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8 Best Instant-Read Thermometers of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Being able to check the internal temperature of your food is the only way to ensure correct doneness. For that, you need one of the best instant-read meat thermometers from this guide. We review the top models, discuss their pros and cons, and ultimately help you make the right pick.

Mark Jenner
Written by:

Last Updated: February 24, 2024

A selection of instant read thermometers in a 3x2 photo grid.

This comprehensive guide on the best instant-read thermometers takes an in-depth look at the market’s top thermometers, including the excellent ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE.

The cooks and writers here at FoodFireFriends have been testing scores of thermometers in our kitchen and outdoor cooking for years now, culminating in this roundup of the best instant-reads.

We have tested claims of accuracy in our boiling water and iced water tests, timed how quickly they can read a temperature, used the thermometers in our daily cooking, and gone out of our way to test every marketed feature so we can rate them and find the best.

The number one thing I tell everyone who wants to up their barbecue and grilling game is that they need to own a quality instant-read thermometer. It completely removes any guesswork so that you can cook all your food to safe temperatures throughout and perfectly to your chosen level of doneness.

So please keep reading to dig into our test results, ratings, and reviews to find the perfect thermometer for you.

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon and select other retailers.

Why Trust Us

Since taking up BBQ and grilling seriously in 2005, I’ve accumulated a wealth of experience with various grilling tools, including many instant-read thermometers, of which I have owned and reviewed upwards of 15 different models over the years. I currently own and use 6 of the ones in this article, as can be seen by my original photos of them in use.

My extensive collection and frequent use of these many different models means I have years of experience and knowledge for evaluating new thermometers, comparing them to others on the market, and knowing how they perform in real-world use.

This hands-on experience is complemented by rigorous research, including insights from other experts and feedback from countless users in social media and BBQ forum thread discussions.

As an independent reviewer with no ties to any brand or manufacturer, I have a track record of writing unbiased, transparent reviews on this site dating back to 2017. So you can trust my guidance, knowing it’s free from any external influences.

Comparison Table

Check out our handy comparison table for a side-by-side look at the leading instant-read thermometers. It’s a simple way to see what each offers.

To explore, click and drag to scroll sideways, and use your mouse wheel or trackpad for vertical scrolling.

Best Overall
Thermapen one in a woman's hand, inserted into a spatchcock chicken, displaying 172..5 degrees Fahrenheit
Runner-Up
ChefsTemp FinalTouch x10 instant read thermometer measuring chicken and displaying 167 degrees fahrenheit.
Best Mid-Priced
Thermopro TP620 in a mans hand.
Mid-Priced Runner-Up
Maverick PT-75 instant-read thermometer being used to take the temp of a rack of lamb on a grill.
Best Budget Option
ThermowWorks ThermoPop 2 thermometer taking the temperature of some meat on a grill.
Most Advanced
Fireboard Spark instant read thermometer in use, taking the temperature of a chicken on a red Kamado Joe Grill.
Highly Popular
lavatools javelin pro instant read thermometer reading the temp of a steak on a grill.
Best for Visually Impaired
Digital Thermometer Talking Instant Read- Electronic BBQ- Great for Barbecue, Baking, Grilling, Cooking, All Food & Meat, Liquids- Collapsible Internal long Probe (Orange) By Surround Point
Thermoworks Thermapen One
ChefsTemp Finaltouch X10
Thermopro TP620
Maverick PT-75
Thermoworks Thermopop 2
Fireboard Spark
Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo
Surround Point Talking Instant Read Thermometer
Our Overall Rating (0 – 10)
Our Rating
9.3
9.2
8.8
8.1
8.6
9.5
8.5
7.7
Accuracy
Accuracy
± 0.5°F (± 0.3°C)
±0.5 °F (±0.3 °C) from -22 to 392 °F (-30.0 to 199.9 °C), otherwise ±1.8 °F (±1.0 °C)
±0.9 °F (±0.5 °C)
+/-2 °F from 0 °F to 212 °F
±1 °F (±0.5 °C)
±0.4 °C / ±0.7 °F for cooking temperatures
±0.9 °F @ -4 °F to 302 °F (±0.5 °C @ -20 °C 150 °C)
+/- 1°F at 4 °F- 392 °F (20 °C- 200 °C), +/- 2 °F degrees at other temperatures
Response Time
Response Time
< 1 Second
1 second
2-3 seconds
2-3 seconds
2-3 seconds
1 second
2-3 Seconds
4 seconds
Temperature Range
Temperature Range
-58.0 to 572.0 °F (-49.9 to 299.9 °C)
-22 to 572 °F (-30.0 to 300.0 °C)
-58 °F to 572 °F (-50 °C to 300 °C)
-45 °F to 450 °F
-58 to 572 °F (-50 to 300 °C)
-58 to 572 °F (-50 to 300 °C)
-40 °F ~482 °F (-40 °C~250 °C)
-58 °F to 572 °F (-50 °C to 300 °C)
Units of Measurement
Units of Measurement
°C/°F Switchable
°C/°F Switchable
°C/°F Switchable
°C/°F Switchable
°C/°F Switchable
°C/°F Switchable
°C/°F Switchable
°C/°F Switchable
Display Quality
Display Quality
Excellent. Automatic backlight, brightness changes in different lighting conditions
Large screen with big digits, auto-rotating, intelligent backlight
Anti-fog auto-rotating backlit LCD screen
180° rotating LCD display, reverse white LCD for night viewing
1 ¼-inch auto-rotating backlit display
Excellent, visible in all lighting levels
1.5″ display, digital, motion activated backlight
Backlit, bright and clear
Battery Life
Battery Life
2,000 hours
3,000 hours
Up to 3000 hours
Up to 10 hours constant use on 2 AAA batteries
4,000 hours
Rechargeable (12 months use on single charge)
4,000+ hours
Not specified
Auto-off Feature
Auto-off Feature

Motion-sensing sleep and wake mode.

