The 9 Best Meat Thermometers of 2023 to Make Sure Your Meal Is Done

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Best Meat Thermometers

Better Homes & Gardens / Kristin Kempa

Meat thermometers should be considered an essential kitchen gadget and, when used correctly, are unsung heroes of mealtime. First and foremost, using a meat thermometer will ensure you are cooking food to a safe temperature, which is extremely important, especially when cooking poultry—undercooked chicken could lead to Salmonella poisoning. 

Second, meat thermometers give you peace of mind and help to cook food to the exact right temperature. Beyond just meat, these thermometers are easy to use for other food items like pies, candy, baked goods, or even liquids. Karen Nochimowski, cookbook author and food blogger, advises, “Do not fear the meat thermometer! Many people assume they are hard to use. Not only are they easy to use, but they also ensure that you will not serve an undercooked dish laden with nasty microbes or an overcooked, dry dinner.”

While they all do the same thing, there are many types of meat thermometers on the market, including digital, analog, probe, and smart thermometers. The best meat thermometer for you is one that fits your needs, lifestyle, and budget. To find the best meat thermometers, we looked at a variety of features, prices, availability, size, and functionality to determine the top models on the market.

Best Overall

ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE

ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE

King Arthur Baking

Why You Should Get It: This tool automatically turns off when not in use, saving battery power.

Keep in Mind: Quickly switching between Celsius and Fahrenheit is a bit tricky. 

The Thermapen One is our top pick for the best meat thermometer. It comes with a great reputation and for good reason. While on the more expensive side, the thermometer is long-lasting, easy to use, quick, and accurate. 

The meat thermometer is built with a motion-sensing sleep and wake mode—the gadget intuitively turns on when picked up and turns off when not in use. Not only is the thermometer always at the ready, but this technology saves battery life. The thermometer runs on one AAA battery and has an estimated 2,000 hours of battery life. When you do need to change it, there’s an accessible battery housing that’s well-sealed to keep out food and liquids. 

To use this powerful tool, simply lift up the meat thermometer and insert the probe into whatever food you’re testing. The digital screen will show the temperature in under one second. Anyone grilling outdoors or sticking the thermometer into a dark oven will appreciate the automatic backlit display. It automatically lights up in low light, too, so you’ll never misread the temperature again. 

A foldaway design means the probe is protected when not in use so it won’t get damaged when kept in a packed utensil drawer. The thermometer also comes in 10 colors to make cooking fun. Besides the expensive price tag, the only drawback to this thermometer is that there’s no exposed button to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius—you’ll need to set the measurement unit inside the battery housing.

Price at time of publish: $99

Product Details: Display Type: Digital | Power Source: One AAA battery | Temperature Range: -58 to 572°F | Dishwasher Safe: No | Oven Safe: No

Best Budget

ThermoPro TP 01A Digital Meat Thermometer

ThermoPro TP 01A Digital Meat Thermometer


Why You Should Get It: The 5.3-inch probe is on the longer side and keeps hands away from hot foods. 

Keep in Mind: The probe doesn’t fold up and is bulky to store. 

There’s a lot to like about this wallet-friendly meat thermometer. Not only is it the most affordable on our list, but it also comes with some nice-to-have features. Boasting one of the longest probes at 5.3 inches, the thermometer makes it easier to keep your hands away from hot food. That’s a good thing, considering the readings from this thermometer take between four to six seconds to display—you’ll need to stay in position longer than some other meat thermometers require. 

Along with the digital screen, there are three buttons on the base of the tool. One button allows you to easily switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit units. The next button is a “lock” function, which locks the current temperature (this is useful so you don’t have to dangerously peer into a hot grill). If you use the lock feature, simply press the button after you’ve removed the probe from your food and the reading won’t change. The third button powers the LCD screen’s backlight.

Besides the longer read time, the drawbacks of this thermometer have to do with storage; the extra-long probe doesn’t fold, making it bulky. The set comes with a silicone probe cover, but it’s small and only covers the tip. A built-in looping hole enables you to hang the thermometer, but unless you’ve got the perfect spot, it’s an odd-sized gadget to hang up. 

Price at time of publish: $11

Product Details: Display Type: Digital | Power Source: Two LR44 Batteries, included | Temperature Range: -58 to 572°F | Dishwasher Safe: No | Oven Safe: No

Best Splurge

ThermoWorks Signals BBQ Alarm Thermometer

ThermoWorks Signals BBQ Alarm Thermometer


Why You Should Get It: A commercial-grade tool, this meat thermometer can monitor up to four different temperatures at once. 

