simple conversion of the readout between Fahrenheit and Celsius scales. The display value is held for five seconds by a lock button before switching back to measurement mode.
The exterior of the body is covered with an anti-microbial substance, and the ridged top surface prevents the thermometer from slipping in the hand, which worked even when I had meat grease on my hands. The thermometer can be fastened to a metal surface, such as a metal prep station, using the magnet on the back. Without having to worry about water infiltration, the entire thermometer can be cleaned by being submerged in flowing water. If necessary, the TP620 can also be calibrated in an ice water bath.
Although this thermometer isn’t the fastest or most accurate I’ve tested, it is more than adequate for the tasks of the average backyard griller.
Three years are given as a warranty on the item. The user-friendly instruction manual includes contact details for the manufacturer in case they run into any issues, which I like as many companies seem to bury these details in hard-to-find areas of their websites. There are contact details like phone numbers, email addresses, and a website.
The ThermoPro TP620 thermometer has several features and performs well. It is also well-made. It costs a little bit more than the majority of the company’s items, but it seems to be more durable. I’d happily recommend this thermometer to friends and family.
FireBoard Spark Thermometer
The FireBoard Spark seeks to upend the industry for premium meat thermometers. It comes with a number of capabilities, some of which have never been seen on an instant-read thermometer before, and was created by the same company that created the well-known FireBoard 2 Drive smart thermometer and temperature controller.
Although it is advertised as an instant-read thermometer, the Fireboard Spark is much more than that. The addition of a leave-in probe port for long-term temperature tracking is the major novelty in this design.
To connect to the mobile app, the Spark also features WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities. From there, you can use a button to track your entire cook, create recipes, and monitor temperatures.
When using the FireBoard Spark, the size of the LED display was the first thing I noticed. Day or night, reading it is simple. In the options menu, you may also change the brightness, contrast, and whether Fahrenheit or Celsius is shown.
The thermometer has a sleek, contemporary style, and the probe easily folds into the back of the instrument. The thermometer has a power button and, if requested, a port for the leave-in probe on the other side. When you fold out the probe, the device immediately turns on.
The Spark thermometer also has a built-in magnet, which I found beneficial because it allows you to attach it to the legs of your grill or any other magnetic surface.
Since the Spark is IP66 waterproof, it may be hand washed with mild soap and water if it gets dirty. It is not, however, dishwasher safe and cannot be submerged in water. If you leave the Spark out in the rain you can be confident it will still be working when the rain stops.
The only downside to the FireBoard Spark thermometer is the hefty price tag. It’s not very often you’ll find an instant-read thermometer that is more expensive than the latest thermometer from ThermoWorks. The Spark is more expensive, but it’s also more than just an instant-read thermometer.
Alpha Grillers Instant Read Meat Thermometer
If you are a serious griller, you are going to want to take a look at the Alpha Grillers Instant Read Meat Thermometer. It’s a no-nonsense thermometer built for both beginners and pros. Once you get your hands on an Alpha Griller, you will find yourself never worrying about overcooking or undercooking meat ever again.
What We Like:
Fast & Accurate – With a response time of 2-5 seconds, the Alpha Griller is ultra-fast. It is accurate to +/-1°, and it has a temperature range of -4°F to 392°F. For anything outside of that temperature range, you can expect an accuracy of +/-2°. Use your thermometer frequently and feel like its accuracy is slipping? The Alpha Griller also has a calibration feature that will help you ensure your food is always prepared properly.
Versatile – You will find yourself using the Alpha Griller both inside and out. Whether you’re grilling up some sizzling steaks or baking a bird in the oven, the Alpha Griller is well equipped for any task. It’s also handy for deep frying and bread baking. The Alpha Griller also has an auto on/off feature when you flip the probe and temperature can easily display in either Fahrenheit or Celsius.
Price – This one is a no brainer. The Alpha Griller falls on the lower end of the price scale and also comes with a lifetime money back guarantee. With a deal like that, you will want to get one for yourself, one for your dad, one for your neighbor, and one for every grilling enthusiast that you know.