Motion-activated wake-up and sleep mode

90s auto-sleep and motion wake

Probe folds out to power on & off

10 Minutes, can be disabled

30s auto

Auto-sleep and motion wake

Water Resistance
Water Resistance
Waterproof to IP67
IP67 (can withstand up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes)
Waterproof to IP65, allowing for cleaning under running water
IP44 Sealing, hand washable, splash proof, non-submersible.
Waterproof, IP67 rating
IP66 waterproof rating
IP65 splash resistant
Not specified
Portability and Storage
Portability and Storage
Magnetic silicone pouch sold separately.
Magnetic backing for easy storage
Magnet and hook hole
Portable folding design
Clips to pocket like a pen
Built-in magnets
Magnetic back for easy attachment to metal surfaces
Foldable probe for easy storage
Probe Length
Probe Length
4.5 inches
4.0 inches
4.25 inches
4.7 inches
Options for 4.5-inch or 8-inch probes
4.3 inches
4.5 inches
4.7 inch
Calibration
Calibration
Comes with a NIST-traceable calibration certificate
Not specified, but accuracy indicates high precision
Can be re-calibrated at any time
Factory set
NIST-traceable calibration certificate provided
NIST-Traceable calibration certificate
No calibration needed
Not specified
Warranty
Warranty
5-year warranty against defects
3 years
1-year standard, 3- year if register product
1-year
2-year
1-year
Limited 3-year warranty
Satisfaction guarantee with a return policy, specific warranty details not provided
Certifications
Certifications
NIST-traceable calibration certificate verifying accuracy
NSF Certified


NSF Certified
NSF Certified
NSF, CE, RoHS, 100% BPA Free
Not specified
Innovative features
Innovative features
Sub-second performance, auto-rotating display, improved accuracy, brighter backlight, rugged waterproof case
270 degrees rotation probe, auto-rotating display, intelligent backlight, motion-activated wake-up mode
Motion-sensing sleep and wake mode, waterproof to IP65, lock and calibration function, 180° auto-rotating display
Built-in count up timer, 180° rotating display, simple one-touch button operation
Auto-rotating display, waterproof to IP67, super-fast readings
Leave-in probe port for long-term tracking, NFC scanner for instant-read labeling, SyncMode for remote monitoring, WiFi, Bluetooth, and FireBoard Cloud connectivity
Antimicrobial coating to inhibit 99.9% of pathogen growth, splash-resistant
Talking feature and LED light for night use
Where to Buy?

Our Recommendations

After extensive research and testing, we have found these 8 to be the best, most feature-packed, durable, and good value-for-money instant-read meat thermometers on the market today.

There’s sure to be one to suit your needs in this list, regardless of your specific budgets and requirements.

1. Best Overall — Thermoworks Thermapen One

9.3
Scores Out of 10
Accuracy 10.0
Response Time 10.0
Ease of Use 9.0
Build Quality and Durability 9.0
Battery Life 8.5
Additional Features 9.0

Pros

  • Below 1-second read time.
  • The most accurate on the market, and calibration certificate supplied.
  • Large backlit screen easy to read in light and dark.
  • Rotating display works in 4 orientations, for easy reading at any angle.
  • Durable design, and IP67 waterproof rated.
  • Nice size and weight, feels good to grip in the hand.
  • Motion sensor auto on and off saves battery life.
  • Five year warranty.

Cons

  • More expensive than the majority of competing products.
  • Settings are a bit fiddly to access and change (Bu you should only ever need to do this one time.) you only ever do it once!)

Our Review

The ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE is a high-speed, accurate cooking thermometer offering readings in just one second. It has an auto-rotating, backlit display, waterproof design (IP67), motion-sensing sleep/wake, and a 5-year warranty. It’s designed for both professional chefs and home cooks seeking precision.

After using the ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE extensively in my grilling sessions, I found it to be the best overall instant-read thermometer on the market. Its one-second reading time and ±0.5 °F accuracy have never let me down, whether I’m checking the doneness of a steak or ensuring my poultry is safely cooked. The backlit display and auto-rotating screen are convenient during use, making it easy to read in any lighting or position.

I’ve put this thermometer through its paces, from high-heat grilling to slow-smoking meats, and it’s proven to be fast and accurate but also durable and water-resistant. The automatic sleep and wake feature is a nice touch that conserves battery life, something I appreciate as battery changes are always a pain.

Yes, the Thermapen ONE is pricier than many others I’ve bought and tested, but the cost is justified in my book. Adjusting the settings was a bit fiddly at first, but it’s a one-time hassle. Once you’re set up, this thermometer’s ease of use and reliability make it worth every penny.

In my experience, no other thermometer matches the Thermapen ONE for its combination of speed, accuracy, and build quality. It’s an essential tool for anyone serious about cooking, offering peace of mind that your food is perfectly cooked every time. For me, it’s the top pick, hands down.

Admittedly, the ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE isn’t for everyone. Its price might be hard to justify for casual cooks who rarely venture beyond basic recipes. However, it’s perfect for serious home chefs and barbecue enthusiasts who demand quick, accurate temperature readings. This thermometer’s reliability and durability offer unmatched value, making it a wise investment for anyone serious about cooking.

Check out our full in-depth review of the Thermapen ONE for further details.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Range: -58.0 to 572.0 °F (-49.9 to 299.9 °C)
  • Accuracy: ±0.5 °F (±0.3 °C) from -4 to 248 °F (-20 to 120 °C) otherwise ±1.8 °F (±1.0 °C)
  • Resolution: Factory set to 1° (user reconfigurable to 0.1°)
  • Response Time: Full reading in 1 second (0.2 seconds time constant)
  • Probe: 4.3 L inches x 0.12″ dia. (reduces to 0.06″ dia.), High Performance Type K Thermocouple
  • Display: 1 H x 1.54 W inches (25 H x 39 W mm) LCD, rotates 360°, Intelligent Backlight
  • Sleep Mode: 10 to 180 seconds, user selectable (user reconfigurable to disable)
  • Water Resistance: IP67
  • Operating Range: –4 to 122°F (–20 to 50°C), max ambient limits of Thermapen body
  • Battery: 1.5 volt AAA, 2,000 hours typical (without backlight)
  • Dimensions: 6.1 W x 1.7 H x 0.74 D inches (156 W x 48 H x 19 D mm)
  • Weight: 0.25 lbs (115g)
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Certificate: Includes NIST-traceable calibration certificate

What Others Say

The only official seller of the Thermapen One is ThermoWorks themselves. Customer feedback at their store is a solid 4.9/5 from 1,203 reviews at the time of writing.

Grillseeker’s review of the Thermapen ONE is very positive. They highlight its significant improvements over the previous model, the Mk4, and its superior performance over all competitors.

They praise its brighter display, easy battery access, and adjustable settings, which improve user-friendliness and reliability, especially in low light or during long grilling sessions. The 5-year warranty is also highlighted as best in class.

According to the review, despite being more expensive than competing products, its accuracy, waterproof build, and long warranty provide significant value, making it essential for cooks of all skill levels.

2. Runner-Up — ChefsTemp FinalTouch X10

9.2
Scores Out of 10
Accuracy 9.0
Response Time 9.0
Ease of Use 10.0
Build Quality and Durability 9.0
Battery Life 9.0
Additional Features 9.0

Pros

  • High accuracy at ±1 °F.
  • Super-fast read time between 1 and 2 seconds.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Easy to read, large backlit screen that is auto-rotating to read at any angle.
  • 270 degree fold out probe is higher than any other model tested (great for left-handers.)
  • IP67 waterproof rating so can be used in rain, and washed under a tap.
  • Motion activated sleep and wake for convenience and to conserve battery.
  • 3,000 hour battery life.

