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The directly readable thermometer is an important tool for food safety and the accurate preparation of food that must be kept in the kitchen and on the grill. In this test kitchen we test the best-selling meat thermometers and rank them according to their accuracy, user-friendliness and cost. Click here to see the winners and losers.

Salt fatty acid from Samina Nosrata. I’m just here to eat: Food + heat = Alton Brown cooking. We measure salt, fat, acid and food with spoons, cups and scales, but too often we only look at the heat in the eyes. The instant readable thermometer is the kitchen of the 21st century. century and your way to better cooking.

By thermometer with instantaneous count

How they work

In general, the adjustment thermometer is a one-component instrument with the display part attached to a thin metal probe. Place the sensor, wait a few seconds for the readings to stabilize and then read the temperature on the display. You may wonder why the so-called instantaneous thermometer takes 2 to 12 seconds. As far as I know, they are called instantaneous measurements because they replaced the dial thermometers, which took 30 to 60 seconds to stabilize. Even compared to modern technology, I think it takes 15 seconds to turn on our favourite probing thermometer again.

Immediate internal thermometers convert changes in temperature into changes in an electrical parameter, measure that parameter and display it to you as temperature. The main technologies used for this purpose are thermocouples, thermistors and resistance temperature sensors (RTDs). Many will stress the importance of the thermometer method, but I have come to the conclusion that this debate is being inflated. If you do not need to measure the temperature colder than in the freezer or warmer than in the domestic oven, the method of thermometry is less important than its application in general. The best manufacturers find a way to build a device that emphasizes the strengths and minimizes the weaknesses of the chosen technology.

What to do with an instant countdown thermometer

Cooking is essentially the use of heat to convert ingredients into food. Just as you measure the ingredients with spoons and cups, you use a thermometer to measure the heat. A good thermometer is much more accurate than conventional methods of determining the temperature with the eye or by touch. An instant-read thermometer gives you this information as quickly as possible so that you can use it effectively when it comes down to it.

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number one Immediate thermometer is used for cooking meat. Nobody wants a steak that’s not cooked, and nobody cares about people who want a steak that’s too cooked. If you are the chef of a restaurant that has been drinking a hundred steaks a day for years, you will see the perfect average. Everyone should use a thermometer, and with a direct reading you can make a decision before it’s too late.

Meat is not the only thing you can measure with an instant thermometer. I use mine to keep the poaching liquid and the frying oil at the right temperature. He is also going to find out when the bread is ready or when the pudding is ready to give up the heat. The old-fashioned candy thermometer resembles a caveman tool for making candy because of its direct reading. You know, for cave candy.

Manual for selection of the instantaneous value thermometer


A good thermometer must be accurate. For most applications the accuracy tolerance is ±1°. That’s enough to make the steak fall 5° wide. If you are looking for a candy thermometer, reduce this number by half to ±0.5°. The difference between a hard and a hard ball is very small, so you should be able to recognise it correctly and quickly Accurate reading up to the tenth grade

Almost all of these thermometers display temperatures up to a tenth of a degree, even if they are not as accurate. To a certain extent, this level of accuracy is useful, because you can then see in which direction the temperature is moving and how fast it is changing. It is useful to make a distinction between a pot of poaching liquid at 160° and fairly stable and the same pot at 160° and gradually decreasing.

Reading speed

A thermometer that reads quickly is better than a thermometer that reads slowly. All the thermometers we tested quickly made a big leap in the right direction, and then went in smaller and smaller steps towards the final temperature until they started to stretch the pasta by a few tenths.

The speed at which the temperature of the food changes during cooking determines how fast the thermometer should be read. A roast that has been cooked for two hours does not matter if it takes ten seconds to read the temperature, but a fine steak can go from medium red to medium red in an alarming amount of time. Candidates absolutely need a fast thermometer to detect a small temperature change before it overheats.

Candy temperature
If you are trying to determine the temperature in a warm environment, for example directly above a grill or a pot of boiling water, a fast thermometer is very useful.


You have to be able to read what the thermometer says to do right. The large screen contributes to this. And also the backlit display, especially in dimly lit rooms such as the oven or grill at night. The ability to rotate the display is also useful.