Design – We loved the waterproof body of this thermometer. It’s sturdy and efficient, and it also happens to be magnetic. If you don’t want to store it magnetically, there is also a large hanging hole.
What We Don’t Like:
Screen Size – The design of the Alpha Griller left one thing to be desired: a larger screen size. While it does have a backlight, the screen is small in comparison to some other instant read thermometers. It can be somewhat difficult to see the temperature reading. The meat temperature cooking guide on the body is a handy addition, but we’d rather the screen size not been sacrificed here.
Lavatools Javelin PRO
Often compared to the ThermoPop, if you are looking for a bit of a step up, look no further than the Lavatools Javelin PRO. It is both faster and more accurate than the ThermoPop, and it has some very nice extra features. This is the best of the middle price range instant read thermometers and a heavy contender for best overall instant read thermometer.
What We Like:
Intelligent Design – Built for ambidextrous use, the Javelin PRO has a large two-inch display that auto-rotates. It is also worth noting that this is the first instant read thermometer to feature an intelligent stabilization alert. By pressing the touchpad, you tell the Javelin Pro to hold the stabilized temperature, and it will continue to hold it until you press the touchpad again. The Javelin PRO calculates when the temperature has stabilized and will beep to notify you.
Accuracy & Speed – One of the most accurate meat thermometers we have found, the Javelin PRO has an accuracy of +/-0.9° within the range of -4°F to 302°F. Its full range is -40°F-482°F. It also has an ultra-fast response time of only 2-3 seconds.
Convenience – Easily stored by magnet or its large hole for hanging, you won’t lose the Javelin PRO in a drawer. It also has a motion-wake function that turns the thermometer on when the probe opens. There’s also an auto-off feature. The Javelin PRO is also IP65splash resistant, protecting it from minor spills or drops.
What We Don’t Like:
Ease of Use – While the large display is definitely handy and easy to read, we do wish the Javelin PRO was capable of vertical rotation. When it comes to switching from Celsius to Fahrenheit, the process can be somewhat tricky. It requires you to open the battery compartment and flip a switch inside instead of being able to change it with just the press of a button like some other models.
Blackstone Infrared Thermometer and Probe Combo
When it comes to innovative brands in the BBQ marketplace you’ll defiantly have Blackstone among the top contenders. This is a company that has come out of nowhere to dominate the griddle marketplace and has even offered up a griddle and air fryer combo. And now they offer up a budget-friendly instant read and infrared thermometer combo.
On the back of the thermometer is a compartment where you can change the AAA batteries. This is also where you fold back the probe when not in use.
On the front, you have a nice-sized display screen and three buttons. A button to turn the thermometer on or off, a button that holds the current temp reading when pressed, and an IR button to use the infrared feature
When you buy a high-end thermometer you are pretty sure the speed and accuracy will be very good. With budget-friendly models, you are never too sure. So I did an ice water test with this thermometer and the speed and accuracy of the instant-read thermometer was excellent. The infrared reading was a degree or two out, which isn’t that bad. It’s more important the instant read part is more accurate as you don’t want undercooked food.
Lastly, the Blackstone thermometer comes with a one-year warranty. And for the price, I am very impressed with this thermometer.
Weber 6750 Instant Read Stick Thermometer
When all that is required is a straightforward internal temperature measurement, such as the one provided by the reasonably priced Weber 6750 Instant Read Meat Thermometer in either Fahrenheit or Celsius, sophisticated thermometer functions may not always be necessary. The Weber 6750 thermometer has two buttons on the front: one changes the thermometer’s temperature readings, and the other turns it on and off.
With its digital display and large letters, this instant-read grill thermometer makes it simple to read the internal temperature of the meat. The thermometer produces an automatic reading between 32 and 446 degrees Fahrenheit when the probe is put into the meat. If properly cared for and kept, the thermometer’s one CR2032 battery can provide it with a long life.
