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Armen Kazakov
Armen Kazakov

Where To Buy Instant Read Digital Thermometer

Find the thickest part of the food being cooked (especially important with meat) and insert the thermometer in 1-2 inches. If cooking bone-in proteins, avoid touching the bone because it will give a false reading. Most instant-read thermometers should take the temperature within 10-20 seconds. This is not the kind of thermometer to leave in the oven, and it should be removed immediately after achieving a reading.

where to buy instant read digital thermometer


Instant read thermometers come in the probe or infrared styles. The probe type inserts into the food item in question. The infrared thermometers do not need to make contact with the food to take the temperatures and are easier to clean.

Our favorite instant-read thermometer is the ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE. It works quickly and has a large digital screen that automatically lights up and rotates, so you can read it at any angle. Our budget-friendly picks are the ThermoWorks ThermoPop 2 (which you can read our full review of here) and Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo Digital Instant-Read Thermometer.

If you want a thermometer that you can leave inside your roast while it bakes, or that you can attach to your grill or smoker, we recommend the ThermoWorks Dot. The Dot is accurate, affordable, and easy to use. It has the same wide temperature range as the ThermoPop, and it also has one of the longest probe cables of any of the thermometers we considered. The digital display on the ThermoWorks Dot is easy to read, and you can quickly set an alarm to go off when your meat reaches a certain temperature. We also like the backlit screen, which is handy for outdoor grilling at night.

The Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo instant-read thermometer is the midpoint option between the ThermoPop and the $100 best-in-class ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4. In our tests, the Javelin Pro Duo was nearly a second faster at reaching a true temperature than the ThermoPop, and its folding probe lets you take readings from odd angles. It has a few features the ThermoPop lacks, such as a beep that tells you when it settles on a temperature, a button for holding the reading, and the ability to track minimum and maximum temperatures. It also displays temperatures down to a tenth of a degree. And unlike the ThermoPop or Thermapen, the Javelin Pro Duo has a magnet that lets you stick it to your fridge or stove, rather than keeping it loose in a drawer.

Every cook should have a reliable meat thermometer both to ensure food safety and to help you achieve the best results. The more common kind is an instant-read thermometer, which you stick into food for a few seconds to quickly check its doneness. Another type is a probe thermometer, which is designed to remain in the meat while it cooks. A heat-safe cable attaches the probe to a digital unit outside the oven that displays the temperature reading.

If you have only a slow, analog (dial) thermometer, you need to upgrade. Analog thermometers are harder to read accurately, and they contain mercury, which is harmful to you and the environment. These old-school tools also tend to have thicker probes than their digital cousins. That means you lose more juice each time you pierce a roast with an analog thermometer than you do with a digital one.

We also timed how long each thermometer took to measure the temperature of canola oil heated in a cast-iron pot to 365 F. Those timings were far slower and more unpredictable (10 to 20 seconds, instead of 2 to 5) for the instant-read thermometers we tested, but measuring hot oil did give us a sense of which thermometer best protected our hands.

We performed two additional tests for probe thermometers. To test their cables at high temperatures, we used our finalists in a screaming-hot, 650 F to 700 F grill. We also evaluated the strength of the magnets on the back of the digital receivers to see how well they could stay attached to the side of an oven or grill. Finally, we measured the distance at which remote probe thermometers could still function before losing their wireless connection.

Switching from Fahrenheit to Celsius is less intuitive than on the original (which has a dedicated button). To switch, you hold down the power/backlight button for 3 seconds when turning the thermometer on, a trick we had to look up in the manual. Also, possibly to make the new version more waterproof, you now need a small screwdriver to access the battery, whereas you can open the original ThermoPop with just a coin.

In our tests, the Dot was the fastest probe thermometer to read temperatures accurately. On average, it was able to read 32 F in about 8 seconds and 212 F in about 5.5 seconds. Its thermistor sensor has an impressive temperature range of -58 F to 572 F (and a cable that can withstand 700 F for short periods of time), which is a wider range than many other probe thermometers cover. In a stockpot of 130 F water maintained by a sous vide circulator, the Dot was accurate to the degree.

If you want more features in a probe thermometer, such as a timer and volume adjustment, we recommend the ThermoWorks ChefAlarm. It was very accurate in our tests and has a longer probe than the Dot, but we found that it was slightly slower at reading temperatures. The ChefAlarm offers the same impressive temperature range as the Dot, from -58 F to 572 F for the probe and up to 700 F for the cable.

