Guessing when meat is cooked enough that it’s safe to eat isn’t the best way to go about preparing dinner for the family. Fortunately, meat thermometers exist for that very reason. These handy tools give you accurate and quick readings of poultry, beef, fish, and other proteins, so you’ll know when they’ve come to a safe temperature for eating.
We reviewed dozens of meat thermometers to find the best of the best. In our search, we considered features like accuracy, ease of use, digital settings, temperature range, and read time, to determine which meat thermometers should top our list. We also looked for thermometers that are waterproof and Bluetooth-enabled for extra convenience.
The ThermoPro Digital Meat Thermometer came out our clear winner. This affordable meat thermometer is simple to use and read, has motion detection to automatically shut off when not in use, and has a calibration setting to maintain accuracy. We also love how easy it is to see the digital screen in virtually any lighting, thanks to the bright orange backlit screen.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Meat Thermometers
|Best Meat Thermometer Overall||ThermoPro Digital Meat Thermometer||4.8|
|Best Waterproof Meat Thermometer||Amagarm Digital Meat Thermometer||4.8|
|Best Budget Meat Thermometer||Rubbermaid Instant Read Thermometer||4.3|
|Best Meat Thermometer for Grilling and Smoking||ThermoPro LCD Digital Meat Thermometer||4.5|
|Best Wireless Meat Thermometer||MEATER Plus Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer||4.4|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Meat Thermometer Overall: ThermoPro Digital Meat Thermometer
The ThermoPro Digital Meat Thermometer is an all-around excellent solution for food safety. It has just about every feature and setting you can want in a meat thermometer for convenience, including a bright backlit display, waterproof casing, and a motion sensor to automatically wake it or put it to sleep. One stand-out feature of this thermometer is its auto-rotating display. As you use the thermometer in different angles, the LED screen rotates automatically to allow you to read it. Good news for left-handers that don’t want to read it upside-down!
The ThermoPro thermometer has a few other unique settings, like a locking feature that keeps the display locked for you to read it away from the heat. It also has a magnetic back to help you store it wherever it’s convenient for you, like on the fridge, or use the hole to hang it from a hook or rack. Customers also praise the accuracy of this thermometer, but you can always calibrate it quickly, if necessary, with a built-in calibration function.
ThermoPro Digital Meat Thermometer Key Features:
- 3 to 4-second response time
- Motion sensing
- Magnetic back
- Lock temperature setting
- Includes calibration setting
Best Waterproof Meat Thermometer: Amagarm Digital Meat Thermometer
A waterproof meat thermometer can be a major convenience in the kitchen, and the Amagarm Digital Meat Thermometer does the trick. Unlike some inexpensive meat thermometers without waterproof casing, this thermometer can be cleaned with a damp cloth before and after each use without damaging its internal electronic system (just don’t submerge it in water to clean it!). When you cook, splashes happen, but small liquid spills are no problem for this meat thermometer.
The Amagarm Digital Meat Thermometer also has quick readouts ready for you in about three seconds, max. You can hang onto the body of the thermometer to insert it into your food or utilize its finger hole at the end for more control and to keep your fingers away from the heat. Other notable features include an auto-off function, a foldable probe, and the ability to withstand heat high enough to check oil temperatures.
Amagarm Digital Meat Thermometer Key Features:
- Bright, bold LED
- 3 color options
- 2 to 3-second readout
- Finger hole for easy grasp
- +/- 1-degree accuracy
Best Budget Meat Thermometer: Rubbermaid Instant Read Thermometer
If you’re not looking for a smart meat thermometer or one with a bunch of extra features, the Rubbermaid Instant Read Thermometer could do the trick. It has no bells and whistles, but it takes the temperature of meat and other foods quickly, which may be all you’re looking for. The Rubbermaid Instant Read Thermometer reads temperatures between 0 and 220-degrees Fahrenheit, so you’ll be able to get accurate temperatures for just about any food you cook.
Despite its affordable cost, this thermometer has a few perks to still make it a good option for almost any kitchen. The lens is made with shatterproof glass to ensure durability. And, the thermometer has a virtually seamless design to keep water out of the dial when you clean it. Premium-grade stainless-steel further ensures that you won’t need to replace this thermometer for a while.
Rubbermaid Instant Read Thermometer Key Features:
- Includes calibration nut
- 5-inch probe
- Designed to prevent rolling on a countertop
- Doesn’t require batteries
- Compact size
Best Meat Thermometer for Grilling and Smoking: NutriChef Electric Food Dehydrator Machine
It can be tricky to get the temperatures of grilled and smoked foods just right. However, the ThermoPro LCD Digital Meat Thermometer is probably one of the best thermometers for the job. This gadget comes with a super durable meat probe that can withstand high temperatures. You can leave it in the smoker or grill to continuously check the temperature of your food, and it’ll be safe up to 716 degrees Fahrenheit.
