Reviews You Can Rely On

The 6 Best Meat Thermometers of 2024

We tested the best meat thermometers from Kizen, ThermoWorks, Lavatools, ThermoPro, OXO, and more
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Best Meat Thermometer Review (LCD screens aren't all the same, as you can see in this image of several models under the very bright mid-day sun of...)
LCD screens aren't all the same, as you can see in this image of several models under the very bright mid-day sun of the American Southwest. Note: the TP19 was visible, similar to the Kizen directly above, but for some reason the LCD font would not photograph.
Credit: Aaron Rice
By Aaron Rice, Kaylee Walden  ⋅  Dec 5, 2023

The Best Meat Thermometers for 2024


Are you tired of just assuming your meal is cooking properly? We purchased 14 of the best meat thermometers and tested them side-by-side to help you find the perfect one to improve your consistency in the kitchen. Our culinary experts conducted a series of objective tests to dissect the differences in speed, accuracy, and consistency. We back that up with real-world experience in the kitchen, hours of roasting, searing, and baking to analyze how features improve the ease of use of each model. This comprehensive review identifies top performers, and our team delivers expert recommendations to help you find the best meat thermometer for your kitchen.

If you're looking for grilling accessories to kit out your backyard patio sanctuary, we can help. We've determined the top-ranked grill tools, the best charcoal grills, and even the best patio umbrellas and our favorite lawn chairs so you can enjoy your summer in style. When the sun goes down, consider some outdoor solar lights or a set of our favorite string lights to help set the ambiance.

Editor's Note: We updated this review on December 5, 2023, to add more detailed testing information, remove a few discontinued models, and add new models from ThermoWorks and OXO.

Top 14 Meat Thermometers

Displaying 6 - 10 of 14
 
Awards  Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $105 List
$82.39 at Amazon
$16.00 List
$9.99 at Amazon
$27 List
$26.99 at Amazon
$30 List$99 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Large font and bright backlight, thermocouple tip quickens readout time, ambidextrous, waterproofQuick and accurate for the price, lightweight, consistentEasy to carry, compact and lightweight, large font, accurate readingsAffordable, consistent at long range, generally high accuracyTwo probes for monitoring ambient temperature and food, constant readout display, consistent up to 300' range
Cons Expensive compared to other optionsNot waterproof, small screen, not the most durableShort probe length, not the most durableNot the most intuitive interface, relatively long readout timesReadings take awhile to sync up between probe and remote
Bottom Line This stylish and ambidextrous thermometer features a large display with relatively fast and accurate readingsA simple, affordable probe with respectable speed and accuracyA compact option with an impressively large screen and easy readout relative to its sizeThis price-conscious wireless option has a consistent long range reading and a variety of programmable featuresThis straightforward device works well for ovens and grills alike, with a consistent range and two probes for monitoring both your meat and your pit temperature
Rating Categories OXO Good Grips Ther... ThermoPro TP03 Inst... Lavatools Javelin ThermoPro TP07 Wire... ThermoWorks Smoke R...
Accuracy (30%)
7.5
8.0
8.0
7.0
6.5
Speed (30%)
8.5
9.0
7.0
5.0
5.0
Ease of Use (20%)
7.5
7.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Features (10%)
7.0
5.0
4.5
9.0
8.5
Consistency (10%)
8.0
6.5
7.0
8.0
7.5
Specs OXO Good Grips Ther... ThermoPro TP03 Inst... Lavatools Javelin ThermoPro TP07 Wire... ThermoWorks Smoke R...
Size 13.12 sq-in 6.13 sq-in 6.75 sq-in Receiver: 12.5 sq-in;
Transmitter, 8.5 sq-in
Receiver: 17.8 sq-in;
Transmitter, 8.6 sq-in
Probe Length 4.3 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 3.8 in 5 in
Listed Temperature Range -58°F to 572 °F -50 °C to 300 °C -58 to 572 °F (-50 to 300 °C) -40 ℉ to 482 ℉ (-40 to 250 °C) 32 ℉ to 572 ℉ -58 to 572 °F (-50 to 300 °C); Cable can withstand up to 700 °F (371 °C)
Listed Measurement Accuracy ± 0.9 ℉ (± 0.5 °C) ± 0.9 ℉ (± 0.5 °C) ± 0.9 ℉ (± 0.5 °C) ± 1.8 ℉ (± 1.0 °C) ± 4.0 ℉ (± 2.2 °C)
Can It Be Calibrated? Yes No No No No