Storage is the key. Although compact and portable, this thermometer is simple to lose in a drawer or a sink. I suggest cleaning it straight away and storing it in a particular location each time.
I’m not going to pretend this is one of the best thermometers on this list or the thermometer marketplace in general, but many backyard grill masters love a branded product. And there is no bigger BBQ brand than Weber. So the Weber 6750 is on this list as it will make a great budget-friendly fathers day gift or a Christmas stocking stuffer.
Great Instant Read Thermometer That Just Missed Out
As this article is one that I’ll update as new instant-read thermometers are released I thought it best to have a list of older models that were on the list in case you see these available at discounted prices.
These are still great instant-read thermometers I’d recommend buying, but there are better ones out there if money isn’t an issue for you. I’ve added the great thermometers to expandable boxes as I expect this list to get rather long, as I change my mind on the best instant-read thermometer every year. Just press “Open” on the model you are interested in reading about.
|Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4 Thermometer||Buy on Thermoworks|
Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4
If you are searching for the gold standard in instant-read thermometers, look no further than the Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4. A little higher up the price scale but chock full of features, the Thermapen is the thermometer every grilling enthusiast dreams of owning. Thermoworks is known for having a consistently great product, and the Mk4 is no exception.
What We Like:
Incredible Speed & Accuracy – This thermometer is crazy accurate and one of the most accurate models that I have ever reviewed. When checking the temperature, you will get a reading with an accuracy of +/-0.7°F within 2-3 seconds.
Convenience – You will see that ultra-fast reading on a large, backlit, auto-rotating display that can be read from any angle. It flips right side up in either hand. The backlight activates automatically in low light and also turns on with a touch of the sensor window. Put it to sleep by putting the probe down. It will wake automatically when the probe opens.
Durability – The Thermapen Mk4 has is now waterproof to IP67. No worries about slips or spills, this thermometer is designed to last. Any issues? Thermoworks also offers a two-year warranty on the Mk4.
Versatility – You get what you pay for with this model, a thermometer capable of anything. Whether you are making steaks or candy, bread or beer, the Thermapen Mk4 is ideal for any situation. Its incredible accuracy ensures that you are always cooking at the correct temperature.
What We Don’t Like:
Hefty Price Tag – Don’t get us wrong, the Mk4 is an incredible thermometer, and if you’re serious about your grilling game, then the price is totally worth it. You are paying for a professional-grade thermometer. Casual hobbyists might be better suited to more budget-friendly options.
|ThermoPro TP-02S Thermometer||Buy on Amazon|
The ThermoPro TP-02S is a high precision instant-read thermometer. This model takes it to the other end of the spectrum from most thermometers on this list though. In regards to price, it is one of the most budget-friendly models I’ve reviewed.
What We Like:
Long Probe – This food-grade stainless steel probe measures an impressive 5.3 inches. It comes with a convenient plastic sheath pocket clip for storing and protecting the probe. The overall design is sleek and slim, not much bigger than your average pen.
Price – The price of the ThermoPro Tp-02S can’t be beaten. Talk about affordable! Plus, it comes with a generous one-year warranty. And if you register your ThermoPro product you automatically receive an extended three-year warranty.
Accuracy & Range – The high precision sensor has a temperature range of -58°F ~ 572°F and is accurate to within +/- 0.9°F. The large display helps you to quickly and clearly see the temperature. ThermoPro thermometers are known for their speed and accuracy, and the ThermoPro TP-02S has the same great quality you have come to know and respect.
What We Don’t Like:
Bare Minimum Functions – If simplicity is your style, the ThermoPro TP-025 is probably right up your alley. However, if you are a backyard barbecue expert who has come to expect all of the bells and whistles in your tools, you will find this model a little lacking. The design is straightforward with only two buttons on the back to control it. It does the job, but don’t expect to get more than what you have paid for.
|ThermoPop Instant Read Thermometer||Buy on ThermoWorks|
The first pocket thermometer with a rotating display, the ThermoPop is one of the most eye-catching meat thermometers we looked at. Available in a wide variety of colors and priced affordably, we found the ThermoPop to be quite the bargain instant-read thermometer. It doesn’t have all the high-tech features of bigger models, but it definitely gets the job done.
