Reviews You Can Rely On

Best Meat Thermometer

We tested meat thermometers from Kizen, Weber, ThermoPro, Lavatools, and more
Looking to add a new meat thermometer to your array of valuable kitche...
Credit: Aaron Rice
By Aaron Rice ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 27, 2021
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Looking for the best meat thermometer? We researched 50+ of the top-selling models, selecting 13 to purchase and test side-by-side available today. Through scientific analysis, as well as plenty of roasting, slow cooking, and searing, our review thoroughly covers some of the most popular options on the market. We examine key attributes, like accuracy and ease of use, to identify top-performers regardless of price. Our comprehensive review covers a variety of options, and our team of kitchen experts delivers recommendations to help you find the best meat thermometer for your kitchen.


Best Overall Meat Thermometer

Kizen Instant Read

Probe Length: 4.4 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 0.7 ℉
True 3-second read time
Large, bright LCD screen
Long probe length
Jumpy temperature readout
Needs regular recalibration

The Kizen Instant Read meat thermometer is an impressive model with top performance and quality. While many handheld probes claim to measure temperature in seconds, this model actually does it, clocking adjustments in just three seconds. The Kizen provides highly accurate measurements to a fraction of a degree, and in our testing, it was as precise as 0.1 ℉ at points. This near-perfect precision served us well in grilling and baking, and should it lose accuracy over time, the thermometer can be easily recalibrated. Rounding out an excellent product, this model includes a large, easily readable LCD screen, magnetic backing, and high waterproof rating (IP67).

While such speed and precision are impressive, it can be somewhat jarring to watch the rapidly changing temperature display. Fortunately, the Kizen includes a hold button feature that marks minimum and maximum temperature until the button is pressed again. The hold button function does not include a timeout. Another potential drawback is the size and weight of the model; it's not the smallest nor the lightest model we reviewed. However, this is countered by having one of the longest probes we tested, allowing for convenient temperature checks that keep your hands away from the heat. The Kizen is an overall excellent choice for indoor and outdoor cooking.

The Kizen is a fast, accurate, and reliable instant-read meat...
The Kizen is a fast, accurate, and reliable instant-read meat thermometer.
Credit: Aaron Rice


Best Bang for Your Buck

ThermoPro TP03 Instant Read

Probe Length: 3.9 | Measurement Accuracy: 0.4℉
Super-fast readout
One of the most accurate in our review
Short probe length
Cannot be recalibrated

The ThermoPro TP03 takes the cake for a high-performing probe at an unbeatable price point, nearly half its competitors' price. The TP03 continually outperformed its listed measurement accuracy of 0.9℉ in everyday cooking duties and lab tests. In both our high and low-temperature tests, we noted a much more remarkable precision of 0.3℉, three times better than advertised! Not only that, but this probe was consistently clocking in at under four seconds. This made it the second-fastest in testing to read a stable temperature. Its overall basic look may fool some, but the numbers don't lie — this is a foldable probe that not only holds its own but, in many cases, crushes the performance of a majority of the other thermometers in this review.

While the simple TP03 impresses in terms of performance, it lacks in terms of features. It sports no waterproof rating and has specific heat limitations. For example, it explicitly states that you cannot leave the probe immersed in hot liquid or food for more than one minute without damage to the probe. The two biggest downfalls are related to the screen: 1) it does not feature a locking temperature readout, and 2) it has one of the smallest displays of the models we tested. However, there is no reason not to try out this entry-level instant thermometer for its value. This model is lightweight, with both a clip-loop for carrying and a magnetic backing.

Don't be fooled by its simple appearance, the TP03 boasts an...
Don't be fooled by its simple appearance, the TP03 boasts an accuracy and speed that rivals the cream of the crop in our review.
Credit: Aaron Rice


Top Value for Wireless Capability

ThermoPro TP-07 Wireless

Probe Length: 3.8 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 1.3℉
Long-distance wireless transmission
Easily programmable, without having to use your phone
No clip-on transmitter or magnetic backing
Wires kink easily

When it comes to a less complicated wireless option that doesn't require a smartphone, we believe there is no better value than the ThermoPro TP-07 Wireless. This meat thermometer consists of two separate units — the transmitter with wired probe and the programmable receiver. We were most impressed with how easily the two pair wirelessly and the signal strength going from inside the kitchen to outside on the grill. With features including countdown and count-up timers, internal probe temperature, and preset meat temperatures, we pleasantly found the receiver to be easily programmable. We also particularly appreciated the thoughtful addition of different color backlights for the LCD screen on the receiver, which clearly identifies vital moments in cooking: the first increase in temperature, within 15℉ of set temperature, and when the probe reaches the set internal temperature.