Best Overall Meat Thermometer


Kizen Instant Read


86
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Accuracy 9.0
  • Speed 9.5
  • Ease of Use 8.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Consistency 8.5
Probe Length: 4.4 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 0.7 ℉
REASONS TO BUY
True 3-second read time
Large, bright LCD screen
Long probe length
REASONS TO AVOID
Jumpy temperature readout
Needs regular recalibration

The Kizen Instant Read meat thermometer is an impressive contender, bringing top performance and quality to the competition — not to mention that it's among the least expensive of all meat thermometers we tested. This model features a large, easily readable LCD screen, magnetic backing, and a high waterproof rating (IP67). 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 you can easily recalibrate the thermometer should it lose accuracy over time.

While such speed and precision are impressive, watching the rapidly changing temperature display is somewhat jarring. Fortunately, the Kizen includes a hold button feature that marks a minimum and maximum temperature until the button is pressed again. Note that the hold button function does not include a timeout. Additionally, the size and weight of the model is a potential drawback. It's not the smallest nor the lightest model we tested, and if you need to carry around your thermometer in the kitchen, you may want to consider a smaller model like the ThermoPro TP03. However, the Kizen features one of the longest probes in our review, enabling convenient temperature checks that keep your hands away from the heat. For added convenience, the Kizen features a handy temperature guide for commonly cooked meats, saving you a trip to Google. We found ourselves consistently reaching for this device. Overall, the Kizen is an excellent choice for indoor and outdoor cooking.

meat thermometer - the kizen was our go-to companion for taking temperatures on...
The Kizen was our go-to companion for taking temperatures on everything from bread dough to brisket.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Best Bang for Your Buck


ThermoPro TP03 Instant Read


77
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Accuracy 8.0
  • Speed 9.0
  • Ease of Use 7.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Consistency 6.5
Probe Length: 3.9 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 0.4 ℉
REASONS TO BUY
Super-fast readout
One of the most accurate in our review
REASONS TO AVOID
Not waterproof
Short probe length
Cannot be recalibrated

The ThermoPro TP03 takes the cake for a high-performing probe at an unbeatable price point — nearly half (if not a fifth) of the price of many competitors we tested. This thermometer 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 one of the fastest 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 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 damaging the probe. The two biggest downfalls are related to the screen: it does not feature a locking temperature readout, and the display is one of the smallest of any model we tested. Even the InkBird IHP-1P features a larger screen and is waterproof to boot. However, there is no reason not to try the TP03 as an entry-level instant thermometer. This model is small and lightweight, with a clip-loop for carrying and convenient magnetic backing for attaching to your grill for easy access, making it a great companion for camp cooking.

meat thermometer - 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

Best Value for a Wireless Thermometer


ThermoPro TP07 Wireless


65
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Accuracy 7.0
  • Speed 5.0
  • Ease of Use 6.0
  • Features 9.0
  • Consistency 8.0
Probe Length: 3.8 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 1.3 ℉
REASONS TO BUY
Long-distance wireless transmission
Easily programmable, without having to use your phone
REASONS TO AVOID
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, there is no better value than the ThermoPro TP07 Wireless. This meat thermometer consists of two units: the transmitter with a 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 the set temperature, and when the probe reaches the set internal temperature. While it's mostly consistent with the advertised range, it performs best when in line of sight without obstructions.

While both units can display temperature, only the transmitter displays the temperature at a decimal resolution. But, despite this advantage, the transmitter could use the most improvement. The unit could easily have a much larger LCD screen. If that's an important feature, we suggest considering investing in a model like the ThermoWorks Smoke Remote. More important than screen size, the TP07 would hugely benefit from something other than the simple hanger that easily slips from an oven handle every time we open the door, such as a magnetic backing or clip. While it takes a bit of time to master the interface, once you do, you'll find that this long-range option has everything you need and nothing you don't.

meat thermometer - 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 TP07 (right) on similar steaks to note any differences in speed and accuracy.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Fastest Instant Read Thermometer


ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE


84
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Accuracy 8.0
  • Speed 10.0
  • Ease of Use 8.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Consistency 9.0
Probe Length: 4.3 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 0.5 ℉
REASONS TO BUY
Consistent read-out times under one second
Available in a wide range of colors
Can be recalibrated
REASONS TO AVOID
Relatively heavy and bulky
Pricier than other options

True to its claims, the lightning-fast ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE consistently delivers temperature readings in the one second range. When cooking for a crowd or juggling kitchen tasks, that time savings adds up, freeing you to multitask while taking the guesswork out of cooking. The extra sharp tip slides into meat better than competitors, providing another slight advantage in efficiently checking temperatures. Not only is this thermometer heads above others in terms of speed but it delivers accurate results. This device provided temperature readings within its listed 0.5 °F accuracy point in both our hot and cold tests. As a bonus, the auto-rotating screen and large font make the display easy to read for both right and left-handed chefs.