How does the thermometer in your hand feel? Is it practically necessary to put your hand in a pot of boiling water to measure the temperature of the food, or can you stay a few critical centimetres further away?  Are the buttons placed in reasonable places so you can use them whenever you want, without having to accidentally press them when you don’t want to? If your thermometer is painful to use, it’s not good.

Quality of construction

Your instant-read thermometer must be able to withstand the harsh conditions in the kitchen. You want something tight enough to survive an accidental fall and strong enough to survive an accidental fall without breaking.

Our test procedures

We used two devices for testing. To check the accuracy, we needed a more accurate thermometer than the one we were testing. For this we used a Thermoworks Reference Thermapen thermometer, which has an accuracy of ±0.1° with a display accuracy of 0.01°. You’d think you’d want one for your kitchen. The bad news is that it takes 30 to 90 seconds to set a temperature that is not directly readable.

For our test we have installed a high-tech support portal above our test vessel (also called a sign with a hole above a jar), so that it can approach the temperature without movement or contact.

Precision Testing with Anova Nano and Thermapen Precision Ranges Using Anova under vacuum to create a 140°F temperature controlled environment.

We also used an immersion circulator to keep the water temperature constant at 140°, including the Anova Nano precision hob. This report is not about Anova, but we need to evaluate her work here. According to the reference thermometer he always held a pan of water between 140.00° and 140.05°. Of course it is easier to absorb the heat without adding food, but it is more accurate than I had imagined.

Ice water

We first tested the properties at low temperatures. We didn’t try to make a perfect ice bath here, just cold enough. Once the reference thermometer has stabilized at about 34°, I place each thermometer in the bath as close as possible to the reference probe while the timer is running. I stopped the timer when the test thermometer stopped moving and then wrote down the final temperature and time. I repeated this test three times, averaging the results and adding an extra test if there was a significant release.

Hot water

For the test in the usual area of the meat, we repeated the test with ice water in a water bath at an angle of 140°. In general, the thermometers (or tests) were more accurate here than with ice water. The reading time was extremely stable at both temperatures.

Boiling water

To check readability and comfort, we measured the temperature of a pot of boiling water. It has taught us a lot about how different products work under difficult conditions.


Water immersion thermometer
Finally, we run each thermometer under a tap for about 20 seconds at a time, wetting it on each side. Then we checked which one of the shells was water and which one was still working.

Best readable thermometers for 2020


1. Thermapen Mk4 Thermal Equipment – Best Total


Buy only @

The precision was excellent: 0.7° in the cold dough and dead in the warm dough.

The real POS is the reading time of 2-3 seconds, this is the best test result with a good margin. In practice, this means that the moment you position and focus the thermometer on the display, it already shows its final reading. None of the other thermometers in the test approached this level of performance.

Thermometer Mk4 cold test Thermometer Mk4 cold test

Thermal test with Mk4 Thermal test with Mk4 thermometer

Sealed heat compensator Thermapen Mk4 (1) Sealed heat compensator Thermapen Mk4

The Thermapen lies comfortably in the hand and is easy to read thanks to the large numbers, the automatic backlight and a sensor that automatically rotates the numbers to the right.

He passed the water test without any problems. In fact, it is designed for 30 minutes under 1 meter of water. There’s exactly one problem with the Thermapen Mk4, and that’s the price: $99. It’s not cheap, but you get the best.

2. ThermoPop installations – best value

If the price of Thermapen is too high, then ThermoPop is really good and you will like the price: $34.

The only thing you lose is the tenth digit – ThermoPop only shows whole degrees. It is therefore more difficult to assess the accuracy from one apple to another, but our results indicate an accuracy of about ±1°.
Thermal power plant thermo

Buy only @ Heating systems

Readability is reliable with illuminated average digits. The knob can be used to rotate the display to the desired position in 90° increments. It is less comfortable to hold in your hands than foldable probes, but sufficient, especially because it is read so fast.

Cold Thermometer ThermoPop Cold Test

ThermoPop ThermoPop Thermal Test

Waterproof ThermoPop Thermometer Waterproof ThermoPop Thermometer

The speed is the second highest after that of the thermopoulpe, with a reading time of 3-4 seconds.