Cons

  • Larger and bulkier than most other models tested.
  • Only available from ChefsTemp themselves, limiting purchasing and support options.

Our Review

The ChefsTemp FinalTouch X10 is a highly acclaimed meat thermometer celebrated for its instant, accurate readings within 1 second, thanks to advanced thermocouple technology. It features a 270-degree rotating probe, a large, auto-rotating display for easy reading from any angle, and is IP67 waterproof. Additionally, it boasts a long battery life of 3,000 hours and a magnetic backing for convenient storage. It has won the Red Dot Design Award, making it a top choice for chefs and home cooks alike.

After putting the ChefsTemp FinalTouch X10 through its paces in my own kitchen and at numerous BBQs, here’s my take. This thermometer made it into our roundup as the runner-up, not by chance, but because it genuinely impressed me. Its quick and accurate readings, within ±1°F, were verified by my ice water and boiling tests. The 270° rotating probe and the auto-rotating display are excellent features I didn’t know I needed until I used them. They make it super easy to read the temperature from any angle, which is a big plus when juggling multiple things on the grill.

The FinalTouch X10’s build quality and IP67 waterproof rating mean I don’t have to worry when it starts to drizzle, or if it accidentally takes a dip in the sink. While some might find it a bit bulky or be put off by its exclusive availability through ChefsTemp, these are minor issues compared to its performance and durability. And honestly, its design has grown on me; it looks and feels like a tool for serious grillers.

The long battery life, up to 3,000 hours, is another feature I appreciate. I’ve used it on and off for over a year and have never had to replace the batteries yet. The motion-activated wake-up mode and the magnetic backing are thoughtful touches that make it convenient to use and store.

In summary, from my hands-on experience, the ChefsTemp FinalTouch X10 is a solid investment for anyone serious about their grilling. Its accuracy, speed, and user-friendly design stand out in a crowded market. It’s especially great for left-handers or anyone who grills in all kinds of weather. If you’re a casual griller, this might be more than you need, but for those of us who take our outdoor cooking seriously, particularly left-handers, it’s worth every penny.

Check out our test results and detailed review of the FinalTouch X10 for more details.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Range: -22 to 572 °F (-30.0 to 300.0 °C)
  • Accuracy: ±0.5 °F (±0.3 °C) from -22 to 392 °F, (-30.0 to 199.9 °C) otherwise ±1.8°F (±1.0 °C)
  • Resolution: Factory set to 0.1 °
  • Response time: 1 second readout
  • Probe: 4.0 Inches, type K thermocouple
  • Display: 47.3H X 19.5W mm | 1.86H X 0.77W inch rotates 180°, intelligent backlight
  • Sleep mode: Backlight turns off in 60 seconds
  • Waterproof: IP67
  • Operating range: -4 to 122°F (-20 to 50 °C)
  • Battery: AAA batteries x2
  • Dimensions: 6.69H x 1.57W x 0.9 D inches (169H x 40W x 24D mm)
  • Weight: 0.27lbs (125g)
  • Units: °C/°F Switchable

What Others Say

Hey Grill, Hey rated the FinalTouch highly in their review. They praised its solid build quality, world-class accuracy, and speed, which are better than most competitors. Like me, they found the 270-degree fold-out probe a real plus point, as combined with the auto-rotating display, it makes it more ambidextrous than any other model on the market today.

They like the IP67 rating, too, making it suitable for use in all weathers or to be hand washed in the sink.

However, they highlight that the advertised and actual performance differs, with speed and accuracy not matching between the box, the website, and measured tests, something I found and highlighted in my review also.

Overall, though, they recommend it as a cost-effective and high-performance thermometer, a great alternative to more high-end models.

3. Best Mid-Priced — Thermopro TP620

8.8
Scores Out of 10
Accuracy 9.0
Response Time 8.5
Ease of Use 8.5
Build Quality and Durability 8.5
Battery Life 9.0
Additional Features 9.0

Pros

  • Fast, accurate, and reliable.
  • Automatic on/off when probe folded in and out.
  • Rotating screen for left and right handed users.
  • Large, bright, and easy to read screen
  • Waterproof housing for use in all weathers and easy cleaning.
  • Sleep mode to preserve battery life.
  • Up to 3,000 hours battery life.
  • Magnet for convenient storage,

Cons

  • 270 degree fold-out probe would be more useful for left-handed users.
  • Rechargeable battery would be preferred.

Our Review

The ThermoPro TP620 is an instant-read meat thermometer featuring a thermocouple sensor for an advertised 2-3 second reading time with ±0.9°F accuracy. It includes an anti-fog, auto-rotating backlit LCD, motion-sensing sleep/wake mode, IP65 waterproofing, and a lock and calibration function for precise temperature measurement.

The ThermoPro TP620 has stood out as fantastic value for its price point. I included it as the Best Mid-Priced option because it hits the sweet spot between affordability and functionality. From my experience and testing, it’s quick to deliver readings, usually within 1-3 seconds, and I’ve found it to be spot on with accuracy, within ±0.9°F. I have tested this in iced water and boiling water, and the test results were well within what is advertised.

What sets the TP620 apart for me isn’t just its performance but its design and features. It’s durable and IP65 water-resistant, a must-have for any serious griller dealing with unpredictable weather or messy sauces. Plus, the screen automatically rotates, making it easy to read in any position, and it turns on and off as I flip the probe out or fold it away, which is a nice touch for saving battery life. Speaking of batteries, it runs on a single AAA, and I’ve yet to run into any power issues, even with frequent use.

However, it’s not without its minor downsides. While I appreciate the simplicity and effectiveness of the TP620, I’ve seen other thermometers with slightly faster response times or a bit more accuracy, but they come at a higher cost.

All in all, my verdict on the ThermoPro TP620 is that it’s a solid choice for anyone serious about their grilling. It’s reliable, easy to use, and accurate, making it a great tool for ensuring your food is cooked perfectly every time. You’re getting a lot of value for its price, and it’s served me well in countless grilling sessions. If you’re looking for a mid-priced thermometer that doesn’t skimp on quality, this is the one to go for.

For a more in-depth look, testing and results, and a look at every feature, head over to our ThermoPro TP620 review.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Response Time: 2-3 seconds
  • Temperature Accuracy: ±0.9°F/0.5°C
  • Temperature Range: -58°F~572°F (-50°C~300°C)
  • Temperature Units: °F or °C
  • 90s Auto-Sleep and Motion Wake
  • 180° Auto-Rotating Display
  • Temperature Probe Length: 4.25″ food grade stainless steel probe

What Others Say

The collective feedback of customers at some major online stores is as follows:

  • Buythermopro.com 4.87/5 from 90 reviews.
  • Lowes.com 4.7/5 from 63 reviews

The AmazingRibs review of the ThermoPro TP-620 is mostly positive, praising it for its features and performance, earning a silver award. It’s praised for its accuracy, speed (though not best in class), thermocouple sensor, user-friendly features like a rotating display, moisture resistance, auto-shutoff, and easy Fahrenheit/Celsius conversion.

