8 meat thermometers that help cook your steak to perfection (2024)

Meater plus

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

If you’ve got cash to spare when shopping for a meat thermometer, this is where we suggest you spend it. The Meater plus is nothing short of a masterstroke for achieving perfect – and we mean perfect – meat and fish dishes. It seems techy because you’ll need a wifi connection to set up the app, but we promise it is easy to use.

The small, slim probe is double-ended to gauge the internal temperature of your protein and the ambient temperature of the cooking environment to estimate the overall cook time; this is extremely helpful for roasts, dinner parties and even barbecues so you can plan towards a serving time. We like that there are so many options to choose from when telling your Meater what you’re cooking. Within each meat setting, for example, there are options for different cuts so you can consistently produce amazing food, plus it tells you how long to rest the meat for afterwards.

With no wire or monitor to check, the Meater is super convenient – just listen out for your smartphone alerts or check in with the app to see how your cook is doing without having to interrupt your dish’s cooking time. We used the Meater with everything from poaching chicken to barbecuing a leg of lamb, slow cooking brisket and pan-frying salmon; it is extremely versatile. While it is suitable for barbecue use, do take care that your grill doesn’t surpass the Meater’s top temperature of 275C – ours did.

Once you’re finished with the device, just wash it up and store it in its bamboo charging box, which is ideal when stuck on the fridge. Our only negative: connection can be lost if your dish is wrapped in foil or cooked in a lidded metal dish.

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Polder programmable in-oven thermometer

Best: For value

Rating: 8/10

This popular thermometer is a hit with fans thanks to its in-oven capabilities – something you’d usually pay handsomely for, but in this case, comes in just shy of £25. Simply insert the probe into the thickest part of your meat, select the type of meat (beef, veal, lamb, pork, poultry) and how you’d like it cooked, then put it in the oven.

The display screen can be mounted magnetically onto the oven or placed on a worktop, but beware because some people have complained of the unit scratching the surface of their oven. It feels strange to have the wire trailing out of the oven, and this would have scored higher if it were wireless, but aside from that, we love this thermometer.

With a large, easy to read screen and lots of loud alerts to notify you when the meat approaches readiness, this is a foolproof but high-spec thermometer that takes the hassle out of temperature checking. We also like that it has a rest period function and an overcook alert. You can also set the probe at any temperature to monitor recipes outside of the meat options: ideal for jam making, chocolate work, baking and more. This machine can withstand ambient temperatures of 200C.

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ProCook meat thermometer

Best: Fork thermometer

Rating: 7/10

The ProCook stainless steel meat thermometer, which doubles as a large serving fork, is sure to get a lot of use at family roasts, with it allowing you to test meat for doneness before you carve. A basic battery-operated (2x AAA) temperature probe is incorporated with a clear LCD that allows you to choose from beef, veal, pork, lamb, turkey and chicken, then select your cook level to taste. We found it to be accurate and easy to use, but its size means it’s best suited to large joints rather than to test the safety of a chicken leg or a steak, for example.

We liked that it could be used to serve up slices of roast beef to peoples’ liking by testing different areas of the joint for temperature. The handle is anti-slip and comfortable to hold, particularly for larger hands. Comes with a one-year guarantee.

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Digiflex LCD digital food thermometer

Best: Budget thermometer

Rating: 8/10

This purse-friendly probe is a great starting point for any cook. The standard, slim device can be used to measure the temperature of any food or ingredient with a temperature range of 50-300C, and it gives the choice of both celsius and fahrenheit readings.

The LCD screen sits at the end of the probe, powered by an LR44 button battery that is easy to replace. We found the screen easy to read from (but at just 22mm, some may not), and the probe gave an accurate, fast temperature recording within seconds every time, whether with liquids such as melted sugar or for large joints of meat. We like that this slim probe doesn’t leave big holes in your food like some of the larger thermometers and that it is easy to grab and go and to store.

The main negative with this tool is that you need to know the temperature you’re looking for with each food. That’s because it’s not programmable and has no guide to work from – you could be testing meat with one hand and googling “lamb leg rare internal temperature” with the other. We’ll also mention that having owned a few of these in the past, they don’t last forever. But for £5.99, that seems fair.

It’s temporarily out of stock, but if you sign up for an email notification, you’ll be the first to know when it’s back.

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Judge meat thermometer

Best: Analogue thermometer

Rating: 7/10

For some people, only an analogue thermometer will do. There’s no faffing around with batteries, chargers or wires; just stick in the slim probe and wait for the dial to settle on the right temperature. This Judge thermometer uses a slim, sharp probe that will cause minimal disruption to your steak and an intelligent display system that shows various temperatures and the meats and doneness they relate to – we like.

The display measures 5cm and lists temps in both fahrenheit and celsius from 54-88C encompassing rare beef right up to perfectly safe fresh turkey. Ok, so it may take a little longer to read than the digital probes – and might not be the one to choose for anyone with poor eyesight – but it does the job perfectly well, will last a lifetime and is small enough for easy storage.

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Thermapen one

Best: For bakers

Rating: 8/10

Thermapen is the UK’s number one selling food thermometer and can be found in most professional kitchens. This simple waterproof metal probe features a colourful ergonomic handle with an LCD measuring 14.5x12mm. It is the fastest and most accurate we tried – providing the goods in just one second – making it perfect for testing the temperature of anything from sausages to sourdough using its wireless digital readings.

Boasting a temperature range of -49.9 to 299.9C with extreme accuracy (it is supplied with a certificate of calibration), the fine design of the sensor probe means that you can measure cakes and bakes without causing unsightly holes. Its antimicrobial technology also means you can keep it safely hygienic with a wipe.