Side note – You won’t find the ThermoPop listed on Amazon. There are too many poor imitations of the Thermopop out there, so the company encourages you to purchase directly from the manufacturer’s website to avoid the knockoffs.
What We Like:
Versatility – The ThermoPop is convenient for both right and left-handed use. The big, backlit display actually rotates so that it can be read from any angle.
Design – Available in nine different colors and built with a splash-proof design, it is easy to see why the ThermoPop is so beloved. Add in the high quality that comes from being manufactured by ThermoWorks, and you have a real winner.
Price – You will often see the ThermoPop instant-read thermometer listed as one of the best bargain thermometers. It may not have many high-tech features, but it is very efficient and inexpensive.
What We Don’t Like:
Speed & Accuracy – With a response time of 4+ seconds and an accuracy of +/- 2°, the ThermoPop is still fairly quick and accurate. However, for a few dollars more, you’ll find instant-read thermometers that are faster and more accurate.
|Mister Chefer Instant Read Thermometer||Buy on Amazon|
Mister Chefer Instant Read Thermometer
Another underdog coming up from behind is the Mister Chefer Instant Read Thermometer. If you are looking for a fast and reliable instant read thermometer, the Mister Chefer will definitely do the trick. Mister Chefer’s goal is to make cooking easier and more enjoyable, and with their instant read thermometer, you will soon become a real master in the kitchen or at the grill.
What We Like:
Accuracy & Speed – We found the Mister Chefer to be quite comparable to the Cuteadoy. It has a great accuracy of +/- 1 degree within 2-4 seconds. It has a great, wide temperature range of -58°F to 572°F making it incredibly versatile for steaks, fish, bread and pastries, candies, and beverages. However, keep in mind that the one-degree accuracy is within the temperature range of -4°F-392°F. If the temperature is outside of this range, accuracy changes to +/- 2 degrees.
Price & Warranty – The Mister Chefer comes at an incredible bargain price, and it’s backed by a generous lifetime warranty. Not satisfied with your thermometer? Mister Chefer offers a 100% money-back guarantee. You can’t beat that!
Convenience – The backlight button quickly illuminates the screen, meaning you can quickly see the temperature whenever you are cooking, day or night. It has a large hanging hole and a strong magnet for storing on any metal surface. It is waterproof, so cleaning is easy, but take care when you clean in the joint of the probe and thermometer.
What We Don’t Like:
Construction – We love that this thermometer has a long folding probe, but some consumers have found the construction to be a little lacking. Some have experienced breakage where the probe meets the thermometer. If you experience any issues with your Mister Chefer instant read thermometer, be sure to utilize the lifetime guarantee.
|GDEALER DT8 Thermometer||Buy on Amazon|
Another low price instant read thermometer with a lot to offer is the GDEALER DT8. It is highly reviewed and regarded as a great thermometer at a price that can’t be beaten. Simple to use and thoroughly accurate, there’s a lot to love about the GDEALER DT8.
What We Like:
Price – Being one of the most affordably priced instant read thermometers, the GDEALER DT8 is a great bargain. GDEALER also offers a generous lifetime warranty for all of its thermometers. At a price this great, the DT8 also makes a great gift for other grilling enthusiasts.
Accuracy & Speed – The overall range of the GDEALER DT8 is -58°F ~ 572°F. Within the range of -58°F – 392°F, the DT* is accurate to within +/- 2 degrees. We don’t like for that accuracy to be anything above 2 degrees, so the DT8 is right on the line in regards to accuracy. But we definitely appreciate the quick read time of 2-4 seconds.
Convenience – The DT8 is fully calibrated right out of the box, but you can also calibrate it at home with the calibration function. It also features a convenient meat chart and bottle opener, as well as being magnetic and having a wide hang hole. Its waterproof design makes for easy cleaning, and you can put it under running water with no fear.