While both units can display temperature, only the transmitter displays the temperature at a decimal resolution. But despite this advantage, it's the transmitter that could use the most improvement. We feel that the unit could easily have a much larger LCD screen. More importantly, it would hugely benefit from something other than the simple hanger that easily slips from an oven handle every time we opened the door, such as a magnetic backing or clip. We found that the interface is much more intuitive than it appears, despite its clunky-looking button layout, and will have you accurately taking meat temperatures right out of the box.

Even without the support of a smartphone app, the TP-07 wireless...
Even without the support of a smartphone app, the TP-07 wireless impressed us with a user-friendly interface and seriously impressive connection distance.
Credit: Aaron Rice


Best Ambidextrous Option

Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo

Probe Length: 4.4 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 0.9℉
Ambidextrous display
Motion sensing backlight
Not as accurate at high temperatures

When it comes to meat thermometers, lefties often get the short end of the stick. But with the Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo, those ambidextrous chefs among us no longer have to settle for less. The probe is dominated by an oversized screen with large, easy-to-read font that automatically rotates based on positioning. Not only is it highly accurate, but the Javelin is one of the fastest instant-read thermometers in our review, clocking in an average response time of just under four seconds. The backlight is the brightest of any we tested, and the probe has a motion sensor that triggers the backlight with a flick of the wrist, perfect for those operating in heat-proof gloves over hot, open-pit flames. Cleanliness is the name of the game in professional kitchens, and we appreciate that Lavatools impregnates the plastic shell of their probes with an anti-microbial additive to help keep this device clean in between washings. It also has a high level of waterproofing (IP65.)

However, this performance machine does carry a considerable price tag. The Javelin costs more than twice the amount of all other instant-read thermometers we tested. This probe was one of the few with zero deviation from 32℉ during our calibration test. However, it does tend to deviate up to 2℉ from an accurate reading at temperatures above boiling. While this is minor, it is notably more sway than other top-performers. And unlike some of our other favorites, this thermometer cannot be recalibrated if it indeed loses accuracy over time. Like other ambidextrous models we tested, we do wish that the probe was designed to fold 270° for a full range of use. But for a professional-grade thermometer, it is tough to beat both the speed and functionality of the Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo, especially for left-handed chefs.

Clean design, high precision, and personalized functionality: the...
Clean design, high precision, and personalized functionality: the Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo has many reasons to justify its higher-than-normal price tag.
Credit: Aaron Rice


Best Rechargeable Thermometer

InkBird Waterproof IHP-1P

Probe Length: 4.1 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 0.9℉
Rechargeable (USB-C)
Bright LCD backlight
Not easily readable in direct sunlight
Sleek, but simple

We love any product that is both energy and cost-saving. As the only genuinely rechargeable option in our review (meaning it can be wall-charged via an included USB-C cord), the Inkbird Waterproof Instant Read thermometer impressed us with its capability in this regard, as well as its overall weight, size, and sleek design. Although the manufacturer claims that this probe only has an accuracy of 1.8℉, we found that its precision is much closer to 1℉ in our tests. The LCD readout is improved with an easily readable, large font, and rather than flash-updating, you can watch the temperature rise with rolling numbers. It's one of the few folding models that incorporates a snap-housing for the end of the probe.

The backlight works great under kitchen lights and is one of the most powerful we tested. However, we found that the LCD screen is much more challenging to read out in direct sunlight, meaning the Inkbird may not be as ideal for afternoon grilling. While we love the fact that this is a fully rechargeable option, we wonder what the charging lifetime of this model is. We believe it could be improved with the ability to replace the rechargeable battery. But after hours of testing and cooking, we found that this speedy and sleek probe served us well on a single charge, losing just one bar of battery power.

