It’s true: instant read digital thermometers are a complete game changer when it comes to grilling or smoking meat. You can study the rules of thumb for how many pounds to cook per hour for meats, but temperature is a better control for precise cooking. The difference between a good roast and a great roast is a few degrees of temperature. If you overcook it slightly, it’s too dry. Undercooked a little bit and it’s either unsafe or very chewy. The digital thermometer will change your cooking game for the better and make you a total grilling professional.
Most of the digital thermometers seem the same when it comes to features, so we chose the four best brands on Amazon. We put each brand to the test, looking at factors such as Speed, Durability, Accuracy, and Features. Then, we put the scores together (along with other factors not considered in the scoring categories). This brought us to an Overall Score, which led us to the Pitmaster’s #1 Choice in the Digital Thermometer category.
We welcome you to read our in-depth reviews of each, but know that sometimes it’s easier to look at an overview. So we have created the table below that shows our overall scores of each of the digital thermometers. You can scroll down to read the overview summary of each thermometer.
Meat Thermometer Review Scores
Char-Broil Instant Read Thermometer
On the front panel of this cooking thermometer there are three buttons; minus, plus, and on/off. The minus and plus are used for moving through the menu system. Above this is the display panel, which is very detailed but easy enough to understand. From top to bottom, the display shows; type of meat, the required temperature and whether that’s well done, for instance, and the actual temperature. There’s also a buzzer function, an audible alarm that indicates when the required temperature has been reached. The instant-read function is pretty fast, almost instant in most cases.
This is not the kind of probe that can be left in the meat for long periods of time, and any moisture will kill it stone dead, so don’t put it in the dishwasher with the other utensils. But overall it’s fast, accurate and very well designed. It’s easy to hold and read, the alarm function is a nice addition, and it’s one of better instant-read cooking thermometers on the market.
OXO Digital Thermometer
The instant read thermometer from OXO is about 7” long, with a plastic body and a thin metal probe, which is kept in a pen-like protective cover. The display is larger than most thermometers, and easy to read from a good distance away. The large display has three digits, so it can show temperatures from -40 degrees to 302 degrees. So you can check the temperature of your beer as well as your ribs, just remember to wipe the probe if it’s been in raw meat.
I think this model of quick read thermometers is very well designed, apart from the battery compartment. It does look a little like something you’d find in the doctor’s medical kit, but I like it. It’s easy to carry, easy to read and use, and comes with a handy cover with the temperature reminders on it.
Brinkmann Digital Thermometer
Checking the temperature of your food with a digital cooking thermometer is a great way to ensure the meat you serve is thoroughly cooked. Which goes a long way to avoiding any health issues. This Brinkman cooking thermometer provides an indication of the internal temperature in either Centigrade or Fahrenheit, depending on your preference.
As quick-read thermometers go, this one could be considered basic, but it does the job, if in an unspectacular way, and seems to be at least accurate enough for barbecuing. Digital models are certainly easier to read than analogue dials, if a little less robust.
Instant-Read Original Weber Thermometer
The controls on the front of this digital cooking thermometer are simple enough; there’s an on/off button, and a degrees C/degrees F button so you can read the temperature in either Centigrade of Fahrenheit. The display range of this kitchen thermometer is 32°F to 446°F, which makes it very flexible and covers a wide range of uses.
Cleaning the Weber digital thermometer is easy enough using a damp cloth, but don’t immerse it in water, and definitely don’t put it in the dishwasher.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Calibrate Digital Thermometers?
Some digital thermometers come with instructions that allow you to calibrate the thermometer to make sure it is reading accurate temperatures. Whether your model allows you to calibrate it or not, you can ensure the thermometer is reading the correct temperature by placing it in ice cold water. It should read 32 degrees F in this water.
Do Digital Thermometers Read Temperature in Degrees F and Degrees C?
Yes, most thermometers allow you to switch from F to C by pressing a button or moving a switch.
Is a Digital Thermometer Rechargeable?
Most digital thermometers run off of battery power. Since they are only turned on when you are using them, the battery should last for several months. To make sure you are getting the most out of your battery life, you should turn off the digital thermometer when not in use.
Do Digital Thermometers Work For Liquids as Well As Meats?
Yes, a digital thermometer will work for measuring the temperature of liquids, meat proteins, vegetables, and air temperature.
Can You Use a Digital Thermometer for Measuring Fryer Oil?
Yes, you can use a digital thermometer to measure the temperature of fryer oil. Unlike most thermometers designed to measure fryer oil, the digital thermometer most likely does not clip onto the side of the pot, and it cannot be used for continuous use in measuring fryer oil. Do be careful not to drop the thermometer into the hot oil.