Despite not winning in speed or accuracy, it’s seen as more than enough for usual cooking jobs, its durability and slightly higher cost justified by its quality. Added value comes from a three-year warranty and detailed instructions. The review ends by commending its practicality and reliability, asking, ‘What’s not to like?’

4. Mid-Priced Runner-Up — Maverick PT-75

8.1
Scores Out of 10
Accuracy 8.0
Response Time 8.0
Ease of Use 8.5
Build Quality and Durability 8.0
Battery Life 7.5
Additional Features 8.5

Pros

  • Costs less than many competing models.
  • Fast and accurate for the price.
  • Easy to read, large and bright screen.
  • 180-degree rotating screen.
  • Count up timer (unique, not found on other models.)
  • Water-resistant.
  • Meat doneness chart on the rear.

Cons

  • Screen rotation not automatic. Needs manually changing.
  • +/-2 °F accuracy, although sufficient for most grilling tasks, is not good enough for candy making (for example.)

Our Review

The PT-75 Temp & Time Instant-Read Digital Meat Thermometer features Type K Thermocouple technology, a 2-3 second response time, a built-in 99-minute timer, a 180° rotating LCD for easy viewing, one-touch operation, and a portable folding design. It’s water-resistant and operates on 2 AAA batteries.

After owning and using the Maverick PT-75 and comparing it against the many other instant-read thermometers, I’ve given it the spot as our Mid-Priced Runner-Up. What really sets it apart for me is its unique count-up timer feature. I’ve not seen this on any other thermometer, and I know a timer is something many people find useful. Although standard, the manual 180-degree rotating screen is another neat touch, making it easier to read from different angles. Though I’ll admit, an automatic rotation feature like some of its competitors would’ve been nice because it needs to be set manually with this one.

Accuracy-wise, the PT-75 performs well with an advertised +/-2 °F margin. However, as can be seen in my ice water and boiling water tests, it performs way better than advertised. I also experienced this during use at the grill. And sure, there are more precise thermometers out there, but it’s more than adequate for the everyday griller. I’ve used it for everything from steaks to chicken, and it hasn’t disappointed me. I will say that it’s not going to be good enough for candy makers, though, where a slight temperature change can alter what the sugar is doing in a big way and you want to catch it.

The build quality is solid for its price, offering water resistance that’s proven itself during many an outdoor cookout. The backlit display and meat doneness chart on the back are practical features I’ve come to appreciate.

Ease of use is where the PT-75 shines. Its folding probe and one-button operation make it straightforward to use. Switching between °C and °F is a breeze, and the built-in timer is a thoughtful addition that’s come in handy. While the build doesn’t feel as premium as some of the more expensive models I’ve tested, it’s been reliable and feels durable, standing up to the heat and hustle of regular grilling.

All in all, the Maverick PT-75 is a solid choice for grillers looking for a dependable thermometer without spending a fortune. It balances functionality with affordability, and while it might not have the bells and whistles of higher-end models, it does exactly what you need it to do. It’s been a reliable tool for me, proving that you don’t need to spend a lot to get decent performance.

If you’d like to learn more, head on over to our full review of the Maverick PT-75.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Thermocouple probe: -40 °C to 232 °C (-40 °F to 450 °F)
  • Accuracy: Below -18 °C (0 °F) +/-4 °F; From -18 °C—100 °C (0 °F to 212 °F) +/-2 °F; Above 100 °C (212 °F ) +/-4 °F or 1% whichever is greater.
  • Resolution: 0.1 °C or °F
  • Thermocouple sensor: Type K Chromel Alumel, ungrounded.
  • Response time: (90% TTC*2.3) in liquid: 2.3 seconds typical.
  • LCD display size: Visible area: 38mm x 17mm (1.5″ x 0.67″)
  • Probe dimensions: Length: 120mm, Dia: 3.5mm
  • Timer mode: Max count up to 99 minutes and 59 seconds.
  • Weight: 3.4ozs
  • Power: Two AAA batteries.
  • Dimensions: 6.2 inches x 1.4 inches.
  • Battery life: Approx. 10hrs continuous usage.
  • Standards and certifications: IP44 sealing, hand washable, splash proof, non-submersible.

What Others Say

AmazingRibs.com review of the Maverick PT-75 is overall positive. They praise its performance, noting its fast response time and accuracy, which exceeds the manufacturer’s specifications. The thermometer’s unique features, such as a count-up timer, easy-to-read LCD with white LED backlight, and the ability to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius, are highlighted as beneficial. The construction quality is described as better than average, with thoughtful design elements like a rubber lip for drop protection and a hole for hanging on a utensil hook.

Despite a relatively short battery life attributed to the LED backlight, it’s not seen as a significant drawback.

The review concludes by awarding the Maverick PT-75 a Gold Medal for its design, execution, and ease of use, making it a recommended tool for home cooks.

5. Best Budget option — Thermoworks Thermopop 2

8.6
Scores Out of 10
Accuracy 9.0
Response Time 8.0
Ease of Use 9.0
Build Quality and Durability 8.5
Battery Life 9.0
Additional Features 8.0

Pros

  • High accuracy within ±1°F.
  • Waterproof and durable design.
  • Easy to read, auto-rotating display.
  • Simple one-button operation.
  • Comes in multiple color options.
  • Affordable compared to similar products.

Cons

  • Slower than some higher-end models.
  • Requires manual activation of backlight.
  • Limited to 1°F increments, no option for more precise 0.1°F readings.

Our Review

The ThermoPop 2 is a budget-friendly, accurate (±1°F), and reasonably fast-reading (2-3 seconds) digital thermometer. Features include a waterproof design, auto-rotating backlit display, and NSF certification. It’s a good choice for anyone in the barbecue and grilling game looking for a high-quality, budget-friendly, instant-read thermometer.

We included it in our roundup as the best budget option due to its mix of performance and price. Its accuracy within 1 degree Fahrenheit and good enough 2-3 second temperature readings make it a reliable tool for all grilling tasks. The ThermoPop 2’s design improvements over the original ThermoPop, including a larger, auto-rotating backlit display and a thinner, waterproof case, set it apart from competitors in the same price range, offering ease of use and durability that users will appreciate.