Easy to use, rechargeable, and with a high waterproof rating, the...
Easy to use, rechargeable, and with a high waterproof rating, the Inkbird Waterproof instant-read is bound to help improve the quality of your next steak.
Credit: Aaron Rice


Best Smart Thermometer

Soraken Wireless Thermometer

Probe Length: 3.9 inches | Measurement Accuracy: Approx. 1℉
Controlled via phone-app
Can support up to 6, individually monitored probes
Short probe length
Multiple probes can easily tangle

If the rest of your household is optimally controlled via apps on your phone, why not your next meat thermometer? The Soraken Wireless meat thermometer includes various programmable options as expected with most smart technology. It's possible to program each of the multiple probes according to specific cooking techniques, meat types, internal temperatures, or a timer that can be programmed for up to 240 minutes. Four are included, but the transmitter can support up to six probes. While you are away from the grill prepping sides, the Soraken will keep you updated with a chart of temperature vs. time and specified temperature alarms. Though the wireless capability from the grill is slightly limited when moving back inside the kitchen, we found that its wireless range outside easily outperformed its advertised ability. We were able to walk more than 200 feet away before ultimately losing the signal.

The Soraken is also the fastest updating wireless model we tested. The app and transmitter seem to update every few seconds simultaneously. This thermometer appeared to be highly accurate in our testing. Still, the lack of a decimal resolution on the readout or a listed measurement accuracy made this quality hard to verify. This unit cannot be recalibrated, so even if you are not getting accurate temperature readings, you may never know. It's pretty awesome to be able to remotely monitor and track the progress of up to six different pieces of meat all at once, even though we found handling the multiple probes somewhat cumbersome at times.

We love the Soraken Wireless for its smart design in terms of app...
We love the Soraken Wireless for its smart design in terms of app layout, unit interface, and storage capability.
Credit: Aaron Rice


Accurate and Easy-to-Read

ThermoPro TP19 Waterproof

Probe Length: 4.3 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 0.4℉
Auto-rotating LCD
Huge readout font
Longer readout time than advertised

The ThermoPro TP19 is one of the highest-performing folding probe thermometers offered by one of the best brands on the market. The ambidexterity is what makes this product stand out from most of the other models we included in this review. The TP19 features a motion sensor that quickly and automatically rotates the LCD readout depending on orientation. For left-handed chefs, this is crucial. This same sensor doubles its benefits with a battery-saving sleep function. The thermometer will shut off if not handled for 90 seconds and then instantly wake back up when moved. For all of these extra functions, this thermometer impressed us in terms of accuracy. This thermometer consistently produced accurate measurements of less than 0.5℉ from braising to baking.

Although it's incredibly precise, the thermocouple probes in this model take longer to adjust to the temperature. While the manufacturer claims a "super-fast […] readout within 3 seconds," our testing revealed that it typically takes a little more than 5 seconds for the temperature reading to stabilize. While it does have the benefit of a rotating LCD, we found it frustrating that you could use it at an angle right-handed but only fully extended with the left hand. This model would be much more convenient to use if the probe rotated a full 270-degrees. The TP19 may be the largest folding probe we tested, but its incredible accuracy and ease of use make it a great option for ambidextrous cooks.

Incredible accuracy, combined with the huge, rotatable LCD readout...
Incredible accuracy, combined with the huge, rotatable LCD readout of the ambidextrous TP19 makes it one of our favorites for anyone, right or left-handed.
Credit: Aaron Rice


Compact Instant-Read

Lavatools Javelin

Probe Length: 2.8 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 0.7℉
Large, easily readable screen compared to its small size
The smallest probe length of models tested
Cannot be recalibrated

It's easy to see why the Lavatools PT12 Javelin is an incredibly popular meat thermometer. This lightweight, compact, and durable option is easily the most pocket-friendly of the folding probes we tested. Its simple, sleek, ergonomic design makes it easy to use in every cooking setting. This thermometer has a broad temperature range, from -40℉ up to 482℉, making it versatile for everything but high-temperature wood-firing. It's also nearly twice as accurate as advertised with an incredibly sensitive probe that quickly adjusts to air temperatures by just hovering above a pan.

