There's an art (and a science) to cooking meat to your desired levels of doneness, and sometimes it can feel like a guessing game to reach that perfect medium rare of a steak or the well done bake a succulent chicken breast requires. Fortunately, there's a great way to eliminate the "is it done yet?" questioning and put your mind (and stomach) at ease: a dependable meat thermometer.
Today's meat thermometers aren't the old-school gauge-style tools that were hard to read and took ages to display internal temperatures — instant-read and digital options abound for easy reading. Of course, it's essential to choose a meat thermometer that's accurate within 2 or 3 degrees, and it helps to choose several with different probe lengths for various cuts of meat. You'll also want to consider convenient extras, like programmable alarms that sound when your pork shoulder or rump roast reaches the correct internal temperature, and auto-shutoff and timer features that also remove some of the guesswork. To take even more guesstimating out of the equation, check out these tried-and-tested meat thermometers that do the job right.
Best Overall: Lavatools Javelin PT12 Meat Thermometer
The Lavatools Javelin thermometer is our top pick because it consistently provides quick, accurate readings; has a large, easy-to-read display; and sticks right to the refrigerator or oven door with its built-in magnet. If you've ever stood next to the hot oven waiting for a slow thermometer to come to temperature, you'll love the four-second readout time of this top-rated thermometer.
Best Value: Simple Goods Digital Instant Read Thermometer
A fast, accurate temperature reading, quality design and lifetime warranty combine to make this Simple Goods digital thermometer the best value pick. Users love its backlit display and convenient features like a built-in magnet and bottle opener. The thin probe design offers a temperature readout in a matter of seconds.
Best Smart Thermometer: HAUEA Meat Thermometer
With the HAUEA Meat Thermometer, you don't even need to be in the kitchen to know when your meat is done cooking. Put the probes in your meat, customize the preset settings according to your tastes, and then connect the thermometer to an app on your smartphone. This thermometer automatically determines when your meat is done cooking, which alerts you with a notification on your smartphone.
Best for Left-handed Users: ThermoPro TP19 Meat Thermometer
The ThermoPro TP19 has a special ambidextrous probe that makes it ideal for left-handed users. No more twisting your arm around or reading the temperature display upside-down. Flip the probe to a position that's comfortable, stick it in the meat, and get an accurate temperature readout instantly.
Best Waterproof Thermometer: Kizen Instant Read Meat Thermometer
Washing the thermometer is not a worry when you have the Kizen Instant Read Thermometer. This waterproof device has a strong plastic casing that keeps the moisture out, even when you place it under running water. It also wins big accolades for its fast, accurate reading, easy-to-read LCD and lifetime warranty.
Best Wireless Thermometer: ThermoPro TP20 Meat Thermometer
If you want the convenience of a wireless meat thermometer without the hassle of syncing it with a smartphone, you'll love the ThermoPro TP20. It comes with a hands-free monitor that allows you to see the internal temperature at all times, even when you're 300 feet away. This device also comes with nine preset temperatures for different cuts of meat and their varying levels of doneness.
Best Thermometer With a Long Probe: ThermoPro TP15
Checking the temperature of meat grilling over an open flame is no problem when you use the ThermoPro TP15. This digital thermometer has an extra-long, 5.5-inch probe, so you can check your meat's doneness without burning your hand. It also provides a readout in a matter of seconds, minimizing the time you need to spend close to the open oven or grill.
Best Instant Read Thermometer: Smak Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer
Don't like standing over a hot open oven while you wait for your meat thermometer to come to temperature? With this Smak instant thermometer, you won't have to. It provides an accurate digital readout in 3 seconds or less. This rapid response time means less energy lost from your oven as you read the temperature and less hassle for you as you wait for the reading.
Best Thermometer for Grilling: Oprol Bluetooth Meat Thermometer
With six probes, Bluetooth technology and a bonus addition of barbecue meat claws, the Oprol Bluetooth Meat Thermometer is best for grill enthusiasts. The variety of probes makes it easy to cook multiple things at once on the grill, and the convenient app means you can monitor what's cooking outside from the comfort of a recliner inside.
Best Thermometer for Cooking Multiple Cuts of Meat: Tranmix Wireless Meat Thermometer
You don't need two meat thermometers if you're cooking several cuts of meat at once. You need the Tranmix Wireless Meat Thermometer. This wireless thermometer comes with two probes, which you can stick in two different pieces of meat cooking simultaneously. Set the desired temperature for each cut and then walk away and wait for the alarm to sound when each piece is done cooking.