What We Don’t Like:
Not much – We really can’t complain about this model! GDealer has made some great advancements with the DT8. We wish it was slightly more accurate, but we think its incredible features far outweigh my concern for the accuracy. Did we mention that this is one of the lowest-priced models we reviewed AND it comes with a lifetime warranty? Customers who have had minor issues with their DT8 found that GDEALER’s customer service was a dream to work with and have nothing but compliments for the DT8.
|Cuteadoy Instant Read Thermometer||Buy on Amazon|
Cuteadoy Instant Read Thermometer
Well priced and well designed, the Cuteadoy Instant Read Thermometer has a lot of great features worth mentioning. It has flown under the radar for a while, but we feel it deserves attention in more instant read thermometer reviews. The Cuteadoy instant read thermometer is quick, and reliable, and it can even open your beer! The bottle opener is a nice extra perk!
What We Like:
Quick & Accurate – You need a thermometer you can rely on, and the Cuteadoy will not let you down. It has a fast read time of 2-4 seconds and is accurate to within +/- 0.09°F. It also has a measuring range of -58°F to 572°F, which is really impressive. This model is really ideal in regards to speed and accuracy.
Price & Warranty – Perhaps even more impressive than its temperature range, is the Cuteadoy instant read thermometer’s price. It’s definitely on the small end of our scale, so you get an incredible deal. Beyond the great price, Cuteadoy also offers a five-year warranty. Also, if you don’t like your Cuteadoy, you have 30 days to return the product for a full refund, with no reason required.
Strong Build Quality – Sturdy and efficient, the Cuteadoy instant read thermometer is built with high-quality PA-777D high-temperature plastic. It is also certified IP67 level waterproof and easy to clean. We like that Cuteadoy has taken extra steps to strengthen the link between the probe and the thermometer, preventing probe shedding and breakage.
Convenience – Thanks to its built-in, strong magnet, you can store the Cuteadoy instant read thermometer almost anywhere. It also has a wide hole for hanging, which also functions as a convenient bottle opener. Also worth noting is that the included battery is said to last around two years, so you don’t have to worry about having insufficient power for a long time.
What We Don’t Like:
Display – It was hard to find something on this model that we didn’t love, but if we had to change one thing, it would be the display. While it is backlit and clearly read, the display does not auto-rotate. Depending on the angle of insertion of the probe, you may have to crane your neck a bit to read the display.
|Cuteadoy Instant Read Thermometer||Buy on Amazon|
Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer
There is a lot to love about the Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer. If we had to crown a Best Instant Read Thermometer 2019, the Kizen model would be a heavy contender. It is a brand that has flown relatively under the radar, but we think it’s a standout in the crowd for several reasons.
What We Like:
Price – A small price tag coupled with the lifetime warranty means you have a meat thermometer that can literally last you a lifetime.
Quick Response – The average instant read thermometer takes around 8 seconds for a readout. Not exactly instant. Kizen, on the other hand, has a read time of 2-3 seconds. It is also accurate to +/-1 degrees and has a temperature range of -58 °F to 572 °F.
Durability – Use running water to clean this thermometer no problem! The durable ABS plastic body rates IP67 waterproof. It can also withstand drops and other impacts.
Storage – You can conveniently store your Kizen wherever access is easiest. It has an internal magnet for hanging on the fridge. It also has a large hang hole and comes with Velcro dots for hanging on the wall.
Lifetime Warranty – It is a nice surprise to see an instant-read thermometer with a 100% money-back lifetime guarantee. So much so that it is worth mentioning how much Kizen stands behind their product.
What We Don’t Like:
Inconvenient for left handed people – If you happen to be left-handed, using the Kizen can be a bit tricky. The display is more optimal for right handed use.
Not Much – Other than handedness, Kizen customers don’t have much to complain about. It seems that any issues they have encountered with this model have been one-off flukes easily solved by Kizen’s customer service team. Kizen stands behind its product and its warranty 100%.