Keep in Mind: Charging time is 12 hours to get the full 16 hours of power time.

Used by pitmasters, commercial-grade cooks, and grilling aficionados, this splurge-worthy meat thermometer is a great gift for the griller who has everything. The high-tech tool is essentially an operational hub and data source for any BBQ’er. The set comes with the Signals base (available in nine colors), three high-temperature cooking probes, one air temperature probe, a power adapter/charger, and eight high-temperature silicone color probe rings. 

Essentially, this gadget allows you to monitor the temperature of three different cuts of meat (or three areas on one giant cut) and the air temperature within the grill. The probes are heat safe up to 700°F. 

It gets even more high-tech with the monitoring functionality. Home cooks can either use the base or the Signals app (free to install). The device has Bluetooth and WiFi built-in, so if you track temperatures on your smartphone, you’ll get alerts, the ability to create and download cooking graphs, and so much more. All the data is stored on the cloud to access any cooking history. 

Keep in mind that the thermometer takes 12 hours to charge (battery life lasts up to 16 hours on a full charge), so you’ll need to plan ahead when you want to use this high-tech cooking assistant. 

Price at time of publish: $239

Product Details: Display Type: Digital | Power Source: Rechargeable USB power cable| Temperature Range: -58 to 572°F | Dishwasher Safe: No | Oven Safe: Yes

Best Smart

Meater Plus Smart Meat Thermometer with Bluetooth

Meater Plus With Bluetooth Repeater


Why You Should Get It: The free app guides you through cooking different cuts of meat to the ideal temperature.

Keep in Mind: You’ll need to download the app and be looking at a smart device while cooking.

This meat thermometer does much more than simply measure your food’s temperature—it functions as a guided cooking assistant. To use it that way, insert the probe into your uncooked meat and follow the prompts on the free Meater app (a smartphone is required). It’ll walk you through multiple steps starting with the type of protein, your desired level of cooking, cooking temperature, and more.

Follow along on the app to monitor temperature, level of doneness, remaining time, and when to remove the meat from the cooking source. With Bluetooth and WiFi functionality, there’s a 165-foot range on the device. To take the guesswork out of cooking, set your food on the grill or in the oven, go about your day, and remove the meat when your app alarm indicates it’s ready. 

The set comes with the probe and compact storage/charging unit. Powering the probe is one AAA battery, which claims to charge the probe for up to 100 uses with a single battery. To use the probe as a thermometer, simply insert it into your food, and the temperature reading will appear on the app. 

Price at time of publish: $100

Product Details: Display Type: App required | Power Source: One AAA battery | Temperature Range: Up to 527°F | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Oven Safe: Probes are oven safe

Best with Probe

Taylor Precision Products Digital Thermometer

Taylor Precision Products Programmable with Timer Instant Read Wired Probe Digital, Meat, Food, Grill BBQ Cooking Kitchen Thermometer, Stainless Steel


Why You Should Get It: A magnet on the back of the digital thermometer attaches to an oven door or refrigerator. 

Keep in Mind: The alarm is on the quieter side.

More than just a simple digital thermometer, this wired probe can make cooking less stressful. To use it, simply insert the probe into your protein and put it in the oven. The durable 4-foot-long cord runs out the oven door and stays attached to the unit. 

Chefs can program a temperature or timer alarm from the base—or both at the same time. Once the temperature of the protein or the desired time has been reached, the alarm will go off. The alarm isn’t the loudest, but it’s still a convenient feature for reminding you to check on your cooking.

Boasting intuitive buttons and an LCD screen, the base can fold in half so it’s upright and easy to glance at. Additionally, the back of the base is magnetic, so it’ll attach to your oven door. One limitation of this device is the maximum temperature, which only goes up to 392°F. Depending on what you’re cooking, that may limit the usefulness of the gadget. 

Price at time of publish: $16

Product Details: Display Type: | Power Source: Two AAA batteries (included) | Temperature Range: 32 to 392°F | Dishwasher Safe: No | Oven Safe: Probe is oven-safe

Best Instant Read

Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo

Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo


Why You Should Get It: The numbers on the display will automatically rotate to be legible at different angles. 

Keep in Mind: Accuracy of the temperature reads may vary depending on the food type.