While this probe is, without question, fast and accurate, it is a bit bulkier and not as sleek to hold in your hand as other thermometers we tested. That's the trade-off for the large and easy-to-read display. Even the similarly performing Kizen Instant Read is a bit more manageable. Our only other qualm with the Thermapen ONE is its high price tag compared to competitors, but it might just be worth it for the time savings. Check out the wide range of color offerings, and customize your thermometer to match your kitchen features.

meat thermometer - from smoked salmon to steaks, no other thermometer measured quite as...
From smoked salmon to steaks, no other thermometer measured quite as fast as the Thermapen ONE.
Credit: Kaylee Walden

Best Ambidextrous Thermometer


Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo


81
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Accuracy 8.0
  • Speed 7.5
  • Ease of Use 9.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Consistency 8.5
Probe Length: 4.4 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 0.9 ℉
REASONS TO BUY
Ambidextrous display
Motion sensing backlight
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
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 has an oversized screen with a 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.)

Performance like this comes at a price — this model costs more than double most of the other instant-read thermometers we tested. If you'd rather own a simplified version, the ThermoPro TP19 is a more budget-friendly, ambidextrous option. During our calibration test, the Javelin PRO Duo was one of the few with zero deviation from 32 ℉. When temps reach above boiling, we found it tends to deviate up to 2 ℉ from an accurate temperature reading. While this isn't major, it is notably more sway than other top performers. And unlike some of our other favorites, you cannot recalibrate this thermometer if it loses accuracy over time. Like other ambidextrous models in our lineup, we wish the manufacturers designed the probe to fold 270° for a full range of use. However, for a professional-grade thermometer, it is tough to beat both the speed and functionality of the Javelin PRO Duo, especially for left-handed chefs.

meat thermometer - the lavatools javelin is an all-around high performer that doesn't...
The LavaTools Javelin is an all-around high performer that doesn't short change left-handed chefs.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Best Rechargeable Thermometer


InkBird Waterproof IHP-1P


80
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Accuracy 9.0
  • Speed 8.0
  • Ease of Use 7.0
  • Features 7.5
  • Consistency 7.0
Probe Length: 4.1 inches | Measurement Accuracy: 0.9 ℉
REASONS TO BUY
Rechargeable (USB-C)
Bright LCD backlight
REASONS TO AVOID
Not easily readable in direct sunlight
Sleek, but simple

We love any product that is both energy and cost-saving. As the only rechargeable option in our review (meaning it can be wall-charged via an included USB-C cord), the InkBird Waterproof IHP-1P thermometer impressed us with its capability in this regard, plus 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 is one of the most powerful in our lineup, and it does a great job under kitchen lights. The downside is the LCD screen is difficult to read in direct sunlight, so it is not ideal for afternoon grilling. A model like the Lavatools Javelin is a much better option if you live in a sunny locale. While we appreciate that the Inkbird is fully rechargeable, we wonder what the charging lifetime actually is. We wish there were a way to replace the rechargeable battery if it ever dies. That said, after all our long hours of testing, we found the speedy and sleek Inkbird served us well on a single charge, losing just one battery power bar.

meat thermometer - the inkbird is the only thermometer on the list that doesn't rely on...
The Inkbird is the only thermometer on the list that doesn't rely on replacing batteries, and rather can be recharged for consistent use.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
86
Kizen Instant Read
Best Overall Meat Thermometer
$30
Editors' Choice Award
84
ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE
Fastest Instant Read Thermometer
$109
Top Pick Award
81
Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo
Best Ambidextrous Thermometer
$57
Top Pick Award
80
InkBird Waterproof IHP-1P
Best Rechargeable Thermometer
$24
Top Pick Award
78
ThermoPro TP19
$30
78
OXO Good Grips Thermocouple
$105
77
ThermoPro TP03 Instant Read
Best Bang for Your Buck
$16
Best Buy Award
69
Lavatools Javelin
$27
65
ThermoPro TP07 Wireless
Best Value for a Wireless Thermometer
$30
Best Buy Award
63
ThermoWorks Smoke Remote BBQ Alarm
$99
60
Weber Instant Read Thermometer
$17
56
ThermoPro TP16 Digital
$20
50
Meater+ Long Range Thermometer
$100
46
CDN IRM200 ProAccurate
$19

meat thermometer - 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

Why Trust GearLab


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 expert reviewers spent hours investigating the most popular meat thermometers on the market before selecting the most promising contenders to purchase at retail value and send through testing.