The probe and wire connect to the main unit, which you can set on the stove or next to your grill or smoker to display the temperature. It will sound an alarm when your food reaches your desired temperature, and there are several pre-programmed meat temperatures to help you set the alarm quickly and without guesswork. The temperature ranges from 32 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit, so this thermometer should work for just about any food you cook.
ThermoPro LCD Digital Meat Thermometer Key Features:
- Large LCD display
- Countdown timer
- Magnetic back and stand for different storage options
- Quickly reads in a few seconds
- One-year warranty
Best Wireless Meat Thermometer: MEATER Plus Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer
The MEATER Plus Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer sites on the higher end of the typical price range for meat thermometers. But if you want an all-in-one convenient solution that lets you check on your food from other rooms right on your smartphone, this is the one to do it. You can keep the probe inside the meat in the oven, grill, or smoker, and check on it from the connected app on your mobile device up to 165 feet away.
You can also set up custom notifications and alerts to indicate when your food is ready to come out. There are two sensors on the probe to let you track both the internal and external temperatures at the same time. The app will even estimate how long it should take until your food is done based on the type of meat it is and the temperature you have it set to.
MEATER Plus Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer Key Features:
- Includes charging dock
- Charger helps to extend Bluetooth signal
- Preset settings for a variety of meats
- Easy-to-read app
- Compatible with Alexa
Who Should Buy a Meat Thermometer
A meat thermometer is one of the most essential tools to have in the kitchen. Unlike nice-to-haves, like a food dehydrator or a pasta maker, a meat thermometer is necessary for food safety. Undercooked meat can lead to food poisoning, but a meat thermometer ensures that food cooks to a safe temperature.
If you cook meat frequently, you should consider adding a meat thermometer to your kitchen repertoire of tools. The thermometer will help you eliminate the guesswork of deciding whether your meat has finished cooking. You also won’t have to cut chicken and steak open to see how they look on the inside, which releases juices that you want to stay in the meat for flavor and texture. Instead, insert the thermometer into the food to get a quick temperature reading.
Important Features to Consider
Meat thermometers should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when choosing a meat thermometer:
- Accuracy. A thermometer that isn’t accurate won’t help you much when you cook. You can check the accuracy of a thermometer by placing the probe in a cup of ice water and checking that it reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit after several seconds. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to calibrate it to do so.
- Temperature range. Depending on how you plan to use your meat thermometer, a wide range of temperatures can be beneficial. Most meat thermometers work well for other foods, too, so if you’ll be cooking at really low or high temperatures, make sure you find a thermometer to support that.
- Waterproof. A thermometer with a waterproof casing can come in handy in the kitchen, avoiding damage from liquid splatters and cleaning easily.
- Type of thermometer. Meat thermometers come in analog or digital styles. Analog thermometers are the “older” versions you might have seen your parents use when you were growing up. They have a face with a needle that indicates the temperature. Most analog thermometers are able to withstand high temperatures, so you can usually keep them poked into the meat while you cook it. Digital thermometers can be much quicker and easier to read with digital screens that display the temperature.
- Ease of calibration. Many digital thermometers now come with an automatic calibration setting that keeps their temperature readings accurate. Analog thermometers need you to calibrate them manually, which can be a little trickier and time-consuming to do.
- Temperature read speed. Most modern digital thermometers read temperatures quickly, but analog thermometers can take some time. If you want the quickest reads, look for a thermometer that can deliver one within a few seconds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best thermometer for meat?
There are several types of thermometers, but probe thermometers are often the easiest to use on meat. Some probe thermometers are designed to leave in the meat as you cook it so they can continuously take the temperature. Others are digital with an LCD/LED screen that displays the temperature. Although they can’t stay in the meat while you cook it, they usually take temperatures quickly, so you should only have to wait a few seconds for an accurate readout.
Can you leave a thermometer in the meat while it’s cooking?
Yes – if you use an analog thermometer that’s designated as a “leave-in thermometer.” You also might see them referred to as “instant-read thermometers.” These thermometers are made with high-grade steel that can withstand extremely high temperatures, making them suitable for ovens, grills, and smokers.
Are meat thermometers accurate?
You can expect a thermometer to be accurate within one or two degrees of the correct temperature. If you’re diligent about calibrating your meat thermometer, it should be pretty accurate. Calibrating your thermometer after or before each use is a good way to ensure the reading you get is accurate. Your thermometer should come with instructions for calibration.
How can you tell if meat is cooked without a thermometer?