Perfect for the home cook, this instant-read thermometer is well-priced and packed with helpful features. To use the thermometer, simply stick the probe into your protein (or any other food item). Within two to three seconds, the temperature will appear on the large, 2-inch backlit screen. 

One nice feature of this thermometer is that the numbers will automatically rotate and are easy to read no matter how the thermometer is held. This prevents having to awkwardly angle your neck to peer at the thermometer in a hot oven. There’s also a hold button on the base. Get the temperature read in the oven, press the hold button, and then glance at the thermometer away from the heat. 

You’ll never misplace this trusty tool thanks to the magnetic back, which allows your thermometer to live on the fridge or oven door. When you close the thermometer, the auto-off function takes over, saving battery power. The accuracy of the temperature may vary depending on the food, so make sure you properly calibrate the thermometer before use.

Price at time of publish: $56

Product Details: Display Type: Digital | Power Source: Lithium battery (included) | Temperature Range: -40 to 482°F | Dishwasher Safe: No | Oven Safe: No

Best for Grilling

ThermoWorks Smoke Remote BBQ Alarm Thermometer

ThermoWorks Smoke Remote BBQ Alarm Thermometer


Why You Should Get It: A paired receiver allows you to monitor progress up to 300 feet away from the grill.

Keep in Mind: Best for moderate heat methods, this thermometer is intended for smoking or low and slow grilling—not everyday grilling.

If your grilling game is ready for the next level, try the ThermoWorks Smoke. Made for all-day affairs, the set comes with two probes: one to monitor the temperature of the meat and the other to monitor the pit temperature. 

With simple push buttons, you can set temperature high and low alarms, ensuring the heat never gets out of your preferred range. Along with the easy-to-read digital base, this comes with a pre-paired receiver. Not only does the receiver work up to 300 feet from the base, but it also comes with a lanyard. Wear the receiver around your neck, and never lose sight of your grilling responsibilities.

This set works best for moderate heat methods, like low and slow grilling or smoking. For everyday grilling, another one of our best meat thermometers will work great. The base and the receiver of this thermometer both run on two AA batteries each, which should power both for up to 1,800 hours. 

Price at time of publish: $100

Product Details: Display Type: Digital | Power Source: Two AA batteries | Temperature Range: -58 to 572°F | Dishwasher Safe: No | Oven Safe: Yes

Best Digital

KitchenAid Digital Read Thermometer

KitchenAid Digital Read Thermometer


Why You Should Get It: An ultra-thin probe easily fits into any food item, including steaks and dainty pastries. 

Keep in Mind: It’s easy to accidentally hit the button that switches from Fahrenheit to Celsius.

A handy tool at an affordable price, this pen-sized digital thermometer boasts an oversized digital LCD screen, boldly displaying the temperature down to a tenth of a degree. With an ultra-thin tip, the probe easily inserts into any food item. 

It’s helpful that the probe is on the longer side since this thermometer takes around six seconds to get an accurate read. While this meat thermometer is a little slower than others, it’s also significantly less expensive, so you’ll need to balance price versus time when you choose the best meat thermometer for your lifestyle. 

If you prefer to switch back and forth between Celsius and Fahrenheit, there’s an easily accessible conversion switch, which is a nice feature and not available on some other digital thermometers. That said, it’s easy to accidentally hit this switch when handling the device.

This meat thermometer comes with a storage sleeve that fits the entire shaft. Like a pen, the storage sleeve has a tab so you can easily attach it to your apron strap, ensuring it’s always within reach while cooking. This digital thermometer is not oven safe and should only be used for quickly taking temperature during and after cooking. It’s also hand-wash only, which is typical of most food thermometers.

Price at time of publish: $15

Product Details: Display Type: Digital | Power Source: Battery | Temperature Range: -40 to 482°F | Dishwasher Safe: No | Oven Safe: No 

Best Analog

Rubbermaid Commercial Pocket Thermometer

 Rubbermaid Commercial Products Food/Meat Instant Read Thermometer, Pocket Size, Dishwasher Safe, Red, For Meat/Food Cooking and Grilling/Oven


Why You Should Get It: This trusty tool doesn’t require batteries and is a great choice for camping.

Keep in Mind: The temperature range only goes to 220°F.

This analog pocket thermometer from Rubbermaid is old school. With a maximum temperature of 220°F, you can’t count on this gadget for oven or grill temperature, but it’s a fail-safe way to get food temperature. 