The ThermoPop is especially suitable for left-handed people, because unlike most other models it is equally good in both hands. The leak test did not reveal any problems. In general it is an excellent thermometer for a reasonable price, even though it is not as good as the Thermapen.

3. ThermoPro TP03 – buy cheap

The ThermoPro TP03 is a very good thermometer with a very good performance for only 14 dollars.

3-digit budget Public procurement

Buying in the Amazon

Accuracy is acceptable, our cold test gives a value of 1.2° and the hot test only 0.2°. The reading time was shorter, it took 5 to 8 seconds to stabilize the ThermoPro.

ThermoPro TP03 cold test ThermoPro TP03 cold test

ThermoPro TP03 Hot Test Thermometer ThermoPro TP03 Hot Test Thermometer

ThermoPro TP03 Waterproof Thermometer ThermoPro TP03 Waterproof Thermometer

The handle is handy, long enough to keep your hand away from hot objects, yet easy to read.

I especially like the storage functions: Magnets to keep it on the fridge or hood and a loop to hang it on the hook.

Medium display with intelligent backlighting.

It passed our water resistance test, although there was still some water in the battery compartment afterwards.

In general, ThermoPro is an average thermometer for an unusual price. Take one to a friend’s house or on a walk. Besides, you should get a thermometer to cook at the camp. Spending the morning in the toilet because of food poisoning is bad, but it is much worse to squat in the woods without a toilet.

4. Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo – Best price option

The Javelin Pro Duo is a step away from a frustrated victory for some of these super slaves.
4-Justlin Pro

Buying in the Amazon

It’s not as good as Thermapen, but the price is much better. It’s better than ThermoPop, but for $55 it’s hard to say it’s $20 better.

Spearpro Duo Cold Dough Thermometer Spearpro Duo Cold Dough Thermometer

Lavatols Spear Pro Duo Thermometer Hot Test Spear Pro Duo Hot Test

Lavatol Thermometer Pro Duo Waterproof Lance Pro Duo Waterproof Lance

To concentrate on the good, the Javelin Pro Duo was at the top of the peloton thanks to its precision. If the test was cold, it was switched off by 0.7°; if the test was hot, it was switched off. The reading time was fixed for 4 to 7 seconds. The hilt is practical and the huge illuminated display is very easy to read. This screen is automatically rotated 180° when held upside down. The spear is easy to store, both with a magnet and a hinge to hang it up, with the hinge on the long side. He had no problem passing the leak test.

All in all, it’s very good. You get a thermometer with twice the reading time for about half the price. It’s a good choice for the middle of the road.


5. Outlier PT-55

The Maverick PT-55 has a lot to offer, starting with its precision.
Maverick PT 55 Thermometer

Buying in the Amazon

In terms of precision, it is extinguished at 0.7° in cold water paste and 0.5° in hot water paste for a very respectable work.

Both tests take about 5 seconds to read, which is quite solid.

The display has good numbers, but because of the obvious position of the hands they are closed, making it somewhat uncomfortable to hold them. He passed the leak test without any problems.

Maverick PT-55 Cold Test Thermometer Maverick PT-55 Cold Test Thermometer

Maverick PT-55 Thermometer Thermal Test Maverick PT-55 Thermometer Thermal Test

Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Thermometer Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Thermometer

Then why didn’t you fight the winners after all the good stuff, including a $40 prize? The control is terrible. There are five buttons, and they all suck. The on/off button must be lubricated several times in order to work. There is a backlight, but it is on the same button as the temperature hold button. So if you need the backlight, press once to hold and press again for the backlight. Couldn’t Maverick have pushed the sixth button? Worse, one of the buttons is the Reset button. I never want to restart my thermometer and I automatically mislead the suggestion that I should, so much so that a highlighted button is needed. Do better, Maverick.

6. Lavatolans PT12

The Javelin PT12 is a basic version of the Lavatools line and is very small in size. It fits in any bag, so you can take it with you when you go from the kitchen to the grill.
Thermometer Lavatol Spear PT12

Buying in the Amazon

Precision here with Pro Duo, 0.5° in cold dough and just in time in warm dough.