But despite the beauty of simplicity, there are some pitfalls to the crowd-pleasing Javelin. This model does not feature a backlit screen, but fortunately, the LCD is strong enough to read under direct light easily. This simple probe does not feature a hold button to lock in a temperature reading and cannot be recalibrated. Most notably, the Javelin has the shortest probe of any model we tested. We found that this thermometer is better suited for baking than grilling due to these three factors. That being said, we believe that this is the best compact option for the size-conscious cook who likes keeping a temperature probe on them at all times.

Tiny and fun, this is just one of the many bright colors available...
Tiny and fun, this is just one of the many bright colors available on the perfectly pocket-sized Javelin instant-read.
Credit: Aaron Rice


Long Probe Thermometer

Habor 022 Instant Read

Probe Length: 4.8 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 0.5℉
Nearly 5-inch probe
Low price
Tiny screen
Lack of foldable probe

Before foldable options took over the instant thermometer world, long-stem probes like the Habor 022 Instant Read reigned supreme among candy makers and professional chefs. The value of this excessively simple, price-point option is still clear. It has one of the longest length probes in our review, measuring two inches longer than the model with the shortest probe. While the manufacturer claims that it only has a measurement precision of 2℉, it's the only model in our calibration test to exactly hit the temperature mark.

Compared to more modern competitors, the Habor 022 certainly leaves much to be desired beyond the accuracy and long stem. It consistently has a slow read time of more than 10 seconds to achieve a steady temperature reading. It's a lightweight option for a thermometer. Still, it's not as conveniently portable in a kitchen without a folding probe unless you are wearing a professional chef's coat with pen pockets. The screen is small, and it's nearly impossible to read in direct sunlight since it lacks a backlight. Despite these inconvenient flaws, it's impossible to deny how valuable this price-pointed, quick-read thermometer could be as an addition to any kitchen.

Although it doesn't have a folding probe, the Habor 022 does have a...
Although it doesn't have a folding probe, the Habor 022 does have a notably long probe for an instant-read thermometer.
Credit: Aaron Rice


Simple and Functional

Weber Instant Read Thermometer

Probe Length: 4.8 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 4.8℉
Long probe length
Easy to read LCD
Lack of foldable probe
No backlight
Inaccurate at higher temperatures

Just like their dependable charcoal grills, the Weber Instant Read Thermometer is a functional product from a well-established manufacturer. Although it doesn't include any of the features of some of the more expensive models we tested, this is an adequate pocket-sized probe. A smaller screen is balanced out by a bold, easy-to-read LCD font. The Weber Instant Read also features one of the longest probe lengths in this review, measuring in at just under five inches.

Though we didn't expect much by way of flashy functions incorporated into this simple thermometer, we hoped for a more consistent temperature readout. At the low end of the spectrum, the Weber Instant Read performs well but then slowly loses accuracy as you climb through the temperature gradient. By the time you get to 300℉+, this probe only offers measurement accuracy of 9℉. Fortunately, most of our meat cooking is happening in that low range, between 32℉ and 212℉, where you do benefit from a much more accurate 1.8℉ precision.

Small and simple, but with a temperature probe that was among the...
Small and simple, but with a temperature probe that was among the longest of any we tested.
Credit: Aaron Rice


Programmable Value

ThermoPro TP16 Digital

Probe Length: 4 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 1.5℉
Simple, intuitive interface
Low price for a programmable unit
No backlight
Wire kinks easily

The ThermoPro TP-16 LCD does a great job handling the essential purpose of a programmable thermometer, though it doesn't include the additional features of similar meat thermometers featured in this review. Considering its performance and user-friendly interface, we believe that this basic-looking unit puts forth much more value than meets the eye. The TP-16 LCD response time is nearly half that of its nearest wireless competitor, the TP-07. Although the programs are limited to a probe mode, preset, timer, and recommended internal temperatures for only the most basic meats, the interface is incredibly intuitive. Even without the aid of the owner's manual, we were able to figure out how to program this model in a matter of seconds.

The magnetic backing is excellent for attaching to the outside of an oven, but the small folding stand easily collapses when trying to press the buttons on the top. All appearances point to this thermometer as being designed to live on a grill. However, it's best to keep this one in the kitchen due to the lack of waterproof rating and the fact that the non-backlit LCD is very difficult to read in direct sunlight and the evening's dimness. Measurement precision of 1.8℉ is not as strong as the other competitors in our tests and is only further explained by the readout's lack of a decimal resolution. But it has earned our praise for consistent efficacy as our testing proves that this wired thermometer is at least as accurate — and often slightly better — than the manufacturer claims.

