Meat Thermometers: Ratings of Sources
The editors of Consumer Reports subject several dozen meat thermometers to hands-on testing, ultimately recommending a handful of instant-read thermometers and just three leave-in thermometers. Each model is rated for its accuracy, repeatability, response time and features, and assigned a comparative rating.
The experts in one of the nation's preeminent test kitchen put a whole range of meat thermometers through their paces, ultimately publishing three comparative reviews: remote thermometers, instant-read thermometers (they recommend just one) and another that focuses on inexpensive instant-read models. Each model receives comparative scores for performance and ease of use, and these reviews are updated regularly.
"Meathead" Goldwyn, the driving force behind AmazingRibs.com, is a barbecue expert, author, and colorful television/online personality. Although he doesn't test meat thermometers under lab conditions, he's very thorough and methodical about testing them in real-world conditions, and has the experience and credibility to lend a lot of weight to these online reviews, which span a number of brands and models.
The editors of The Sweet Home have updated their guide to the best instant-read thermometers at least three times, considering more than 100 models in all. They subject each thermometer to several hands-on tests, and also consult user feedback and reviews from other experts. The latest round of nominees was tested for accuracy with mugs of ice water and pots of boiling water, then put to work in real-world situations like checking the temperature of bone-in chicken thighs.
Two "self-proclaimed technology and food geeks" run this online magazine about all things grilling. They publish four or five individual product reviews of meat thermometers, mixed in with their other product reviews and grilling tips. Although no comparative ratings are assigned, they do a good job of testing -- and explaining -- how well each thermometer works under real-world conditions.
The author tests five instant-read thermometers in his own kitchen, using a variety of hot and cold substances, to check their speed and accuracy. He selects the Lavatools Thermowand (now known as the Lavatools Javelin) as his top pick for most kitchens, thanks to its combination of value and performance. He also recommends the ThermoWorks Thermapen for cooks who use a thermometer frequently.
The testers at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute evaluate almost two dozen thermometers -- most of them suitable for use with meat -- and assign them each a comparative rating out of five stars. Every short review is based on hands-on testing and briefly lists the pros and cons for each model. Some of these products were reviewed as recently as early 2015, others date back to 2009.
Although this review covers just one model, it's very helpful to have a gadget magazine's read on this smartphone-compatible meat thermometer. They give it a hands-on evaluation and briefly detail the pros and cons, along with a bottom line evaluation and number ratings for features, design, performance and usability.
The executive editor of TheKitchn.com gives a considered review of why the ThermoWorks Thermapen, darling of almost every food gadget reviewer everywhere, is worth its nearly $100 price tag. This is the clearest, most concise breakdown we found of the tech and design differences that set this thermometer apart.
This foodie website does a hands-on, comparative test of nine inexpensive kitchen thermometers, selecting two as the best. Elsewhere on the site, they compare the ThermoWorks Thermopop -- one of the top inexpensive thermometers -- to the long-established ThermoWorks Thermapen, which is their top thermometer pick when price is no object. Both articles are based on hands-on testing and an obvious depth of experience on this subject, although no direct ratings are assigned.
As always, Amazon.com is one of the best sources for user reviews -- although they stock only a very few models from ThermoWorks, which dominate our ratings in this report. With that said, this is still an excellent site for sources information on how all the competitors perform under real-world conditions. Standout models get an average rating of 4 stars or better, and many garner hundreds of reviews.