Bottom line: If you cook meat, you need one of the best meat thermometers. And the right pick for for you is going to depend on a few different factors—namely the degree of accuracy you need and how much you’re willing to shell out.
Ahead, discover our top picks—there are options for home cooks and professional chefs alike, each with a thorough review and breakdown of key specs:
Skip straight to shopping for thermometers:Best overall: ThermoWorks Thermapen One, $100 at ThermoWorks, or skip down to read more about why we loved it.Budget pick: Lavatools Javelin thermometer, $27 on Amazon, or skip to read more.Also great: ThermoWorks ThermoPop, $27 at ThermoWorks, or skip to read more.The best leave-in probe thermometer: ThermoWorks Smoke, $69 at ThermoWorks, or skip to read more.
Best overall: ThermoWorks Thermapen One
ThermoWorks Thermapen OneAccuracy: ± 0.5°F Response time: 1 secondTemperature range: -58.0 to 572.0°FProbe length: 4.3″Colors: Gray, white, yellow, green, red, blue, black, orange, pink, and purpleWarranty: 5 years
The most accurate and best instant-read thermometer on the market today is, hands down, the ThermoWorks Thermapen One. It is consistently accurate to half of a degree Fahrenheit. It offers a temperature reading in one solitary second, quicker than you can even say the word temperature.
It has an easy-to-read backlit display that rotates 360 degrees, so you can see the numbers clearly from any angle. It has no buttons to speak of, which makes its ease of use unmatched—you simply lever the stainless-steel thermometer probe out from the body of the thermometer and the thing turns on, and it turns off automatically after a few seconds when it’s not being used, which saves battery. Speaking of battery life: I’ve had a Thermapen for more than five years and have never had it die on me, but I love the fact that, if it ever does run out of juice, all I have to do is pop in a regular old AAA, not some weird, obscure kind of battery. Did I mention that it is water-resistant and comes in 10 colors?
As a person who effectively lives in the kitchen and is therefore more than happy to invest in tools that will make said life in the kitchen better, the best meat thermometer is, without a doubt, the ThermoWorks Thermapen One, a best-in-class product—but it comes with a price tag to match.