If you want to be able to program an ideal internal temperature, but...
If you want to be able to program an ideal internal temperature, but don't want to complicate things with a wireless adapter or smartphone-app, then the TP16 is right up your alley.
Credit: Aaron Rice


Fitting for a Trendy Kitchen

Meater+ Long Range Thermometer

Probe Length: 4 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 2℉
Bamboo base unit doubles as charger and Bluetooth booster
Dual reading from a single probe: ambient and internal temperature
Loses connection frequently, particularly during oven use
Restricted to thick cuts of meat

The MEATER+ is a smart concept and the most stylish temperature probe that we reviewed. The single, pen-sized probe can measure and record both ambient oven and internal meat temperatures and update that information in real-time via a cleanly designed smartphone app. There are no wires; in fact, the base unit — a very chic bamboo case with a magnetic backing — serves only as a charging base and Bluetooth booster. Like many modern smart apps, this unit is capable of connecting to all of your app-based home devices — like your TV or Alexa — through the MEATER cloud. It can even provide updates when you are away from home. The app includes a wide variety of temperature presets for something as exact as a Secreto cut of pork or as obscure as a Kangaroo steak. In contrast, the temperature probe can be programmed entirely through your phone.

Unfortunately, this incredible concept all but falls apart when put into practice. Yes, the dual sensors are relatively precise. However, due in part to the probe's fragility, this model is not versatile for more than cooking a roast — without damaging the probe, the maximum internal temperature is only 212℉. Additionally, the probe must be inserted more than 2.5 inches to a "safety notch," all but eliminating its usefulness in pinpointing the thickest part of the meat, because you almost always have to insert the probe from the side. The booster does allow you to monitor temperatures up to 165 feet away when outside, but when cooking in the oven, the probe constantly lost connectivity anytime we moved more than a few feet away from the stove. For those trendy grillers who love the convenience of linking everything to their phone — even their meat thermometer — this is the perfect gift; otherwise, we will wait until the MEATER+ receives an update.

This uber-trendy, smartphone-controlled probe is right at home in...
This uber-trendy, smartphone-controlled probe is right at home in any modern-chic kitchen.
Credit: Aaron Rice


Classic, Leave-In Thermometer

CDN IRM200 ProAccurate

Probe Length: 4.4 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 2℉
Large dial
Easily readable guide for cooking temperatures
Thick probe
Slow measurement time

For those devoted to the no-frills simplicity of the leave-in, manual thermometer, the CDN IRM200 ProAccurate will be an excellent investment. The very large dial sports an easy-to-read, large font without sticking your head in the oven. It features a standard temperature guide and indicator that rotates around the rim to mark your desired internal temperature. The heat-resistant glass is oven-proof, of course, and the dial is sealed so that it can withstand the beating of even a commercial dishwasher.

The ProAccurate doesn't have the capability for decimal resolution or an instant-read thermometer's speed, despite its name. It's also limited in terms of versatility to meat since the temperature range only goes from 120℉ to 200℉. But, this manual thermometer's ability to be easily recalibrated is what puts it on par with many of the electronic models we tested — particularly in terms of long-lasting value.

Tried and true, the ProAccurate improves upon a long-lineage of...
Tried and true, the ProAccurate improves upon a long-lineage of leave-in thermometers with a few thoughtful features.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Why You Should Trust Us

One of our kitchen experts, Aaron Rice, handled all of the formal hands-on testing for this thermometer review. Aaron learned to cook from family at a young age and continues to devote much of his free time to cooking at home and sharing good food with friends. Additionally, he has worked in and around professional kitchens for the better portion of a decade — he and his wife now manage an on-site culinary garden for a fine-dining restaurant in Santa Fe, NM.

Side-by-side comparison testing is our "secret sauce!" Here, we have...
The instant-read meat thermometer, almost as essential to the modern...
Make sure that well-braising roast doesn't come up to temperature...