Our testing process involved real-world cooking, side-by-side comparisons, and scientifically-based tests to thoroughly scrutinize various aspects of the competition. The result is a comprehensive review based on hands-on experience with each product. Whether you are looking to ensure that you thoroughly cooked that chicken or boost your smoking game, our lineup can suit the needs of any home or professional chef.

Side-by-side comparison testing is our "secret sauce!" Here, we have...
Side-by-side comparison testing is our "secret sauce!" Here, we have all of the models laid out for an ice-bath calibration test.
The instant-read meat thermometer, almost as essential to the modern...
The instant-read meat thermometer, almost as essential to the modern grill-master as heat-resistant gloves and a well-worn pair of tongs. Oh yeah, the steaks too...
Make sure that well-braising roast doesn't come up to temperature...
Make sure that well-braising roast doesn't come up to temperature too quickly! An instant-read thermometer makes its easy to constantly check internal temperatures, at any point in the cooking process.

We gathered a team of in-house kitchen experts, headed by Senior Review Editor Aaron Rice, who laid down the framework for this 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. He also worked in and around professional kitchens for the better portion of a decade, including one headed by a James Beard Award-nominated chef.

Review Editor Kaylee Walden spent nearly eight years working in fine dining. These days, she's a backcountry skiing and expedition guide and finds herself cooking for guests in a variety of alpine environments. She also moonlights as a full-service hut keeper, where she cooks meals and makes fresh-baked goodies for large groups and cooks for private events — where perfectly cooked dishes can make or break the experience.

meat thermometer - 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

Analysis and Test Results


Aside from a timer, a quality meat thermometer may be the most important and one of the least expensive tools in a chef's arsenal, helping to consistently produce properly 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 (undercooked Thanksgiving turkey, anyone?)

We tested these thermometers side-by-side in ordinary kitchens, analyzing and ranking them according to a list of crucial performance aspects. We verified thermometer calibration over an extended testing period, grilled dozens of meat cuts to test internal temperatures, baked bread and smoked fish to test versatility, compared features, and measured specifications.

Testing meat thermometers is divided across five rating metrics:

Accuracy (30% of overall score weighting)


This is the cornerstone of how useful a thermometer is in your kitchen. We tested each model on its precision in ice water and boiling water. We also used a secondary thermometer as an “objective observer” to note measurement discrepancies while cooking.

Speed (30% weighting)


We clocked how long each thermometer took to deliver a consistent reading and conducted the test several times to establish an average.

Ease of Use (20% weighting)


Ideally, we want these thermometers to be so intuitive that a first-grader could use them. We assessed all models for ease of use, particularly considering the size, weight, probe length, and screen size.

Features (10% weighting)


We considered any additional bells and whistles that set a device apart from the standard, including utility features like waterproofing, temperature alarms, ambidexterity, and the ability to be calibrated.

Consistency (10% weighting)


We assessed each thermometer's performance in all of these metrics over time. We also correlated the desired doneness of a cut of meat to the temperature measured.


Value


The meat thermometers in our test span a wide price range. Interestingly, a higher price didn't necessarily correlate with better performance; some of the most budget-friendly options were also among the top contenders in each metric.

The primary attributes you lose with lower-priced options are additional features, like an ambidextrous rotating screen. However, our testing revealed that you don't have to break the bank to purchase a meat thermometer with high-level functionality and speed. Some of our top picks, including the Kizen Instant Read, the Inkbird Waterproof, and the ThermoPro TP03 Instant Read were all on the lower end of the price spectrum.