In a pinch, there are a few methods you can use to tell if the meat is cooked, but they’re not foolproof. First, cutting into meat to see if it’s pink inside can be a helpful indicator. You can also touch the meat with your finger. If it’s still pretty bouncy or pushes in easily, it’s probably not cooked thoroughly. The only way to ensure you have a safe cook is to use a calibrated meat thermometer to take its internal temperature.
Other Meat Thermometers We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other meat thermometers. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best meat thermometers list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your kitchen. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Leave-In Meat Thermometers
- Bluetooth Meat Thermometers
- Waterproof Meat Thermometers
- Smart Meat Thermometers
Leave-In Meat Thermometers
This high-heat leave-in thermometer is best for people who cook foods with extreme temperature ranges. The GREENRAIN thermometer can gauge more than double the heat of similar thermometers.
- Ranges up to 550-degrees
- Adjustable clip
- 12-month warranty
The KitchenAid Leave-In Thermometer is constructed with stainless steel and a safety glass lens to withstand the heat of the oven or grill if you want to leave it in meat while you cook.
- Safety glass lens for durability
- Includes common cook temperatures for meat
- Large reading area
Ranging up to 220-degrees, this thermometer can accurately check the temperature of beef, poultry, pork, and other foods as you cook them.
- Shaded probe to help with insertion
- Quick readouts
- Cover includes recommended temperatures for meat
The SINARDO thermometer includes a target indicator for you to set to the temperature you need for simple, quick reading, even through your oven door.
- Face-printed recommended temperatures
- Large, bright needle
- BPA-free stainless steel construction
The large dial of this leave-in thermometer is easy to see with a quick glance, which means less removing food from the oven or grill to check the temperature.
- Reads up to 200-degrees
- Temperature chart for different doneness levels
- Dishwasher safe
Bluetooth Meat Thermometers
You can check the temperature of your food up to 230 feet away with this long-range grill thermometer, so there’s no need to keep heading outside for a check.
- High temperature-resistant probe handles
- Includes two probes
- Six preset food temperature settings
This Bluetooth meat thermometer is perfect for long cooks in the smoker with its super-long battery charge and a temperature range up to 572 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Comes with six probes
- Charges with USB cable
- 40-hour charge
Check the temperature readings from this wireless and Bluetooth thermometer from hundreds of feet away right from your smartphone or tablet using the convenient app.
- Stainless steel probes
- iOS and Android app control
- Works over 190 feet away
See how hot your food is getting in the smoker or on the grill at any time with this smart thermometer, which connects to an app that works with most iOS and Android devices.
- Six color-coded probes
- Includes meat shredders
- Durable metal wiring
This Bluetooth meat thermometer from Soraken features 11 preset cooking temperatures for some of the most common foods and meats to make it easy to program for any meal.
- Magnetic back
- Ranges up to 170 feet outdoors
- Teflon core for high-heat cooking
Waterproof Meat Thermometers
This thermometer is built to last with its waterproof design and premium-grade 304 stainless-steel construction that’s backed by a warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Reads up to 302-degrees Fahrenheit
- Magnetic back
- Lifetime warranty
This thermometer from GDEALER is rated as IP 67 waterproof, meaning that it can withstand immersion in water up to one meter.
- Finger hole for grip
- Foldable probe
- Backlit screen
The screen on this thermometer rotates automatically as you move it so that you can always read the temperature easily and accurately.
- IP x6 waterproof
- Ranges up to 572 degrees Fahrenheit
- 4.6-inch probe
The Kizen digital meat thermometer includes some common meat temperatures on its waterproof face, adding a little extra convenience to the tool.
- IP 67 waterproof rating
- Includes an extra battery
- Hanging or magnet storage
The strong plastic casing adds both durability and waterproofing to this thermometer, which takes temperatures of most foods within three seconds.
- Includes a meat temperature chart
- Foldable probe
- Calibration feature
Smart Meat Thermometers
Check your food temperatures from an app on your mobile device for more hands-off cooking with the HAUEA Meat Thermometer.
- Six color-coded probes
- Includes storage case
- 196-foot range
This customer favorite features a fully wireless system with a leave-in meat probe and a handy, easy-to-use app that makes it simple to check on your food from anywhere in your home.
- Magnetic charging dock
- App can notify you when food is done cooking
- Preset cooking programs
With its large, bright display, mobile app, and two temperature readings from its probes, this thermometer is a must-have to easily monitor your food as it cooks.
- Large digital display
- Ranges up to 328 feet
- Two probes
Stick The MeatStick probe into your food and monitor it from 300 feet away using the connected mobile app with several functions to help you customize your cook.
- Two-sensor probe
- Preprogrammed temperatures
- 30-day guarantee
The ThermoPro Wireless Meat Thermometer continues to give you accurate readouts of your food temperatures up to 500 feet away with its four-probe system.
- Nine preset meat temperatures
- Includes two probe clips.