Before diving head-first into the grilling, roasting, slow cooking, and temperature testing, the first step in our thorough testing process is to complete our due diligence of online research. Our reviewers spend hours investigating the most popular products on the market. After narrowing our selection down to the best options, we then purchased them at retail value. Our expert reviewers design scientifically-based tests to scrutinize these products through side-by-side testing and then back up that information with real-world cooking experience. The result is a comprehensive review based on hands-on experience with each product. Whether you are looking to ensure that you did indeed cook that chicken roast all the way through or boost your smoking game, we offer up a variety of the best meat thermometers available to suit the needs of any home (or professional) chef.

We tested several instant-read models, as these are fairly...
We tested several instant-read models, as these are fairly inexpensive, convenient, and the most popular design on the market.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Analysis and Test Results

Next to a timer, a quality meat thermometer may be the most important — and one of the least expensive — tools in a chef's arsenal to consistently produce perfectly cooked cuts of meat. The ease of an instant-read or the convenience of a leave-in thermometer could be the difference between a memorable meal or an infamous culinary disaster. To put these products to the test, we considered four key qualities vital to a valuable meat thermometer: accuracy, speed, ease of use, and features. We then tested these thermometers side-by-side in an ordinary kitchen, analyzing and ranking them according to each metric. Over the course of a week, we verified thermometer calibration, cooked up dozens of meat cuts to test internal temperatures, compared features, and measured specifications.

We chose to test each thermometer's accuracy in ways where we could...
We chose to test each thermometer's accuracy in ways where we could easily define a target temperature, such as boiling water.
Credit: Aaron Rice


Without the capability of a meat thermometer to take precise measurements, you may as well be using the time-tested, but often poorly executed, "hand test". If we're cooking a particularly pricey steak, we'd rather not take that risk. Each product we tested listed a measurement accuracy per the manufacturer, but of course, we had to verify those claims through a series of tests. We noticed that many of the models included in this review exceeded their manufacturer claims, and as a result, were awarded a few extra points for continuously outstanding performance. We also awarded points to the thermometers that can be recalibrated — this includes the CDN ProAccurate, the Kizen Instant Read, the Inkbird Waterproof, and the ThermoPro TP19.

Our lead tester lives at an altitude of 7300 feet, so the Kizen is...
Our lead tester lives at an altitude of 7300 feet, so the Kizen is about as close as you can get for a target boiling temperature of 200 degrees.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Many thermometers are factory-calibrated by chilling an ice bath down to the freezing point — this is a perfect point of measurement because, unlike boiling, freezing temperatures do not vary by altitude. Unfortunately, two thermometers were excluded from this first part of testing: the ProAccurate only displays a minimum temperature of 200℉, although the MEATER+ came within 1℉ of the mark, once the probe hit 32℉ we were prompted with a "low temperature detected!" warning message. Since there is no minimum temperature listed for this model — and its other temperature restrictions — we have to assume that this probe is at risk of damage from sub-freezing temperatures.

In an ice-bath calibration test, the Javelin PRO Duo was the only...
In an ice-bath calibration test, the Javelin PRO Duo was the only thermometer we tested that hit the nail square on the head.
Credit: Aaron Rice

But since these are meat thermometers, most commonly checking much higher temperatures, we also wanted to verify the high-side of their measurement accuracy — we tested this both in a boiling test and backed that up with anecdotal evidence from cooking. Two of the ThermoPro models — the TP19 and price-point TP03 — continually produced exceptional results, accurately measuring temperatures within a half-degree precision.

The large, easily readable LCD screen on the incredibly accurate...
The large, easily readable LCD screen on the incredibly accurate TP19 means that you will be able to adjust temperatures down to a decimal level.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Interestingly enough, another one of the more price-conscious options — the Habor 022 — also consistently took temperatures with nearly the same degree of accuracy. For wireless models, we found that the Soraken was easily the most accurate (although it does not display decimals on either readout). The Kizen is also nearly as precise as the ThermoPro options; however, the speed with which it operates causes the temperature readout to jump around rapidly, which can be mildly annoying when trying to lock down an exact reading.

We tested the temperature probes of the similar ThermoPro models...
We tested the temperature probes of the similar ThermoPro models, the TP16 (left) and the TP-07 (right) on similar steaks to note any differences in speed and accuracy.
Credit: Aaron Rice


As mentioned above, some instant-read thermometers do so at a much more "instant" rate than others. An accurate, speedy temperature probe is a must for the professional chef, who is often juggling multiple pieces of meat on the grill at once, all set to cook at different times and destined for varying degrees of doneness. While this same quality of speed may seem like a superfluous feature for the home kitchen, consider this: how long do you want to stick your arm into a 500℉ oven to take a temperature reading?