You'll pay more of a premium for the ultra-fast processing time of the ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE and the sleek design and consistent functionality of the OXO Thermocouple.

meat thermometer - 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

Accuracy


Without the precise measurements of a meat thermometer, you may as well be using the time-tested (but often poorly executed) "hand test". However, we'd rather not take that risk if we're cooking a pricey steak. 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 Thermapen ONE, CDN ProAccurate, the Kizen, the Inkbird Waterproof, the OXO Thermocouple and the ThermoPro TP19. This is an important feature for chefs looking to invest in a high-quality thermometer that will serve them well for a long time.

meat thermometer - 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 CDN ProAccurate only displays a minimum temperature of 200 ℉, and although the Meater+ came within one degree 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.

meat thermometer - the oxo thermacouple and the thermapen one were spot on for accuracy...
The OXO ThermaCouple and the Thermapen ONE were spot on for accuracy in the ice water test, while the Kizen was a little less accurate at lower temperatures.
Credit: Kaylee Walden

Since these meat thermometers most commonly check much higher temperatures, we also wanted to verify the high side of their measurement accuracy by using a boiling test. We 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.

meat thermometer - 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

The Kizen is also nearly as precise as the ThermoPro options; however, its speed causes the temperature readout to jump around rapidly, which can be mildly annoying when trying to lock down an exact reading. The ThermaPen ONE also impressed us with its consistently accurate readings for hot and cold temperatures, although it occasionally exhibited the same jumpiness.

meat thermometer - side-by-side testing while cooking helped us correlate objective...
Side-by-side testing while cooking helped us correlate objective accuracy to doneness of meat. Here we're testing the TP07 (far left and far right), Meater+ (second from the lect), Soraken Wireless (second from the right, discontinued.)
Credit: Aaron Rice

Speed


An accurate, speedy temperature probe is a must for the professional chef, who often juggles multiple pieces of meat on the grill simultaneously, all set to cook at different times and doneness. While this same speed quality may seem like a superfluous feature for the home kitchen, consider how long you want to stick your arm into a 500 ℉ oven to take a temperature reading.


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 four live up to the hype of their super-fast read times. The exceptional ThermaPen ONE consistently registers temperature readings in the one-second range. The Kizen and OXO GoodGrips clock in at just over three seconds, and the TP03 and Javelin PRO Duo in just under four seconds.

meat thermometer - if you're looking for a true instant read probe that saves time in...
If you're looking for a true instant read probe that saves time in your kitchen (and reduces heat loss from your oven), the fast, easy-to-read display of the OXO thermometer is a great option.
Credit: Kaylee Walden

Understandably, the only manual option we tested, the ProAccurate, would have a much slower read time (21 seconds.) The other two wireless models could not come close to touching that pace. The TP07 registers and transmits temperature every 12 seconds, and while the Meater+ updates consistently, it took nearly 38 seconds to establish a steady reading.

meat thermometer - 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 on the CDN ProAccurate, which helps you literally dial in your perfect temperature.
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, Javelin PRO Duo, OXO Good Grips, and Thermapen ONE all come with auto-rotating screens, making them easier for left-handed individuals to use. Similarly, only three of the probes we tested — the TP19, and the Kizen and Inkbird models — include a button that will lock a temperature reading on the screen. This feature is particularly convenient so you don't have to expose your face to the heat of a grill or oven or as an ally in the fight against forgetfulness.

meat thermometer - 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, and InkBird.
Credit: Aaron Rice

The CDN 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 has a very large diameter probe.

meat thermometer - 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

The instant-read thermometers have very similar probe widths and somewhat similar lengths. The Weber Instant Read probe is the only non-folding, instant-read model we tested, though its probe length is nearly half an inch longer than most of the pack.

meat thermometer - the narrow probe of the kizen instant read (right) is much more...
The narrow probe of the Kizen Instant Read (right) is much more ideal for puncturing meat without letting out a ton of juice as compared with the much fatter probe of the CDN Pro Accurate (left.)
Credit: Aaron Rice

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, one of the largest instant-read thermometer in our review.
The TP19, one of the largest instant-read thermometer in our review.
The Javelin, one of the smallest instant-read thermometer in our...
The Javelin, one of 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. While the Javelin has a small screen relative to its size, it features a large, luminous font that is easy to read in the kitchen and in direct sunlight. The ThermoPro TP16 and Weber don't have a backlight and are 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, or TP19.

meat thermometer - a direct comparison of some backlit lcd screens in an indoor setting.
A direct comparison of some backlit LCD screens in an indoor setting.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Features


Sometimes, additional features add significant value to a product. Other times, they can be frustrating, leading to intentionally avoiding the gadget. Fortunately, most of the meat thermometers we tested are very straightforward. Practically all instant-read options have only one button and are very user-friendly. We awarded additional points to the Inkbird instant-read, 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.