What makes the ThermoPop 2 truly shine is its combination of speed, accuracy, and user-friendly features at an unbeatable price point. The IP67 waterproof rating and NSF Certification further attest to its quality and durability, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of outdoor cooking. While it may not have the instant response time of pricier competitors, it delivers performance rivaling many of the more expensive models, making it an excellent value for money.

However, it’s not without its minor drawbacks. The backlight needs to be manually turned on instead of being automatic. And the resolution is limited to 1°F increments, whereas nearly all competing products resolve to 0.1°F. And while a small issue, the overly long pocket clip is something to consider for those who prefer their tools to fit snugly in their pockets without fear of damage. Finally, the probe doesn’t fold away like most other thermometers do. Despite this, the ThermoPop 2’s positives far outweigh its negatives, offering a blend of features that cater well to the needs of the intended target audience.

In conclusion, the ThermoPop 2 is a solid investment that is hard to beat at this price.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Temperature Range: -58 to 572 °F (-50 to 300 °C)
  • Accuracy: ±1.0 °F (±0.5 °C) from 14 to 208 °F (–10 to 98 °C); ±4.0°F (±2°C) between 392 to 572°F (200 to 300 °C); otherwise ±3.0 °F (±1.6 °C)
  • Resolution: 0.1° from –19.9 to 99.9, otherwise 1°
  • Response Time: 4.5-inch Probe: 2-3 seconds; 8-inch Probe 3-4 seconds.
  • IP Rating: IP67
  • Probes: 4.5-inch Probe: 4.5 L x 0.1 inch dia. / 114 L x 2.5 mm dia.; 8-inch probe: 8 L x 0.12 inch dia. / 203.2 L x 3.0 mm dia.
  • Auto-Off: 10 minutes – can be disabled
  • Backlight: 10 seconds
  • Battery: 1x CR2032 (3V), 4,000 hours
  • Display: 1.26 dia. inches (32 dia. mm)
  • Product Size: 4.5-inch Probe: 7 H x 1.8 W x 0.7 D inches (178 H x 45.4 W x 17.5 D mm); 8-inch Probe: 10.5 H x 1.8 W x 0.7 D inches (268 H x 45.4 W x 17.5 D mm)
  • Certificate: Includes NIST-traceable Calibration Certificate

What Others Say

The ThermoPop is only available from ThermoWorks, where at the time of writing the customer feedback is 4.9/5 from 143 reviews.

The review on Smoked BBQ Source of the ThermoWorks ThermoPop 2 is highly positive. The review praises its thin profile, lightweight design, and larger display compared to the original ThermoPop. It also notes it is 20% thinner. The ThermoPop 2 is praised for its great accuracy, fast response times, and affordability, making it a highly recommended choice. It’s described as easy to use, with a simple one-hand operation, and offers a variety of color options to suit personal preferences. The review appreciates the quality and value provided by the ThermoPop 2, suggesting it as an excellent option for anyone looking for a reliable, no-fuss probe at a great price.

6. Most Advanced — Fireboard Spark

9.5
Scores Out of 10
Accuracy 9.5
Response Time 9.5
Ease of Use 9.0
Build Quality and Durability 9.0
Battery Life 10.0
Additional Features 10.0

Pros

  • Dual purpose instant-read and leave-in thermometer.
  • Easy to read from any angle, large, 360-degree auto-rotating display.
  • Very fast and accurate.
  • Excellent build quality, with IP66 waterproofing.
  • Can be used as a remote monitor for other FireBoard thermometers.
  • Comprehensive display settings menu for customization.
  • Easy to operate with a single button for menu access.
  • Vibrates and flashes LED when temperature reading is done.
  • Rechargeable battery can last up to a year with light usage.

Cons

  • Although a 360-degree auto-rotating display, the probe doesn’t rotate past 180 degrees.
  • Probe for leave-in thermometer must be purchased separately.
  • The menu times out a bit too quickly for my liking.

Our Review

The FireBoard Spark is a compact, highly accurate instant-read thermometer with the option of buying an external leave-in probe port for extended temperature monitoring. It features fast temperature readings, NFC for easy labeling, remote monitoring via SyncMode, built-in magnets for storage, an IP66 waterproof rating, and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Cloud connectivity.

After spending a few months now with the FireBoard Spark, I’ve got to say it’s not just your typical thermometer. It is the most feature-packed, advanced instant-read thermometer on the market, earning it the place of “Most Advanced” in our roundup. The Spark does two things incredibly well: giving you quick, spot-on temperature readings, and letting you monitor your cook remotely over time. I have not seen this dual functionality with any other thermometer, and it is so useful, especially when juggling between fast grilling and slow roasting.

I find using it pretty straightforward. The instant-read feature is quick and accurate, which is crucial for me, especially when I’m trying to get that perfect steak doneness. It passed my ice water and boiling tests with flying colors and has proven accurate over multiple and varied cooks. And for those longer cooks, sticking in a probe and keeping an eye on things through my phone using Wi-Fi is an excellent feature, allowing me to spend time with guests instead of being tied to the grill. Sure, having to buy an extra probe for leave-in monitoring was a bit of a letdown, but the overall usefulness of this feature makes it worth the additional cost.

Compared to other thermometers I’ve used, the Spark’s build quality, waterproof rating, and battery life exceed most models. It’s built tough, which is essential for someone like me who’s not exactly gentle with their tools and uses them A LOT. And the rechargeable battery is a godsend. Using it for constant remote monitoring drains the battery in approx. 24 hours, so not having to worry about changing batteries all the time is a big plus.

Wrapping up, the FireBoard Spark might not be for everyone, especially if you’re just starting out or sticking to the basics. But for those of us who take our BBQ very seriously and love the techy side of things, it’s a solid investment. It’s made my cooking more precise and much less stressful, knowing I can rely on it for quick checks and long cooks. Despite the minor gripes about needing an extra probe and its price, I’d recommend the Spark to any fellow enthusiast looking for that edge in their cooking arsenal who loves high-tech features as much as I do.

For further details on the many features of this excellent thermometer, check out our full FireBoard Spark review.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Temperature Range: -58 to 572F (-50 to 300C)
  • Accuracy: ±0.7°F (±0.4°C) from -4 to 392°F (-20 to 200°C); ±1.8°F (±1.0°C) full range
  • Resolution: 1.0° or 0.1°, user selectable
  • Sensor Speed: 1 second (0.6s time constants + 0.4s display refresh speed)
  • External Probe Port: 1x100K Thermistor FireBoard Probes (probe not included)
  • Battery: 2600mAh Li-Ion rechargeable
  • Display: backlit 192×64 LCD
  • Wireless: WiFi 2.4Ghz; Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE); Near Field Communication (NFC)
  • Waterproofing: IP66
  • Dimensions: 6.25″ x 1.4″ x 1.1″ (159mm x 37mm x 27mm)
  • Weight: 5oz (145 grams)

What Others Say

There isn’t much customer feedback available yet for this new to market thermometer. But here is the customer feedback received so far at the time of writing:Fireboard.com 4.89/5 from 9 reviews.