Rather not stick your head in the oven to take the temperature of a...
Rather not stick your head in the oven to take the temperature of a roast? Then check out the Soraken Wireless thermometer, that can provide temperature readouts for up to six different probes straight to your phone.
Credit: Aaron Rice

To test this key characteristic, we put each probe through a series of tests to see how long it took to achieve an exact measurement and then averaged those response times to represent their general performance accurately. While many models in this review are capable of sub-six second measurement times, only three live up to the hype of their super-fast read times. The Kizen clocked in at just over three seconds, and the TP03 and Javelin PRO Duo in just under four seconds.

One of the simple, thoughtful additions to improve upon a classic...
One of the simple, thoughtful additions to improve upon a classic design is the rotating indicator that helps you dial in your perfect temperature.
Credit: Aaron Rice

It's understandable that the only manual option we tested, the ProAccurate, would have a much slower read time (21 seconds.) For wireless options, we were most impressed with the Soraken for its speed — not only does the probe(s) regularly record temperatures every five seconds, but the app is updated via the transmitter at that same speed. The other two wireless models could not come close to touching that pace. The TP-07 registers and transmits temperature every 12 seconds, and while the MEATER+ updates consistently, it took nearly 38 seconds to establish a steady reading.

Fast and also highly accurate, the TP03 well-exceeded our...
Fast and also highly accurate, the TP03 well-exceeded our expectations. Here, a beautifully crisped brisket is right on the money for target internal temperature after a 6-hour slow roast.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Ease of Use

For a meat thermometer to become a staple of any kitchen, it must be easily accessible and easy to use. We judged this metric on several factors: size, weight, probe length and thickness, screen size and brightness, and any additional qualities that might make a probe particularly user-friendly. For example, the TP19 and Javelin PRO Duo both come with auto-rotating screens, making them easier to use for left-handed individuals. Similarly, only four of the probes we tested — the two models above, as well as the Kizen and Inkbird — include a button that will lock a temperature reading on the screen. This is particularly convenient so that you don't have to expose your face to the heat of a grill or oven or just as an ally in the fight against forgetfulness.

These three models sport huge font on a well-backlit screen for easy...
These three models sport huge font on a well-backlit screen for easy reading. They also happen to be the only three in our review with hold buttons. From top: TP19, Kizen Instant Read, and InkBird Waterproof.
Credit: Aaron Rice

The ProAccurate is the only analog thermometer in this review. While this makes it very useful for long oven cooks — like a turkey — the probe is noticeably thicker than almost every other model we tested. The MEATER+ also is a very fat probe — alternatively, the probes of the Soraken are the thinnest of any of the wireless models tested.

A perfectly cooked tenderloin, resting ideally just below...
A perfectly cooked tenderloin, resting ideally just below medium-rare. The longer probe of the Weber Instant Read is great for testing temperatures in thicker cuts of meat.
Credit: Aaron Rice

All of the instant-read thermometers have very similar probe widths and somewhat similar lengths, except the Habor 022, which has a slightly blunted tip. The Habor and Weber Instant Read probes are the only non-folding options we tested, though both have a probe length that is nearly half an inch longer than most of the pack.

The longest probe in our testing on the Harbor 022 (top)...
Notice that the Soraken Wireless (right, top probe) has a...
The narrow probe of the Kizen Instant Read (right) is much...

At the other end of the spectrum lays the Lavatools Javelin, with a probe length of only 2.8 inches. However, the Javelin is also the most pocket-friendly, instant-read thermometer. It's noticeably smaller in your hand when directly compared to the TP19, which is the largest of the models we tested. The MEATER+ is the smallest, lightest probe by far, but only because it relies on your smartphone for a screen.

The TP19, the largest instant-read thermometer in our review.
The Javelin, the smallest instant-read thermometer in our review.