Why You Should Buy an Instant Read Thermometer
Guessing is no way to measure the doneness of your meat. An inaccurate guess could lead to overcooked, tough meat or dangerous, undercooked meat. Especially when it comes to chicken (which begs the question – How long should you grill chicken?) You need an instant read thermometer for the most accurate measurements of temperature. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out this video to see some of our favorite meat thermometers doing what they do best. You will see why an instant read thermometer is an essential appliance to have.
Instant Read or Leave in Probe Thermometer
Checking the temperature of meat is essential for knowing its doneness. It’s important to always have the right tool for the job. Many grilling enthusiasts advocate for the use of leave in probe thermometers, such as these dual probe thermometers.
So what’s the difference between an instant read thermometer and a leave in probe thermometer? The name sort of gives it away, but a leave in thermometer remains inside the meat throughout cooking. Due to their construction, instant read thermometers cannot withstand high heats for long periods and should not be left in the meat while cooking.
Some people say that instant read thermometers cause more juices to leak out due to the repeated probing of the meat. However, this is not true. There is no such thing as a seal on the outside of the meat, so you aren’t losing anything. Though, what you do have to worry about is how much your thermometer punctures the muscle fibrils. These are the microscopic parts of the meat where the juice is. Truth is, probe thermometers aren’t usually sharp enough to puncture the muscle fibrils. They cause very little juice loss overall.
But when it comes down to deciding between an instant read thermometer and a leave in probe thermometer, we side with the instant read. A leave in probe thermometer has two factors that work against it. Being that metal conducts heat, you are creating an artificial heat zone around the probe when you leave it in the meat during cooking.
It’s also difficult to determine the part you want to take the temperature of (the coolest/thickest part) until after it’s done cooking. Placing the probe incorrectly can lead to an inaccurate reading.
Just because we side with the instant read doesn’t mean we don’t also use a leave in probe thermometer. Different jobs may require different tools. When using a smoker, we tend to rely on a leave in probe thermometer due to the longer cooking times. We have also compiled a list of some of the best smoker thermometers, many of which are leave in probe thermometers.
|Some more great thermometer guides|
|Dual Probe Thermometer|
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are compiled with a combination of expert input, years of hands-on testing of grilling products, curating the reviews of real-life buyers in a “wisdom of the crowd” system, and of course our own expertise. All the products listed are the ones we would buy if we were looking to purchase a new instant-read thermometer.
Methodology Used to Pick the Best Instant Read Thermometer
When picking the best instant-read thermometer we looked at and then rated each thermometer on the following criteria. Price, accuracy, speed of reading, temp ranges, ease of use, and extra features.
What to Look for in the Best Instant Read Thermometer
Most instant read thermometers may seem pretty similar. They are all doing the same job, just with small differences in features and appearance. So what should you consider when comparing instant read thermometers?
Accuracy is vital. Nobody wants meat that is overcooked or undercooked, so you need a thermometer that is reliable. I recommend getting a thermometer with an accuracy of within two degrees. The less the better. The ThermoWorks and FireBoard thermometers are the best with respect to accuracy.
Speed of Reading
Getting a stable reading on your instant-read thermometer can take anywhere from one to fifteen seconds. Fifteen seconds may not seem like a lot. But even if you are grilling just four steaks this is a minute to check all four temps, in this time a steak can easily go over your desired doneness. Bear that in mind, and look for an instant-read thermometer with a quick reading time. The ThermoWorks Thermapen One is the best for speed of reading, taking just one second.
You may want to use your instant-read thermometer in a variety of situations – grilling, smoking, bread and cheese making, beer brewing, candy making, etc. To do that, you will want a thermometer capable of a large range of temperatures. Some can reach upwards of 600 degrees, while others top out at 450. The wider the range you need, the better the thermometer will need to be.
Ease of Use
When your steaks are sizzling on the grill and seconds away from overcooking, you don’t want to be fumbling with your thermometer. The best instant read thermometers are ones that are easy to use. The probe should be easy to insert and also easy to clean. Also consider how easily you can toggle and change the settings, such as changing from Celsius to Fahrenheit.