  • atbbq.com 5/5 from 6 reviews.

The review from the Barbecue Lab praises the Fireboard Spark’s accuracy, easy storage, rechargeable battery, and versatility, including the possibility of adding a probe port for continuous temperature tracking. They love its swift readings, compatibility with other FireBoard devices, and impressive usability. The rotating screen, advanced display, and haptic feedback are noted as additional benefits, making it a worthwhile investment for FireBoard thermometer owners. Despite a short warranty compared to some competing products and the necessity to purchase an external probe separately, the review highly recommends it.

7. Highly Popular — Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo

8.5
Scores Out of 10
Accuracy 9.0
Response Time 8.0
Ease of Use 9.0
Build Quality and Durability 8.0
Battery Life 9.0
Additional Features 8.0

Pros

  • Has many features found typically in only more costly competitors.
  • Accurate readings of ±0.9 °F.
  • Response time of 2-3 seconds is not the fastest, but easily good enough for grilling.
  • Auto-rotating backlit display can be read from any angle in any light.
  • 4,000 hours of battery life.
  • Motion sensing wake and auto-shutoff help conserve battery.
  • Splash proof build quality.

Cons

  • Build quality doesn’t feel as tough as other thermometers I have used.
  • Not waterproof, only water resistant. So do not submerge or get too wet.

Our Review

The Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo is a compact, fast, and accurate food thermometer designed for both home and professional use. It features a 2-3 second read time, ±0.9°F accuracy, IP65 splash resistance, magnetic attachment, and a Zeomic antimicrobial coating. It’s built in a 100% BPA-free polycarbonate body for durability and safety.

After using the Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo in many BBQ and grilling sessions, I’ve come to appreciate its performance. Its quick and accurate readings are exactly what I need to ensure my meats are perfectly cooked every time. The auto-rotating display and backlit screen make use a breeze during those late-night grilling sessions or on bright sunny days, making it easy to read the temperature at a glance.

I was concerned about its build quality and durability, especially since I grill quite often and in various weather conditions. It just doesn’t feel quite as well built as a few competing models. However, the fact that it’s water-resistant does indicate it’s better built than it at first feels. And it has held up well, proving that it’s more than capable of withstanding the rigors of regular use. Its performance hasn’t faltered, and the battery life is impressive—I haven’t had to replace the battery yet, despite frequent use over a year or more.

Comparing the Javelin Pro Duo to other thermometers I own, it stands out for its balance of features, accuracy, and price. It might not be the absolute fastest on the market, but it’s fast enough for everything I do, from quick steaks to slow-roasted briskets. As can be seen in my ice water and boiling water tests, the accuracy is spot-on, which is critical for getting those perfect cooks. And while there are more rugged or fully waterproof options out there, the value you get for the price with the Javelin Pro Duo is hard to beat.

In summary, the Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo strikes the right balance between functionality, durability, and cost-effectiveness. It delivers the reliability and precision needed for consistently good results. Sure, it’s not perfect, but its advantages far outweigh any minor drawbacks. For anyone serious about their grilling, I’d confidently recommend the Javelin Pro Duo as a solid choice.

Check out our full Lavatools Javelin pro Duo review for a more in-depth study.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Probe length: 4.5”
  • Handle length: 6.25”
  • Total length: 10.75”
  • Width: 1.8”
  • 2” anti-fog backlit LCD screen
  • Temperature range: -40 °F to 482 °F (-40 VC to 250 °C)
  • Accuracy: A ± 0.9 °F @ -4 °F~302 °F (± 0.5 °C @ -20 °C~150 °C)
  • 4000+ hour battery life (single CR2032 battery)
  • Certification: NSF, CE, RoHS, 100% BPA free

What Others Say

The Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo has the following consolidated customer feedback at the time of writing:

  • Lavatools.co: 4.7/5 from 413 reviews
  • Thereviewindex.com: 8.6/10 from 760 votes
  • Ebay.co.uk: 4.6/5 from 634 reviews

The Smoked Meat Sunday review of the Javelin Pro Duo is mostly positive, highlighting its fast, accurate temperature readings, user-friendliness, rotating display, sturdy build, large backlit screen, magnetic back, and auto-shutoff feature. Criticisms are its use of a CR2032 battery instead of AA/AAA, absence of a lock function, and lack of ability to recalibrate. Still, they consider the thermometer a high-quality, useful cooking tool.

8. Best for Visually Impaired — Surround Point Talking Instant Read Thermometer

7.7
Scores Out of 10
Accuracy 8.0
Response Time 7.5
Ease of Use 8.0
Build Quality and Durability 6.5
Battery Life 8.0
Additional Features 8.0

Pros

  • Talking feature is great for night grilling or for the visually impaired.
  • Measures a wide temperature range, from -58 °F to 572 °F.
  • Auto shut-off function saves battery life.
  • LED light useful for checking food in low light conditions.
  • Comes with a free e-book for grilling tips and recipes.

Cons

  • Build feels a bit flimsy, raising concerns about long-term durability.
  • Speech function can be scratchy, making it hard to understand at times.
  • No mention of waterproofing, which is a useful feature for outdoor cooking.

Our Review

The Surround Point Talking Instant Read Thermometer offers 4-second readings, voice announcements, and a wide temperature range (-58°F to 572°F). Features include an auto shut-off, LED light, and a long stainless steel probe. Ideal for grilling, baking, and more.

We included this thermometer solely for its ability to speak out temperatures, something incredibly useful for the visually impaired. We researched a handful of talking thermometers, and this one had the highest popularity. The unique talking feature and its affordability set it apart in a crowded market of instant-read thermometers.

Regarding functionality, it’s not just about the talking feature; the thermometer boasts an accuracy of +/- 1 °F throughout standard BBQ and grilling temperature ranges, which is better than some models costing over twice as much. The 4-second read time is, I’m afraid to say, one of the slowest on the market, but it is sufficient for almost all needs outside of candy making. A wide temperature range from -58℉ to 572℉, and user-friendly design elements like a backlit display and an easy-to-use fold-out probe add to its ease of use.

It’s important to note that while the Surround Point offers great value, it does have its drawbacks. Some users have found the build quality to feel a bit flimsy, and the lack of water resistance could be a concern for those who need a more durable device. Additionally, the absence of a rotating display and the need to manually operate certain functions like the backlight and temperature voice announcement may limit its appeal to some users.

Despite these limitations, the thermometer’s accuracy and talking feature significantly benefit those with visual impairments or anyone who appreciates auditory cues when cooking.

