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Everyone has their own method of checking to see when their chicken is cooked, steak is seared, or roast is ready. Some people pressing on their hand for comparison, others wait for the juices to run clear, and some just slice it open and take a look. But with a meat thermometer, there’s no guesswork as to when your meat is fully cooked, and no worries about whether you may have an unfortunate reaction a few hours later.
These days, the best meat thermometers are going digital, giving you an easy and accurate way to check on your meat without having to dissect any numbers or readings.
What You Need to Know When Buying a Digital Meat Thermometer
Meat Temperature: Meat thermometers can pinpoint the temperature of your cut within about 5 seconds and 0.9° Fahrenheit, sometimes from a range of -40° to over 500°F (make sure it offers Celsius too if that’s your preferred unit of measurement). Some deliver the temperature reading faster than others. To the casual cook, this may be a negligible difference. But when milliseconds matter, to a perfectionist chef trying to impress, this feature might be worth it. Waiting any longer can affect the texture, flavor, and juiciness.
Grill Temperature: Another application of a meat thermometer is the ability to get your grill temperature just right, before throwing your cuts on there. This is often overlooked, and can help avoid food being overcooked or undercooked if the grill isn’t hot enough at the beginning.
Ease of Use: You should always be sticking the thermometer into the deepest part of your meat for the most accurate reading. If you’re cooking thicker cuts, you’ll want something with a longer probe to really get in there, and some of the picks on our list offer the option of two probes, to be extra sure and safe that it’s reached the right temperature. A few models even let you leave the probe in the grill or the oven the entire time too.
Extra Features: The best digital meat thermometers all come with easy-to-read screens that display your time and temperature. Look for bonus features too, like Bluetooth capabilities, an anti-fog screen, brighter backlight, and a longer battery life (most of our picks are wireless thermometers so there’s no need to plug anything in).
Since every grill master and chef has their own style, we’ve selected five popular meat thermometer options to help get you started on picking the right one before your next bake-off or backyard barbecue.
1. Yummly Smart Thermometer
Yummly’s wireless, Bluetooth meat thermometer is completely wireless, and the most intelligent on our list. With dual temperature sensors (internal and oven temp), this thermometer is for grillmaster who wants absolute smart-controlled cooking precision.
With a sleek design, there’s no cords, no oversized transmitter—just a handy extractor to protect your hand when you remove the thermometer from your food. You can monitor and control the thermometer via the smartphone Yummly️ app, for both iOS and Android. Its long-range Bluetooth capabilities makes it stand out from other wireless thermometers, meaning you can feel free to make some side dishes while you monitor your meat’s doneness remotely. We don’t recommend you abandon the grill for too long, but you can check the app from an impressive 150 ft away.
While the Smart Thermometer is pretty streamlined, the Yummly app is what truly sets it apart from the competition. Built-in timers give you alerts not just when the meat is ready, but it tells you when to flip your food, adjust the heat if needed, and how long to let it rest before eating. The app also has extensive presets for different kinds of meat options, from poultry and beef to fish. Simply choose your preferred doneness, and it’ll set the target temperature for you.
With 25+ hours of continuous use between charges, you won’t have to worry about whether you forgot to charge it before sparking up the grill, either. The only thing this thermometer can’t do is season your food for you.
2. Saferell Instant Read Meat Thermometer
Furthering the quest for grilling perfection, when seconds matter, the Saferell steps up. The temperature reading here is ultra-fast – under three seconds and within one degree, and easily readable thanks to its big, bright LCD screen.
It’s pretty user-friendly when it comes to spills and cleaning too, with an IP67 waterproof rating. That being said, washing it under running water is no problem, but it’s best to avoid submerging it. This is also ideal for the chef who may be juggling multiple tasks and gadgets at once: The Saferell is durable, and can stand up to being dropped and knocked around a bit.
With a large backlight screen, it lets you see the temp clearly both in dim kitchen light and the bright outdoors. You’ll get tender, well-seared meat with an accurate reading from the 4.6-inch long probe, but it works just as well for deep frying too, since it can handle the heat up to 572°F.
3. HONJAN Digital Meat Thermometer
Made with food-grade stainless steel, the Honjan has everything all ready for the cookout.
This BPA-free thermometer is loaded with features that any grillmaster will go for. With the ability to read a wide range of temperatures — from -58℉ to about 572℉ — in about four seconds tops, you won’t have to wait long to see what stage of cooking you’re at. The thermometer reading also effortlessly switches between Fahrenheit and Celsius.
This is convenient to grab whenever you need it – the magnetic backing lets you stick it on your fridge or grill, and the hang-hook design makes it easy to keep next to you. Night-grilling is no problem either, as the Honjan’s bright backlight button lets you see the temperature no matter how dark it is outside. It’ll automatically turn off after 10 minutes too, in order to conserve battery life.
Finally, and possibly the best feature, the Honjan is completely waterproof. Seriously. Don’t be afraid to wash it under a running tap, or completely submerge it in the sink (not dishwasher-safe, though). When the grill has closed for good and the thermometer’s been washed, simply fold it up and stash it away in a pocket or drawer.
4. ThermoPro TP-16S Digital Meat Thermometer
BEST FOR SLOW-COOKING
When opening the oven isn’t an option and you want to retain the heat inside, the ThermoPro can tell you the temperature without needing to lift a finger (or the grill lid).
ThermoPro lets you monitor your meat from a safe distance, thanks to its 40-inch stainless steel cable. Push the precise 6.5-inch probe to the center of whatever you’re cooking, select one of the seven pre-set meat options, and close the oven door or grill top with the main unit outside (it’s also magnetic and easily sticks).
The brightly illuminated display is activated with a light touch, and lets you quickly view everything at once, including the current cooking temperature, as well as the countdown to how much longer is left. It’ll even loudly let you know when everything’s done.
Its accuracy is usually within 1.7°F, and covers a wide temperature range, from 14°F to 572°F. The wire itself is extra durable, and has no problems holding up in heat up to 714°F. For those who slow-cook and smoke-out, the ThermoPro can handle the heat from a distance.
5. GDEALER DT15 Digital Meat Thermometer
EASIEST TO READ
The GDealer’s screen is big, bright, backlit, and easily viewable, making it ideal when peering inside a dark oven or grilling at night.
The food-grade, foldable, stainless-steel probe is a decent length at 4.6 inches, and the automatic shutoff is a helpful battery-saving feature as well, say, if your food is done and you accidentally leave the thermometer running on the countertop. Another great attribute here is the audible temperature reading. Its accuracy is on-point too: after calibrating, we found that the measurement was correct within 0.4°F.
Cleaning is simple. Wipe it down and hang it up when you’re done, or slap it onto a magnetic surface thanks to its internal magnet. And if you’re getting the GDealer as a gift for friends or family outside the U.S., it also easily switches from Fahrenheit to Celsius too.
Other thermometers have external magnets which can come loose and fall off over time, whereas the GDealer’s is internal and avoids that issue altogether. Overall, the this thermometer is easy to figure out and calibrate, with a display that’s even easier to read.