Since no batteries are required, this helpful thermometer is great for camping or cooking on the go—you never have to worry about running out of battery power or charging the device. Along with the thermometer, this set comes with a protective sheath that fits the entire 5-inch-long probe. Like a pen, the sheath has a pocket clip, so it’s easy to attach to your cooking apron or dish towel while cooking. 

If you choose to go analog, note the temperature reading will take a bit longer. While it varies based on several factors, the brand advises that an accurate temperature reading can take up to 30 seconds, significantly longer than digital counterparts.This thermometer is not oven safe, so it should only be used for testing the temperature of cooked food. 

Price at time of publish: $10

Product Details: Display Type: Analog thermometer | Power Source: No batteries needed | Temperature Range: 0 to 220°F | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Oven Safe: No

The Bottom Line

Regularly using a meat thermometer for cooking meat or other foods is a helpful habit for foolproof cooking every time. The Thermapen One is lightning-fast and easy to store, but it’s definitely on the pricier side. For a less expensive option, the Lavatools Javelin Pro works just a tad slower but is equally accurate and helpful.

What to Know About Meat Thermometers Before Shopping

Display Type

When choosing between analog and digital meat thermometers, you’ll need to balance speed versus cost and convenience. Digital thermometers are inherently quicker than analog thermometers but will cost more and require batteries or charging. Analog thermometers are easier to take on-the-go. If you plan to grill outdoors or your eyesight is not the sharpest, choose a meat thermometer with a big, backlit digital display. 

Power Source

Most of the best digital meat thermometers require batteries or charging. Batteries will eventually need to be replaced, so factor this cost into your budget. Anything that requires a charge saves on costs but needs to remain powered up to be useful and at the ready. 

Temperature Range

A super wide temperature range is only useful if you plan to leave your meat thermometer in the oven or grill. The lower temperature ranges are perfectly fine for testing cooked meat. Our top pick, the Thermapen One, has a huge temperature range of -58 to 572°F, while our analog choice, the Rubbermaid Commercial Pocket Thermometer, only goes up to 220°F.


Most meat thermometers, digital or analog, are not considered dishwasher safe. Always read the cleaning instructions on your specific thermometer; in general, the best way to clean a thermometer is to wipe it down with warm soapy water and fully dry it before storing away. 

Oven Safe

Standard thermometers are not designed to stay in the oven when cooking; you’ll need to place them into the dish to take a quick temperature read and then remove them. Certain thermometers and probes are oven safe, and these will clearly say so in the product description and instructions. Always follow all safety instructions and brand guidelines. 

Your Questions, Answered 

What meat thermometer is the best? 

The best meat thermometer is one you will use often. Nochimowski shares, “I like the digital instant-read thermometers. You just insert them into a thick part of the meat and—presto!—you get an accurate temperature immediately.” 

Before using your meat thermometer or if you suspect it’s reading inaccurately, you can test and calibrate the thermometer. The process is both easy and informative. David Rose, executive chef at Omaha Steaks and a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, shares how to do it: “Place the thermometer in a glass of ice water. If the temperature reads 32 degrees Fahrenheit then the thermometer is correct and calibrated.” If it’s not accurate, check if adjusting the thermometer is possible or just account for the difference while you cook.

Can meat thermometers go in the oven? 

The type of meat thermometer you have will determine if it can go in the oven. Chef Rose explains, “Wired and wireless meat probes/probe thermometers are heat and safety tested. They can be used with ovens and grills as long as it isn’t over direct flame. Standard meat thermometers cannot go into the oven because that is not their intended use.” Think about how you’ll use your tool before choosing the best meat thermometer for you, and always follow the safety guidelines for how to use it.

Can you use a meat thermometer for other foods? 

In short, yes, meat thermometers can be used for other foods. “In addition to meat, seafood, and poultry, meat thermometers can be used to get an accurate temperature on items like pies, tarts, and candy, and are also helpful for measuring oil and water temperature,” Chef Rose says. Even if you’re not a meat eater, they can be handy devices, especially for bakers. 

Who We Are

Maya Polton is an experienced freelance writer for Better Homes & Gardens who has written for a wide variety of publications. In looking at the best meat thermometers, she searched for products and brands that offer a variety of styles and sizes, affordable prices, and long-lasting materials. She also spoke with Chef David Rose, the executive chef at Omaha Steaks, a Le Cordon Bleu graduate, TV personality, and cookbook author, as well as Karen Nochimowski, who is also known as “Momma Chef. She is the author of the cookbook 6-Minute Dinners (and More!).

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