Screen size and brightness play a significant role in determining the font's usefulness and size on the LCD. So while the Javelin has a small screen relative to its size, it features a large, luminous font that is easy to read both in the kitchen and in direct sunlight. The Habor 022 not only has the smallest screen, but without a backlight, it's nearly impossible to see in the sun. The same goes for the TP-16 and Weber Instant Read, which are both very difficult to grill with during the middle of the day. Preferably, a thermometer has a large, backlit screen with an easily readable font, like the Kizen, Javelin PRO Duo, TP19, Inkbird, and Soraken models.

LCD screens aren't all the same, as you can see in this image of...
A direct comparison of some backlit LCD screens in an indoor setting.


Sometimes additional features can significantly add value to a product. Other times, they can be so frustrating to figure out that you find yourself intentionally avoiding using the gadget. Fortunately, most of the meat thermometers we tested here are very straightforward. Practically all of the instant-read options only have one button and are very user-friendly. We awarded additional points to the Inkbird instant-read, which is the only thermometer in our review that is fully rechargeable via USB-C. While the MEATER+ has a charging base, that unit is still battery-powered.

The MEATER+, with its stylish bamboo charging unit (that...
The MEATER+, with its stylish bamboo charging unit (that includes a magnetic backing) blends right in as a very natural part of any refrigerator collage.
Credit: Aaron Rice

For the instant-read thermometers, where the probe is attached to the electronic unit, we believe the most crucial feature they could have is a waterproof rating since you will commonly be washing these in the sink after use. The Javelin PRO Duo and Javelin have similar waterproof ratings of IP65, respectively, while the Kizen is the only model we tested that can be fully submerged, with a rating of IP67. The ProAccurate is rated for runs through even commercial dishwashers but does not come with an IP rating.

So when it comes to discussing features, the bulk of the conversation should be devoted to the subtle differences between the programmable models. For our review, this refers to all wireless options, plus the hardwired TP-16 LCD. Although it doesn't include as many programmable features as the others, we loved the super intuitive interface of the TP-16. A simple button operation allows you to set a timer, probe temperature with alarm, or choose from several visually indicated, preprogrammed temperatures for beef, poultry, and pork standards.

We appreciated the visual cues for temperature settings on the...
We appreciated the visual cues for temperature settings on the incredibly user-friendly TP16 Digital.
Credit: Aaron Rice

A step up from there into the wireless realm is the TP-07, which includes both a transmitter and receiver that automatically pair within seconds. While the interface isn't quite as straightforward as the TP-16, it does include a few more preprogrammed options.

The Soraken Wireless comes with four, color-coded temperature...
The MEATER+ probe must be placed into the side of most cuts, even...

Firmly in the wireless realm are the Soraken and MEATER+. While the Soraken also includes a readout on the transmitter, both models are primarily controlled via smartphone apps. The programs both have the ability to set specific alarms, graphically track time vs. temperature, and offer a wide variety of preprogrammed temperatures for meat types. In the case of the MEATER+, you can even choose from specific cuts of meat.

A screenshot of the temperature vs. time graph of the Soraken app...
The nicely designed MEATER app, providing internal temperature...

The main difference we found between these two models is that the MEATER+ has a dual-sensor probe, able to track both ambient and internal temperatures; the Soraken includes four separate probes and can accept up to six to monitor multiple steaks simultaneously. But when it came to testing wireless power, while all three models lived up to the advertised distance outside, when we tried to track food out on the grill from across the house, only the TP-07 Wireless was able to maintain a stable connection consistently.

The TP-07 performed the best when it came to wirelessly monitoring...
The TP-07 performed the best when it came to wirelessly monitoring temperatures in an oven, perhaps because its wireless connection is not reliant on Bluetooth.
Credit: Aaron Rice


A reliable meat thermometer is much more than just a convenience of modern kitchens, it is an indispensable tool for many chefs. Remember, cooking is all about controlling temperature. From baking bread to smoking brisket, we constantly test and refine our reading temperature proficiency and judge how well our food is cooking. A quality thermometer will help you hone that skill so that the results meet your expectations. We hope this review offers the recommendations to make the search for your perfect meat thermometer a little more convenient.

An instant-read thermometer is almost, if not more necessary, to...
An instant-read thermometer is almost, if not more necessary, to bake high quality loafs of bread than it is to cook perfect cuts of meat. Make sure to choose a meat thermometer that will be a versatile addition to your kitchen!
Credit: Aaron Rice

Aaron Rice

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