The playback time was slightly slower, by 6-7 seconds.

It has a hinge and a magnet for easy storage.

Lavatools Spear test PT12 cold test Spear test PT12 cold test

Lavatol Spear PT12 Thermometer Hot Test Spear PT12 Hot Test

PT12 Waterproof spear PT12 Spear waterproof thermometer

It just claims to be splash-proof, but it survived long enough under the tap.

The problem with Javelin PT12 is comfort and legibility. Figures of suitable size, but without backlight. The probe is super short compared to the other one in the dough, so I had to get my hands on the boiling water. There is not enough room for a good grip and reading skills. Ultimately, this is an average commodity thermometer for a reasonable price of $27. Not bad, but I prefer that ThermoPop is represented in almost every category.

7. Ejector Pro-Temp Commercial PT-100

The Maverick PT-100 is priced at $79, so it has enough to live on. Spoilers: It’s not that.
Maverick Pro Temp PT 100 Commercial Thermometer

Buying in the Amazon

The precision is not so great – 1.2° in cold dough and 0.2° in warm dough. That’s enough, but that’s not surprising.

Maverick Pro-Temp Commercial Thermometer PT-100 Cold Test Maverick PT-100 Cold Test

Maverick Pro-Temp Commercial Thermometer PT-100 Temperature Test Maverick PT-100 Temperature Test

Maverick Pro-Temp water resistance thermometer PT-100 Thermometer

It took 9 to 12 seconds to set these temperatures, making it one of the worst in the speed test.

The handle is long and comfortable, which is good because you hold it for a while. The numbers are large and lit up, but I find my natural grip a bit blurry. It passed our leak test, but there was water on the outside edges of the battery compartment. The sealing strips on the inside did their job, but we opened them up for complete drying.

All in all, it’s not a bad thermometer, but the price is the deciding factor.

8. Habor 022

The Habor 022 is an inexpensive thermometer without redundancy.
Thermometer Habor_022

Buying in the Amazon

During the cold and hot test it was switched off by 0.7° to achieve a reasonable degree of accuracy.

It took 8 to 9 seconds to get a lecture, which brought them close to the end of this category.

Habor 022 Cold test thermometer Habor 022 cold test

Thermal test with Habor 022 thermometer Habor 022 thermal test

Habor 022 waterproof thermometer Habor 022 waterproof

It is small and offers little support, so you can keep your hand very close to boiling water.

The numbers are small and not illuminated, making them difficult to read.

He had no problem passing the leak test.

There’s not much to say about Habor. It is cheap and reasonable, but the best reason I could give for buying it is that the shop outside ThermoPro, the best thermometer for the same price.

9. Taylor Precision Digital Turbocharger Read

Taylor Precision designed the thermometer slightly differently as a foldable probe.
Taylor precision thermometers with digital turbocharging

Buying in the Amazon

Where the screen is usually on the side, Taylor Precision places it on top for a more compact design.

It is almost a good choice for the left hand, but the display does not rotate, so the numbers of the left hand are upside down. The accuracy is fixed, with a difference of 0.8° in the cold test and 0.1° in the hot test.

Taylor Precision Digital Turbocharger Cold Temperature Testing Read Precision Digital Turbocharger Cold Temperature Testing

Taylor Digital Precision Turbocharger Thermometer Hot Test

Taylor Precision Digital Turbo Thermometer for Water Resistance Reading Taylor Precision Thermometer for Water Resistance Reading

The reading time was 6-7 seconds, which is good for average values. The display is backlit and easy to read, but the handle, which should not interfere with the display, was uncomfortable.

Taylor failed the leak test, the lights went out and the water ran out of the living room. I appreciate that they tried to change the thermometer with a direct reading, but it’s not enough for $34.

The losers

10. Poulaken Amagarm

Starting from this low category, the best feature of Powlaken Amagarm was the replacement battery in the right packaging. We liked it in the tests.
Poulaken Amagarm thermometer

Buying in the Amazon

But everything else wasn’t so good. Amagarm was deactivated by 1° for cold tests and 1.2° for hot tests, which is certainly the worst. It took 5 to 12 seconds to get these false readings; that’s not good either. The handle was handy and the display was readable with the backlight, but it switched off quickly. It was destroyed during a leak test with a water-filled screen and broken buttons. The price of $20 is good, but it’s not very nice.