Extra features can take a thermometer from good to great. I look for thermometers that are solidly built, waterproof, and can withstand a drop. I also tend to like displays that auto-rotate, are backlit, and are readable from any angle. Ambidextrous models are also handy – pun intended! And It’s also worth considering if you can calibrate the thermometer yourself or if you have to return it to the manufacturer. Some of the more extravagant extra features from thermometers on this list is doubling as an infrared or leave-in probe thermometer and having WiFi capabilities.
How to Properly Use an Instant Read Thermometer
You may find yourself wondering how to properly insert an instant read thermometer. Sure, it doesn’t seem all that difficult, and it isn’t. But there are a few things you should also consider. When inserting your instant read thermometer, always place the probe in the center of the thickest part of the meat. Keep it well away from any bones, as those conduct heat and can give an inaccurate reading.
Trying to measure thinner pieces of meat like a burger or pork chop? Try turning the meat on its side and inserting the probe lengthwise. Push it in until you reach the center for the most accurate reading.
How to Test Your Instant Read Thermometer
If you want to test the accuracy of your instant read thermometer, you have two options: either boiling water or using ice water.
Boiling Water Method – Bring a deep pot of water to a rolling boil. Insert the probe into the water about halfway. Be careful to avoid the sides and bottom of the pot. Your thermometer should read 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ice Water Method – Fill a container with crushed ice and water until it is slushy. Insert the probe into the middle, again avoiding the sides and bottom. Your thermometer should measure 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
What to do if Your Thermometer is Inaccurate
If you tried the boiling water method and ice water method of testing your instant read thermometer and found the readings to be off, your thermometer needs to be calibrated. Calibration involves repeating the two tests and using the thermometers calibration button to set the correct temperature, usually by holding the button until the display reads correctly for each test.
Fair warning though, not all models have a calibration button. While many are capable of home calibration, others require the manufacturer to complete the calibration. All instant read thermometers come pre-calibrated by the manufacturer. But if your thermometer is inaccurate and incapable of home calibration, you should try contacting the manufacturer to inquire about how to correct your model. Some manufacturers will ask you to send the thermometer back, and they will calibrate it for you.
Top Instant Read Thermometers Video
An instant read thermometer might not have all of the bells and whistles of a wifi thermometer or a Bluetooth thermometer, but it does have many benefits. They are simple, uncomplicated to use, reliable, and very affordable.
I have looked at many of the highest rated options available on the market in this list. I’m sure that no matter what you are looking for in an instant read thermometer, you are sure to find the right instant read thermometer for your needs among these high-quality products. So leave the guesswork behind and join the rest of us enjoying perfect and precisely cooked meat every time with an instant read thermometer.
So which instant read thermometer would I say is the best? As always, this depends. There isn’t one best thermometer for every situation. If I was a professional chef checking temps hundreds of times a day I’d probably go for the Thermapen One due to its speed. But I’m not a professional chef, I’m a backyard pitmaster. So the FireBoard Spark having the option of being a leave-in probe really appeals to me. I also love my Blackstone griddle, so having an infrared and instant read thermometer combo would massively help, if you also love griddle cooking then the Thermapen IR could be the thermometer for you. And of course, I’ve not mentioned the elephant in the room – the price! The three thermometers I’ve just mentioned cost an arm and a leg. Thankfully I get a tax break on buying these gadgets as a business expense to run this channel and my website. If I didn’t, could I justify these prices? Probably, but I’d be in the dog house with my wife for a few days, so maybe I’d veer to one of the cheaper models that also do an extremely good job.
2 thoughts on “9 Best Instant Read Thermometers for Grilling”
I really like the Thermapen 4 thermometer, I use it every day!
I started using a Meat thermometer when I realized that bacterias remain in a cooked food with the wrong temperature, finally, I have found amazing Thermometer very often and very satisfied with it.