Since you will likely be washing the instant-read thermometers in the sink, we find it crucial that they have a waterproof rating when the probe is attached to the electronic unit. 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 has no IP rating.

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

Most of the conversation should be devoted to the subtle differences between the programmable models when discussing features. For our review, this refers to all wireless options, plus the hardwired TP16. Although it doesn't include as many programmable features as the others, we loved the super intuitive interface of the TP16. A simple button operation allows you to set a timer, probe temperature with an alarm, or choose from several visually indicated, preprogrammed temperatures for beef, poultry, and pork standards.

meat thermometer - the tp07 performed the best when it came to wirelessly monitoring...
The TP07 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 step up from there into the wireless realm is the TP07, which includes both a transmitter and receiver that automatically pair within seconds. While the interface isn't quite as straightforward as the TP16, it does include a few more preprogrammed options. The ThermoWorks Smoke Remote features two probes of different lengths that can simultaneously track temperatures on your meat and the ambient grill temperature, with a user-friendly interface and 300-foot range.

meat thermometer - if you're looking to track multiple items, or the ambient...
If you're looking to track multiple items, or the ambient temperature and your cut of meat, the ThermoWorks Smoke Remote has you covered.
Credit: Kaylee Walden

Firmly in the wireless realm is the Meater+, which is primarily controlled via smartphone apps. Both programs can set specific alarms, graphically track time vs. temperature, and offer various preprogrammed temperatures for meat types. In the case of the Meater+, you can even choose from specific cuts of meat.

meat thermometer - the meater+ probe (right side) must be placed into the side of most...
The MEATER+ probe (right side) must be placed into the side of most cuts, even larger roasts, to ensure that it is inserted to the proper depth to keep from damaging the probe itself. The black, ceramic top is the ambient temperature sensor.
Credit: Aaron Rice

The Meater+ and the ThermoWorks Smoke Remote have dual-sensor probes that can track ambient and internal temperatures. When testing wireless power, all wireless models lived up to the advertised distance outside. But when we tried to track food on the grill from across the house, the Meater+ fell short, while the connection on the ThermoWorks Smoke Remote and TP07 held up consistently.

meat thermometer - the meater+, with its stylish bamboo charging unit (that includes a...
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

Consistency


None of these above statistics truly matter if the meat thermometer doesn't continue to deliver precise and quick results. It is also critically important that a temperature reading lines up with the doneness of your meat. While this was a bit more challenging to nail down than the other metrics (due to the potential user error of over-cooking), we did our best to survey the performance of each of these devices throughout our testing period.


We weren't just looking for continued high performance in objective tests of accuracy and speed. We also wanted to correlate temperature measurements and how close we actually were to our desired doneness, like how well a measurement of 130 °F to 135 °F compared to the quality of a medium rare steak. We were always tempted to continue to reach for the same few models because they objectively scored well in the other metrics and were consistent in their delivery.

meat thermometer - correlating the temperature reading to the actual doneness of your...
Correlating the temperature reading to the actual doneness of your dinner is optimal for cooking success. The Kizen is near the top of the list relative to consistent temperature readings, and can be recalibrated.
Credit: Kaylee Walden

A few models performed exceptionally well in this metric, helping us to produce dishes exactly how we wanted them, time and time again. Generally, instant-read options provided more consistency in how the meat was cooked relative to measured temperatures, timing, and accuracy. The Thermapen ONE, the OXO GoodGrips, and the Javelin PRO Duo demonstrated the best consistency over time. These models were also spot on in providing temperature readings accurately correlated to the doneness of our brisket, whole chicken, lamb shoulder, or tenderloin. The other benefit of handheld, instant-read thermometers is that many of them — like the Kizen and Thermapen ONE — can be regularly recalibrated if you notice their readings are slightly off.

meat thermometer - 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 loaves 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

Conclusion


An accurate and reliable meat thermometer is more than just a convenience; it's an indispensable tool for home 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 cooks. This ultimately helps us improve our craft. A quality thermometer will help you hone that skill so that the results meet your expectations. We hope this review makes your search for the perfect meat thermometer more convenient, and we will continue updating our selection to reflect the best tools on the market.

Aaron Rice, Kaylee Walden