Manufacturer Specs

  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Power: Battery Powered
  • Temperature Range: -58 °F to 572 °F (-50 °C- 300 °C)
  • Accuracy: +/- 1 °F from 4 °F- 392 °F (20 °C- 200 °C), and +-2 °F at other temperatures
  • Read Time: 4 seconds
  • Resolution: 0.1 °F
  • Package Dimensions: 7.83 x 2.91 x 1.06 inches
  • Item Weight: 3.2 ounces

What Others Say

The Surround Point Talking Instant Read Thermometer review on Mashed.com gives a generally positive sentiment, albeit with some reservations. The thermometer is praised for its unique talking feature, which announces temperature readings aloud, making it particularly useful for those with visual impairments. It also highlights standard features like a backlit display, a long 4.7-inch folding probe, an automatic on-and-off function, and a free recipe ebook, all at an affordable price of just over $15.

However, the review notes some drawbacks, including a lower average customer rating with feedback pointing out that the device feels “a little loose and flimsy” and the speech quality as “a little scratchy.” Despite these issues, the thermometer is praised for its accuracy and usefulness.

How We Researched and Chose the Best Instant Read Thermometers

In our mission to find the best instant-read thermometers, we started with a broad selection of over 20 products, sorting them into key categories based on their features and price.

To ensure we were only recommending the best, we first turned to trusted sources like AmazingRibs, the NYTimes (Wirecutter), and SeriousEats for their expert reviews. These sites are known for their thorough testing and honest opinions on cooking gadgets. Additionally, we looked at consumer favorites on major retail sites such as Amazon, Lowe’s, and BBQ Guys, where real users leave their feedback. This helped us understand which thermometers performed well in everyday cooking scenarios beyond the controlled tests of professional reviewers.

We didn’t stop there. We also scoured social media and forum discussions to get a complete picture, particularly in Reddit’s grilling communities and the BBQ Brethren Forums. Here, we found invaluable real-world advice and recommendations from people using these thermometers in daily cooking and grilling. This step was crucial in understanding how these products hold up over time and in various cooking conditions.

After extensive research, we narrowed our initial list to the top few instant-read thermometers, which we then purchased and tested ourselves, as detailed in our reviews above. This hands-on experience allowed us to verify each thermometer’s accuracy, speed, and ease of use, ensuring that our recommendations are based on comprehensive testing and real-life use.

Our approach was straightforward and practical, focusing on providing you with clear, useful information to help you make the best choice for your needs.

How We Tested

My hands-on approach to testing instant-read thermometers involved testing accuracy and precision against known temperature standards, from ice water to boiling water, to guarantee that each thermometer could deliver on its promises.

Of course, I didn’t stop there! I used the thermometers daily in every meal I cooked in both my kitchen and outdoors at the grill. From rapid chicken roasting to slow-cooked ribs, I tested each thermometer’s ability to deliver precise readings across a wide temperature range, ensuring they meet the needs of every home cook and professional chef alike.

Durability and longevity were key factors. I repeatedly used each thermometer in high-heat situations, checking for any signs of wear or accuracy drift over time. The design of each device was also under scrutiny as I looked for thermometers that were not only easy to handle and read but also robust enough to withstand the rigors of frequent use.

I also evaluated the thermometers for their ease of use, considering factors like the intuitiveness of their interfaces, the clarity of their displays in various lighting conditions, and the convenience of features such as auto-off and hold functions.

Why We Recommend EVERYBODY Should Have a Good Instant Read Thermometer

The temperature of some meat on a BBQ being taken by an instant read thermome.
In my opinion, EVERYBODY who cooks, in any way, needs an instant read thermometer.

Having a good instant-read thermometer is a game-changer for anyone who cooks, whether you’re a barbecue enthusiast or a kitchen wizard.

Sure, there’s always that one guy who comes to the cookout, watches you grilling steaks, and gives lots of unsolicited advice. He swears by “this neat trick my Uncle taught me,” and proceeds to demonstrate how different parts of his hand mimic the doneness of the steak.

Don’t even get me started on this one!

Instant read thermometers quickly tell you the internal temperature of your food, making sure it’s cooked just right and safe to eat, without having to hope the softness of your hand is correct. This means no more guessing if your steak is medium-rare or if your chicken is cooked through. It’s all about getting your food to the perfect temperature for taste, texture, and safety. Plus, it’s a big help in preventing foodborne illnesses by ensuring your meals are cooked to the right temperature.

Using an instant-read thermometer isn’t just about safety, though, it’s also about consistency and confidence in your cooking. It lets you follow recipes more accurately and achieve consistent results every time. Imagine never having to cut into a steak to check if it’s done or worry about serving undercooked chicken. With this simple tool, you’re in control, making every meal an opportunity to impress. It’s a straightforward gadget, but it significantly boosts your cooking accuracy and consistency.

Go Digital, Forget Analog

An analog thermometer taking the temp of a chic.
These old school, analog type thermometers just don’t cut it!

Digital thermometers make it easier than ever to get an accurate internal temperature of your food. Before digital thermometers, there were only analog ones. Basically a probe with a dial thermometer at the end. And while they got the job done, they are no match to even the most basic of digital thermometers.

Even the best and most expensive analog thermometers take far, far longer to sense and settle into a proper reading and display it when compared to their digital counterparts. And by this time, your meat may well overshoot and go from medium-rare to medium.

On top of this, anything but the most expensive analog thermometers aren’t known for being nearly as accurate as modern digital models and don’t offer much more than an estimated temperature range. So go digital and ignore analog.

Key Features to Look for Before Buying

A blue instant read thermometer being used to measure the temperature of chicken.

When shopping for an instant-read thermometer, these are the essential features and key elements you should look for as being absolutely essential, otherwise you’re wasting your money on an ineffective tool.

Accuracy

Accuracy is the single most important thing with an instant read thermometer! It’s no good if it fools you into thinking your steak is medium rare when it’s the wrong side of rare or well done.

High-quality thermometers should have an accuracy within ±1° for your everyday cooking needs. This level of precision ensures that whether you’re grilling a steak to the perfect medium-rare or baking bread, you can trust the temperature reading.

For tasks that require even more precision, like making candy or brewing beer, look for thermometers that offer accuracy within ±0.5°. This tighter accuracy range helps in achieving the exact results needed for these specific cooking processes. Remember, the closer the accuracy, the more reliable your cooking outcome will be.

Speed

Opt for models that can deliver accurate temperature readings in just 2-3 seconds. This quick performance is crucial for three reasons.

First, it minimizes the heat lost from your grill or smoker when you’re checking the temperature of your food, and the less fluctuation you will have with your charcoal or wood fire as more oxygen gets let in. Less heat loss and more fire stability means your cooking temperature remains stable, ensuring your food cooks evenly.