Never put the digital unit of a thermometer in an oven, grill, or smoker, or attach it to the lid of a grill, which can exceed 700 F and melt it. Though the ThermoWorks probe thermometer cables are heat-resistant to 700 F, avoid placing them directly on a grill grate or oven rack, since doing so could damage their inner insulation. Also, straighten any kinks in the cable, which can break the inner wires if left alone. And never place a probe tip directly into hot coals or fire. Always use a hot pad or an oven mitt when retrieving a probe thermometer from the oven or grill.

The CDN DTQ450X ProAccurate Thermometer, our original pick for the best instant-read thermometer, remains an accurate thermometer with a wide range. It has one of the thinnest probes, at 1.5 millimeters, as well as a calibration option and a number of handy temperature-holding and alert functions for a relatively low price. But newer thermometers in a reasonably close price range do the job much faster.

Since the ThermoPro TP16 is so light and the cable is so stiff, the unit moved around the counter when we opened and closed the oven door. We also found that the stand put the digital screen at an awkward angle for reading.

The Maverick ET-733 suffered notable delays in reading temperatures. In one instance, the thermometer jumped from 73 F to 214 F, showing no temperatures in between. This model is also covered by a paltry 90-day warranty.

The Lavatools Carbon Lite uses Bluetooth to connect to an app on your phone, but unlike other models we tested, it lacks manual controls. This model was much slower at reading temperatures than our picks. And though the preset temperatures on the app are helpful for beginner cooks, we found the layout confusing when setting custom temperatures. The thermometer kept its connection for up to 250 feet in our tests, which was 100 feet less than the ThermoWorks Smoke. It also had a narrower temperature range than the ThermoWorks thermometers we recommend.

After testing dozens of instant-read digital thermometers, we think the ThermoWorks Thermopop 2 is the best instant-read thermometer for most people. You get fast read times, a high-resolution display, and a high level of accuracy all at a low price point.

The Javelin comes with a lot of features similar to the ThermoPop, perhaps with just a few fewer conveniences such as the backlit, rotating screen. It is still a great cooking thermometer, and worthy of consideration if you are in the market for an instant read thermometer.

Another important consideration is safety. If you use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature of your meat, you can confidently serve your food up without worrying whether it was brought up to a safe temperature or not.

Instant read thermometers are designed to spot check the internal temperature of your food and are best suited to thinner cuts of meat like chops. They come into their own when you are grilling over high heat.

To use an instant read thermometer, you stick the probe into the meat and wait until you have the temperature reading. Most good instant read thermometers these days should have that reading back to you in under 5 seconds. Once you have the temperature, take out the probe and either keep cooking or take your meat off the heat if it is done.

You will need to get up close and personal to the grill/oven to physically stick the thermometer into the meat. The sooner you can get a reading, the less time you will spend reaching into or over a stinking hot cooker!

While you may want to fork out some cash to get a quality leave in thermometer with some serious functionality, a instant read food thermometer is a smaller, less complicated unit. As such, you can get accurate, fast instant read thermometers at reasonable prices.

"Our former favorite instant-read thermometer, the ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4, has been discontinued. We tested its replacement, the ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE, and found that we liked it even better than the old model. We highly recommend the ONE; it is our new winner."Read the Review

"ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE is honestly the best instant read thermometer we've tested to date. So, if you like to have the best of the best, look no further and order ONE for yourself...."Read the Review

Thermoworks Thermapen ONE is the newest addition to an excellent line-up of their instant-read thermometers. Its unmatched speed, accuracy, and feature set have raised the bar for cooking accessories.Read the Review

A major qualm people have with some instant-read thermometers is that, while they're comfortable to hold, they're designed to be comfortable for just right-handed people. Take the Thermapen Mk4 and One, for example, which is ridged on one side. On the other hand, the Oxo Good Grips Thermocouple Thermometer is flat on both sides so it's easier to use for all people. It has an easy-to-read display that gives readings in about three seconds. It's accurate within 0.9 degrees and has a splash-proof rating of IP66. The design of the rotating dial means you can whip out the probe without touching it, and you don't need to fully extend it for more ergonomic uses. 041b061a72


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