Poulaken Thermometer Amagarm cold test Amagarm cold test

Poulaken Low-Emospheric Hot Test Thermometer Low-Emospheric Hot Test Thermometer

Poulaken Amagarm water resistance thermometer

11. Excellent performance of chefs

I found a common model where OXO hand tools are generally quite good, but not their electronics.
The OXO Advanced Kitchen Thermometer

Buying in the Amazon

This is another data point in this sad conspiracy. The OXO Chef’s Precision was sufficiently accurate: 1.2° in the cold test and 0.2° in the hot test. Playback lasted 9 seconds all the time – that’s too much. It was uncomfortable to hold it directly over boiling water, especially for 9 seconds. The screen is large and easy to read, and if it works better, I recommend moving it to the left. The leak test completely destroyed it. I don’t even think you can wash it. Sorry, Oxo, but he’s not well.

Cook's Perfection Thermometer Cold Test Cook’s Cold Test

Perfection Chef Hot Test Thermometer Chef OCHO

Thermometer Water resistance Cooking water resistance Cooking water resistance Cooking water resistance Cooking water resistance Cooking OXO


What surprised me the most was how good thermometers have become, even cheap, bad and instantly readable. In the past you had to pay a high price for every direct reading, not to say a good one, but now you can get something suitable from the passport at the box office. There’s no obvious winner if you want something more than enough.

Best Instant Reading Thermometer Thermapen is a Cadillac option. It has the highest level of performance and the highest price.

ThermoPop 1 Immediate reading of the ThermoPop 1 is our choice of values. I wish it was a little more, but the timing is very good and the price is even better.

MID at the price of Javelin Pro Duo For the medium version Javelin Pro Duo is very good at a reasonable price, but without the speed and thermal polishing.

BUY OF HOMES THERMOPRO Finally, ThermoPro is an incredible purchase for $14. There are probably better thermometers on the test, but it’s a great deal.

Anyway, if you don’t have one, read it right away. That makes you a better cook. If you have an old one, you might want to look at new things and see where the technology is going. This might surprise you.

Check out our extensive testing and verification of these instantly readable digital thermometers.

Thermometer Calibration

If you are afraid that your thermometer does not read properly, you can test it in an ice bath. Some models can be recalibrated, others need to be returned to the manufacturer for recalibration, and yet others just need to be discarded.

Thermometer Test in ice bath Calibration thermometer in ice bath

Testing the thermometer in an ice bath is not an easy proposition. The basic idea is that the mixture of ice and water is exactly 32°, so make this combination and see how far your thermometer goes. It’s harder in practice. You have to make an ice bath to reach exactly 32°, so check the quality of the thermometer and the ice bath at the same time. To make a good ice bath, fill the insulated cup from above with ground ice and then fill it largely with water. Let the temperature stabilize for one minute, then place the thermometer and mix it with the probe. If you have understood correctly, you should read 32° plus or minus the tolerance specified by the manufacturer.

If you don’t trust this result, you can compare your thermometer with a friend’s thermometer you trust more. It is important that your friend trusts you too, especially if he or she has an expensive thermometer. Make sure that the ends of the probes are very close together so that they measure water at the same temperature, but without touching each other, so that they do not measure each other. This only applies within the tolerances of both manufacturers, which are unlikely to be excessive.

Why would you use ice water instead of boiling water?

For the same reason, people living at high altitude are desperate for good coffee: Water boils at a lower temperature when the ambient pressure is lower. An important contribution is made by the altitude, where the boiling point drops by about 1° at 500 feet above sea level, but the local barometric pressure also influences the boiling point. As I write this, for example, the online calculator shows my boiling point at 209.61°, about half a degree higher than last weekend’s test. In short, you can’t rely on the temperature of boiling water. Frozen water is not under pressure (at least not by human standards), so it can be trusted at a reasonable price.

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