The Thermapen one now has a 360-degree self-rotating display, making it more readable than previous models, and an intelligent backlight means you can use it in or outdoors with ease. The British-made unit takes one AAA battery, which lasts up to 2,000 hours and is easy to replace, plus each thermometer comes with a five-year guarantee. Again, we’d have liked to have had a temperature guide included with the unit, but the Thermapen website does list many common meats and bakery processes with guide temperatures.

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ThermaStick meat thermometer

Best: Clip-On Thermometer

Rating: 7/10

This is a basic digital meat thermometer, though a fast and accurate one that has earned its place on this list because of its lightweight (28g) clip-on design. Busy cooks will find it helpful to clip the ThermaStick onto their apron or pocket, ready to quickly and easily check the internal temperature of many foods and drinks.

With a probe fine enough to use in cakes, small fillets of meat and fish without causing a gaping hole, this stick will tell you the temperature from -49.9 to 299.9C within half a degree of accuracy in as little as five seconds – not bad. The display is large and easy to read, and the result can be recorded in either celsius or fahrenheit.

We used this probe successfully in reheating foods to safe temperatures from frozen and testing small fillet steaks for doneness (you will need to look up the ideal temperatures as this stick simply gives the reading). The ThermaStick takes a lithium battery with a life of 5,000 hours, and it will automatically turn off after 10 minutes when not in use to save the battery life. It’s a handy helper to have around the kitchen.

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Weber connect

Best: For BBQ

Rating: 9/10

Barbecuing is undoubtedly the most challenging cooking technique for producing reliable and desirably cooked foods, but no longer. The brilliant Weber connect smart grilling hub will turn even the most hopeless barbecuer into a grill master thanks to its intelligent tech, which we can happily confirm is doable for even technophobes.

Download the Weber connect app, charge the hub, and you’re good to go. Simply attach the ambient probe to the grill (it keeps an eye on the BBQ temp) and insert the wired probe into your meat, fish or veg with the other end plugged into the hub. Tell the hub what you are grilling and how you’d like it cooked and it will talk you through step-by-step.

From grill set-up to recipes, when to season, flip, serve and eat, this system takes the stress out of any barbecue recipe and will have you serving up the best food you’ve ever cooked. Give your Sunday roasts a new lease of life by cooking up large joints on the grill; for us, a leg of lamb and a side of salmon were particular successes.

We like that there’s no need to open the grill to check the food (imperative for anyone into smoking their briskets, ribs and roasts), that you can use it with up to four probes and that it is compatible with any barbecue – not just ones with inbuilt temperature gauges or Weber grills. It’s expensive, yes, but the tech is top-notch, and with materials that can withstand in-cook temperatures of up to 300C, we think it’s worth it. This device is compatible with iOS 12.1 and Android 7.0 and later.

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As a culinary technology enthusiast and expert in kitchen gadgets, especially those related to precision cooking, I've extensively explored various cooking tools and techniques that enhance the culinary experience. My expertise includes not just using these tools but also understanding the underlying technology and principles. This depth of knowledge allows me to critically evaluate and compare different products, such as meat thermometers, for their functionality, accuracy, and practicality in a home or professional kitchen setting.

The article you've shared reviews several meat thermometers, each excelling in different aspects. I'll break down the concepts and features mentioned:

  1. Meater Plus: This is a wireless, smart meat thermometer, lauded for its dual sensors that measure both the internal temperature of the meat and the ambient temperature inside the cooking environment. Its connectivity to a smartphone app via Wi-Fi allows for real-time monitoring and alerts. The app's database of cooking times for various meats and cuts enhances precision cooking. However, it has limitations like a maximum temperature threshold (275C) and potential connectivity issues in certain cooking conditions (e.g., when the dish is covered with foil).

  2. Polder Programmable In-Oven Thermometer: This thermometer is valued for its affordability and in-oven capability. It's designed to remain in the meat while it cooks in the oven, providing continuous temperature readings. It has a wired probe and a digital display that can be mounted outside the oven. While not wireless, it offers convenience and a range of preset temperature settings for different meats.

  3. ProCook Meat Thermometer: This is a fork thermometer, combining the functionality of a meat thermometer with a serving fork. Ideal for larger cuts of meat, it's battery-operated and features a basic LCD for temperature readouts. Its size and design make it less suitable for smaller cuts.

  4. Digiflex LCD Digital Food Thermometer: A budget-friendly option, this thermometer is a simple, slim probe suitable for a variety of foods. It lacks programmability and meat-specific temperature guides, requiring users to know or look up the necessary temperatures for different dishes.

  5. Judge Meat Thermometer: An analogue thermometer favored by some for its simplicity and durability. It lacks digital features but provides a classic dial readout of temperature, suitable for various meats and doneness levels.

  6. Thermapen One: Popular in professional kitchens, this thermometer is known for its speed and accuracy. It features a digital display, a wide temperature range, and a rotating screen for easy reading. Its fine probe minimizes damage to delicate foods like baked goods.

  7. ThermaStick Meat Thermometer: A lightweight, clip-on digital thermometer. It's fast and accurate, suitable for a variety of cooking tasks, with a large display and simple operation.

  8. Weber Connect: A smart grilling hub designed for barbecue enthusiasts. It offers step-by-step guidance through an app and can monitor multiple dishes with several probes. It's compatible with various BBQ types and is designed to withstand high temperatures.

Each of these thermometers caters to different needs, whether it's the convenience of wireless monitoring, the precision of instant-read probes, or the simplicity of traditional analogue devices. Understanding their features and limitations is crucial for selecting the right tool for your cooking style and requirements.

8 meat thermometers that help cook your steak to perfection (2024)


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