Second, fast readings enhance safety by reducing the time your hand is exposed to high heat.

Third, and this is only really for candy making, sugar temperature can change quickly, and 3 or 4 seconds can be a vital time frame when sugar is changing states.

Durability and Build Quality

Pay attention to durability and build quality because you want a thermometer that can withstand the rigors of frequent use, especially if you’re grilling outdoors. Look for shock-resistant models to handle being dropped or knocked over without breaking. Waterproofing is another essential feature, ensuring your thermometer can survive accidental spills or exposure to rain if you’re cooking outside.

The construction of the probe itself is also important. A sturdy probe ensures accurate readings over time and resists bending or breaking. A fold-out design is highly recommended. It protects the probe when not in use and makes the thermometer more compact, making it easier to store in your kitchen drawer or take with you on the go.

Temperature Range

The temp of a deep fat fryer being ta.
You want a wide temperature range, so you can use your thermometer for more than just measuring the inside temperature of meat, such as hot oil, or molten sugar when candy making.

A thermometer with a broad temperature range makes it useful for many more tasks, such as accurately taking temperatures from deep-frying to making candy and even for cold dishes. It ensures that your thermometer is up to the task, whether you’re preparing a steak on the grill or checking the temperature of homemade ice cream.

Ease of Use

When you’re in a hurry with a hoard of hungry family members waiting for dinner or juggling three grills, four types of meat, six sides, and more, you don’t want to fumble with your thermometer. You want to easily turn it on, use it, and put it away without any fuss.

So ensure you get a clear digital display, a comfortable grip, a backlit screen for easy reading in all lighting conditions, and auto-shutoff to save battery life. An auto-rotating screen is also super-handy, so the text is always the right way up for easy reading without craning your neck.

Probe Length and Quality

A longer probe allows you to safely measure the internal temperature of different types of food without getting too close to the heat source. This is especially important when dealing with larger cuts of meat or checking something deep in a pot.

Look for a probe length of at least 4 inches. This should be long enough to get into the center part of all but the most massive of foods.

The probe should also be sturdy, meaning it won’t bend or break easily when you insert it into tough meats or other foods. This combination of length and durability ensures that you can get accurate temperature readings safely and efficiently and that the probe will last.

Battery Life and Replacement

A long battery life and easy replacement ensure the thermometer is always ready for use.

Most instant-read thermometers have a battery of 2,000 to 3,000 hours of use. Depending on your use, this will last a year, maybe even 3, before needing to change batteries.

Additional Considerations When Buying

Though not key things to consider when seeking out a suitable instant-read thermometer, here are some additional factors you might want to be aware of and keep in mind.

Budget and Value: On the lower end, you can find basic models that do the job but might lack some durability or extra features. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, you can get a thermometer with premium features that can really enhance your cooking experience. These might include faster read times, better accuracy, and features like waterproofing or backlit screens for easier low-light reading.

Water-resistance: A key feature to consider is water resistance. This is important because it makes cleaning your thermometer much easier, as a water-resistant thermometer can simply be wiped down or briefly rinsed under the tap, ensuring it’s ready for its next use without any fuss.

Brand Trustworthiness: Opt for brands with a solid reputation for quality and reliability, brands that have been around for a while and consistently provided products that meet or exceed expectations.

Check User Reviews: User reviews give you a real-world perspective on how the thermometer performs in various cooking situations. Look for patterns in the reviews. If many users mention the same issue, it’s likely a valid concern. On the other hand, if most reviews are positive and highlight specific features that meet your needs, that’s a good sign of a product that could serve you well.

Warranty and Customer Support: A solid warranty shows that the maker stands behind their product, suggesting it’s reliable and built to last. It means you’re not left in the lurch if something goes wrong. Responsive customer support is equally important. Should you encounter any problems, knowing you can easily reach out and receive help makes a big difference. It’s about having peace of mind.

Compliance and Certifications: Certificates can be necessary in a professional setting such as commercial kitchens. Certification from organizations like the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) indicates that the thermometer is safe for use with food and has passed rigorous testing for accuracy. Similarly, compliance with standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) ensures that the device meets specific requirements for quality and reliability.

By selecting a thermometer that holds these certifications, you’re not just buying a tool but investing in peace of mind. You’ll know that the product is built to give you accurate readings, which is essential for both safe cooking and achieving the perfect doneness of your food.

Conclusion

After thoroughly testing and considering all the options, the Thermoworks Thermapen One stands out as the best overall instant-read thermometer. Its unmatched speed and accuracy make it the top choice for anyone serious about grilling. This thermometer ensures your meats are perfectly cooked every time, meeting and exceeding the criteria we laid out in our buying guide’s emphasis on precision and reliability.

For those looking for alternatives, it depends on your budget and required feature list, but we’re sure there’s something for you above to match any needs.

Should you have any questions or need further advice, please don’t hesitate to comment below. We’re here to help!

Happy grilling!

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Written By: Mark Jenner

I'm a BBQ fanatic and have been barbecuing and grilling since 2005. I founded FoodFireFriends in 2017 and have extensively written for the site since.

I love cooking outdoors over live fire and smoke whatever the weather, and I currently own over 30 grills and smokers of all varieties that I frequently cook on to produce epic food.

My goal with this site is to help as many people as possible enjoy and be good at doing the same.

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4 Comments

  1. 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.

    1. Avatar for Mark Jenner Mark Jenner says:

      I use a meat thermometer pretty much every time, for outdoor cooking and in the kitchen. Certainly food safety is a big part of that, but also because cooking to temperature guarantees the best results, better than me just going by feel and invariably overcooking things, haha.

  2. My Thermapen MK4 lasted roughly 3 years of occasional use. Costs $30 to repair. I’m going to try one of the budget ones recommended here. If it breaks, at least I won’t be wasting $100 again.

    1. Avatar for Mark Jenner Mark Jenner says:

      Oh wow, sorry to hear that Eduardo. They are usually very reliable, so I think you may have been unlucky?! Still, I feel your pain, it’s horrible to spend good money on quality products to have them fail. My latest was a top of the range Microsoft SurfaceBook laptop (not cheap!), along with a 3-year care plan. 3 years and 2 months in, the screen now has burning on the edges, with the touch screen layer peeling off, just 2 months out of the extended care plan I bought, so I cannot get it repaired. Not good. 🙁

      Anyway, I’ve had a Thermapen MK3 for about 3 years now, gets a ton of use, only had to change the battery in that time and is still going strong (the one in the pic top of this post.) I also have the Lavatools Javelin Pro, and a couple of others, they’ve all lasted really well. I always come back to the Javelin pro or Thermapen 3 though, maybe out of habit, but also because they just feel better in the hand, and work fast and well.