What are meat thermometers?
A meat thermometer is an essential kitchen gadget as your oven won’t tell you the accurate temperature of the inside of your meat. Meat thermometers are used to check the internal temperature to tell you when the meat is ready, and more importantly, safe to eat.
Different meats have different optimal temperatures for cooking - click here to read our guide to meat temperatures.
What are the different types of meat thermometers?
There are various types of meat thermometers and they are all useful for different types of cooking and cuts of meat.
- In-oven thermometers can be left in the meat while cooking - ideal if you don’t want to keep taking the meat out of the oven to check the temperature.
- Probe thermometers come with a probe which you insert into the meat. These are often sleeker in design and have a digital screen to read the temperature on. These are the best meat thermometers for every cut of meat and for easy storage.
- Infrared thermometers don’t require any contact with the meat, simply point and click. These are the best meat thermometers to use when you want to check the temperature of the meat in a pan, on a plate or in smaller, fiddler places of cooking.
Which is the best meat thermometer to buy?
The best meat thermometer to buy depends on what you cook, where you cook and the environment you cook in. For the best all-rounder, we love the Superfast Thermapen ‘One’ Thermometer. It reads accurate temperatures in just one second, it’s sleek in design making it easy to store, and the auto-rotating display means whichever way you use it, the temperature will show the right way up - excellent for ease of use.
If you’re cooking in a loud kitchen, the Oven Probe Dot Thermometer with Alarm is a great choice as it alerts you when your meat has reached the desired temperature.
Read on for more of the best meat thermometers to buy…
Best meat thermometer for an instant reading
The Thermapen 4 has won rave reviews across the board. It has a read-out of temperature over the range of -49.9 to 299.9 °C with a 0.1 °C resolution and an accuracy of ±0.4 °C. You need never worry about taking a wrong reading, as the digital display auto rotates to give you the right reading whichever way you hold the device. Temperatures can be read in around three seconds. The casing is washable and includes a 'Biomaster' additive that reduces bacterial growth.
Best contact-free meat thermometer
No contact needs to be made with this temperature checker. Simply point and click – the infrared sensor will be able to pick up surface temperature. The sensor has a 12:1 optic ratio (target distance: distance) and allows you to check the temperature of grills, stoves, pans and barbecues. However, of course it won't tell you if your meat is cooked correctly.
Best meat thermometer for on-the-go cooking
With the ThermaStick meat thermometer in your pocket you can quickly and easily check the international temperature of meat. Simply turn on the probe, insert into the food to be measured, and in 5-6 seconds you’ll have an accurate temperature reading. The cover has a pocket clip, so you can keep the meat thermometer in the pocket of an apron, ready to use at all times.
Best meat thermometer for loud kitchens
The oven probe dot thermometer with alarm alerts you when the desired temperature of meat is reached, great for when you’re cooking lots of dishes at once in a loud kitchen. The dual display shows the current temperature in large digits, with the target temperature in smaller digits underneath. At 70 decibels, you can be sure of hearing the alarm even in a busy environment.
Best meat thermometer for BBQ cooking
Use the Rosle digital BBQ thermometer to check your grilled meat is perfectly cooked. The digital thermometer tells you the current internal temperature of the meat as well as providing the ideal core temperature for your chicken, burgers and sausages - consistent results, every time. With an extra-long cable, you can leave the prong in the meat and set the screen to one side for ease of use.
Best meat thermometer for both indoor and outdoor cooking
ProQ’s digital instant read thermometer makes sure your sizzling barbecued meat is perfectly cooked and ready to serve. This waterproof and rechargeable digital thermometer measures the core temperature of your food within 5 seconds, giving you accurate readings for anything from steak to pork belly. The magnetic gadget is easy to store, simply attach it to the fridge or cooker hood so it’s ready to use whenever needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which meat thermometer is wireless?
When you’re busy in the kitchen rustling up a feast, the last thing you need is wires getting in the way. Most of the meat thermometers we sell are wireless, so you don’t need to worry about causing chaos while checking the temperature.
The Rosle Digital BBQ Thermometer has an extra-long cable, however this meat thermometer is specifically designed for barbecue cooking, and the extra-long cable lets you leave the prong in the meat while setting the screen to one side - perfect for cooking al fresco.
Ellie Edwards is a food writer for Sous Chef. Previously she worked at olive magazine, writing about exciting new ingredients, UK restaurants and travelling the world to find the best cinnamon buns. When she's not exploring the likes of Belize, Kerala and Zanzibar, Ellie loves rustling up a feast in her London kitchen, with a particular passion for porridge, sourdough and negronis.